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March 04 , 2011

Will Rogers


Of the many books written about Will Rogers, none can have the immediacy, firsthand knowledge, and personal perspective of this account by his wife, Betty Blake Rogers. Her story is of Will Rogers, from wayward youth to international celebrity.

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Will was born in 1879 in the Cherokee nation of Indian Territory, near what is now Oologah, and died in 1935 with Wiley Post in an airplane crash in Alaska. The period witnessed the passing of the frontier and the arrival of the air age, and Will Rogers became a unique part and interpreter of it all.

"The book offers a ’unique insight’ into the Oklahoma cowboy who became a worldwide celebrity. Betty Rogers understood Will as no one else could, and her book amplifies the importance of a homegrown philosopher who captured the spirit of the American experience. Cowboy, showman, homespun pundit-Will left his mark in many ways, each of which is carefully developed in the book’s twenty-two chapters. Most notable, however, is Mrs. Rogers’s treatment of her husband’s character. Behind the facade lay a complex man who, despite his lack of formal education, had a grasp of modern psychology and world politics. Equally at home with cowboys and presidents, Will accepted both as human beings engaged in the larger arena of life, whether in the wide open spaces of Oklahoma or the confines of Washington....For those who would know Will Rogers in a familiar way, there is no better book than this reprint." Arizona and the West.

"The best of all the books on the best of all the homespun philosophers as seen through the eyes of his wife." Midwest Book Review.

"Folksy, detailed and loving, it offers a timeless glimpse at a real American hero of his time-and ours." American Way.

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