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Reviews 185 hardrock miner from the perspective of the union and how those unions fought for the economic and physical welfare of the individual. He also has constructed a national-origin profile of the miner. According to Lingenfelter, the hardrock miner was usually foreign-born, either in Ireland or Cornwall. Only about twenty percent were native-born Americans, and the Orientals were excluded from union participation. These miners, usually single, banded together for survival during an age of eco­ nomic Darwinism. As union men, they were very successful. Whether it was at the Comstock or in Butte or the Coeur d’Alenes the unions were a collec­ tive force for continuity. The battles over wages, hours, and working con­ ditions were constant, but the various locals banded together and usually won, often after violence. Lingenfelter concludes his study with the organization of the Western Federation of Miners, in 1893. The numerous strikes predominate the narrative, yet there is an underlying theme of a social and political struggle. The militant WFM was a natural evolution for the labor movement. As corporations closed mines, slashed wages, and decreased benefits, the miners became more violent. The author feels that the control agencies were often hand in glove with the mine owners and this created too much collu­ sion and no objectivity. This is an excellent book and is necessary for a complete understanding of the history of labor unions in the West. F. ROSS PETERSON, Utah State University Wild Freedom. By Max Brand. (1922; New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1981. 231 pages, $8.95.) Max Brand is still in business. Wild Freedom, originally published in Western Story magazine under the same title but under one of Frederick Faust’s eighteen other pseudonyms, George Owen Baxter, is now a hardback Silver Star western with Dodd &Mead. It is now marketed under the name of Max Brand, Faust’s most successful pen name. The book is not destined to rank with the better works of Brand’s con­ temporaries — Grey, Hough, and Rhodes — nor is it likely to rival Brand’s own The Untamed and Destry Rides Again. Wild Freedom is, to put it generously, the improbable tale of one Tom Parks, who grows up alone in the wilds. With his senses keenly tuned to nature, he keeps company with Jerry, a grizzly bear, and Peter, a mustang that Tom rescues from a cruel death. Disillusioned by the cruelty and innate evil of man, Tom keeps aloof from civilization until he is drawn inevitably towards Gloria Themis, whose father seeks to capture the famed aboriginal Tom. A good part of the book is devoted to pursuit, near capture, escape, and more pursuit, as Tom (riding now Jerry and now Peter) uses all of his woodcraft to elude his pursuers. And, while he is trying to keep from being captured, he has the added 186 Western American Literature mission of tracking down the perpetrator of a murder that has been blamed on him. The ending turns upon whether wild freedom and civilization can be reconciled. The writing itself is typical of the pulp fiction of the 1920s. There is a liberal sprinkling of such words as “friable,” “aperture,” “covert,” “malig­ nant,” and the like. Some sentences could have appeared in any of a thou­ sand tales from Zane Grey to Luke Short, such as “Hank regarded the others with a concentrated malevolence” (p. 103). Some sentences are casually phrased — “Where one had broken the ice already, it was not hard for a second to follow suit” (p. 41) — and the book abounds with facile observa­ tions on human nature (“A pretty face performs strange feats of alchemy,” p. 155). In this reprinting there is also a scattering of typographical errors. Despite the book’s obvious flaws, it does have a strong element of wish-fulfillment in Tom’s ability to live harmoniously with the natural world, to outwit baser men, and finally to reconsider whether mankind is incorrigibly evil. As is characteristic of Brand’s fiction, the setting is unspeci­ fied historically and geographically— sort of a never-never land of moun­ tains, rivers, and canyons, where Tom and his antagonists play out their elemental drama...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 185-186
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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