Gunfighter Nation completes Richard Slotkin's trilogy, begun in
Regeneration Through Violence and continued in Fatal Environment,
on the myth of the American frontier. Slotkin examines an
impressive array of sources - fiction, Hollywood westerns, and the
writings of Hollywood figures and Washington leaders - to show how
the racialist theory of Anglo-Saxon ascendance and superiority
(embodied in Theodore Roosevelt's The Winning of the West), rather
than Frederick Jackson Turner's thesis of the closing of the
frontier, exerted the most influence in popular culture and
government policy making in the twentieth century. He argues that
Roosevelt's view of the frontier myth provided the justification
for most of America's expansionist policies, from Roosevelt's own
Rough Riders to Kennedy's counterinsurgency and Johnson's war in
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