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Hell's Half Acre: The Life and Legend of a Red-Light District [NOOK Book]

Overview

Texas is a place where legends are made, die, and are revived. Fort Worth, Texas, claims its own legend - Hell's Half Acre - a wild 'n' woolly accumulation of bordellos, cribs, dance houses, and gambling parlors.

Tenderloin districts were a fact of life in every major town in the American West, but Hell's Half Acre - its myth and its reality - can be said to be a microcosm of them all. The most famous and infamous westerners visited the Acre:...
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Hell's Half Acre: The Life and Legend of a Red-Light District

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Overview

Texas is a place where legends are made, die, and are revived. Fort Worth, Texas, claims its own legend - Hell's Half Acre - a wild 'n' woolly accumulation of bordellos, cribs, dance houses, and gambling parlors.

Tenderloin districts were a fact of life in every major town in the American West, but Hell's Half Acre - its myth and its reality - can be said to be a microcosm of them all. The most famous and infamous westerners visited the Acre: Timothy ("Longhair Jim") Courtright, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Sam Bass, Mary Porter, Etta Place, along with Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and many more. For civic leaders and reformers, the Acre presented a dilemma - the very establishments they sought to close down or regulate were major contributors to the local economy.

Controversial in its heyday and receiving new attention by such movies as Lonesome Dove, Hell's Half Acre remains the subject of debate among historians and researchers today. Richard Selcer successfully separates fact from fiction, myth from reality, in this vibrant study of the men and women of Cowtown's notorious Acre.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The red-light district of Fort Worth, Texas began its colorful history with the cattle drives of the 1870s and lingered on through World War I. The ``Acre,'' according to this entertaining account, supported a variety of vices, notably drinking, gambling, and prostitution. It also played host to the Wild Bunch, Sam Bass, and other colorful characters. This lively and readable work suffers from a repetitive text and some minor factual errors. For example, ``Squirrel-tooth Alice,'' a well-known bawd, acquired her moniker on account of her pet, not her appearance. Due to a paucity of local sources, the author relies on ``scholarly imagination'' and accounts of other tenderloins. The bibliography includes many major secondary works, although Anne Butler's excellent Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery ( LJ 3/1/85) is unaccountably absent. Selcer's books would appeal to general and informed readers.-- Daniel Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ.
Booknews
On the growth, prosperity and decline of district on which the Tarrant County Convention Center now permits a slightly different variety of hustle. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

". . . [H]ere, entertaining and enlightening in equal measure, is Selcer's Hell's Half Acre, vivid history focused on Fort Worth's notorious red-light district in its late-19th century flourishing. . . . It's a humdinger. The author deserves every commendation."
-- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875655116
  • Publisher: TCU Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Series: Chisholm Trail Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 364
  • File size: 8 MB

Meet the Author

Editor and compiler Richard Selcer is a long-time adjunct professor of history at Cedar Valley College in Dallas, Texas, and at the International University in Vienna, Austria. He lives in Fort Worth and has written many books on Western and Civil War history.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    reality in the west

    a great read that helps to dispel some myths about the old west. I'm from fort worth, and found this read informative.tales of the 'soiled doves', 'hole in the wall gang', and early law in texas is an eye opener.recommended for student's and layman historian.

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