American Original: A Life of Will Rogers by Ray Robinson

By Ray Robinson

Hailed by means of The manhattan Times as "America's Aristophanes," Will Rogers was once one among this century's so much astute and liked humorists. If as he usually remarked, he by no means met a guy he did not like, it's also real that Rogers by no means met a guy he did not prefer to make enjoyable of. every body from congressmen and Presidents to Hollywood motion picture moguls and filthy rich industrialists bore the brunt of his lightly lacerating wit--and appeared, generally, to be charmed within the method. So renowned did Rogers become--through dozens of flicks, an everyday column that ran for 9 years in newspapers around the kingdom, and numerous lectures and level performances--that he used to be usually recommended to run for Congress or even the Presidency. Upon receiving a ridicule appointment as Congressman-at-Large for the full usa, Rogers protested, "I remorse the shame that is been thrust upon me the following this night. i have attempted to stay my entire existence in order that i might by no means turn into a congressman."
In American Original, Ray Robinson chronicles the trajectory of Will Rogers' extraordinary existence. Written with attractive immediacy and full of a wealth of pleasant anecdotes, this energetic portrait follows Rogers from his adolescence within the Indian Territory of what's now Oklahoma, to his first spellbinding lariat performances within the Wild West exhibits (where he might frequently lasso sought after viewers contributors and drag them on stage), to his stardom in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies, to his early silent video clips and the later "talkies," and eventually to his brilliant effect as a "cowboy thinker" columnist learn by way of over forty million american citizens. excess of different biographers, Robinson excels at conveying Rogers' influence as a political commentator ("I belong to no geared up political celebration. i'm a Democrat.") and his nice luck as an actor in Hollywood, the place he used to be the prime famous person of Fox motion pictures. And alongside the way in which, Robinson paints a colourful portrait of 1 of America's so much colourful eras. We stick to the early evolution of recent leisure, take pleasure in shiny snapshots of W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Florenz Ziegfeld, Eddie Cantor, Samuel Goldwyn, Shirley Temple, and John Ford, and, might be most crucial, witness the main political occasions of the period via Will Rogers' uniquely perceptive eyes.
American Original succeeds so much appealingly in bringing Will Rogers earlier than us with the entire spontaneity, intimacy, and honesty of a concert. In it we're given entrance row seats to the lifetime of a personality unabashedly American and unforgettably unique.

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Additional resources for American Original: A Life of Will Rogers

Example text

A Negro boy was sent to fetch Clem, who was on a business trip some sixty miles away. 26 * AMERICAN ORIGINAL Clem at once sped to Mary's side, driving his team of horses from sundown to sunup, with a lantern tied to the tongue of his buggy. The family doctor, A. L. Lane, arrived to find Mary practically pulseless. He indicated that there was little anyone could do, although Clem kept wagons continually on the move, bringing ice to the ranch from nearby Coffeyville. Finally, on the morning of May 28, 1890, Mary died, at fifty-one, leaving her son Will with nothing but pleasant memories of her.

What was most remarkable about Will's letter, aside from the obvious pain being suffered by a sixteen-year-old boy, was his failure to use proper grammar and punctuation. On this he never changed; it became his trademark as a writer and columnist (incorrect spelling also marked his letters). Will's trouble with girls was perhaps the least of his difficulties at Scarritt. His obsession with ropes and roping got him into continual trouble with the authorities. Every moment of his time was spent practicing with ropes, and he constantly came up with new targets to lasso and harass.

Sometimes the horses would jump in with them and the shouting children would grab onto their tails. Afterward there were always jackrabbits and prairie dogs to chase after, and they had little jokes they would play on each other and on their dogs, such as cutting off too much hair or painting spots on the creatures. The riding, roping, frolicking, and unvarying blue skies provided Will with sweet memories of his youth—though he claimed he never remembered much about it at all—but there were other memories not as sweet: Malaria could result from mosquito-bites sustained in the Verdigris, and at times Will would shake like a wet dog from the chills.

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