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Reviews 157 The quality of the articles is as varied as the topics. Some are interesting, informative, useful to the student of the West and of folklore. Some are the most superficial kind of gathering of raw data with little organization or interpretation. Some are related only peripherally either to Texas or the West. Those of some interest and value would include Rhodes’ “The Cowboy: His Cause and Cure”; “Laureates of the Western Range,” by Everett A. Gillis; Jan H. Brunvand’s “The Hat-in-Mud Tale”; “The Baby-Switching Story,” by James T. Bratcher; “The Penny Dreadful as a Folksong,” by James Ward Lee; and, giving some indication of the variety of material, Wilson M. Hudson’s “Jung on Myth and the Mythic.” The devoted student of the West, willing to read through much trivial material to reach some useful to him, might find this volume worth examining. The not so professionally devoted reader will find the water holes too scarce for a comfortable trip. P a u l T. B r y a n t , Colorado State University The Christmas of the Phonograph Records, A Recollection. By Mari Sandoz. (Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1966. 27 pages. $2.95.) There have been many nostalgic accounts of Christmas remembrances, but none is quite as distinctive as The Christmas of the Phonograph Records. Perhaps, this is because Old Jules is unlike any other person one encounters in fact or fiction. This book is an amplification of a Christmas chapter in the biography, Old Jules. If one hadn’t met Old Jules before, he might get the idea from this excerpt that Jules was a kindly man full of Christmas spirit the whole year long. The arrival of the Edison phonograph, with three thousand records, drew people from as far away as sixty miles. All Christmas week people came to listen and stayed to dance and eat the bountiful meals the family provided. Mary’s pleasure in the music and dancing is tempered by her knowledge that their children needed shoes and the money spent on the phonograph should have gone to pay the mortgage. Others felt the same way, but the Syrian peddler was the only one brave enough to comment, looking around at the primitive house, “Excuse it 158 Western American Literature please, Mrs. Sandoz, but it seems to uneducated man like me the new music is for fine palace.” Old Jules heard him and roared, “Nothing’s too good for my family and my neighbors.” “The children have the frozen feet,” the man said quietly. “Frozen feet heal! What you put in the mind lasts!” There were records to please each taste from The Preacher and the Bear to The Moonlight Sonata. Jules was particularly gratified to read in the paper, after the memorable Christmas, “This Jules Sandoz has not only settled a good community of home seekers but is enriching their cultural life with the greatest music.” This illuminating account of a pioneer Christmas in Western Nebraska should be interesting to those who remember and informative to the younger generation. A n n e Sm it h , Utah State University The Wild Bunch. Edited by Alan Swallow. (Denver: Sage Books, 1966. 136 pages. Introduction. Foreword. Bibliography. $3.95.) The last book, so far as this reviewer knows, to be edited by the late and much-mourned Alan Swallow is a strange and somewhat mysterious little volume about Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch of cowboy train robbers. These were the gay desperadoes par excellence of the years just before and just after the turn of the century—cheerful, daring, resourceful, highliving and free-spending young bandits who ranged from the Hole in the Wall in Wyoming to the Mexican Border. Their story is familiar. Even casual students of the West know that their leader was George Leroy Parker of Circleville, Utah, son of a Mormon elder, and that he and his outlaw elite kept ahead of the Pinkertons until they all bought dress-up clothes in San Antonio and made the mistake of having a group picture taken. After that they could be identified and the law closed in. Ben Kilpatrick, Harvey Logan, Elza Lay and Bob...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 157-158
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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