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Sacagawea's Nickname: Essays on the American West (New York Review Collections)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
New in paperback

What was achieved and destroyed, what was made up and forgotten in the American West as the continent was mapped, the natives were displaced, and exploits were transformed into legends? In this acclaimed collection, Larry McMurtry profiles explorers and martyrs, hucksters and scholars--figures in the West's enduring yet ever-shifting mixture of myth and rea
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 30th 2004 by New York Review Books (first published 2001)
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Mickey
Feb 18, 2012 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some writers are so closely associated with the region they write about that to try to separate them from their settings would be like trying to take a fish out of water.

This book contains essays about the West. All of the essays were beautifully constructed. While McMurtry discusses at length the creation of the myths that surround the region, much of this book seems to have the intention of telling the stories of the West in an unsentimental and slightly brutal fashion (which is very western).
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Patrick
Feb 05, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Abigail
Non-fiction essays by Larry McMurtry are almost always a delight for me, and there are some wonderful essays in this collection. However, I found that several of the first essays in this book were repetitive of material he has written about in other recent non-fiction books about the west, and in two essays I found entire sentences that seem to be exactly the same as those I have read in his biography on Crazy Horse and his book about Bill Cody and Annie Oakley.

But soem of these essay are McMurt
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Kirkastroth
Jul 19, 2016 Kirkastroth rated it it was amazing
I have read any non-fiction by McMurtry until this book and then what a jewel. He is acerbic, sarcastic and scathing of pretenders and pulpers who pretend to know and write about the West. The true West where we live. Of special scorn are the doctoral students from Yale who have flooded the market with inaccurate depictions of the West. A great read. And oh yeah--Sacagawea's nickname was Janey--given by Capt. William Clark who had a crush on her.
Scott Murphy
Dec 27, 2015 Scott Murphy rated it really liked it
Some of the most learned opinions one could hope to find. To paraphrase Vernon Reid, he writes likes most of us breathe. Super readable, and chock of full literary insights and wonderful wordplay. Tough to beat.
Jessica
Jan 27, 2016 Jessica rated it liked it
A short read with lots of interesting little nuggets of info and stories. But uneven quality and not a cohesive collection just vaguely related since everything is about the American West but all different time periods, topics etc. Probably the best part of the book is that I did get some good leads on other books to read like Ceremony.
Nick
Aug 14, 2010 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, literature
This slim collection of essays, the majority of them inspired by books about the Old West, continues McMurtry's project, best known from his fiction, of examining the realities of the opening and settling of the West. Some very moving essays in here, especially the title piece which succeeds in reclaiming humanity for Sacagawea and capturing the tragedy of her mythologization.
Perry
Jan 12, 2014 Perry rated it really liked it
Excellent essays about the myth of the American west. Her nickname, by the way, was Janey.
Jenn
Nov 05, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
while i really enjoy mcmurty's writing style, i was hoping this would be more historical fact but i walked away with knowing more of his take on the Olde West and i must say i enjoyed reading every page!
ccccurt Heimbuck
Jul 19, 2007 ccccurt Heimbuck rated it liked it
I'm a big McMurtry fan--Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite novels--but this was short, fluffy, and kinda repititve. We get the point Larry, the real West is not as it looks in the movies and dime novels.
Ed
Jan 02, 2012 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled with interesting facts about the old west and the authors opinions on how it affects the present. The first I've read by Larry but have enjoyed his Lonesome Dove for years. Worth the read.
Fay
Jul 13, 2009 Fay rated it really liked it
it's been awhile since I read Lonesome Dove, but I don't remember McMurtry having this arch style in his fiction...but it makes his essays very readable, very funny.
Brad
Sep 18, 2007 Brad rated it did not like it
BORING!
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Larry McMurtry is the author of twenty-nine novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lonesome Dove, three memoirs, two collections of essays, and more than thirty screenplays.

Among many other accolades he was the co-winner of an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain in 2006.

Larry McMurty was born in Wichita Falls Texas in 1936. His first published book Horseman, Pass By was
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