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Reviews 123 tial contribution to the scholarship on Frederick Faust and his pseudonymous works. Readers will appreciate the excellent bibliography. ESTHER F. LANIGAN The College ofWilliam and Mary When the Century Was Young: A Writer’s Notebook. By Dee Brown. (Little Rock: August House, 1993. 223 pages, $23.00.) Dee Brown’s memoir of his southern boyhood provides a rich human backdrop to the historical and literary achievements of the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Gentle Tamers, Wondrous Times on theFrontier, and a host of other renditions of western history that have become cultural mile­ stones. Brown recounts his coming of age in the early twentieth century, a world he sees still rooted in a kind of social innocence and can-do mentality, a scene dominated by “steam locomotives, Victorian attitudes, genuine patrio­ tism, baseball players who loved the game as well as money, efficient railroads and trolleys, inexpensive books, gadgets that were easily repaired and . .. usable for years . . . sudden fatal diseases . . . religious revivals held under big tents.. . .Some of these thingswere splendid; others struck terror, especially in the hearts of the young.” This passage, with its tone of wry nostalgia and its heaped-on tabulation of detail, reveals the social historian embedded in the memoirist, and it typifies Brown’s narrative as he remembers and reinvents his formative years. The son of awidowed mother who ran the local post office in a small town that burst into commercial growth during southwest Arkansas’s oil boom, Brown spent his days in the hub of the town’s communal life, observing close hand the social interchanges of a bounding community. An early love ofbooks and a fascination with print drew him tojournalism and led to an apprentice­ ship with a rural Ozark newspaper, a shaping experience for the man whose eventual career as a librarian solidified his penchant for the world of print. Though the reminiscence ends too early to encompass the story of the monu­ mental research that culminated in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Brown’s profile of himself as a child driven by curiosity and a predilection for the eccentric provides the intellectual underpinning that helps to explain his most significant work. Readers will find this memoir an engaging and illuminating book, one which fleshes out the cultural life of an earlier era and offers a compelling selfportrait . Like all autobiographical accounts, however, it must be read with a sensitivity to the ways in which the author constructs his childhood to elucidate and vindicate his adult life and values. LIAHNA BABENER Montana State University ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 123
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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