Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World's Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West


Product Details

$16.99  $15.80
Mariner Books
Publish Date
5.2 X 7.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

JULIAN SMITH received a Banff Mountain Book Award and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure. The coauthor of Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America's Most Select Airborne Firefighters, he has written for Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, Wired, Outside, and the Washington Post, among other publications. Julian lives in Portland, Oregon.

DAVID WOLMAN is a Contributing Editor at Outside. He has written for the Wired, the New York Times, New Yorker, Nature, and many other publications, and his work has been anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. He is the author of The End of Money, Righting the Mother Tongue, and A Left-Hand Turn Around the World. David lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family.


"This inspiring and impeccably crafted story of against-all-odds triumph is one that movie-makers surely will yearn to produce, seeing in Wolman and Smith's elegantly told Aloha Rodeo a new Chariots of Fire, with Cheyenne's Frontier Days standing in for the Paris Olympics, the islands of Hawaii for the British Isles, and, at center stage, three brave cowboys, no hats and all cattle. I loved this book, truly."--SIMON WINCHESTER, author of Pacific, The Men Who United the States, and The Professor and the Madman
"David Wolman and Julian Smith's masterful Aloha Rodeo is like uncovering a beautiful fresco you never knew was there, each turned page revealing another vivid and colorful piece of a true American West story that had lain long buried until now."--SALLY JENKINS, award-winning Washington Post sports columnist and author of The Real All-Americans
"Engaging, thorough prose. ... The narratives are so wild that they often read like fiction. ... If your perception of cowboy culture has largely been shaped by Louis L'Amour, Lonesome Dove and John Wayne, hold onto your hats. Aloha Rodeo blows open a canyon of inclusionary cowboy history as wide as the Rio Grande."--BookPage, STARRED Review
"Aloha Rodeo accomplishes the bronco-busting trick of combining thorough research with a fast-paced narrative. Who knew that three young men from Hawaii would transform the sport of rodeo, bring pride to their homeland, and be at the center of such a riveting story."--TOM CLAVIN, author of Wild Bill
"Breaks new ground in the history of the American cowboy. ... [Wolman and Smith] expertly weave a complex story. ... A must-read."--True West
"A perfect summer read. ... A thrilling and... utterly satisfactory story."--Honolulu Magazine
"Fascinating. ... [One] of the modern greats. ... A truly entertaining, educational, and satisfying tale, told with verve and gusto."--Aspen Daily News
"The 4,000-mile journey of Waimea cowboy Ikua Purdy and his two cousins to the annual Frontier Days rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is recounted in a well-researched tale that blends the colorful past of both America's Wild West and the lesser-known paniolo culture of the Hawaiian Islands. Filled with the excitement, adventure, and dangers of bronco busting and steer roping, Wolman and Smith's Aloha Rodeo is an inspiring and fast-paced read of an unexpected hero who reigned in a victory for his island nation from the clutches of a sport long dominated by Anglos."--STEPHEN L. MOORE, author of Texas Rising
"A sweeping epic. ... A triumphant underdog tale. ... Through a combination of thorough research and literary prowess, [Wolman and Smith] manage to turn an obscure footnote into a gripping narrative."--Willamette Week
"Dramatic. ... Aloha Rodeo is more than a cowboy epic. It is a history of the Wild West extended far beyond the coast of California."--Stanford Magazine
"Immersive. ... This thoughtful look at Hawaii's place in the Wild West will appeal to readers interested in underexplored elements of American history."--Publishers Weekly
"Wolman and Smith tell these fascinating stories in riveting, easy-to-read style."--Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"Packs a lot of history but reads like a Western. ... I would highly recomment this book to anyone interested in the history of Hawaii, the West, or the rodeo."--Manhattan Book Review
"Tells [an] almost unbelievable tale. ... Carefully construct[ed]."--National Tombstone Epitaph
"Aloha Rodeo is as revelatory as it is satisfying. ... Fascinating. ... A fitting tribute to [the paniolo] legend."--Middlebury Magazine
"As revelatory as it is satisfying. The book's propelling narrative centers on the story of three Hawaiian cowboys who stunned the chauvinist throng at the famed Cheyenne Frontier Days. ... Aloha Rodeo is a fitting tribute to their legend. ... Fascinating. ... Engrossing."--Washington Independent Review of Books
“Thrilling. ... Gripping. ... Aloha Rodeo shines.”
“A vivid account.”--LARRY McMURTRY, author of Lonesome Dove
“An inherently fascinating, deftly crafted history, impressively informative, exceptionally well organized and presented.”--Midwest Book Review
"[A] fine book. ... A rollicking tale that spans two centuries. ... Riveting."--American History