The Gentle Tamers

The Gentle Tamers : Women of the Old Wild West

3.74 (338 ratings by Goodreads)
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All aspects of western feminine life, which include a good deal about the western male, are covered in this lively, informal but soundly factual account of the women who built the West. Among those whose stories are included are Elizabeth Custer; Lola Montez, Ann Eliza Young, Josephine Meeker, Carry Nation, Esther Morris, and Virginia more

Product details

  • Paperback | 335 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 10.16mm | 362.87g
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • Lincoln, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • Illus.
  • 0803250258
  • 9780803250253
  • 1,172,683

About Dee Brown

Dee Brown is author of numerous books including Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The Fetterman Massacre and The Galvanized Yankees are both available as Bison more

Review quote

"The promise implicit in the title of this book is not broken. Mr. Brown has assembled a notable collection of women who took part in the migrations westward, mostly in the period of 1850-1880, and presents them, often with enthusiasm and always with sympathy... I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Brown's book."-Stewart Holbrook, New York Herald Tribune Books|"Underlying the book's fascinating comedy and pathos and terror, there is a sociological overtone. Mr. Brown shows that the reactions of these women to their frontier experience were as important as male reactions in the development of American mores and American democracy."-Marshall Sprague, New York Times Book Reviewshow more

Review Text

Take the sub-title rather than the title for your guide, as "The Gentle Tamers" seems to this reader a misnomer for the tales of some 25 women who crossed the Western trails or settled there in the old and not-so-old days. Actually, the imprint left by these women is slight; and where fame has accumulated as in the case of Carrie Nation, the saloon-smashing prowess could hardly be termed "gentle". One whose mark was considerable was the charming ?? Whitman, wife of the missionary, who went with her husband to Oregon in 1836. Her diary might well have been more amply quoted as it is a delight. The author gives more space to Josephine Meeker, captured by Ute Indians in 1879 at the White River (Colorado) massacre; and to Frances Grummond, who wrote an excellent book her own experiences in the four months spent in 1866 at Fort Phil Kearney on the Bozeman Trail, and whose husband died in the Fetterman massacre. Elizabeth Custer, widow of the somewhat tarnished "hero" of the Little Big Horn; Lotta Crabtree, the actress, and a wide variety of other figures- prostitutes, actresses, wives of gold-seekers, settlers and soldiers make up the roster. Sacagewea, the squaw who helped guide Lewis and Clark, Jessie Fremont, wife of the explorer, and others who seem of greater significance, are not, included. Although the material is well presented and the result of honest research, the book seems unmotivated and something of a hodgepodge, and those familiar with the historical record will find it disappointing. Possibly its market is more for the uninitiated, for high school students seeking Western data, and certainly for women rather than men. Maybe it will lead to further reading. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

338 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 24% (80)
4 37% (124)
3 31% (106)
2 7% (24)
1 1% (4)
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