Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride

Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride

by Michael Wallis


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Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride by Michael Wallis

"This might be the best Billy the Kid book to date." —Fritz Thompson, Albuquerque JournalIn this revisionist biography, award-winning historian Michael Wallis re-creates the rich anecdotal saga of Billy the Kid (1859–1881), a young man who became a legend in his time and remains an enigma to this day. In an extraordinary evocation of the legendary Old West, Wallis demonstrates why the Kid has remained one of our most popular folk heroes. Filled with dozens of rare images and period photographs, Billy the Kid separates myth from reality and presents an unforgettable portrait of this brief and violent life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393330632
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/10/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 167,135
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Michael Wallis, the best-selling author of Route 66 and Billy the Kid, has published eighteen books and won numerous honors and awards. He is a popular public speaker and a highly acclaimed voice actor. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Personal Introduction     xiii
Map: Billy the Kid Country     xviii
Prologue: Quien Es?     1
Once upon a Time     5
On the Trail     13
Wichita     19
Brotherhood of the Gun     27
Contagious War     35
Pulp Fiction     41
Silver Threads Among the Gold     51
Land of Little Time     59
One Step over the Line     71
Gone on the Scout     81
Saddle Tramp     91
Kid Antrim     99
First Blood     109
At Large     119
Banditti     127
Seven Rivers     139
Billy Bonney     151
Eye of the Storm     159
Dream Killers     167
The Unfortunate War Spawns the Myth     181
Endless War     193
Firestorm     209
Devil or Angel     219
El Chivato     233
Epilogue: Billy's Never-ending Ride     249
Notes     251
Bibliography     297
Acknowledgments     309
Index     313

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Wallis writes clean prose, occasionally enlivened by a particularly lovely turn of phrase…. [C]ountless books have been written about the infamous outlaw, and this is surely one of the best." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Customer Reviews

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Billy the Kid 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
PurpleCards More than 1 year ago
When Pat Garrett shot and killed Billy the Kid on July 14th 1881 in New Mexico Territory a legend was born. From the corrupt streets of New York to the corrupt towns of the Wild West, Billy the Kid's 21 short years are brought vividly to life by this fascinating biography. So few actual facts are known about him that historians do not even agree about his birthplace or even his real name. Michael Wallis has painstakingly sifted through all the exaggerated stories and outright lies that have surrounded him over the years and through a mixture of anecdotes from people who knew him, reliable sources, historical documents, and his own meticulous research, he has debunked many of the myths of his murderous ways and discovered that "the truth of the young man was neatly covered up through sleight of hand with historical facts by a host of dime novelists, journalists, and hacks.......he was then and forever a mirage." Until his mother's death in 1874 when Billy was only 14, he was a normal mischievous boy. Afterwards he became a young man who had to fend for himself and grow up very quickly by living on his wits and eventually turning to horse stealing and gambling to live. This is not just a history of Billy the Kid, but also a history of the Old West during the late 19th century, of the lawlessness and corruption during his short life, including the infamous Lincoln County War. I particularly enjoyed the photographs dotted around the book, which included many of the characters and places mentioned, and the cover of the book shows the only documented photographic image of him, taken in late 1879 or early 1880. Paulita Maxwell, one of Billy's lady friends, said in later years, "I never liked the picture, I don't think it does Billy justice". The young man's image is forever frozen in time - just like his myth.
MichaeltheNookGuy More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of books on Billy but I really think this one's the best. Very detailed but flows like a novel. Worth the money. - Michael
NimueKR More than 1 year ago
I found this story of Billy the Kid very detailed, informative and interesting. It kept the flow of the historical details and gave more infomration than I've read before on this subject. I would highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author presents the Kid--whose origins remain a mystery--for what he actually was: a skinny, charming young man who learned survival at an early age as a thief, an escape artist, and a killer (though not nearly as prolific a murderer as myth has taught us) and who eventually met his fate during the range wars of New Mexico. A brave, reckless lad who is still a hero ('El Chivato') among some Mexicans. Considering the sparsity of information available, particularly about the Kid's origins, the author delivers a concise yet complete history of one of the West's most notorious outlaws.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The life of Billy the Kid is fascinating and depicted well in this book. My only problem was that the author was a little prone to going off on long winded tangents about seemingly inconsequential things such as the history of nearly every town mentioned including who founded it, when, etc. the book is meticulousy researched almost to a fault and you don't really get to the more interesting aspects of the Kids life until the last 75 pages. so in my opinion it was good for a scholarly read but perhaps not for strict entertainment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In his new book, Billy the Kid, The Endless Ride, Michael Wallis offers a different view of a young man who made his mark primarily around the southern region of New Mexico Territory. Wallis begins with Billy¿s birth in New York City. ¿If, indeed, his birthplace was New York, no records that can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he ever lived there have been uncovered.¿ The Lincoln County War in southern New Mexico Territory brought Billy into prominence. Miguel Antonio Otero, two-term governor of New Mexico Territory, said of Billy, ¿I liked The Kid very much. Nothing would have pleased me more than to have witnessed his escape. He had his share of good qualities and was very pleasant. He had a reputation for being considerate of the old, the young and the poor he was loyal to his friends and above all, loved his mother devotedly.¿ Otero was one of many Hispanics who held Billy in high esteem. Billy respected them, was fluent in their language, and loved their culture, their food and one of their own. The Lincoln County War would put him at odds with political and economic MORE competitors. His participation in the war would cost him his life. He would be shot down by a man who himself had walked the thin line of right and wrong, a man who had a reputation of his own. Billy the Kid, The Endless Ride is well documented and researched. Author Michael Wallis provides much needed background on Billy¿s beginning¿something most writers ignore. In so doing, we learn more about the young man who would become a historic personality. Wallis concludes: ¿No matter how the story is told, Billy the Kid lives on. Whether he is described as El Chivato, champion of the oppressed, or a Satanic psychopath, he remains irrepressible, mysterious, and lethal. ¿His ride across our popular imagination will never end.¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought i would enjoy this book, but it becomes obvious the author injects personal opinion into historical fact. His anti-gun and anti-NRA rant were blatent examples. I read only history. If writers of history want to be taken seriously, state the history researced and found and let the political opinions that are a dead give away as to authors politics go. In other words: Shut up and sing. The Kid's story is probably not within these pages, unfortunately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read on the history of the west as well as the life of Billy the Kid.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Even today Billy the Kid is still famous as the greatest outlaw of the Old West. Many books have been written about him but this one to me goes into more detail of his life and the legend of Billy the Kid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bottom line is Pat Garret killed the wrong man and lied about it to get the reward and fame. This biography is very accurate with the crucial flaw of most Billy the Kid bios, the Kid did not die and his true identity was William Henry Roberts AKA Brushy Bill. This has been proven beyond ashadow of a doubt based on sworn depositions by people that knew thw Kid intimately. A number of very inept historians have kept the myth alive that Pat Garrett killed the Kid. They have done this because they feel threatened because their origianal hypothesis is wrong. The true story of William Henry Roberts puts everything in its proper context. However this biography is only useful in that it dispels the dime novel myths about the Kid.