Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez [NOOK Book]

Overview

Tiburcio Vasquez is, next to Joaquin Murrieta, America's most infamous Hispanic bandit. After he was hanged as a murderer in 1875, the Chicago Tribune called him "the most noted desperado of modern times." Yet questions about him still linger. Why did he become a bandido? Why did so many Hispanics protect him and his band? Was he a common thief and heartless killer who got what he deserved, or was he a Mexican American Robin Hood who suffered at the hands of a racist government? In this engrossing biography, John...

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Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez

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Overview

Tiburcio Vasquez is, next to Joaquin Murrieta, America's most infamous Hispanic bandit. After he was hanged as a murderer in 1875, the Chicago Tribune called him "the most noted desperado of modern times." Yet questions about him still linger. Why did he become a bandido? Why did so many Hispanics protect him and his band? Was he a common thief and heartless killer who got what he deserved, or was he a Mexican American Robin Hood who suffered at the hands of a racist government? In this engrossing biography, John Boessenecker provides definitive answers.

Bandido pulls back the curtain on a life story shrouded in myth — a myth created by Vasquez himself and abetted by writers who saw a tale ripe for embellishment. Boessenecker traces his subject's life from his childhood in the seaside adobe village of Monterey, to his years as a young outlaw engaged in horse rustling and robbery. Two terms in San Quentin failed to tame Vasquez, and he instigated four bloody prison breaks that left twenty convicts dead. After his final release from prison, he led bandit raids throughout Central and Southern California. His dalliances with women were legion, and the last one led to his capture in the Hollywood Hills and his death on the gallows at the age of thirty-nine.

From dusty court records, forgotten memoirs, and moldering newspaper archives, Boessenecker draws a story of violence, banditry, and retribution on the early California frontier that is as accurate as it is colorful. Enhanced by numerous photographs — many published here for the first time — Bandido also addresses important issues of racism and social justice that remain relevant to this day.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A colorful new biography." Los Angeles Times.

"Boessenecker is . . . the country’s leading authority on Vasquez, and his new book, Bandido, tells the story. . . . Vasquez was as famous as Jesse James in his day." San Francisco Chronicle.

"Over the past two decades, John Boessenecker has been a top writer/researcher in the California outlaw and lawman field. Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez is a tour de force and probably his best to date. Bandido is a comprehensive biography of the legendary outlaw that strips away the myths surrounding Vasquez. With this book, Boessenecker has reaffirmed his place as one of the Best of the West." True West Magazine.

"Bandido is a painstakingly researched story illuminating Vasquez’s nefarious exploits and reputation as a folk hero. Boessenecker surrounds the details of Vasquez’s activities with fascinating accounts of life in the mid-1800s for Spanish-speaking Californios." Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

"Reading John Boessenecker’s new book about the notorious 19th-century California bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, I felt . . . I was there and saw the whole thing."—Joe Rodriguez, San Jose Mercury-News.

"Every day we see parks, buildings and freeway bridges that have been named in honor of some upstanding citizen. Tiburcio Vasquez currently has a series of health care centers named for him in the East Bay, along with a county park and a high school in southern California. . . . How can this be? The answers are in Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez, a book by San Francisco attorney and historian John Boessenecker." KALW News.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806183183
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 12/3/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 463,718
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

A San Francisco attorney, John Boessenecker has authored six books and numerous magazine articles on crime and law enforcement in the Old West.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Exciting Life of a legendary California Outlaw

    In Bandido John Boessencker brings to life the turbulent career of Tiburcio Vasquez who was the second most famous Mexican outlaw in US history after Joaquin Murrieta.

    Vasquez began his career in Monterey ,California which was one of the most violent towns in California in the 1870's. There were gunfights, lynchings and outlaws riding through the town and it was here that Vasquez grew up.

    He started his career by riding with legendary outlaws such as Juan Soto and eventually organized a gang of his own which varied as to who was available for a specific raid. His career finally came to an end when he raided the town of Tres Pinos near Hollister in San Benito County, Ca.

    Vasquez was pursued by such famous lawmen as Harry Morse, sheriff of Alameda County and other noted lawmen. He was eventually captured in Los Angeles and hanged at San Jose in 1875. He is buried in the Mission Santa Clara cemetary.

    Tiburcia Vasquez was a talented man who could read, write poetry and was an excellent dancer. He was a charming ladies man and fathered illegitimate children with many women including his own niece and had an affair with the wife of one of his gang members.

    Boessenecker shows that Vasquez was not a social bandit but a typical displaced Californio who wanted vengeance against the Americans who had dispossed the Californios of their land.

    Bandido is an exciting read and well researched. It reads like a novel and once started is difficult to put down. It is a must read if you want to learn about the turbulent history of early California and the social racial problems btween anglo and latino communities which exist today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Very informative, alot of research has been done. I have enjoyed the book very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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