Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen and Outlawsby Jay Robert Nash
With over 1000 entries and 400 illustrations, this volume is the most fact-packed history of the West ever assembled. Crime historian extraordinaire Jay Robert Nash has left no stone unturned in his search for the gunmen, train robbers, gangs, desperadoes, range warriors, gamblers, and lawmen that roamed the frontier. Contrary to popular myth, the Wild West was not a… See more details below
With over 1000 entries and 400 illustrations, this volume is the most fact-packed history of the West ever assembled. Crime historian extraordinaire Jay Robert Nash has left no stone unturned in his search for the gunmen, train robbers, gangs, desperadoes, range warriors, gamblers, and lawmen that roamed the frontier. Contrary to popular myth, the Wild West was not a glamorous land where chivalry and courage were the custom and a man died with his boots on. It was a land of incredible hardships-brutal weather, hunger and disease, and the constant threat of violent death. Everyone carried a six-shooter, neutrality was impossible, and violence unavoidable; lawmen and outlaws lived side by side, and often there was no telling one from the other. Into this land came pioneers lured by promises of great fortunes, ex-Confederate soldiers embittered by the outcome of the war, greedy cattle barons, and merchant princes. It was truly an explosive mixture. Included in this volume are all the great Western legends-Billy the Kid, Jesse and Frank James, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Judge Roy Bean, "Wild Bill" Hickock-and a host of lesser-known figures who, though they may have missed notoriety, were equally lethal. And while the West was very much a man's world, several women managed to shoot, steal, or gamble their way to fame-including Belle Starr, Pearl Hart, and Calamity Jane. A compelling read, Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws will be the standard reference for years to come. In addition to alphabetical listings, it offers a glossary of lawmen and a glossary of outlaws, a magnificent photo and illustration appendix, and an extensive bibliography of books on the American West.
- Da Capo Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st Da Capo Press ed
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- Product dimensions:
- 8.16(w) x 11.07(h) x 1.25(d)
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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.