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Article was republished from Foreign Affairs Web Snapshot for 6 months, with permission from the author. To read the full text, please consult the print edition or contact Diane Westerfield,

Deadwood as History:

What the Show Got Right About the Old West -- and What It Missed

Anne Hyde

Foreign Affairs. August 15, 2012



All Westerns are stories of people attempting to impose order on a chaotic, lawless, and savage environment. Deadwood, the HBO series that aired from 2004 until 2006, derived tremendous narrative power by exploring the moral quandaries that arise in such circumstances. In the show, otherwise good people lie, commit sabotage, sell drugs (and their bodies), and kill -- just as they did during the 1870s in the real Deadwood, the mining town in present-day South Dakota from which the series took its name ...

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