As business interests have commercialized the American West and publishers and studios have created compelling imagery, the expectations of readers and moviegoers have influenced perceptions of the cowboy as a hero. This book describes the evolution of the cowboy hero as a mythic persona created by dime novels, television and Hollywood. Much of our concept of the cowboy comes to us from movies and the book's main focus is his changing image in cinema. The development of the hero image and the fictional West is traced from early novels and films to the present, along with shifting audience expectations and economic pressures.
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