Louis S. Warren is the W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches environmental history, the history of the American West, California history, and U.S. history. He is the author of The Hunter's Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (1997) and Buffalo Bill's America: William Cody and the Wild West Show (2005) and the editor of a textbook, American Environmental History (2003). He was also a founding coeditor and first editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary quarterly magazine, Boom: A Journal of California, which was honored with a Library Journal best new magazine award in 2011. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the American Historical Association's Albert J. Beveridge Prize, the Caughey Western History Association Prize, the Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award for best nonfiction book. He received a Guggenheim fellowship for his current book project, "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Shaping of Modern America."
Widely remembered as a singularly nostalgic evocation of a vanishing frontier, William F. Cody's show business extravaganza was something much more. The development of its mythic content depended on the contributions of a diverse range of performers including Indians, cowboys, vaqueros, soldiers, and others, as well as a large support staff of cooks, blacksmiths, seamstresses, hostlers, and more, all of whom joined the show's mobile company town (numbering over 1000 in some years) for distinctly modern reasons. Requiring three trains to move cast, support staff, animals, and props, and playing to gigantic crowds on both sides of the Atlantic over the course of three decades (1883 - 1913), Buffalo Bill's Wild West show was a modern spectacle, heralding the rise of popular entertainments by casting a diverse community of western people to play to anxieties about the "polyglot" modern city.