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366 WesternAmerican Literature English translation on facing pages. Dauenhauer and Dauenhauer follow con­ temporary textualization practice by showing asfar as possible how the speeches sound. Notes to each speech treat cultural references, literary devices, and Tlingit linguistics. The editors have prepared a brief biography of each orator. The volume also includes a glossary for the second section of speeches. The book makes available the first extensive collection of oration texts from a single native American culture recorded in natural context. By empha­ sizing Native performance values while remaining accessible to non-Tlingit readers, it becomes a particularly significant record of one tribal manifestation of an important genre of Indian verbal art. WILLIAM M. CLEMENTS Arkansas State University Western Images, Western Landscapes: Travels along U.S. 89. By Thomas R. and Geraldine R. Vale. (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989. 189 pages, $24.95.) The idea behind the Vales’ travel book is interesting: charting the Ameri­ can West (specifically Route 89) by comparing the landscape (as seen by a “typical” tourist) to several interpretations of the West (gleaned from unex­ plained “voluminous studies of the West”). Setting out to discover how people view the western landscape, the Vales are “concentrating [their] senses on the observable scene and trying to document by pen and by shutter the raw material as it presented itself and to analyze how it conformed to or deviated from the eight images.” Their characterizations of the West, in terms of “people-land interactions,” are as 1) Empty Quarter, 2) Frontier, 3) Big Rock Candy Moun­ tain, 4) Middle Landscape, 5) Turnerian Progression, 6) Desert, 7) Protected Wild Nature, and 8) Playground. Most of these terms sound familiar. In fact, most of them jive with our sense of the Western Myth. Problem is, as objective as these author/photographers claim to be, their pre-conceived characterizations of the West cause them to pause at certain locations (dams, resorts, mines) and force them to look for particular character­ istics (lack of water, environmental damage). They thus see what they want to see. What is the purpose of dramatizing the applicability of these images when all they do is reinforce stereotypes about the West? By breaking the myth down into its supposedly constituent parts and then proving—through an objective journey with camera and pen—that these categories are accurate representa­ tions of what the West really is, the Vales only serve to perpetuate the Western Myth. They show, in lively detail, the influence these ideologies (my term) have had on the environment and people, but by giving them names, by granting them categories, they establish them as fact. Reviews 367 Unfortunately there is a great deal of interesting information in this book. I say unfortunately because it is so over-shadowed by the heavy-handed applica­ tion of these eight descriptive terms. The mythic re-construction is hard to forgive. BECKYJO GESTELAND University of Utah They Saw the Elephant: Women In the California Gold Rush. By JoAnn Levy. (Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1990. 265 pages, $25.00.) Levy has given us a gallery of movers and shakers, reformers and sinners, adventurers and malcontents, mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives who ac­ tively participated in all phases of the California gold rush. Her research has recovered women who “turned out to have been not ‘just prostitutes’ at all, as many histories attest or imply. Instead theywere mule riders across the Isthmus, boardinghouse keepers and miners, missionaries and actresses, church builders and gamblers, school teachers and temperance speakers, even a Wells, Fargo & Company stage driver.” Not that Levy omits the brothel keepers and their charges; in a chapter entitled “Improper Society,”Levy evidences the resource­ fulness of those engaged in prostitution, particularly in San Francisco. Yet, through their civilizing and socializing activities married and unmarried women brought to their new surroundings the habits and order of homes left behind. The female population, as Levy amply documents, made possible the establishment of families and family ties, the entrenchment of ideas and ideals of community responsibility. In excavating the underside of California gold rush culture, this bookjoins those of Schlissel (1982), Faragher (1979), Myers (1982), and Jeffrey (1979) in the project of illuminating the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 366-367
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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