Thursday, January 27, 2011

What I'm Reading Now

I believe it was Ron Scheer over at Buddies in the Saddle that recommended this book to me:

Here's the description on the back:

"Wagon boss Hugh Hitchcock knows the cowboy life better than most: In 1883 if you’re a cowboy, you can’t own a cow and you are stigmatized as a drunk. Worse, you are exploited by the wealthy cattle owners who fence the range, replace traditions and trust with written rules of employment, refuse to pay a livable wage, and change things “that ought to be left alone.” The cowboys working in the Canadian River country of the Texas Panhandle decide to fight back, to do the unthinkable: go on strike.

In this celebrated novel, Elmer Kelton uses the true but little-known Canadian River incident to focus on the changes brought to ranching by big-money syndicates."

For those of you interested in learning about this strike, instead of running a search on "Canadian River Strike," you're better off running a search under "Cowboy Strike of 1883." There's plenty of material out there.

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5 comments:

Deka Black said...

Just now i was hearing a new about strikes in the radio. ¡Your blog is alive, laurie! ;)

Now seriously: seems a interesting fact. Must be oneof the first strikes in modern history.

Cap'n Bob said...

Would you believe I just finished this yesterday? It took me a while to get through because my surgery makes it hard to me to hold a book for long, but I really enjoyed it. The latter third of the book really takes off and I think you'll love the ending.

Walker Martin said...

Elmer Kelton was once a guest at Pulpcon. He wrote some of the best westerns of recent years. This novel may be his best one.

Ron Scheer said...

It was probably me who recommended the book. I'm always trying to get people to read it. Hugh Hitchcock is a great character and there are wonderful moments in the novel. There's also a melancholy sense of the passing of time and people getting lost in the transitions. I'd read THE VIRGINIAN previously and kept finding parallels between the two.

Barry Traylor said...

Reading True Grit right now (I had better be careful or I will have my propeller beanie taken away--obscure SF reference) and I am enjoying it very much. I am delighted to see that they pretty much filmed the book (including dialogue) much the way John Huston did The Maltese Falcon).