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The American West in Fiction and History
Compiled by Richard Seltzer

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he American West in Fiction and History

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The American West in Fiction and History
Compiled and Indexed by Richard Seltzer
Seedy Press, (August 23, 2002)
B & R Samizdat Express
P. O. Box 161
West Roxbury, MA, 02132
ISBN: 0931968151
Genre: American History & Literature

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - January 16, 2003

Please note: As of 8/18/2008, this CD now contains 556 books.

The American West is a land of mystery and legend, a land of high adventure and danger, and it is a land that sparks our imagination. The American West is more than just a place, it is also a place in time, ephemeral in scope. This period can range from the time when man first stepped foot on the North American continent, to modern times. For each person, the term American West invokes feelings of a given period, just as it invokes specific images, such as cowboys riding the range, Native American's moving camp, or a weather worn pioneer woman standing alone before a small cabin, her long patched skirt swirling about her ankles. What is meant, and felt, by the term "The American West" is as varied as are the people that come to ponder this term. But one thing is certain, the American West has left an indelible mark upon the history and culture of the United States.

Many of the works written about the American West offer a romanticized version of what life was like 'out' there. Many of these works also underplay the mass displacement of native populations. Others, however, offer unbiased accounts of the actions and activities of the men and women who peopled the American West, and they accurately portray the colonization of this territory by nonnatives. To get a true feel for the history and cultural importance of this vast land, it is necessary to read widely of both historical and literary works on the region. Even when the work is biased or romanticized, it serves to give the reader useful insights into the feelings about the American West that where in vogue at the time the book was written. And if the truth where to be told, many of these 'romanticized' books about the American West also happen to be great adventure tales that are entertaining to read.

If you are interested in reading across a wide breadth of material on the American West, you can do no better than to obtain a copy of Seedy Press' new CD-Rom, The American West in Fiction and History, which was compiled by Richard Seltzer. On this one CD you will find more than 150 novels, short stories, and essays on the American West. This CD also contains about 50 purely historical works, covering topics ranging from Native American History to life in the West after the Civil War.

The works of fiction contained in this collection include well-known 'Western' authors such as, The American West in Fiction and History is a phenomenal resource, both for researchers and for readers. And, as an aid to both students and teachers, this collection comes with a handy Teachers' and Students' Guide. This guide will also be of interest to general uses as well, as it provides handy tips on how to page through the texts, search for specific texts, or simply browse through the collection.

In short, for a mere $19 you get more than 200 works that can be easily opened with almost any word processing program or web browser. All the texts in this collection are provided in a plain text version and are therefore very accessible with screen readers and other assistive technologies.

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