Wild West

MUST SEE, MUST READ

JOHN WESLEY HARDIN: DARK ANGEL OF TEXAS (1996, by Leon Metz): Texas’ most notorious gunman as profiled by the dean of Western historians. What could be better? While neither the first nor the last Hardin biography, it remains the best. Metz brings the complex, sociopathic Hardin (1853–95) to life. The subject reportedly killed as many as 40 men in gunfights—a tally, even in Texas, that justifies the enduring popular interest.

Bloody Bill Longley (2011, by Rick Miller): The very definition of an unreconstructed Rebel after the Civil War, Longley (1851–78) left a string of bodies strewn across the West, only regretting that John Wesley Hardin had more kills to his credit. Author Miller, a onetime police officer and lawyer, has made a second career out of writing well-received biographies of outlaws and lawmen. This may be his best.

Sam Bass (1936, by Wayne Gard): Bass was Texas’ most infamous stagecoach and train robber, if not particularly successful at either. The boyish-looking outlaw (1851–78) became an improbable legend in his own time. Read this biography by venerable Dallas newspaperman and Texana writer Gard for the storytelling, not the scholarship.

Shotgun for Hire: The Story of “Deacon” Jim Miller (1970, by Glenn Shirley): Sadly out of print though available second-hand, this slim volume is the best biography of the man known variously as “Deacon Jim” and “Killin’ Jim.” James Brown Miller (1861–1909) was a paid professional assassin who lived for killing and had as many as a dozen successfully executed contracts to his credit. Shirley, the prolific author of more than 20 books on legendary frontier figures, keeps the scholarship front and center.

Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde (2009, by Jeff Guinn): They blazed a trail of romanticized murder and mayhem from Texas to Minnesota before going down in a hail of bullets. Bonnie Parker (1910–34) and Clyde Barrow (1909–34) lived a life of crime together and died together. This is the definitive dual biography of the Depression-era criminal darlings by a respected journalist turned author who has won awards in both fields. Guinn puts his subjects in a broader historical context as media archetypes.

MOVIES

(1969, on DVD, 20th Century Fox): This classic Western turns the namesake outlaws into charming heroes and personifies the buddy film. Directed by George Roy Hill, it

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de Wild West

Wild West5 min de lecture
Saving Mountain Chief
My great-great-grandfather Joseph Cobell, an inductee in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame, immigrated to the United States from Italy in 1848. He married Mary Owl Child, a daughter of the Pikuni Blackfeet Owl Child. In 1867 Joseph and Mary Cobell buil
Wild West4 min de lecture
Barker And Hughesville, Montana
The Barker Mining District was the only such district in Montana to have been discovered in one county, come to fruition in another and left two ghost towns in a third. It dates from 1879, when partners Patrick H. Hughes and Elias A. “Buck” Barker ve
Wild West5 min de lecture
Always Bigger In The Retelling
Kingston, New Mexico (population 32, according to the 2010 U.S. census), is a shadow of its former self. Once upon a time it was a busy place, an 1880s boomtown that went bust little more than a decade later. The town and its adjacent mines peaked ar