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Reviews 155 with that of the rest of us, is to take the best of his heritage and, with initia­ tive, industry, and ambition, educate himself to find his place and do his part in the America in which we all find ourselves. Indians in Oklahoma and Montana are doing this. So are Indians in New York City and Los Angeles. They are succeeding by their own exertions as stock raisers, ranchers, farmers, as steel-workers and actors. If the Indian of the “Basin-Plateau” is less suc­ cessful, must not at least part of the responsibility lie with him? But whether or not you believe in the writers’ thesis, you cannot but surrender to the incomparable photographs. There is a silkiness, a sheen, a glamor about the Indian dance pictures that the reviewer, who has seen many Delaware dances, has never seen reproduced. There is an immensity of landscape rimmed by low mountains and sky and bisected by roads with sophisticaetd white lines on them that he has rarely seen matched except by the reality. There are pictures of communal labors that send the mind speeding back to the unmechanized past. There are also pictures of the barrenness of the present to which members of this American people have been reduced and to which they will be subjected till they determine to rise. There are pictures of dark-eyed enchanting little Indian girls arrested in utterly natural movements and attitudes. There are pictures of Indian boys grinning at you or staring grave-eyed under the inevitable sombrero with all the charm and unfathomable mystery of childhood the world over. They are children from whom intelligence beams. It is from these children and from the like of the responsible 11-year-old boy on whom the irrepressible Wilbur P. and his jug and the two authors descended to harass the three lean cows in the boy’s moonlit corral that the Indian—and America —must find its hope. P a u l R. E ldridge, University of Nevada The Sunny Slopes of Long Ago. Edited by Wilson M. Hudson and Allen Maxwell. (Publications of the Texas Folklore Society, Number XXXIII. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1966. 204 pages, $5.95.) Ever since Westerners became aware of themselves as a particular kind of person in a special kind of landscape, they have had some taint of romantic chauvinism. This is not peculiar to the Westerner, of course: the city dweller scorns the “rube,” the country dweller distrusts the “city slicker,” and we all 156 Western American Literature know about Yankees and Southerners. The Westerner considers the “dude,” the “tenderfoot,” the “greenhorn,” the "Easterner” as being outside his most favored circle, and he has even succeeded for generations in getting these outsiders to laugh at their own types in Western fiction. As a foil for the Westerner’s excellences of character, the dude has in­ deed been useful. But among writers and scholars of the West this feeling of belonging to an “inside” group has perils for efforts to bring the American West to its rightful place in the heritage of the world’s civilizations. We must beware of talking only to ourselves; we must not discredit our heritage in the world’s cultural forum by uncritically publishing anything about the West, simply on the strength of its subject matter. We must not let nostalgia and hero worship replace critical vigor. The danger is illustrated in The Sunny Slopes of Long Ago. The title itself suggests old men sitting on a shady porch of a summer afternoon, harking back to “the good old days” with romantic reminiscences of times that never were. Western literature should not be an old man’s game, but this is the slant suggested in this volume. Reverence for the past seems its only unifying editorial principle. Other­ wise the contents are indeed varied. The frontispiece is a photograph of J. Frank Dobie at Paisano Ranch. Following the preface, table of contents, and other preliminary matters, there is then a “portfolio” of photographs of Mr. Dobie. No explanation appears for including these eight pages. They are not in any way associated with the rest of the book. Interesting...


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pp. 155-157
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