Jerry Hopkins: Read Louis L’Amour | Opinion

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Many times I recommended reading materials – novels, articles, stories, biographies and stories, or watching movies based on such works. From time to time, I will continue to do so. Reviewing and revising the “history textbook” that I use to teach our country’s history has prompted me to reflect on some of the materials that help students study and learn our history. Some of the best “common sense” stories in our world are found in popular novels and movies. Fiction can allow us to learn what happened, who was involved in the events, where it happened, why it happened, and what resulted from those events. One of the best novelists to read in historical fiction is Louis L’Amour.

L’Amour wrote many novels, including a popular series about the Sackett family dating from the 1600s through the 1870s. L’Amour grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, where he experienced and learned much about the ‘west. Since that time and his travels after leaving home at the age of 15 to travel and work in various places around the world, he has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge, working as a sailor, lumberjack, elephant trainer, flayer livestock, miner. and as a military officer in World War II. He worked on an ocean freighter, sailing a dhow on the Red Sea; a shipwreck in the West Indies and ran aground in the Mojave Desert. From childhood he was a voracious reader, collecting and reading many books and amassing a large personal library of over 17,000 volumes.

For many years, L’Amour wrote short stories and action pieces for popular publications. Her first full novel was published in the United States in 1953 and titled Hondo. He went on to write over 120 books, most of which are still in print worldwide, totaling over 300 million copies in 20 languages. Over 45 of his novels and stories have appeared as feature films and TV movies. In 1983, L’Amour became the first novelist to receive the Congressional Gold Medal from the United States Congress for his lifetime literary achievement. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Medal of Freedom.

Most of the novels and short stories in L’Amour deal with the development of the American West. If you read many Sackett novels, you’ll want to find a copy of L’Amour’s book on the series called The Sackett Companion: The Facts Behind the Fiction (1988), detailing the stories, characters, facts, and maps of geography Areas covered. Here is what L’Amour says about these novels: “My stories are a kind of history. The difference is that I write about the anonymous, and when they left no story, I write what should have been, what could have been, using knowledge of the country itself, how it was traveled, how many people lived by hunting and gathering, and what their relations with Indians and others might have been. He then makes this important point: “Yet my or any other stories, as well as the story itself, should always be read bearing in mind that we only know a small part of the whole story. the image.”

I hope you will take the time to read and especially to find one of Louis L’Amour’s novels. I collected all his novels and read them, sometimes more than once. A good place to start is L’Amour’s novel How the West Was Won which is also featured in a feature film of the same title. Obviously, this is the colonization of the great American West.

The development of the American West is a dramatic story, an important part of our nation’s history. There are many ways to learn this story. One way to understand how the West developed is through fiction. Louis L’Amour’s novels are stories rooted in his research on the geography, history, legends and archives of this unique region. The novel and film How The West Was Won detail the story of one family’s migration west. It basically describes how a family moved west, spanning several generations in the saga. It is a “typical” story depicting geography, settlement, rivers, mountains, the Grand Erie Canal, railroads, the Civil War, and many related dramas, including crime tragedies. This great novel represents the experience of many people who migrated west. As numerous historical texts indicate, this westward movement of people was one of the greatest migrations in modern history.

The West was a land of adventure and opportunity. It attracted people who wanted to improve, who wanted to start over and improve their lives and those of their children. The Western Frontier was a vast region with unlimited potential. Many different indigenous peoples already lived in this area. This country was the homeland and hunting ground of the Indians. Native American history is very important and essential to our understanding of the West.

I was reminded of the importance and vastness of this area while traveling to South Dakota for a history meeting in Sioux Falls a few years ago. I covered the west going to Sioux Falls, flying from Shreveport to Houston, then Chicago and Sioux Falls. Leaving Sioux Falls on a Saturday morning, I flew to Denver and then from there back home to Shreveport and Marshall. So I physically and intellectually covered much of the west on this trip. I’ve traveled through Oklahoma, New Mexico, Idaho, South Dakota and other parts of the west. The West is one of the important regions in the formation of our nation. It is still an important factor in shaping the future of our country. It is a region of great variety, vast potential and unusual beauty. Take the time to learn how “ordinary people” played a role in our development by reading The Love, especially Sackett’s novels and How the West Was Won.

I am happy to incorporate the novels and stories of this great writer into our “community conversation” and encourage you to consider his works. You may not like his novels, but I can assure you that if you read them you will deeply appreciate the courage, determination and dedication of those who came to this part of the world, as well as those who lived already here when European and Asian immigrants arrived. I hope some of you will share with me what you think of the L’Amour novels and stories.

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