Westerns: American Mythology or Cultural History? | Connecticut Public Radio

Westerns: American Mythology or Cultural History?

Nov 17, 2016

There are few genres of entertainment more American than the Western. But for a genre so steeped in the iconography of our past, its accuracy in portraying historical event leaves much to be desired. Many argue that the Western is more myth than reality, and that this myth is akin to revisionist history.

Accurate or not, the genre has played a large role in both reflecting and shaping the culture we live in. Whether it's our infatuation with rugged individualism or our nation's love for guns, the influence of Westerns, and the ideals they promote, can be seen all around. This hour we talk with historians and film experts to unravel the origins and significance of the American Western.


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Colin McEnroe, Betsy Kaplan, and Jonathan McNicol contributed to this show, which originally aired July 13, 2016.