Chapter

Writing Kit Carson in the Cold War

Susan Lee Johnson

in On the Borders of Love and Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272385
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520951341 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520272385.003.0013
Writing Kit Carson in the Cold War

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This chapter analyzes the remaking of the iconic western individualist Kit Carson into a family man by amateur historians Bernice Blackwelder and Quantrille McClung during the era of the Cold War. The author places Blackwelder's and McClung's writings on Carson in the context of the growing professionalization of the field of western history, changing representations of the West in popular culture, and the social, economic, and political dynamics of the postwar period. Blackwelder's and McClung's portraits of Carson complicated Cold War idealizations of the family and the West by documenting the intercultural intimate relations in which Carson was involved. At the same time, both women reinforced certain crucial Cold War myths about the family and the West as well.

Keywords: Kit Carson; Bernice Blackwelder; Quantrille McClung; Cold War; western history; West; family

Chapter.  20494 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Local and Family History

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