The Sagebrush Trail is a history of Western movies but also a history of twentieth-century America. Richard Aquila’s fast-paced narrative covers both the silent and sound eras, and includes classic westerns such as Stagecoach, A Fistful of Dollars, and Unforgiven, as well as B-Westerns that starred film cowboys like Tom Mix, Gene Autry, and Hopalong Cassidy.
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 traces the birth and growth of Westerns from 1900 through the end of World War II. Part 2 focuses on a transitional period in Western movie history during the two decades following World War II. Finally, part 3 shows how Western movies reflected the rapid political, social, and cultural changes that transformed America in the 1960s and the last decades of the twentieth century.
The Sagebrush Trail explains how Westerns evolved throughout the twentieth century in response to changing times, and it provides new evidence and fresh interpretations about both Westerns and American history. These films offer perspectives on the past that historians might otherwise miss. They reveal how Americans reacted to political and social movements, war, and cultural change. The result is the definitive story of Western movies, which contributes to our understanding of not just movie history but also the mythic West and American history. Because of its subject matter and unique approach that blends movies and history, The Sagebrush Trail should appeal to anyone interested in Western movies, pop culture, the American West, and recent American history and culture.
The mythic West beckons but eludes. Yet glimpses of its utopian potential can always be found, even if just for a few hours in the realm of Western movies. There on the silver screen, the mythic West continues to ride tall in the saddle along a “sagebrush trail” that reveals valuable clues about American life and thought.
Elvis Presley and Bill Haley. Sam Cooke and the Shirelles. The Crows and the Chords. American Bandstand and Motown. From its first rumblings in the outland alphabet soup of R&B and C&W, rock & roll music promised to change the world--and did it.
Combining social history with a treasure trove of trivia, Richard Aquila unleashes the excitement of rock's first decade and shows how the music reflected American life from the mid-1950s through the dawn of Beatlemania. His year-by-year timelines and a photo essay place the music in historical perspective by linking artists and their hits to the news stories, movies, TV shows, fads, and lifestyles. In addition, he provides a concise biographical dictionary of the performers who made the charts between 1954 and 1963, along with the label and chart position of each of their hit songs.
Ah, the Wild West! Wide open plains, beautiful sunsets, and thundering herds. Days when the cowboy was king, and good guys always wore white. The love affair with the American West has stood the test of time and survived competition from sports, electronic gadgets, and reality.
Wanted Dead or Alive presents the first-ever comprehensive look at how the American West has been depicted in popular culture. Following Richard Aquila's introduction, which examines the birth and growth of the pop culture West in the context of American history, noted experts explore developments in popular Western fiction, major forms of live Western entertainment, trends in Western movies and television shows, images of the West in popular music, and visual images of the West in popular art and advertising. For the reader on the trail of even more information, each section of the book concludes with suggestions for further reading.