How the Gunfighter Killed Bourgeois America

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How the Gunfighter Killed Bourgeois America

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2007-03-28 07:30

If there is a single genre of literature and film that defines the 20th century, it is the Western. As the popularity of the Western began to decline in the 1960’s, far more Western films had already been made than films of any other genre. Countless television Westerns had dominated the airwaves for decades, and the iconic gunfighter had become one of the most recognized characters ever in American popular culture.

In time, the gunfighter would come to be used as a symbol of America itself. Even in the early days of the 20th century, when the Western was just beginning to take shape as a literary genre, politicians, intellectuals, and political hacks of every stripe, knowing the grip that the romance of the frontier held on the American psyche, identified themselves, and whatever political agenda they happened to be pushing, with the gunfighter and the Old West. The morally unambiguous gunfighter, and his natural habitat, the Wild West, would come to represent a world where life was supposedly more pure, simple, and virtuous.

Read the rest of the article here, it has pictures :P
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