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Re-Dressing America's Frontier Past

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Americans have long cherished romantic images of the frontier and its colorful cast of characters, where the cowboys are always rugged and the ladies always fragile. But in this book, Peter Boag opens an extraordinary window onto the real Old West. Delving into countless primary sources and surveying sexological and literary sources, Boag paints a vivid picture of a West w ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by University of California Press (first published August 2nd 2011)
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Betsy Phillips
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found the last little bit of the fifth chapter unbearably boring. But, other than that, this is a fantastic book. If you only read it for the anecdotes, it would be worth it. A ton of history we should already know in here.
Money Shaw
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Re-Dressing America's chapters are basically collections of related anecdotes (men who passed as women, women who passed as men, non-European descended people passing, etc.). Boag reminds us that these anecdotes add up to a significant population now forgotten. While that's true, Boag's message and evidence are such a one trick pony that I can't imagine reading this book from start to finish without going nuts. I picked a few chapters, and because I love love love historical anecdotes about non- ...more
Emma
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, school
This book has a strong theoretical framing and the primary sources are well-presented in narrative form. Boag convincingly argues about the varieties of experiences of cross-dressing in relationship to the mythological narrative of the Frontier, though at times his argument became simultaneously repetitive and muddled. I would have liked him to give more attention to the sources themselves -- he does a great job examining what they say and why they say it, but I would have liked more considerati ...more
L.A.B.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I read an on-line review of Peter Boag's Re-Dressing America's Frontier Past (UC Berkeley, 2011) that said the book discussed how American fashions impacted and were affected by the western frontier. The review led me to think the book would be a good basis for evaluating several old photographs in my family collection. Boy, was I wrong.

Boag has written an interpretive history of the west in which he claims that cross-dressers were once quite common and somewhat more accepted than today. Cross-d
...more
Lesley
Sep 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an good look into America's cross-dressing past but read like a dissertation. The repetition was at times overwhelmingly dull and the third chapter rehashing the first but with the addition the perspective of the dime novel was probably the most repetitive part. The chapters on male cross-dressing were more interesting but over all I feel I could have learned more from the book being shortened by half.
willowdog
The West as told from cross/genderbending dress.
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