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WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE: THE AMERICAN WEST IN POPULARCULTURE, edited by Richard Aquila (The University of Illinois Press, 323 pages, $29.95).

This anthology presents a comprehensive look at the significance of the West in American history and culture through the writings of ten specialists in the genre. Aquila examines the birth and growth of the “pop culture West” through major forms of live entertainment; trends in movies, such as The Virginian, The Great Train Robbery, The Covered Wagon, and True Grit; television shows such as Gunsmoke, Maverick, Wagon Train, and Bonanza; comic book heroes such as Buckeroo Bill and The Lone Ranger; popular music such as “High Noon,””Yellow Rose of Texas,” and “Indian Love Call”; and Western-related advertising for cigarettes, liquor, clothes, and perfume. The book demonstrates how the “pop culture West”–like the region itself–has played an important role in the shaping of the United States.