On the contrary, Phil, you’re the one who seems to think that you have the right to put words in my mouth that I didn’t say. You’re the one who thinks being rude and insulting is the same as having a strong argument. It isn’t. Your argument is no argument at all. You have no idea what you’re talking about.
I’m personally acquainted with two Brits who have published histories of the American west. They live here a large part of the time to do that. Both gentlemen are senior citizens who have focused on one specific aspect of the west for their entire lives. They are not finished studying yet. They do not hesitate to wiggle their toes in other peoples boots, and many local historians wish they’d go back to England and mind their own damn history. The Brits do have a habit of exploiting the research of local historians for their own self-aggrandizement. There is no doubt they will continue to publish reliable history, but that doesn’t justify their personal conduct.
[quote=“Stanton, post:11, topic:2995”]Well, it is an excellent book and luckily it is far from being dry.
And it was not written by a historian. But by a film historian. And it is as much about a (possible) truth (there ain’t only one truth), as it is about the myths and the mythmaking. Hembus wrote it with full awareness against the usual historian book, and may for that have the advantage to overcome the limitations a book by a mere historian might have.
Hembus traces an history of American West by chronologically enumerating the most important facts and figures of the period, sometime critically discussing the most important ones. At the same time he includes a list of all the western movies (both hollywoodian and not) which dealt with the same topic, giving some short informations on the plot. You end up having a good (and, most of all, systematic) representation of reality vs. filmic myth. …[/quote]
If your description is accurate, what you describe is not even remotely a history of the American west. It is some kind of movie concordance. No doubt it’s a fun book, but professional historians would consider it trivial and irrelevant. A disciplined history of any facet of the American west would not even mention movies. Thanks for proving my point, Stanton.
History is fact reconstructed from evidence into a chronological narrative of circumstances and events that actually happened. Fact, not myth, and certainly not movie myths. Movie myths are somewhat different from belief myths. Movie myths started long after the fact. There are books about myths but they are not histories. To understand the American west, and to learn the history of the American west, you have to remove movie myths from your mind.
To show you my heart is in the right place, PM me your street address and I will send you two books as a gift. Both histories of the American west in which there is no mention of movies. After you’ve read them, maybe you’ll have an idea what a history is all about. Then you can pass them on to Phil H.