Encounter with an Angry God: BEST CHRISTMAS BOOK selection for Western Lovers


Lovers of the West and Westerns: The best gift book this Christmas is Carobeth Laird’s, Encounter with an Angry God, Recollections of my Life with John Peabody Harrington. It’s 190 pages of excitement. And, it’s neither on a best seller list nor by a well known author.

This is the real thing. The American Indian West as it was documented by the greatest linguist-ethnographer, John Peabody Harrington, a genius who was so obsessed with recording data that he ignored traditional routes of academic prestige. Today he would probably be labeled a manic-depressive.

Carobeth Laird, writes an intensely personal reminiscence of the seven-year period (1915 to 1922) when she was married to Harrington. The couple traveled the West as field ethnographers during the formative years of American anthropology. This was the beginning of the time when the Indian family consisted of a father, mother, some children, maybe grandparents and—an anthropologist. A scholar in her own right, Laird wrote this fascinating book in 1975 when she was days away from age 80. That in itself is noteworthy.

Harrington’s notes were meticulous and copious. The nature of his relationships with his Indian informants is filled with contradictions, but you’ll meet those informants. You can solve for yourself the riddle of his personality—and Carobeth’s as well.

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SPIRIT OF THE WEST


   

Our Spirit of the West <b>ARIZONA DEEUUD</b>

Our Spirit of the West ARIZONA DEEUUD

 I went to a meeting of my Meet-Up group “Spirit of the West” last night. Most of us go dressed in western gear. One of these days I’ll learn how to put pictures on this blog and I’ll post them. My novel BUFFALOed is about the famous Cowboy Artist, Charlie Russell, who was in large part responsible for creating the all-American hero, the cowboy. So, I like to hang out with these people. I met a fellow there, C. L. “Lee” Anderson who is a true 1880’s Arizona Cowboy. He’s a re-enactor and does he ever look authentic. In programs for schools and at special events, Lee and his trusty horse Dusty bring 1880’s Arizona back to life. The real Arizona cowboy, not the Hollywood or Charlie Russell myth. Lee says the American cowboy never would have existed without the Spanish Colonial Vaqueros, the ones who knew how to handle horses.