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A fascinating exploration of the relationship between John Ford and John Wayne, the two men who together cemented the importance of the Western.

In 1939, John Ford cast John Wayne in Stagecoach and made him a star, and for the next twenty-plus years, the two men were a blockbuster Hollywood team, turning out many of the finest Westerns ever made. But by 1960, the bond of their friendship had frayed, and Wayne felt he could move beyond his mentor with his first solo project. Few of Wayne’s later films would have the brilliance or the cachet of a John Ford Western, but, taken collectively, the careers of these two men changed movie making in ways that endure to this day. The cultural legacy of the Western, particularly the type of hero codified by Ford and Wayne—tough, self-reliant, and unafraid to fight, but also honorable, trustworthy, and kind—resonates throughout film history, right up to today’s superhero franchises. Drawing on previously untapped caches of letters and personal documents, Nancy Schoenberger dramatically narrates a complicated, poignant, and iconic friendship, and in so doing explores the lasting legacy of Ford and Wayne on American culture.

About the Author

NANCY SCHOENBERGER is a professor of English and director of creative writing at the College of William & Mary. She is the author of Dangerous Muse: The Life of Lady Caroline Blackwood, and co-author, with her husband, Sam Kashner, of books on Oscar Levant; George Reeves; and the love affair, marriages, and working relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Also the author of three award-winning books of poetry, Schoenberger divides her time between Williamsburg, Virginia, and New York City.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts

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