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Reviews 69 The Life I ’ve Been Living. By Moses Cruikshank. Recorded and compiled by William Schneider. (Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press, 1986. 132 pages, $14.95.) The life stories of Moses Cruikshank reveal a remarkable man; a Native of Athabascan stock, Cruikshank’s experiences extend from the back of his grandfather’s canoe and the dog sleds of Episcopal missionaries to the mission school at Mt. Hermon, Massachusetts and military service in World War II. This series of anecdotal tales recommends a warm man who highly regards “Old-time Alaskan”values; in this context, Cruikshank’sworld is integrated with respect for both native and white culture. This integration of world views is, however, not without its costs. While Cruikshank’s stories have much to say on behalf of the native material heritage, they lack a recollection of traditional tribal lore. The sole instance when Cruikshank reveals a mythological story—a reference to the “stickman”—passes almost unnoticed and without traditional elaboration. In contrast, he has much to say about the Episcopal missionaries and their philanthropical deeds among the Athabascan people. Saddened by this orientation, I am reminded of the negative effects of mission and boarding schools upon Native Americans. Accordingly, I find myself wondering about Cruikshank’s knowledge of Raven and His work creating the world. The attention to texture, text, and context given the stories by recorder/ compiler William Schneider deserves praise. Schneider respects the character of oral narration while attending the demands of the written word; the result is an engaging, highly readable text which acknowledges the verbal art of Cruikshank’s storytelling. While regretting the lack of traditional tribal lore among these stories, I am encouraged by the recollections which link legendary lives of other Athabascan elders, Old Adam and Chief Christian, to the present. Furthermore, Cruikshank’s courage and sense of purpose are highly inspirational themes which greatly commend this book of one man’s remarkable life. JAY HANSFORD C. VEST University of Washington, Tacoma Equal to the Occasion: Women Editors ofthe Nineteenth-Century West. By Sherilyn Cox Bennion. (Reno & Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 1991. 210 pages, $24.95.) In Equal to the Occasion, Sherilyn Cox Bennion notes that “Examples can be drawn from the list of women editors to support almost any interpretation of women’s place in the West,” an observation which suggests not only the scope but also some of the difficulties of this fascinating project. Covering editors working in the Far West between 1854 and 1900, some “three hundred women 70 Western American Literature who edited more than 250 publications,”Bennion has produced a broad study based upon secondary sources ranging from the 1880 census report to other publications’ comments aboutjournals for which no copies exist. Such a large number of relatively small bits of information poses major organizational prob­ lems, and the grouping of some material does seem a bit arbitrary. One chapter, for example, discusses editors preoccupied with some major topic (such as suffrage), another features editors who confined themselves to women-oriented subject matter, and another, “The Queen Bee and Other Characters,”focuses on editors’ personalities. But, for the most part, this methodology works well, despite the occasional awkward transition. Bennion incorporates considerable biographical information into her so­ cial history. For example, embezzlement, murder, and heartbreak shadowed the life of Sarah Moore Clarke, and a literary vendetta with a former partner marked Ida Chase Merritt’s editorship of TheIdaho Recorder. Unrecognized until very recently, Maude Hulbert Horn edited California’s The Georgetoiun Gazettefor thirty-three years, the credit going always to her husband or father; male chauvinism also accounts for Bennion’s title, one editor proclaiming in 1889 that though female, his colleague was indeed “equal to the occasion.” Anecdotes such as these as well as examples of sheer boosterism and overt politicking make for interesting reading and allow Sherilyn Cox Bennion to achieve twin goals: she augments the available information about women’s impact on the West, and she contributes to the history ofjournalism. Moreover, she cites some telling statistics about modern journalism, reporting, for in­ stance, that only “17 percent of today’s managing editor positions”are held by women. These are all tasks worth...


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