The Can’t Make This Up History Podcast

Aloha Rodeo with Julian Smith

July 30, 2019
When you think of the cowboy, what comes to mind? The long cattle drives of a Louis L'Amour novel? The shoot out at the O.K. Corral? Denim jeans, spurs, and a Stetson? The Marlboro Man?
 
My guest today shatters our preconceived notions of what a cowboy was and who he could be. Julian Smith is a journalist with a background in ecology who has written for several scientific publications including: Smithsonian, National Geographic, and and Wired Magazine. He joins me today from Oregon via Skype to discuss the book he co-authored with David Wolman, Aloha Rodeo: Three Hawaiian Cowboys, the World's Greatest Rodeo, and a Hidden History of the American West. Julian and I discuss the lengthy history of cattle herding in Hawaii that actually predates the famous cattle drives of the Great Plains, the dangers of cowboy life on a tropical island, how the sport of rodeo was born in America, and the three men who introduced the world to Hawaiian cowboy culture.