The American West
The Invention of a Myth
Americans have chosen to invest one small part of their history, the settlement of the western wilderness, with extraordinary significance. The frontier of the 1800s remains not merely a source of excitement and romance, but of inspiration, providing a set of imperishable core values: individualism, self-reliance and a pristine sense of right and wrong. Murdoch's study analyses the origins of this myth and shows how it was invented, for the most part deliberately, then outgrew the purposes of its inventors.