Old Guns & Whispering Ghosts brings to life the history, spirit, character, and contradictions of the Old West...in the process of recounting the dramatic stories of its most legendary firearms. Author Jesse "Wolf" Hardin entices us into the fascinating world of shootists and rovers, defiant American Indians, and backwoods hunters. The dramatic photographs, frontier tintypes, and inspiring text powerfully describe the period of rapid arms development and cultural change occurring between 1866 and 1916, from the close of the Civil War until what he considers to be "the last organized Indian raid"; Pancho Villa's border attack on Columbus...an affair which improbably pitted motorized cavalry and machine guns against galloping horsemen and lever-action Winchesters.
Hardin illuminates both the fatal psychology and shooting techniques of famous and lesser-known gunslingers, then follows with the enchanted world of a barefoot frontier child honing awareness and responsibility in the course of providing dinner with a trusty .22. The history of the shotgun, the weapon of choice for both stage guards and stage robbers, brings to light not only the courage of certain lawmen but also the struggles of the "little guy," battling what they perceived as an unjust system and corporate might. We read about: Teddy Roosevelt and his arms, the Winchester-toting Ben Lilly, those often attractive "hideaways and sneaky guns" coveted by ladies of the night and jaunty gamblers plying their frontier saloon trade, 19th-century exhibition shooters reminding us of Annie Oakley's historical importance, and the vicious Apache. We're brought to the edge of our seats by the details of Elfego Baca's shootout – a single man besieged by more than 100 antagonists, demonstrating the power of gut and gumption, of doing the seemingly impossible against all odds.
This is a book about far more than the history and romance of firearms. It calls on us to "make our own lives as real and as realized, as adventurous and artful as those colorful characters who rode these trails before us." Hardin's message isn't that one can live in the past or re-create the historic West, but that the best of the Wild West lives on in us.
|Product dimensions:||8.70(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.90(d)|