Archives On The Air 193: "Shane! Shane! Come Back!"—Jack Schaefer Papers

Jun 11, 2020

A 1949 western novel features a mysterious gunslinger named Shane who rides into the lives of a Wyoming homestead family of the late 1880s.

Although Shane tries to hang up his guns, he finds himself defending the Starrett family in their struggle to keep from being forced off their land by a powerful open-range rancher.

The story is loosely based on the Johnson County War that took place between ranchers, a band of hired killers, a sheriff's posse, and eventually the U.S. Cavalry in 1892.

Although the novel's author Jack Shaefer had never been further west than his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, his book, and the 1953 film Paramount Pictures made from it, created an iconic statement of the Western myth.

Learn more in the Jack Schaefer papers at UW's American Heritage Center.