Out of the Northwoods

“The last and best work on Bunyan!”        – Prof. James P. Leary, University of Wisconsin

Bunyan - frontOut of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan. (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2009). Winner of the Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society

This book explains how the famous tales about Bunyan escaped the forest to become America’s best-known folk hero between 1885 and 1960. It’s a saga of lies, hoaxes, thefts, and greed that transformed the private jokes of working-class loggers into mass-market picture books for toddlers. Part bibliographic mystery and part social history, Out of the Northwoods explains for the first time why we all know and love Paul Bunyan. An appendix includes more than 100 original tales about Bunyan, his camps, his crew, and his adventures collected directly from loggers early in the 20th century.

Publisher’s Page
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“…an important contribution to the study of folklore and, at the same time, something new and fun for the Bunyan fan in all of us.” – Prof. Kurt Kortenhof, Saint Paul College.

Bunyan - back