Names like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Kit Carson, Calamity Jane, Frank and Jesse James, conjure certain images in the American mind. For us, these people, who actually lived and died and left their marks, have become larger than life. They are now a part of our American folklore right up there alongside Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Deadwood Dick, and live on as sources of inspiration.
The saying “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story” has been attributed to J. Frank Dobie, although this has not been verified. Mr. Dobie, however, was a master storyteller himself, and probably would have welcomed the compliment. I think he would also have enjoyed the collection of tall tales, Legends and Tales of the American West edited, told, retold and illustrated by Richard Erdoes.
This grab bag of tall tales includes the colorful doings of our cowboys and gamblers, outlaws and lawmen and others from the American frontier west. It proves just how much you can do with a grain of truth and a heap of imagination. It also (to my mind) gives us certain braggin’ rights about our heroes. If you want to know how Daniel Boone could lay three men low with one bullet or how Davy Crockett could defeat a bear with his bare fists, look no further - this is the real deal.