Oct 30, 201211:44 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
Western Words: New Books For Oct. 30, 2012
Custer, by Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry may be today’s foremost chronicler of the American West, so any new book he releases on that topic is bound to be worth a look. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove has now set his sights on one of the west’s most iconic figures – General George Armstrong Custer.
The lavishly illustrated Custer offers fascinating insight into Custer’s tumultuous life, his famed last stand at Little Bighorn, its impact on the nation’s policy and politics, and how timing and technology played a role in the elevation of this fateful battle into legendary status. (Nov. 6.)
The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute, by Clifford E. Trafzer, Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, and Lorene Sisquoc
The Sherman Institute opened in Riverside, California in 1902. Its objective was to provide training programs to transform Indian students from impoverished backgrounds into farmers, carpenters, nurses, cooks, and seamstresses. The Mission-style building was constructed with Native American labor and offered many students an escape from poverty, while also restricting students from celebrating their own heritage through story and song.
Did the school ultimately help its students, or was it yet another blow struck for cultural intolerance? The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue shares words and pictures from students and faculty, and explores the legacy of Indian boarding schools.
A Cowboy for Christmas: A Jubilee, Texas Novel, by Lori Wilde
Fans of western romance have embraced Lori Wilde’s “Jubilee, Texas” series, and will certainly want to pick up this seasonal installment, in which love is kindled by a traffic accident (isn’t that always the case?). But green-eyed beauty Lissy Moncrief is determined not to fall for cowboy Rafferty Jones, even if he traveled all the way to Jubilee to bring her an unexpected financial windfall.
Sun, Sin, Suburbia: The History of Modern Las Vegas Revised and Expanded, by Geoff Schumacher
The colorful history of Las Vegas began with pioneers and cowboys, and evolved through the influence of mobsters, billionaires, and the world’s greatest entertainers. But there’s a whole world beyond the neon-glittering Las Vegas Strip, and the resorts that have made the city one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Geoff Schumacher takes readers on a detour off the Strip and into the neighborhoods and communities that grew up in the shadow of a sparkling fast lane fantasy.
This expanded edition follows Las Vegas’s rise to prominence as one of America’s fastest-growing cities, only to be crippled by the devastation that followed the recession and real estate market crash.
Aurora, Daughter of the Dawn: A Story of New Beginnings, by J. J. Kopp (Author), Clark Moor Will (Illustrations)
William Keil established Oregon’s Aurora Colony in 1856. It was one of many such utopian communities founded in the 19th century, along with the more famous Brook Farm and New Harmony. Keil named his new civilization after his daughter, Aurora. This young-adult novel tells the story of young Aurora in her own words, as she travels west with her father on the Oregon Trail in hope of a better life. The great experiment ended in 1883, but there is still an Aurora Museum on the site of the original settlement, that you may feel like visiting after reading this touching story.
For more recent book releases, check out last week's Western Words post.