The Bandit Kings: From Jesse James to Pretty Boy Floyd

Overview

A highly entertaining, illustrated look at the bad guys who robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches—and who sometimes became American folk heroes—from the days of gangs on horseback roving and wielding Colts and Winchesters to the era of the clutch-popping Tommy-gunners. 120 black-and-white photographs.

A highly entertaining, illustrated look at the bad guys who robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches--and who sometimes became American folk heroes--from the days of ...

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Overview

A highly entertaining, illustrated look at the bad guys who robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches—and who sometimes became American folk heroes—from the days of gangs on horseback roving and wielding Colts and Winchesters to the era of the clutch-popping Tommy-gunners. 120 black-and-white photographs.

A highly entertaining, illustrated look at the bad guys who robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches--and who sometimes became American folk heroes--from the days of gangs on horseback roving and wielding Colts and Winchesters to the era of the clutch-popping Tommy-gunners. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bruns (Knights of the Road) has written a history of eminent American bad guys from 1850 to 1940. An official of the National Archives, he not only covers the lives of the best-known bandits but also writes of the legend makers able ``to turn their lives of crime and butchery into heroism.'' He begins with William Quantrill, who converted the Kansas-Missouri border area into a slaughterhouse before the Civil War, and goes on to treat Jesse and Frank James, the Younger and Dalton brothers, Sam Bass, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, John Dillinger and Ma Barker's gang. He shows how each outlaw tried to represent himself as a reincarnation of Robin Hood. Bruns also analyzes the reasons why Americans all but worshiped the bandit hero, seeing qualities of daring, courage, honor, resolve, kindness to travelers and chivalry toward women, not all of which are borne out by the facts. Illustrated. (July)
Denise Perry Donavin
Blending lyrics, legend, and history, Bruns opens his book on American highwaymen and early gangsters with Bill Quantrill, whose Civil War bushwhackery schooled Frank and Jesse James in the audacity and killing skills that marked their postwar criminal pursuits. Bruns does not adulate, nor does he condemn, the bandit kings, even while he discusses the hero worship many of these killers evoked. The approach is more one of "just the facts" with legends and lore supplied that impart historical perspective. Colorful period photographs enliven the verbal portraits of the Grey Fox (Bill Miner), Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and several lesser knowns.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517591536
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/4/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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