Western Folklore

Vol. 76 No. 3 – Summer, 2017


“The American People Rose to the Occasion”: A Proverbial Retrospective of the Marshall Plan After Seventy Years
Wolfgang Mieder
ABSTRACT: The American soldier-statesman George C. Marshall (1880-1959) played a major role as United States Army Chief of Staff during World War II and as United States Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949. He was a major player in rebuilding the economies of Western Europe on democratic principles by envisioning, planning, and executing the European Recovery Program that became known as the Marshall Plan and that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. In his numerous addresses, speeches, and testimonies for this sociopolitical program he also stressed the necessity of humanitarian aid in the form of food, clothes, and other necessities to return life to normal in sixteen war-torn countries. While his rhetoric was for the most part straight-forward and to the point, he also employed such proverbs as “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” “Practice what you preach,” and “Man does not live by bread alone” to add metaphorical expressiveness to his deliberations. Proverbial expressions like “To sell the same horse twice,” “to throw down the gauntlet,” “to tighten one’s belt,” and “to hang in the balance” played their part in making Marshall’s rhetoric more effective by supplying some colloquial color. While there is no plethora of proverbial language, George Marshall clearly helped his important cause by relying on at least some traditional folk speech and its emotional cadence. KEYWORDS: American, economics, European Recovery Program, humanitarian, George C. Marshall, Marshall Plan, politics, proverbs, rhetoric.

Monk, Greeley, Ward, and Twain: The Folkloresque of a Western Legend
Ronald M. James

ABSTRACT: In 1859, New York journalist Horace Greeley hurried across the Sierra and consequently inspired a popular legend. The narrative celebrated western abilities above eastern arrogance. Artemus Ward, a famous comic writer, published a version of the story, which was eventually read in Congress. Mark Twain took it to another level, adapting the legend for stage and print and providing an early example of what Michael Dylan Foster and Jeffrey Tolbert recently described as “folkloresque.” KEYWORDS: Mark Twain, Horace Greeley, American West, Folkloresque, .Artemus Ward

Ethnic Neo-Pagan Altars and Ancestors in Texas: An Ethnoreligious Strategy to Reconfigure European Ancestry and Whiteness
Brett H. Furth

ABSTRACT: This paper presents ethnographic examples of religious home décor and attendant personal narratives described by primarily working and middle-class white Neo-Pagans in Texas who practice and identify with traditions with European ethnic foci. This data is analyzed to identify how such symbols and beliefs are used by adherents to reconfigure, re-mark, and revalorize European identities and ancestors in ways that re-anchor their identities in response to the unmooring impacts of globalization, while attempting to mitigate charges of white racism. KEYWORDS: whiteness, ethnicity, globalization, Neo-Paganism, altars

Review Essay

Dorothy Noyes, Humble Theory: Folklore's Grasp on Social Life.
Reviewed by Elliott Oring


Lotte Tarkka, Songs of the Border People. Genre, Reflexivity, and Performance in Karelian Oral Poetry.
Reviewed by Jonathan Roper

Robert M. Laughlin, Mayan Tales from Chiapas, Mexico.
Reviewed by Janferie Stone

Trevor J. Blank and Andrea Kitta, Diagnosing Folklore: Perspectives on Disability, Health, and Trauma.
Reviewed by Essaka Joshua

Henry Glassie, Clifford R. Murphy, and Douglas Dowling Peach, Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line.
Reviewed by Gregory Hansen

Michael Dylan Foster and Lisa Gilman, UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspective on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Reviewed by Cedarbough T. Saeji

Lucy Long, Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Volumes I and II.
Reviewed by Kristin M. McAndrews

Katherine Jean Adams, Comfort and Glory: Two Centuries of American Quilts from the Briscoe Center.
Reviewed by James I. Deutsch

Al Ridenour, The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil
Reviewed by Cory Thomas Hutcheson