If You Go
Date: October 25, 2005

Louis Warren explores the life of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the most famous American in the world in the late nineteenth century. Along the way, we learn the sources of his legend, and how his purposeful (and fantastically popular) entangling of history and myth illuminate for us the politics and culture of the United States after the Civil War.

Warren’s book is a biography and social history that examines Cody’s genuine achievements, his many self-inventions, and the manner in which he successfully combined the two. Although Cody exaggerated his accomplishments, he was a genuine hunter and fighter as well as an intuitive performance genius, according to Warren.

Warren is a Professor of History at the University of California at Davis. He is also the author of The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America, which won the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Book in 1998, given by the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum.