Large Print Reviews
The American West in Fiction and History
Compiled by Richard Seltzer
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
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.
- Willa Cather (4 books)
- James Fenimore Cooper (9 books and 2 stories)
- Zane Grey (17 books including the historical biography of Elizabeth Zane, entitled Betty Zane. In 1782 Betty, in the midst of a battle, carried a load of gun power from her uncle's house to the beleaguered men and women hold up in Fort Henry. Her heroic actions saved the Fort and its inhabitants from certain doom. Grey's retelling of Betty's life and her actions during this siege is a well-written, exciting book, and it serves as a fine example of the emotional impact that a story about the American West can have on the reader.)
- Bret Harte (41 books, and a couple of biographical works on Harte.)
- Jack London (22 books and stories)
- Mark Twain (contains a vast library of Twain's stories, essays, and books covering the breadth of his writing career, not just his works about the American West. In addition this collection also includes 4 books about Twain, including a three-volume biography.)
- A sampling of the other fiction authors whose work can be found in this collection include; Joseph Altsheler, Mary Austin, B.M. Bower, Charles Eastman, John Fox, Jr., John Muir, Frank Norris, and Owen Wister the author of The Virginian.
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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- American Literature, Compiled by Richard Seltzer.
This collection represents a cross-section of the best of American Literature and contains over 380 books on one CD. (Compact Disc)
- The Captivity of the Oatman Girls
Among the Apache and Mohave Indians, by Lorenzo D. Oatman and Olive A. Oatman.
Following the massacre of their family by Indians, Olive and Mary Ann Oatman where taken into captivity and forced to live as slaves. This is the story of their captivity and their brother's search to find the missing girls. (Audio)
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