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Outlaws and Lawmen of the Wild West

Travel back to the tumultuous glory days of the Wild West.

by Turner, Erin H.

Description: Turner offers 36 stories of the worst of the bad guys who robbed and murdered their way across America’s Wild West. From legends Frank and Jesse James and Billy the Kid to lesser known robbers and murderers Bud Stevens and Jack Slade, the short stories describe just how bad these lawless men were and how they came to adopt the criminal life.

by Wallis, Michael.

Description: Award-winning historian Michael Wallis has spent several years re-creating the rich, anecdotal saga of Billy the Kid (1859–1881), a deeply mythologized young man who became a legend in his own time and yet remains an enigma to this day. With the Gilded Age in full swing and the Industrial Revolution reshaping the American landscape, the Kid, who was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett in the New Mexico Territory at the age of twenty-one, became a new breed of celebrity outlaw. He arose amid the mystery and myth of the swiftly vanishing frontier and, sensationalized beyond recognition by the tabloids and dime-store romances of the day, emerged as one of the most enduring icons of the American West-not to mention one of Hollywood’s most misrepresented characters. This new biography, filled with dozens of rare images and period photographs, separates myth from reality and presents an unforgettable portrait of this brief and violent life.

by Patterson, Richard M.

Description: Separating mythology from actual events in the life of Butch Cassidy has been made extremely difficult by the many stories told about him by family members, acquaintances, and writers after his presumed death in a Bolivian village. In an exhaustive search of reminiscences, newspapers, and books, Richard Patterson has written the definitive biography of the outlaw whose legend is rivaled only by that of Billy the Kid.

by Smith, Robert B.

Description: In October 1892 the notorious Dalton gang concluded their days of outlawry at Coffeyville, Kansas, with a bold attempt to rob two banks at once in broad daylight. The raiders — Bob, Grat, and Emmett Dalton, Bill Powers, and Dick Broadwell — were nothing more than common hoodlums, says author Robert Barr Smith. The real heroes of the day were the townspeople, who spontaneously turned out in haste and in force to dispatch the outlaws in a bloody downtown shoot-out. Smith sorts the truth from the legends and suggests answers to some perplexing questions about the Coffeyville fight — including whether or not there was a sixth man who got away. In addition, Smith recounts the violent aftermath of the fight: the trial and later life of Emmett Dalton, the only outlaw to survive the raid; and the bloody ends of the Dalton gang’s successors, Bill Doolin and Bill Dalton.

by Lee, Wayne C.

Description: Today, Kansas is a peaceful place. Most residents have forgotten that the state was the scene of some of the most violent incidents in Western history. Legends walked the streets of Kansas during those deadly years: Bill Hickock, the Earp brothers and Clay Allison to name a few. Veteran historian Wayne C. Lee presents the stories of more than sixty incidents, illustrated with almost 100 photos.

by DeArment, Robert K.

Description: DeArment, an author of books about law and order in the American West, tells the stories of 12 forgotten gunfighters of the American West who lived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: John Bull, Pat Desmond, Mart Duggan, Milt Yarberry, Dan Tucker, George Goodell, Bill Standifer, Charley Perry, Barney Riggs, Dan Bogan, Dave Kemp, and Jeff Kidder. He leaves out the celebrated gunfighters like Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid in favor of forgotten outlaws and lawmen, their lives, and shootings they were involved with, based on court and prison records, letters, newspaper accounts, books, and other documents.

by Rottenberg, Dan.

Description: In 1859, as the United States careened toward civil war, Washington’s only northern link with America’s richest state, California, was a stagecoach line operating between Missouri and the Pacific. Yet the stage line was plagued by graft, outlaws, and hostile Indians. At this critical moment, the company enlisted a former wagon train captain and Mexican War veteran to clean up its most dangerous division. Over the next three years, Joseph Alfred “Jack” Slade exceeded his employers’ wildest dreams, capturing bandits and horse thieves and driving away gangs; he even shot to death a disruptive employee. He kept the stagecoaches and the U.S. Mail running, and helped launch the Pony Express, all of which kept California in the Union-and without California’s gold, the Union would have failed to finance its cause. Across the Great Plains he became known as “The Law West of Kearny.”

by Roberts, Gary L.

Description: By the time of his death at age 36 in 1887, John Henry “Doc” Holliday was already a Wild West legend: dentist, gunslinger, outcast of a Southern family, “mad, merry scamp with heart of gold and nerves of steel…,” per Tombstone friend/sheriff Wyatt Earp. Drawing on newly discovered primary sources, Roberts (emeritus, history, Abraham Baldwin College, Tifton, Georgia) offers insights into the man, the legend, and the frontier period. The biography includes photos of Holliday, his family, friends, and his first cousin Mattie, a rumored early love who became a nun.

by Reasoner, James.

