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Lost Cowboys: From Patagonia to the Alamo Paperback – 23 May 1996
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Of all the colourful horsemen in history, perhaps cowboys exert the most enduring fascination. People seem to need these archetypal heroes, even if many of them were drunkards, rapists and murderers. The first cowboys arrived in the Americas with Columbus. They were wild cattle hunters and were truly the lone frontiersmen of myth. Over the centuries, though, their freedom to roam the range and live like Indians between earth and sky has gradually been eroded, so that the modern cowboy is simply a working horseman. Even so the legend endures. Seeking this legacy, Hank Wangford set off on a long journey across the Americas. From the Gauchos of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay to the Llaneros of Venezuela and the Vacqueros of Mexico, Wangford encountered them all and heard their stories, discovering in the process a rich vein of myth, folklore and unexpected truth.
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I didn't know that the present Pope is a cowboy freak and has collected an amazing collection of Stetsons, sombreros, boots, chaps and every piece of cowboy gear imaginable. Some of his travel stories are hilarious and made me laugh out loud. For serious cowboy fans there is the whole story of their development ever since Columbus brought over the first horses and cattle from Spain. Before him there was nothing. Indians walked.
There are quotes from great cowboy literature, stories about English, Irish and Scotsmen carving out the history of south America. Wide ranging stories and facts pour out of every page. I was stunned by it all. As a reviewer says on the front of this -
"This is a great book"
Very entertaining and full of interesting facts and observations, I would recommend this book highly to anyone even remotely interested in the area concerned.
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