SALOONS of the AMERICAN WEST--An Illustrated Chronicle



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A fascinating collection of original saloon photographs, paintings and stories from the Old West. This colorful book features nearly every type and style of saloon — including interiors and exteriors, tent saloons, and some of the most lavishly decorated saloons across the American West. Subject material includes saloon recreation, saloon art, saloon social services, mining-camp and cattle-country saloons, saloon "ladies of the night," crime and the saloon — as well as music, dance halls, gambling, preaching, reformers, prohibition, bootleggers and "speakeasies." Robert L. Brown is a well-known Western author of such titles as An Empire of Silver and Jeep Trails to Colorado Ghost Towns. More than 60 views in full color adorn the pages of Saloons of the American West — in addition to dozens of historic scenes printed in old-time sepia tone. ***Reduced to its most elementary terms, this volume represents an effort to examine — with text and illustrations — some facets of the development of the American West in terms of the evolution of a singular institution, the SALOON. Although the word "saloon" carries a rather negative connotation in present-day America, an enormous amount of our nation's history occurred in, or was influenced by, the saloon. *** American public opinion in regard to public drinking establishments became so fixed around the turn of the century that now only a handful of states — mostly in the West — still allow even the word "saloon" to be displayed on public signs. Much of its questionable reputation was deserved, as will become apparent in this book. Some of the very worst examples of human callousness toward others, occurred beyond the swinging doors or in the alleys behind such places. But now and then, acts of uncommon human kindness also took place within these rude establishments, as will be explained in . ***Inevitably— since Colorado is the author's home base—the saloons and history of the Centennial State have been used as examples more frequently than those of other states. Generally, what happened in one state's saloons also happened elsewhere. *** Today, however, such attractions as the mouth-watering free lunch, the technique of picking up a dime from a wet bar, and the sheer intellectual pleasure of discussing current events with the saloon keeper, are hardly more-than-fond memories for the small number of survivors who still recall the American saloon era in the Old West.
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