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306 Western American Literature Cather), its happiest function is to direct our attention to little-known stories. Jarvis Thurston’s “The Cross,” for example, is a moving study of the modes of restlessness in two generations and of the cultural, religious, regional, and temperamental impulses that both diversify and congeal the members of a family and a society. In “The Outsider,” Juanita Brooks explores the isola­ tion of a Mormon community in the Nevada desert and studies the impact of a stranger from the East on the widening perceptions of a young girl. “The Last of the Grizzly Bears” by Ray B. West, Jr., “Science at Heart’s Desire” by Emerson Hough, “Open Winter” by H. L. Davis, and “To the Mountains” by Paul Horgan are also uncommonly fine stories that stand up well along side such familiar titles as Clark’s “Hook,” Crane’s “The Blue Hotel,” and Porter’s “María Concepción.” This anthology has been well served by the publisher. Large, clean pages, quality paper, large type, and fine illustrations by Western artists Charles M. Russell, Frederick Remington, Charles Nahl, and E. W. Kemble make it an aesthetic experience of the first order. Wallace Stegner has contributed a provocative introduction entitled “History, Myth, and the Western Writer” in which he sees the polarization of past and present as a theme that is too pervasive and too limiting in Western writing. In what amounts to a chal­ lenge to the Western writer, Stegner calls for a literature of broader sig­ nificance that recognizes the connections betwen past and present. Those who teach Western American Literature will regret a price that practically prohibits the use of the volume as a classroom text (which, iron­ ically, Professor Taylor originally intended the book to b e). But we can plug for a paperback edition, and we can place the current edition on reserve in our libraries, and we can recommend it unstintingly to our students as a magnificent collection of Western fiction. J o h n S. B u l l e n , Sonoma State College Mountain Men. George Frederick Ruxton’s Firsthand Accounts of Fur Trap­ pers and Indians in the Rockies. Edited and Illustrated by Glen Rounds. (New York: Holiday House, 1966. 278 pages, illus., $3.95.) A note by the publisher of Mountain Men states: The first three chapters of this book, and much of the Introduction, are from the latter part of Ruxton’s account of his own travels, Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky Mountains, published in Reviews 307 1848 \sic; London, 1847; New York, 1848]. The remainder of Mountain Men is virtually the complete text of his Life in the Far West, which first appeared as a magazine serial in 1848 and in a book the following year. The major omission from the latter book is the author’s prejudiced and irrelevant diatribe against the Mormons. . . . The reader should be warned, though, that he will not find in the pages of this book a faithful reproduction of what Ruxton actually wrote. Ruxton’s two books are unsurpassed for the period and region with which they deal, and they have long been regarded by students of the fur trade and of the early life of the Southwest as prime sources of information. They have been ransacked for Ruxton’s rendition of the vernacular dialect of the mountain men by perhaps every novelist who has written of the fur trade, from Emerson Bennett (Prairie Flower, 1849) to Janice Giles (The Great Adventure, 1966). This being the case, one might hope that a new edition would be textually accurate. A collation of the text with the original editions, however, shows so many discrepancies that one wonders what the editor expected to accomplish by his mutilation of Ruxton’s work. This failure to respect the integrity of what Ruxton wrote is anextreme disservice to the author as well as to the reader. Of these many changes the publisher’s note gives no indication, and it is even possible that the publisher was unaware of the liberties that Mr. Rounds took. Omissions are one thing if an editor indicates them properly, but in this case nothing whatsoever marks the...


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pp. 306-309
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