Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyRosa, vice-president of the British-based Westerners' Society, brings a transatlantic perspective to this richly illustrated account of the era of the gunfighter. His opening chapter establishes the violent nature of everyday life on the trans-Mississippi frontier in the decades after the Mexican War. A second chapter on feuds and range wars, usually waged over land or water rights, demonstrates the growing importance of the ``shootist.'' Rosa's discussion of boom towns and cow towns, however, shows a different pattern of development. Shootings were bad for business. Those pistoleers who survived increasingly turned to the law as gavels replaced guns in an urbanizing West. Contemporary photos and paintings of gunfighters, from Wyatt Earp to Billy the Kid, stories of such famous encounters as the O.K. Corral and detailed descriptions of virtually every firearm used in the old West enhance the appeal of the narrative. Generalists and specialists alike will welcome this work in their collections. 40,000 first printing. (Oct.)
Denise Perry DonavinA well-documented picture book of guns, gunslingers, and lawmen sure to delight any western history buff. Rosa delves into the causes of the gun battles and unrest that forged the nickname Wild West. He pores over and corrects the myths and images, both literary and pictorial, that have formed contemporary images of gunfighters. The full-size pictures of guns, courtesy of various museums and private collections, are particularly intriguing, as are the photos of many infamous, and lesser-known, robbers, rustlers, and other bad guys.
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