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Myth of the Western

New Perspectives on Hollywood's Frontier Narrative

Matthew Carter

eBook (PDF) i

Offers significant re-readings of key classic and contemporary Westerns

What is the nature of the relationship between the Hollywood Western and American frontier mythology? How have Western films helped develop cultural and historical perceptions, attitudes and beliefs towards the frontier? Is there still a place for the genre in light of revisionist histories of the American West?

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Part I: 1. A Good Man with a Gun
2. A Fine Good Place to Be
3. Rethinking Revisionism
Part II: 4. What Counts as History and Whose History is It?
5. Actors Transcending the Darkness

About the Author

Matthew Carter is Senior Lecturer in Film, Television, and Cultural Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University.


Matthew Carter’s Myth of the Western provides rich, detailed readings of exemplary Westerns from critical periods of the genre’s history. More important, he analyzes the scholarship on the Western, including the perspectives of New Western History, and deconstructs the division of the genre into classical, revisionist, and post Westerns.

- William A. Read Professor of English, Louisiana State University, Patrick McGee

'Carter’s style is lucid and largely free from jargon…a well-argued and challenging analysis.'

- Philip Kemp, Times Higher Education
'There is critical value in the complexities that Myth of the Western identifies and acknowledges within individual Westerns and the genre as a whole.'
- Pete Falconer, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

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