Book Review: "Ride, Boldly Ride: The Evolution of the American Western"

Document Type

Book Review

Journal Title

Impact: The Journal of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning

Publication Date

Summer 2014


In Ride, Boldly Ride, Mary Lea Bandy and Kevin Stoehr offer a sweeping summation of the Western from the one-reel “oaters” of the silent era to the genre-blending films of the digital age. The book is a labor of love, as is evident in the authors’ privileging of filmic wisdom over critical models. This film-first treatment contrasts sharply with scholarship from the past thirty years, which has tended to reduce the genre to ideology. True to the book’s subtitle, the authors’
concern is with the evolutionary scale. To illustrate the expanse, Ride, Boldly Ride has interspersed within it fifty-six black and white stills drawn from the archives of the Museum of Modern Art, a reader-friendly complement to the elegant and fluid prose of its authors. The volume will be useful to scholars in cinema, cultural, and American studies, and is well-suited for an undergraduate survey course on the Western.


This journal is openly available through the hard work of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning in the College of General Studies at Boston University..

Past issues of Impact can viewed at: https://sites.bu.edu/impact/previous-issues/.

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