Description: James Reasoner has been praised for his well-researched and lively, suspenseful novels. Now, he proves that truth can be even more exciting than fiction. Known for his ability to make history come vividly to life, Reasoner strips away the dime novel legends and Hollywood myths to show us how the gunfighters of the Old West really lived, killed, and were killed.

by Svenvold, Mark.

Description: McCurdy was a small-time outlaw who was killed in 1911, following a train robbery. The treatment of his body after death is a bizarre story; it was embalmed and displayed in a variety of carnival settings, used in exploitation films, and finally, following an autopsy, buried in 1976. Svenvold carried out research in archives and historical societies to reconstruct the story, producing a wry and beautifully written piece of Americana.

by Boessenecker, John.

Description: Packed with never-before-told tales of the American frontier, Gold Dust & Gunsmoke sends us galloping through the tumultuous California territory of the mid-nineteenth century, where disputes were settled with six-shooters and the lines of justice were in perpetual flux. Armed with meticulous research, John Boessenecker displays a remarkable knack for finding the perfect details to capture all the color, excitement, and hullabaloo of the Gold Rush. Published in tandem with the 150th anniversary of California’s statehood, these authentic stories of gunfighters, lawmen, vigilantes, and barroom brawlers are an important contribution to the rich lore of the American West.

by O’Meara, Doc.

Description: The romance of the Old West remains strong, even more than a century after the heyday of cowboys and gunfighters. This title explores the romance of that bygone era, focusing on the guns that the legends of the West-good guys and bad guys, real and fictional characters-carried with them. Profiles of more than 50 gunslingers, half from the Old West and half from Hollywood, include a brief biography of each gunfighter, along with the guns they carried. Fascinating stories about the TV and movie celebrities of the 1950s and 1960s detail their guns and the skill-or lack thereof-they displayed. Stunning color photos depict each firearm in glorious detail. These guns range from custom-crafted high-end arms to non-functioning gimmicky props.

by Stiles, T.J.

Description: In this brilliant biography T. J. Stiles offers a new understanding of the legendary outlaw Jesse James. Although he has often been portrayed as a Robin Hood of the old west, in this ground-breaking work Stiles places James within the context of the bloody conflicts of the Civil War to reveal a much more complicated and significant figure.

by Johnson, David.

Description: The stories of the American West, even though recent in time, have acquired as many fanciful legends as King Arthur and his knights. One of the most popular tales is that of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the shootout at Tombstone Arizona. John Ringo is part of that legend. Historian Johnson has updated his 1996 biography of Ringo to include new material. He meticulously sorts through contemporary records and newspaper accounts to sift out the facts from the romantic fiction created by early biographers and later film makers. What he comes up with is as exciting and tragic as any of the fictions.

by Guinn, Jeff.

Description: On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral shaped how future generations came to view the old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a West populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones, and where law enforcement largely consisted of sheriffs and outlaws facing off at high noon on the main streets of dusty, desolate towns where every man packed at least one six-shooter on his hips. It’s colorful stuff but the truth is even better.

by Utley, Robert Marshall.

Description: From The Lone Ranger to Lonesome Dove, the Texas Rangers have been celebrated in fact and fiction for their daring exploits in bringing justice to the Old West. In Lone Star Justice, best-selling author Robert M. Utley captures the first hundred years of Ranger history, in a narrative packed with adventures worthy of Zane Grey or Larry McMurtry.

by Lubet, Steven.

Description: The gunfight at the OK Corral occupies a unique place in American history. Although the event itself lasted less than a minute, it became the basis for countless stories about the Wild West. At the time of the gunfight, however, Wyatt Earp was not universally acclaimed as a hero. Among the people who knew him best in Tombstone, Arizona, many considered him a renegade and murderer. This book tells the nearly unknown story of the prosecution of Wyatt Earp, his brothers, and Doc Holiday following the famous gunfight. To the prosecutors, the Earps and Holiday were wanton killers. According to the defense, the Earps were steadfast heroes—willing to risk their lives on the mean streets of Tombstone for the sake of order.

by New Mexico Writers’ Program.

Description: Part of the Roosevelt administration’s Works Progress Administration, the New Mexico Federal Writers’ Project, launched in August of 1935, employed (mostly Anglo) writers from the state of New Mexico to record narrative accounts of the ranchers, cowboys, sheepherders, outlaws, gamblers, prospectors, cattle rustlers, and other characters of New Mexican history, many based on accounts told by residents of the state to the writers. Part of a series, this volume presents 108 examples of writings focused on outlaws and desperadoes produced by the New Mexico Federal Writer’s Project from its beginnings through its 1939 transformation into the New Mexico Writers’ Program.

by Drago, Harry Sinclair.

