Baker & Taylor Argues that the mythology of the cowboy should be replaced by new icons reflecting the realities of the modern West, including water shortages, overgrazing, and the need to protect western wildlife and wilderness
Book News On ranching, environmentalism, and change life and thought in the West, seen through the eyes of some of the players. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer The myth of the cowboy resonates with us all - it represents physical freedom and spiritual solitude, individualism, and a closeness to nature in all its rugged, soaring magnificence. But the cowboy's intimacy with animals rests on his domination of them. His cattle are protected so that they can be killed. Wild animals - coyotes, bears, eagles - are competition and must be destroyed. Land is being overgrazed and in some places permanently damaged. "Some would say that we need to kill the myth of the cowboy," Russell writes. "We need new images and new role models - heroines as well as heroes, Indians as well as cavalry, ecologists as well as individualists." In Kill the Cowboy she offers a new perspective on this cultural icon, urging all of us, cowboys included, to find "that inner part of us which resonates with nature and corresponds to what is wild."