Friday, December 28, 2012

Calamity Jane: Legendary Western Poverty

"Her career may offer the best case study of legend-making in the history of the American West simply because there was so little on which to build; she arrested no outlaws, robbed no banks, and killed no Indians. Instead, hers is a bleak story of poverty, alcoholism, and an unsteady domestic life. She worked as a dance-hall girl, prostitute, waitress, bartender, and cook; she lived with various men she called husbands and expressed affection for her children. Rather than displaying legendary ingredients, her life illustrates a part of western history not often told, the existence of the poor."

The Woman and the Legend
by James D. McLaird
University of Oklahoma Press, 2012
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