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Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull Inventing the Wild West by Bobby Bridger

Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull Inventing the Wild West

Part of the M. K. Brown Range Life Series Series


Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull Inventing the Wild West by Bobby Bridger

Army scout, buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, and impresario of the world-renowned Wild West Show, William F. Buffalo Bill Cody lived the real American West and also helped create the West of the imagination. Born in 1846, he took part in the great westward migration, hunted the buffalo, and made friends among the Plains Indians, who gave him the name Pahaska (long hair). But as the frontier closed and his role in winning the West passed into legend, Buffalo Bill found himself becoming the symbol of the destruction of the buffalo and the American Indian. Deeply dismayed, he spent the rest of his life working to save the remaining buffalo and to preserve Plains Indian culture through his Wild West shows. This biography of William Cody focuses on his lifelong relationship with Plains Indians, a vital part of his life story that, surprisingly, has been seldom told. Bobby Bridger draws on many historical accounts and Cody's own memoirs to show how deeply intertwined Cody's life was with the Plains Indians. In particular, he demonstrates that the Lakota and Cheyenne were active cocreators of the Wild West shows, which helped them preserve the spiritual essence of their culture in the reservation era while also imparting something of it to white society in America and Europe. This dual story of Buffalo Bill and the Plains Indians clearly reveals how one West was lost, and another born, within the lifetime of one remarkable man.

About the Author

BOBBY BRIDGER has spent nearly forty years researching, composing, producing, and performing A Ballad of the West, a trilogy of one-man shows that together form an epic history of the American West. He divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Cody, Wyoming, where he performs A Ballad of the West each summer.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2002


Bobby Bridger

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University of Texas Press


502 pages


Biography: historical, political & military
History of the Americas
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography



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