Cover image for Men of the West : life on the American frontier
Men of the West : life on the American frontier
Luchetti, Cathy, 1945-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
252 pages : illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F596 .L85 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



A photographic tribute to the contributions of America's pioneers draws on the letters, diaries, and memoirs of early West cowboys, gold prospectors, homesteaders, townspeople, doctors, teachers, ministers, ranchers, and Native Americans.

Author Notes

Cathy Luchetti has written many award-winning books, including "Women of the West", "Home on the Range" (winner of the James Beard Award), & "Medicine Women".

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Luchetti has crafted a new look at the men who explored, settled, farmed, and otherwise made their livelihoods in the American West. Similar in format to her previous forays into frontier life, Women of the West (1982) and Children of the West (2001) , this chronicle is a patchwork of striking black-and-white photographs stitched together by a narrative authentically sprinkled with quotes from letters, diaries, and memoirs. Fiercely independent cowboys, plucky entrepreneurs, desperate runaways, wary Native Americans, and hopeful immigrants are all represented. Seeking to fulfill their own version of the American Dream in an untamed wilderness, they built the towns and railroads, cultivated the land, raised livestock, established businesses, and fought and died in the name of manifest destiny. Individualists, idealists, or opportunists, these men all helped forge the ever-fascinating mystique of the American West. This stunning photographic essay constitutes another significant contribution to the contemporary analysis of social and cultural life on the nineteenth-century frontier. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Luchetti, author of Women of the West and Children of the West, completes the demographic panorama in this absorbing, lavishly illustrated historical celebration. The Old West being the mythic heartland of masculinity, Luchetti?s loosely structured thematic treatment has plenty of archetypes to explore, complicate or debunk, including mountain men, Forty-Niners, outlaws and sheriffs (often one and the same), cowboys and Indians and cavalry. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary journalism, memoirs and diaries, she colorfully evokes the casual gunplay, rough justice, Biblical weather and sod-busting toil of the Western epic, and also visits the less-sung civilizing exploits of clergymen, doctors, tradesmen and inventors. And Luchetti also pays close attention to the throbbing romantic longings of lonely men on the almost woman-less frontier, from bashful cowboys pouring their hearts out in prairie ballads to dandified city slickers writing poetry to woo sweethearts, and to the sometimes blissful, sometimes miserable, sometimes violent unions that resulted. Enriched by period photos that convey both the picturesqueness and squalor of frontier life, the result is a fascinating social history, grand in scope and intimate in detail. 139 b&w photographs. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Luchetti (Children of the West; Women of the West) vividly depicts again the hardships of living and working on the American frontier. Drawing on more than 135 period photographs, personal letters, diaries, and journals, she examines the lives of ordinary men having the adventure-for good or ill-of their lives. There is a short discussion of cowboys and outlaws, but Luchetti concentrates on those people rarely covered, including "doctoring men, tinkers, men of faith, bookish men, and teachers." Other chapters ably cover frontier religion, work, and marriage. Some exceptional coverage focuses on Asian immigrants and the effect settlement had on Native Americans. The extensive bibliography will be useful to students and researchers. Recommended for its historical and cultural contribution to the study of the American West. Public libraries and special collections should consider, especially where Luchetti's other works have been popular.-David M. Aperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.