Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West

Spiegel & Grau. Oct. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781954118171. $32. HIST
Hickman (She-Merchants, Buccaneers & Gentlewomen) sets out to correct imbalances in the gendered ideas surrounding the idea of the “hero” in the American West. She rightly notes that stories have gone untold, and that realities have been flattened to conform to stereotypes, assumptions, and ideals. The stories she tells encompass women on groundbreaking journeys across uncharted terrain and the resiliency, resourcefulness, and struggle they endured. Well-illustrated with maps and historical photos and drawing on textual evidence from journals written by women, this book provides glimpses into the worlds of prostitutes and mothers, Black women seeking freedom, and Indigenous women brutally impacted by white colonizers, all tales that disrupt any monolithic view of what it meant to be a woman or an American then.
VERDICT As easy to read as any Western with the added advantage of showing a new version of the Old West, one vital for readers to explore.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing