Riders of the Purple Sage: Shaping America

In 2012, the Library of Congress created an exhibit of "Books That Shaped America." Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage was one of the 100 books originally selected for this exhibit.  Zane Grey's West Society offers this presentation as an in-depth look at the most significant magazine serials, print editions, movies and stage presentations of Grey's most famous work.

The following quote by the Library of Congress provides a fitting introduction to this presentation:

Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Grey’s best-known novel, was originally published in 1912. The Western genre had just evolved from the popular dime novels of the late-nineteenth century and was finding an audience particularly interested in reading about Americans in their quest to conquer savagery with civilization. This classic tale is full of action, violence, sentimentalism, romance, and adventure. As in many Westerns, the description of the landscape plays a major role, being sometimes dangerous and menacing, and at others times providing safety for those who encounter it. This story of a gun-slinging avenger who saves a beautiful young woman from marrying against her will played a significant role in shaping the formula of the popular Western genre begun by Owen Wister in The Virginian (1904)."