Sunday, January 9, 2011

George-Warren, Holly The Cowgirl Way

George-Warren, Holly The Cowgirl Way
Houghton Mifflin/Clarion/Graphia/Kingfisher 2010 112p 18.00
978-0-618-73738-3 ms/hs VG-BN
Discusses the origins of the cowgirl in the form of sharpshooters, outlaws, legislators, wranglers, and performers who helped settle the American West. To paraphrase Toby Keith, “...should’ve been a cowgirl, should’ve learned to rope and ride, ...just like Jane and Dale....” And just like trick rider Mabel Strickland, Wild West star May Lillie and rodeo rider Prairie Rose Henderson. These women, and others, are the focus of this fascinating study of “cow-boy girls”, from the nineteenth century to today. What stands out about these women is the manner in which they subtly changed the social expectations of women in the West, breaking down social barriers as they claimed a piece of the cowboy life for themselves on their own terms. George-Warren offers a variety of cowgirls, including Wild West show trick riders, outlaws, celluloid stars and all-women rodeo events sponsored by The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. The narrative ropes in a variety of cowgirls, whose quotes and remenesences provide an insight into a world that may not be familiar to most readers. The design of the book has an old-fashioned appeal and includes archival photos, posters and postcards. Includes an index of content and photographs. This a little known area of women’s history would be a fine addition to a women’s studies collection. Recommended for women’s studies and American West history. Zajko, Rosanne

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