Cover

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Frontmatter

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

We gratefully acknowledge financial support for this book project from St. Michael’s College and the University of Southern California. We would like to thank the readers of the University of Nebraska Press for their very helpful and encouraging comments and Ladette Randolph for her energetic support throughout....

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Introduction

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pp. 1-19

True West explores the multifaceted meanings, uses, and critiques of “the authentic” in western American literary and cultural history. There are few terms at play in the history of this vast region that have as wide a reach and relevance, and there is no other region in America that is as haunted by the elusive appeal, legitimating...

Part 1. Rhetorics of Authenticity

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1. Truth or Consequences: Projecting Authenticity in the 1830s

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pp. 21-37

In his introduction to Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the West (1834), James Hall reflected at length on the troubled condition of writing in the American West.1 Hall, an influential Cincinnati lawyer, editor, and author, remarked that “few of the writers who have treated...

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2. Cowgirls and Sage Hens: Henry Adams's Western Fantasy

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pp. 38-55

What’s a Harvard trained, Eurocentric, Boston Brahmin, establishment historian like Henry Adams got to do with the West? Plenty, in fact: among his intimates were geologist Clarence King and western émigré Elizabeth Cameron; his cousin was Francis Parkman...

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3. Getting the Real Story: Implications of the Demand for Authenticity in Writings from the Canadian West

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pp. 56-71

Canadian literary criticism has always been caught up i4n questions of imaginative citizenship: What is a Canadian? What is Canadian literature? And what is the difference between what Margaret Atwood describes...

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4. Willa Cather: "The West Authentic," the West Dividied

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pp. 72-94

To a contemporary ear, “the real West” and “the romance of the West” may or may not be synonymous. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, with the transformation of frontier settlements into communities and cities that increasingly resembled...

Part 2. Authenticity and Native American Cultures

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5. Simultations of Authenticity: Imagined Indians and Sacred Landscape from New age to Nature Writing

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pp. 97-116

I have found it a rare experience to speak with people in the United States who feel they are truly living in their home place, who live not on the land but of the land. In the United States, the question “Where are you from?” appears as frequently in ordinary conversation as comments on the weather. So many of us are from somewhere else...

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6. "Read Indian Art": Charles Eastman's Search for an Authenticating Culture Concept

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pp. 117-139

No observer would have been surprised by Charles Eastman’s attendance at the first conference of the Society of American Indians in 1911. The individual Indians who gathered to articulate the society’s aims “believed,” Hazel Hertzberg has argued, “in adapting their attitudes, values, and habits of life to those of the larger American society.” Indeed, the society’s primary...

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7. The Only Real Indians are Western Ones: Authenticity, Regionalism, and Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, or Sylvester Long

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pp. 140-154

When first published in 1928, Long Lance: The Autobiography of a Blackfoot Indian Chief received lavish praise. For example, the New Statesman claimed: “This book rings true; no outsider could explain so clearly how the Indians felt.” 1...

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8. The Authenticity Game: "Getting Real" in Contemporary American Indian Literature

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pp. 155-176

In 1922 Elsie Clews Parsons, an ethnographer of Hopi, Taos, and other Pueblos, edited a collection of “Indian” tales written by the era’s leading anthropologists of American Indians-A. L. Kroeber, Robert Lowie, Franz Boas, Paul Radin, among others...

Part 3. Picturing Histories

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9. Edward Curtis: Pictorialist and Ethnographic Adventurist

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pp. 179-193

Kevin Gover, the assistant interior secretary, apologized for the many transgressions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “This agency set out to destroy all things Indian,” he said at a recent anniversary celebration of the agency, according to David Stout...

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10. Animal Calling/Calling Animal: Threshold Space in Frederic Remington's Coming to the Call

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pp. 194-221

The end is near, right now and right here: the end of a landform, the end of a day—the end of an animal’s life. Before this moment, a bull moose browsing the leaves and twigs of willow and poplar and protected by the lengthening shadows of fir and pine trees...

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11. "Cameras and Photographs were not Permitted in the Camps": Photographic Documentation and Distortion in Japanese America Internment Narratives

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pp. 222 -254

Variations of my title quotation recur again and again in the literature written by Nikkei—people of Japanese descent living in the United States or Canada—about their imprisonment during World War II...

Part 4. Reimagining Place

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12. Authenticity, Occupancy, and Credibility: Rick Bass and the Rhetoric of Protecting Place

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pp. 257-274

Thirteen or fourteen years ago, the state of Nevada switched to a new license plate on motor vehicles: it’s white with blue lettering and faint local images of bighorn sheep, craggy mountains, and Joshua Trees. The funny thing is how residents of the state who own the previous simple...

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13. Authoring an Authentic Place: Environmental and Literary Stewardship in Stegner and Kittredge

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pp. 275-289

This essay attempts to come to terms with lines from Wallace Stegner that have puzzled me for some time. In This Is Dinosaur, he wrote that a “place is nothing in itself. . . . It has no meaning . . . except in terms of human perception, use and response.”...

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14. "Genealogy is in our Blood": Terry Tempest Williams and the Redemption of "Native" Mormonism

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pp. 290-303

Most of my ancestors came west early, and it seems to me that they did so to scatter themselves. This holds true for the Okies of my father’s side and for the Basque californios of my mother’s, but it was not so for the Dorton line, my maternal grandmother’s family...

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15. Authentic Re-Creations: Ideology, Practice, and Regional History along Buena Park's Entertainment Corridor

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pp. 304-328

A billboard off of the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles advertises Knott’s Berry Farm as “The Theme Park Californians Call Home,” implicitly contrasting its regional emphasis and local appeal with nearby Disneyland’s more cosmopolitan attractions....

Bibliography

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pp. 329-352

Contributors

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pp. 353-356

Index

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pp. 357-371