Before MP3 players, DVDs, and video games, before even TV and radio, American children entertained themselves by reading. Often what they read were popular magazines aimed at the whole family; a weekly newspaper such as TheYouth’s Companion or a monthly magazine like St. Nicholas were about all a turn-of-the-century family could afford. But what these publications afforded was invaluable, and it is this education in imagination and American life that Adventures in the West revisits.
Adventures in the West brings together twenty-six stories from The Youth’s Companion and St. Nicholas to offer a unique perspective on the values of the time. The stories also reveal the common myths, attitudes, and prejudices of life on the western frontier, reflected in the lessons these publications imparted to a young audience. To enhance the reader’s understanding, the editors have added historical and cultural background for each story. Some of the best writers of the time, including L. Frank Baum, Hamlin Garland, and Mary Austin, write of a West that mirrors American history and the values the authors sought to promote. Filled with the exploits of cowpunchers, pioneers, courageous Indians, and plucky animals, these riveting stories also embody the beliefs and experiences of an era and tell more than one story of their day.
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