Tag Archives: Navajo

KIT CARSON: ‘GREAT AMERICAN HERO’ or ‘VILLAIN OF NAVAJO HISTORY’?

I met Steven Kohlhagen through the American Westerns group of Goodreads. Steve kindly complimented me on the article I had written regarding posterity and memoirs, one of which was Buffalo Bill Cody’s Story of the West.  Steve’s latest book, Where They Bury You,WhereTheyBuryYou_v1 partially concerns Kit Carson, and Carson was one of the men Cody had memorialized.  Carson’s scorched earth policy, used to remove the Navajo from their homeland, is something that, today, denigrates the man’s other accomplishments as a frontiersman.  Yet, Cody claimed that the policy had actually saved lives. I therefore approached Steve to find out what his own research had uncovered. Continue reading

Curios and the Curious

Back in the late 1970s I was traveling through New Mexico with my parents, die- hard New Yorkers who knew nothing of the west.  We happened upon the trading post at Gallup, where my mother started chatting with the lady owner.  All I remember from that conversation was the fact that my mother was totally astounded that the woman had never heard of Broadway in NYC. Here was evidence of the singular culture of the west, more isolated then and certainly unique, and it was all around me in that shop.  The fact that, here, there was no yearning for The Great White Way as Broadway is occasionally called, but something more positive, more organic, moved me completely. Continue reading