North America,and in particular the United States, has fascinated Europeans as the place of the "exotic other " for at least the last two centuries. This article surveys American and European art, novels,radio programs, Western films, and television Westerns from the 1820s to the present. It posits that the presence of Indians, fictional Western heroes,gunmen,and a perceived general level of violence made frontier and Western America more colorful and exciting than similar circumstances and native people in other parts of the world. This resulted in a continuing interest in the fictional aspect of the American frontier and Western historical experiences.

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