March 06, 1978 12:00 PM

by Jane Kramer

The author went to Texas “to look at America again, and it had seemed to me then that a cowboy’s camp might be the proper place to start.” Kramer has named her last cowboy Henry Blanton, though that isn’t his real name. So what she has written is patronizing fiction disguised as journalism with a lot of flashbacks (“Grass [grazing land] was cheap when Henry’s Granddaddy, Abel, passed through the Panhandle”) and useless statistics (“Last year Americans ate 27 billion pounds of beef”). Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show, Leaving Cheyenne) tells the same story far more accurately in his novels. (Harper & Row, $8.95)

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