vated by economic prejudice againstnthe entrepreneur. The Real AmericannCowboy and Daughters of Joy, Sistersnof Misery are typical of such works.nWriters who hve in Massachusetts ornWashington, DC, and whose views ofnthe West derive from the Westernnmovie, economic determinism, andnthe cloistered research library, churnnout works about cowboys which refernto the occupation as a “trade fraternity.”nThese books speak about thenfriendships of the bunkhouse in termsnof “male bonding” and portray prostitutesnas “enmeshed in a complex webnof human attitudes, delincd with scornnand jocularity, and circumscribed bynrigid societal responses.”nPublishers whose offices are congregatednin the East (or, in the case ofnuniversity presses, are staffed with imitatorsnof New York houses) sign contractsnwith these Ivy League academiciansnbecause they all talk the samenlanguage — something that makesnboth of them comfortable. Theirs is ansymbiotic relationship. Publishersnneed manuscripts to fill their springnand fall catalogs, and professors neednpublications to justify their nonprofessingnin the classroom (that is,nreleased time for research). Moreover,neach helps reinforce the prejudices thenother already has about the West, eithernreal or mythic. Another way ofnsaying the same thing is that I havennever seen a book whose subtitle isnProstitutes in the American East.nThese publishers and authors remindnme—perhaps because most ofnthem are from that generation—ofncollege students of the 1960’s whonliked to wear blue work shirts andnoveralls to show their sympathy for thenworking class. As a friend of minencommented, “If only they had earnednthose work shirts. Those of us whongrew up in them couldn’t wait to getnout of them.” I do not believe thesenEastern authors need to have workednas cowboys or prostitutes to gain annunderstanding of them, but a closernassociation than sympathetic readingnand listening to academic lectures isnneeded to attune the writer to thenregional rhythms and work patterns ofnthe West of reality.nLet me illustrate my point withnsome stories.nMany years ago I was talking withnan old-timer who related to me annanecdote told by his great-uncle aboutnherding cattle in the Cherokee Outietnin the 1880’s. A crew of six was workingna herd when one of them, a youngncowboy, was killed. His horse steppednin a hole, threw the young man, andnthen rolled on top of him. The crewndug a shallow grave on top of a nearbynhill and gathered around it, hats innhand. After several moments of awkwardnsilence, the foreman asked,n”Anybody have anything to say?”nWhen no one responded, the foremanntold them, “Well, throw some dirt onnhim, and let’s get back to work.”nOn another occasion I recall listeningnto a salty old cowboy in SannAngelo, Texas, tell a few of his croniesnabout the death and funeral of one ofntheir number. The deceased wasnbrought into a nearby small communitynand properly laid out in church,ndozens of his friends coming for thenservice. The young minister preachedna long sermon, perhaps in the hope ofnmaking a few converts among peoplenwho did not normally attend church.nFinally, in a fit of oratorical flight, henthundered, “Old Jake’s not reallyndead. He’s just gone to a better world.”nAt this moment from the back of thenroom came a whispered commentnfrom one of the salty—and realistic—ncowboys seated there, “I’ve got a hundredndollars says the son of a bitch isndead.”nI gained greater understanding andninsight about cowboys and cattiemennfrom these two stories than from somentwo dozen years of academic study.nBOOKS IN BRIEF—POPULAR CULTUREnjust as I learned what prostitution mustnhave been like from another story Inheard dating from the 1890’s. It involvedna 17-year-old prostitute weepingnbecause she had been working at antwo-dollar establishment until anminer, in a drunken fit of amorousness,nhad bitten off one of her ears; thisnautomatically had demoted her to an50-eent-house.nI cannot recommend either of thesenbooks as good reading for anyone whonreally wants to know what the West ofnyore was truly like. The writers havenuncovered no new facts, and they havendisclosed no great insights. The authornof a best-selling American history textbooknonce told me, “Show me annAmerican history book, and I can tellnyou within 10 years when it was written.”nHe meant that by examiningnwhat was emphasized in a particularntext, he could tell the era from whichnit came by recalling what was fashionablenat any given point in our history.nThese two books exemplify thensociological-revisionism of the 1980’snand those writers intent on raising ournraeist/sexist/economic consciousness.nDaughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery isnfeminist literature designed to proventhat prostitutes in the West were usednby the “legal, military, church andnpress establishments” to “maintainntheir authority,” while The Real AmericannCowboy tries to have us believenthat cowboys, filled with racial prejudice,nwere “exploited by their corporatenemployers.”nThe Last Metro, directed by Francois Trufiaut, edited by Mirella Jona Affron and E.nRubinstein, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press; $25.00 (cloth); $10.00 (paper).nToucti of Evil, directed by Orson Welles, edited by Terry Comito, New Brunswick, NJ:nRutgers University Press; $25.00 (cloth); $10.00 (paper). Great movies often have scripts,nand a series to make those scripts available to students would be welcome. A poor choice ofnfilms is frustrating the value of the new “Rutgers Films in Print” series. Truffaut’s meretriciousnLast Metro was shot without a script. Much of the power of Welles’s brilliant Touch of Evilncomes from Henry Mancini’s score. Caveat emptor.nMy Work in Films by Eugene Lourie, San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; $29.95n(cloth); $16.95 (paper). A modest and chatty narrative of the career of the art director ofnmovies that ranged from Grand Illusion to Krakatoa, East of Java will be a film buff’s delight.nSeven Pillars of Popular Culture by Marshall W. Fishwick, Westport, CT: GreenwoodnPress; $29.95. A professor of humanities and communication studies at Virginia PolytechnicnInstitute brings together the fruits of a lifetime’s research in a wide-ranging and learned booknthat discusses today’s popular culture in terms borrowed from ancient Greek, including demosn(people), theos (god), and mythos.nnnJUNE 1986/23n