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The American Western

Stephen McVeigh

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This wide-ranging book illuminates the importance of the Western in American history. It explores the interconnections between the Western in both literature and film and the United States in the 20th century.

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1. The American West in the 1890s – a Pivotal Decade
2. Founding Western History: Theodore Roosevelt and Frederick Jackson Turner
3. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and the Codification of the Western
4. Western Literature from The Virginian to Shane
5. Western Film from Silent to Noir
6. The Western and the Cold War: the Gunfighter, Heroic Leadership and Political Culture
7. New Western Perspectives: History and Literature
8. The Western and Political Culture 1960–1992: Revisions of Shane
9. Wanted Dead or Alive: 9/11 and the American Western

About the Author

Stephen McVeigh is Lecturer in the Department of American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea. Author of 'American Literature, 1900-1945. in The Year's Work in English Studies Volume 83 (OUP, 2004).


Taken as a while The American Western further demonstrates the ongoing contemporaneous appeal and diverse meanings of the nation's frontier past... there is considerable merit in the author's integration of teh historical and literary along with cinematic depictions that illustrate the importance of the West in American political culture.
- John H Lenihan, Texas A&M University, Western Historical Review
The American Western places depictions of the West into the complex history and spectacular landscape of this emblematically American region McVeigh’s work lays claim to an impressive, interdisciplinary field of study. It should be read, taught, and appreciated.
- Professor Eric Sandeen, University of Wyoming