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The Searchers


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The true story behind the classic Western The Searchers-and the amazing history of that story, as it was transformed into an American myth.

Promotional Information

The true story behind the classic Western The Searchers-and the amazing history of that story, as it was transformed into an American myth.

About the Author

Glenn Frankel worked for nearly thirty years for the Washington Post, as a reporter, a foreign correspondent, and editor of the Washington Post Magazine. As Jerusalem bureau chief, he won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for "sensitive and balanced reporting from Israel and the Middle East." His first book, Beyond the Promised Land: Jews and Arabs on the Hard Road to a New Israel won the National Jewish Book Award. His second, Rivonia's Children: Three Families and the Cost of Conscience in White South Africa was a finalist for South Africa's prestigious Alan Paton Award. Frankel has been an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellow and a Hearst Visiting Professional in the Department of Communication at Stanford. He is currently the Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.


Well researched. casts a haunting, harrowing spell. Entertainment Weekly A gracefully presented narrative. A thoroughly researched, clearly written account of an obsessive search through the tangled borderland of fact and fiction, legend and myth Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Riveting depiction.Frankel's retelling is a gripping portrayal of a mesmerizing period of American history. Publisher's Weekly (starred review) It was around this time that Leslie Fiedler published a slim volume making the case that 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' 'The Birth of a Nation,' 'Gone With The Wind' and 'Roots' could be read as a single, multi-media 'inadvertent epic' - a story about slavery, race and family that America gave to itself. As framed and enriched by Frankel, 'The Searchers' is another such epic; recounting the making of what he calls 'an American legend,' he has retold it well.a vivid, revelatory account of John Ford's 1956 masterpiece. -- J. Hoberman The New York Times Book Review A must-read for film students, making-of fans, and students of American history. Booklist An enjoyable book that will appeal to film historians/buffs as well as to those with an interest in Western history Library Journal Impeccably researched.a fascinating journey from fiction to fact, from glorified legend to brutal event. Washington Post A must-read for movie fans and anyone interested in mythmaking and the American West. Frankel's excellent research and analysis and his fine writing raise the bar for the 'making of' film book. His narrative details the life of a modern legend-in this case, a historical event that sparked a novel that led to a film, each step revealing a different aspect of how we tell our stories and why. -- Douglass K. Daniel Associated Press Absorbing. a riveting account of the war for the American West. Frankel's superb book gives a fascinating historical and anecdotal account of how 'The Searchers' became a John Ford movie. Saint Louis Post-Dispatch After meticulous research, Frankel restores a sense of history and balance to Parker's story. It's a nuanced, ambiguous portrayal of heroes and hypocrites, compassionate and sadistic warriors. USA Today Frankel's graceful ability to separate, and harmonize, legend and fact does honor to both. Portland Oregonian In vivid prose, the director of the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism explains why his favorite film is important and a masterpiece. And he does so in the clear, economical style of a writer who's lived a life of deadlines in news capitals around the world.his passion is contagious. Austin American Statesman Compelling The Star-Ledger Compelling...a story as deeply American as it is tragic The Daily Beast In peeling back the layers of story, myth, and legend that accrued to Parker's story and led to 'The Searchers,' Frankel makes a compelling case for why such a twisted masterpiece still matters. The Boston Globe A superbly written, highly entertaining mixture of American history and popular culture that reveals anew one of our greatest films Shelf Awareness For movie and history buffs, a must. MSN "Pageturner" A scrupulously researched, riveting examination of people who fought to make their country a better place New York Times Book Review on Rivonia's Children This superb, gripping piece of reportage is a pivotal account of a new Israel struggling to be born Publishers Weekly on Beyond the Promised Land Glenn Frankel has constructed a powerfully suggestive book. New York Review of Books Fascinating and multifaceted...Western fans and movie buffs of all stripes doubtless will enjoy Frankel's richly detailed account. -- Joe Leydon Cowboys & Indians Frankel's dramatic retelling of the actual event-Cynthia Ann's captivity, in all its historical complexity-followed by the making of the film over a century later, is masterful. -- Leonard Engel, Quinnipiac University, USA Western Historical Quarterly

Myth- and filmmaking go hand in hand, as myth is both the source for and perpetuated by cinema. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Frankel (formerly of the Washington Post; dir., Sch. of Journalism, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Riviona's Children) tackles this dichotomy by investigating the mythology around the story of Cynthia Ann Parker and how it later came to be immortalized in the 1955 film The Searchers. The book is divided into biographies of the four central figures, beginning with Parker and then her son, Quanah. In these first two sections, Frankel lays out the story of Parker's capture by Comanches and her eventual reclamation by the U.S. Cavalry and discusses how the Parker story has changed through the years as family members and historians have rewritten the narrative. Then, Frankel turns his attention to Alan LeMay, whose novel The Searchers inspired the film, and John Ford, the director who brought the film to life. VERDICT Despite a few unfortunate errors (e.g., Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar is referred to as "Governor"), this is an enjoyable book that will appeal to film historians/buffs as well as to those with an interest in Western history.-Michael C. Miller, Austin P.L. & Austin History Ctr., TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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