This history dispels the myth of the white "American" cowboy, following three Hawaiian cowboys who became champions at the 1908 Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, detailing how their careers influenced post-annexation Hawaiian identity, island ranching, and the rodeo culture of Cheyenne.
The old axiom...claims there are only two plots: a person goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town. But in Aloha Rodeo, a slim and swift read, Wolman and Smith juggle both to often thrilling effect ... To be certain, this is hardly an exhaustive text; the history is limited to a few key players and fueled first and foremost by narrative. Those rare scholars looking for a complete history of the cattle trade in Hawaii should probably look elsewhere. But for the rest of us greenhorns, Aloha Rodeo is a gripping primer.
In Aloha Rodeo, David Wolman and Julian Smith answer...questions with...engaging, thorough prose ... The narratives are so wild, in fact, that they often read like fiction ... Aloha Rodeo blows open a canyon of inclusionary cowboy history as wide as the Rio Grande.
David Wolman and Julian Smith have done an excellent job of capturing the excitement and wonder of the early days of Hawaiian cattle culture, documenting the history and tradition, not to mention the cultural upheaval and environmental problems, that developed after the first cattle were swum to the shores of Kealakekua Bay ... They also paint a superb portrait of the wild and woolly culture of the early 20th-century Rocky Mountain West and the new technologies and discoveries that were shaping the western tradition as they came under sway of the modern world ... This is a truly entertaining, educational and satisfying tale, told with verve and gusto.