Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Kit Carson

Best known today for his role in the tragic "Long Walk" of  the Navajos as Col. Christopher Carson of the First New Mexico Volunteers, "Kit" Carson was a mythical hero in dime novels of the 19th century and movie Westerns of the mid-20th century who fought savages, protected the virtuous and helped open the frontier.

This biography portrays the real-life Carson as Scots-Irish border man - a trapper, guide, hunter, soldier - shaped by his culture and his times. Rather than a stereotypic Indian killer, it argues that he matured intellectually and ethically as he grew older.

"A man of action rather than of a philosophical turn of mind, he performed duties that made a difference, for better or worse, for the people he lived with and worked among," David A. Remley explains.

The Life of an American Border Man 
by David A. Remley
University of Oklahoma Press, 2012
Continued in ... Out of the Past
Portrait: Kit Carson
Out of the Past
History and American West Titles