Sum of Our Past
Revisiting Pioneer Women
by Judy Busk
Hardback / 248 pages / 1-56085-184-8/ $32.95
There are two stereotypes of pioneer women: the silently suffering, “submissive but sturdy” woman in “sunbonnet, baby at breast, rifle at the ready, dedicated to restoring civilization as rapidly as possible” and women like the Calamity Jane who “drank, smoked, and cursed and was handy with a poker deck, a six-gun, and a horse.” These images are reinforced in art, literature, films, and inspirational literature. It begs the question of who these women really were. In 1993, Judy Busk decided to find out. …
Judy Busk (M.A., Brigham Young University) has been a popular columnist for the Southern Utah Daily Spectrum and a distinguished English and journalism teacher in Richfield, Utah—the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities/Reader’s Digest Teacher Scholar Award. She created and oversaw the successful Sevier County Oral History Project (excerpts available on the Columbia University New Deal Network website) with grants from the Utah Humanities Council and Utah State Historical Society. Earlier, she was an exchange student to the Soviet Union, and she and her family have lived in Germany and Japan. More recently, she has enjoyed her status as a “mature” graduate student and responsibilities to other women in her community as an LDS Relief Society president. She also serves on the Utah Humanities Council board of directors.