Book Review: WWA’s Best Westerns Survey, 1995: WW


WWA’s BEST WESTERNS SURVEY, 1995
A survey of 100 members of the Western Writers of America, Inc., lists the best Western nonfiction books, novels, authors,short stories, films, TV series and TV miniseries of all time (only the top three choices in each category are listed in order ofvotes received; the other leading vote-getters are listed alphabetically:

Western Nonfiction Books: (Best 13 out of 221 titles listed)–1, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown; 2,Across the Wide Missouri, by Bernard De Voto; 3, Roughing It, by Mark Twain. Other leading vote-getters: CharlesGoodnight, by J. Evetts Haley; Cheyenne Autumn, by Mari Sandoz; The Great Plains, by Walter Prescott Webb; The Logof a Cowboy, by Andy Adams; The Longhorns, by J. Frank Dobie; Men to Match My Mountains, by Irving Stone; TheOregon Trail, by Francis Parkman; Pat Garrett, by Leon C. Metz; Son of the Morning Star, by Evan Connell; The TexasRangers, by Walter Prescott Webb.

Western Authors: (Best 23 out of 100 names listed)–1, Elmer Kelton; 2 (tie), Will Henry and Louis L’Amour; 3, A.B.Guthrie. Other leading vote-getters: Forrest Carter, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, J. Frank Dobie, Max Evans, Zane Grey, ErnestHaycox, Dorothy Johnson, Douglas C. Jones, Elmore Leonard, Jack London, Larry McMurtry, Mari Sandoz, Jack Schaefer,C.L. Sonnichsen, Wallace Stegner, Glendon Swarthout, Mark Twain, Robert Utley, Owen Wister.

Western Novels: (Best 12 out of 187 titles listed)–1, The Big Sky, by A.B. Guthrie; 2, Shane, by Jack Schaefer; 3 (tie),Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, and The Time it Never Rained, by Elmer Kelton. Other leading vote-getters: FromWhere the Sun Now Stands, by Will Henry; Hondo, by Louis L’Amour; Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger; Monte Walsh,by Jack Schaefer; The Ox-Bow Incident, by Walter Van Tilburg Clark; Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey; TheShootist, by Glendon Swarthout; The Virginian, by Owen Wister.

Western Short Stories: (Best 12 out of 121 titles listed)–1, “A Man Called Horse,” by Dorothy Johnson; 2, “To Build aFire,” by Jack London; 3 (three-way tie), “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” by Mark Twain, “Outcasts ofPoker Flat,” by Bret Harte, and “Stage to Lordsburg,” by Ernest Haycox. Other leading vote-getters: “The Blue Hotel,” byStephen Crane; “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky,” by Stephen Crane; “The Hanging Tree,” by Dorothy Johnson; “LapwaiWinter,” by Will Henry; “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” by Bret Harte; “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” by DorothyJohnson; “The Tin Star,” by John Cunningham.

Western Films: (Best 15 out of 126 movies listed)–1, Shane; 2, High Noon; 3, The Searchers. Other leading vote-getters:Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Dances With Wolves; Little Big Man; The Outlaw Josie Wales; Red River; Ridethe High Country; She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; The Shootist; Stagecoach; Tombstone; Unforgiven; The Wild Bunch.

Western TV Series: (Best 11 out of 58 series or miniseries listed)–1, Gunsmoke; 2 (tie), Bonanza and Have Gun-WillTravel; 3 (tie), Maverick and Rawhide. Other leading vote-getters: Cheyenne, High Chaparral, How the West Was Won,Little House on the Prairie, Wagon Train, The Westerner.

Western TV Miniseries: (Best 3)–1, Lonesome Dove; 2, Centennial; 3, The Good Old Boys.


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