Description: Outlaws on Horseback concentrates on the long, unbroken chain of crime that began in the late 1850s with the Missouri-Kansas border warfare and ended in Arkansas in 1921 with the killing of Henry Starr, the last of the authentic desperadoes. Harry Sinclair Drago shows links among the men and women who terrorized the Midwest while he squelches the most outlandish tales about them. The guerrilla warfare led by the evil William Quantrill was training for Frank and Jesse James and Cole and Jim Younger. Drago puts their bloody careers in perspective and tracks down the truth about Belle Starr the Bandit Queen, Cherokee Bill, Rose of the Cimarron, and the gangs, including the Daltons and Doolins, that infested the Oklahoma hills. The action moves from the sacking of Lawrence to the raid on Northfield to the shootout at Coffeyville.

by Turner, Erin H.

Description: From 1920 to 1933, Prohibition was the law of the land, even in the still relatively lawless new Western states. Throughout Washington, Oregon, Montana, Kansas, and elsewhere, bootlegging flourished along with organized crime. Rotgut Rustlers is an unprecedented compilation of true stories about the West’s wild outlaws and wild towns during these years – including tales of couples who emulated Bonnie and Clyde, of secret rendezvous, and of cops on the take.

by Metz, Leon Claire.

Description: With a scholar’s authority and a storyteller’s passion, Leon Metz chronicles the lives of famous gunfighters like Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, and Wild Bill Hickok, as well as lesser known desperadoes who left just as many corpses and whiskey bottles in their wake. Rich in detail, and woven with wit and insight, these fascinating portraits reveal The Shooters as they really lived, fought and died.

by Jacobsen, Joel.

Description: During the 1870s a group of merchants and their allies, known as “The House,” gained control over the economy of Lincoln County, New Mexico. In 1877 this control was challenged by an English entrepreneur, John Tunstall. The House violently resisted the interloper, eventually killing him; Tunstall’s employees and supporters, known as the Regulators, sought to take vengeance on the House by killing those responsible for Tunstall’s death. Among the Regulators was a young man known as Billy the Kid.

by Butts, J. Lee.

Description: As you read these stories of murder, robbery, mayhem, and death, you will feel as though a friend just sat down with you and started telling you a story that pulled you along and kept you interested until the last bad boy bit the dust.

by Cox, Mike.

Description: Austin Statesman journalist Michael Cox explores the origin and rise of the famed Texas Rangers. Starting in 1821 with just a handful of men, the Rangers’ first purpose was to keep settlers safe from the feared and gruesome Karankawa Indians, a cannibalistic tribe that wandered the Texas territory. As the influx of settlers grew, the attacks increased, and it became clear that a larger, better trained force was necessary. Taking readers through the major social and political movements of the Texas territory and into its statehood, Cox shows how the Rangers were a defining force in the stabilization and the creation of Texas. From Stephen Austin in the early days through the Civil War, the first eighty years of the Texas Rangers were nothing less than phenomenal, and the efforts put forth in those days set the foundation for the Texas Rangers who keep Texas safe today.

by Gardner, Mark L.

Description: To Hell on a Fast Horse re-creates the thrilling manhunt for the Wild West’s most iconic outlaw. It is also the first dual biography of the Kid and Garrett, each a larger-than-life figure who would not have become legendary without the other. Drawing on voluminous primary sources and a wealth of published scholarship, Mark Lee Gardner digs beneath the myth to take a fresh look at these two men, their relationship, and their epic ride to immortality.

by Monaghan, Jay.

Description: “The last great folk tale of the last American frontier”—that’s how Jay Monaghan describes the crimson career of Tom Horn, defender of property rights, soldier of fortune, range detective, professional killer. Tom Horn, who had chased after Geronimo and ridden the trains as a Pinkerton operative, was drawn to wherever the action was—ultimately to Wyoming as a hired gun for the cattle barons. Finally he went too far—and paid at the end of a rope in 1903. For years afterward, whenever a man was found murdered on the high plains, people said, “Somebody tom-horned that fellow.”

by Jacobsen, Joel.

Description: During the 1870s a group of merchants and their allies, known as “The House,” gained control over the economy of Lincoln County, New Mexico. In 1877 this control was challenged by an English entrepreneur, John Tunstall. The House violently resisted the interloper, eventually killing him; Tunstall’s employees and supporters, known as the Regulators, sought to take vengeance on the House by killing those responsible for Tunstall’s death. Among the Regulators was a young man known as Billy the Kid.

by Butts, J. Lee.

Description: As you read these stories of murder, robbery, mayhem, and death, you will feel as though a friend just sat down with you and started telling you a story that pulled you along and kept you interested until the last bad boy bit the dust.

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