The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth by Martin Barker

By Martin Barker

How media models of Cooper's vintage frontier novel have perpetuated the parable of "America."

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According to the most complete source we could find, the books most often adapted for the screen have been Our Lady of the Camellias (Alexandre Dumas31 versions), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (R. L. Stevenson27), Robinson Crusoe (R. L. 12 All these and many others deserve study in their own right. We are certainly not claiming that Mohicans heads any list in importance. Except perhaps in this. Whatever else Mohicans may be, it is a myth of America (or we should say "America"). One of the peculiar aspects of writing this book has been writing it from Britain.

The lasting of the Mohicans : history of an American myth / Martin Barker and Roger Sabin. p.  - (Studies in popular culture) Includes bibliographical references and index. : alk.  Last of the Mohicans.  Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 AppreciationUnited States.  Historical fiction, American History and criticism.  Literature and societyUnited States History.  Popular cultureUnited StatesHistory. 2dc20 95-29991 CIP British Library Cataloging-in-Publication data available Page v Contents Preface vii Chapter One The Mohican Myth and the American Dream 3 Chapter Two Cooper's Book 16 Chapter Three Becoming a Classic 34 Chapter Four Movie Mohicans, 1909-1936 56 Chapter Five Movie Mohicans, 1947-1992 93 Chapter Six The Television and Cartoon Versions 21 Chapter Seven Comic Books: The Hidden Tradition 146 Chapter Eight In the Matter of the Mohicans 181 Appendix: Mohican-ography 205 Notes 213 Bibliography 237 Index 245 Page vii Preface It's a betting certainty that most people who pick up this book will know of, or are even fans of, Michael Mann's splendid 1992 movie The Last of the Mohicans.

Each of these themes has a direct, symbiotic relationship with the Mohicans story. For while Mohicans was part of the construction of the American myth, it also played a part in molding symbolic representations of native Americans and preparing the way for their maltreatment. What exactly is the American Dream? It is one of those amorphous concepts that is extremely difficult to pin down. It is certainly pervasive in American culture: invoked by successive presidents as something worth rallying around and by critics of the country as a concept to be scorned.

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