At the heart of American masculinity lies the cowboy, a loner heartthrob who pulls himself up by his own bootstraps, rides off into the sunset, and don't need no help from nobody. Except he wasn't. Actual historical cowboys were nothing like that. So what were they really like?

Special thanks to Gregory Hinton of the Out West exhibit and the Autry Museum of the American West for help in researching this series.

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