The Western frontier—the source of many of America’s own myths, and the setting of choice for countless storytellers (some better than others). In Godless, a Netflix original released at the end of 2017, creator Scott Frank manages to tell a classic Western frontier tale while also showing some sparks of originality.
The most striking element of the show is the town of La Belle, New Mexico, inhabited almost exclusively by women after a disastrous mining accident kills most of the men in the town; many of the most compelling characters in this Western are these women. The nearby town of Blackdom, founded by black Civil War veterans, provides a window into the history of black soldiers and communities on the frontier. That history is explored further in some books on Eisenhower’s shelves, listed below.
Overall, Godless satisfies with a classic Western tale of good versus evil, while giving space for the show’s phenomenal actors to provide a fresh take on the well-worn genre.
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Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898 by Frank N. Schubert