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Posted May 30, 2000
With more than 1,000 entries and 400 pictures it would be hard to complain about what is left out of this encyclopedia. That's why I couldn't pass it up when I saw it in a bookstore. Also it has an extensive bibliography I have found very useful. Those are the strong points. As I read through the entries, though, I began finding things that didn't jibe with other books I've read. For example, Nash has Belle Starr living with Cole Younger and later robbing a California prospector while Glenn Shirley's book, Belle Starr and Her Times, shows there is no evidence she did either. Nash has Jesse James riding with William Clarke Quantrill when they sacked Lawrence, Kansas while others, such as Edward Leslie in The Devil Knows How to Ride, shows that Jesse wasn't part of that raid. These are only a couple of examples but I've run across a number of others. It has forced me to use this book with historical reservations. That's why I would only recommend this encyclopedia after making the reader aware of its shortcomings.
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