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From Davy Crockett, Wild Bill Hickok, and Calamity Jane to Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and Frank and Jesse James, here are more than 130 colorful stories of the pioneers, cowboys, outlaws, gamblers, prospectors, and lawmen who settled the wild west, creating a uniquely American hero and a fascinating folk mythology.
In this treasury of tall tales, everyone and everything is larger than life and bragging is elevated into an art form. Many of these stories are of real people and real events; more than a few, however, grew taller and funnier as they made their rounds from wagon train to campfire to rodeo to miners' quarters. But even if it is far from established that Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were able to kill three men with one bullet or subdue ferocious grizzly bears with their fists, they come vividly to life here as beloved characters who have become part of the fabric of the American imagination.
PRAISE FOR Legends and Tales of the American West:
"You'll never find a better guide than Richard Erdoes to lead you through the mosaic of the American frontier. The whole pack of our legendary past is crammed into this treasure box."
--Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
'These well-told tales add an essential, almost holographic, perspective to our early history. Richard Erdoes has indeed captured the American spirit and made it available to all of us."
--Grand Rapids Press