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BOB HERZBERG. Hang ’Em High: Law and Disorder in Western Cinema and Literature

HangEmHigh

BOB HERZBERG. Hang ’Em High: Law and Disorder in Western Cinema and Literature. McFarland. Paperback, 254 pages, $45, www.mcfarlandpub.com.

Hang ’Em High is a knowledgeable examination of frontier law and its abuses, starting with Owen Wister’s 1902 novel The Virginian and continuing through to the 2011 hit movie True Grit. Classics are examined, but thorough attention is also given to lesser films like Alan Dwan’s far-flung Woman They Almost Lynched. Hang ’Em High explores a dark element that’s been a constant in Westerns since the silents, and lays it bare.