Many Western outlaw gangs have reached mythological proportions, but the Dalton gang stands above the rest for their daring exploits and because their criminality represented, in the case of Gratton and Bob, lawmen who turned their backs on laws they found to be criminally flawed. Though there are a number of tales of their exploits, this is a rare first-hand account of a Western outlaw.First published in 1918, Beyond the Law details the time when sheriffs were paid for each man they hanged, when law enforcement rode under the banner of "Smith & Wesson" rather than "To Serve and Protect," and when outlaws ruled the rails.
|Publisher:||Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I obtained this book because I am related to the Dalton Gang, and have always found their story interesting - but one can't believe what many have written about their escapades, other than possibly the Nancy B. Samuelson book "The Dalton Gang Story". "Beyond the Law" was written in 1918 by Emmett Dalton, the only survivor of their attempted bank robberty. With all the other data I have reviewed, I believe this book tells their story most accurately, and points out the conflicts with what they really did and what they were accused of doing. One might say they became outlaws on the basis that if they were to be accused of crimes they did not commit and their names on wanted posters, then one might as well go ahead and commit crimes anyway since the legal system had already reviewed evidence of innocence, and evenually found a court to convict Grattan anyway. This book is, in my opinion and that of others, much more accurate than Emmett's second book in 1931, "When the Dalton's Rode", which was later made into a movie by the same name. That is a much more comprehensive story, but one must consider the circumstances under which it was written. Emmett had been pardoned by the governor, and needing work he found persons would pay to hear him speak about the gang, purchase souveniers and photos, etc. The seems to have produced a book that was designed to sell books, not accurately reflect his story. Even his romance leading to marriage seems to have been greatly expanded to make it more appealing. This second book is no longer available except in the used and antique/collectable market - though the movie is readily available. This book is great for lovers of history, the old west, early railroads, law enforcement (they were marshall's for quite some time) and the impact of shady politics, government, and news reporting. After reading the book a website visit is also in order which evaluates a lot of the history of the Dalton Gang, and is very informative. It can be found at www.kayempea.net/.