Saga of Billy the Kid

Overview

First published in 1926, this entertaining and dramatic biography forever installed outlaw Billy the Kid in the pantheon of mythic heroes from the Old West and is still considered the single most influential portrait of Billy in this century. Saga focuses on the Kid's life and experiences in the bloody war between the Murphy-Dolan and Tunstall-McSween gangs in and around Lincoln, New Mexico, between 1878 and 1881. Burns paints the Kid as a boyish Robin Hood or romantic knight galvanized into a life of crime and ...

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Overview

First published in 1926, this entertaining and dramatic biography forever installed outlaw Billy the Kid in the pantheon of mythic heroes from the Old West and is still considered the single most influential portrait of Billy in this century. Saga focuses on the Kid's life and experiences in the bloody war between the Murphy-Dolan and Tunstall-McSween gangs in and around Lincoln, New Mexico, between 1878 and 1881. Burns paints the Kid as a boyish Robin Hood or romantic knight galvanized into a life of crime and killing by the war's violence and bloodshed. Billy represented the romantic and anarchic Old West that the march of civilization was rapidly displacing. His destroyer was Pat Garrett, the courageous sheriff of Lincoln County. Garrett's shooting of Billy in 1881 hastened the closing of the American frontier. Walter Noble Burns's Saga of Billy the Kid kindled a fascination in Billy the Kid that survives to this day. Richard W. Etulain's foreword discusses the singular importance of Saga in the historical literature on Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345239600
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/12/1974
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author


Walter Noble Burns (1872-1932), was a journalist and historian in Chicago.

Richard Etulain is professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico and the author or editor of more than forty books. Etulain lives in Clackamas, Oregon.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2004

    this book

    this is a great book to give the reader a great understanding of the legendary 'Billy the 'Kid'' of explaining everything from his biography to the reason for his murder rampage to his unknown death including both his first death by an old friend Garret whom shot him, to dieing of old age from the person whom claimed to be 'Billy the 'Kid''.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2001

    This book is great!

    This book is a must for any historian or 'fan' of Billy the Kid. While it is not complety historically factual it gives a great overview of his life and, considering that it was the second book ever written about him Walter Burns really did a bang up job. It is especially interesting because the book was written in the 1920's and Mr. Burns was able to interview some of the people who were involved in the Lincoln County War and who knew Billy the Kid. The only reason that I did not give this book 5 stars was due to the historical embelishments made by the author. I would really recommend this.

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