Wild West

MUST SEE, MUST READ

WYATT EARP: THE LIFE BEHIND THE LEGEND

(1997, by Casey Tefertiller): Written nearly a quartercentury ago, this remains the authoritative biography of the famed lawman. The result of years of exhaustive research, it is a sober and accurate retelling of Earp’s exciting life.

Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend (2006, by Gary L. Roberts): This excellent biography is virtually a companion volume to Tefertiller’s Wyatt Earp bio. Voluminous and highly reliable, it is a textbook on how to research, write, document and analyze history. The volumes by Roberts and Tefertiller are required reading for anyone who is a fan of the Old West.

A Wyatt Earp Anthology: Long May His Story Be Told (2019, edited by Roy B. Young, Gary Roberts and Casey Tefertiller): A massive undertaking—936 pages thick—it contains scores of papers and magazine articles that explore every aspect of the Earp saga, many of them previously published in Wild West and other journals and periodicals. This is required reading for casual fans and hardcore buffs alike.

The McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona: An O.K. Corral Obituary (2012, by Paul Lee Johnson): This is the first and only biography of Tom and Frank McLaury, who died in the so-called Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. It presents a wealth of new information. Prior to its publication the McLaury brothers were mainly known for their bloody deaths. Here they appear as flesh-and-blood men with a long history before they ever came to Arizona Territory.

Curly Bill: Tombstone’s Most Famous Outlaw (2003, by Steve Gatto): The one and only factual biography ever written about Curly Bill Brocius, it uncovers much new information about his violent career. Curly Bill’s real name, though, remains uncertain; he used the surnames Brocius and Bresnaham, which may have been aliases. Without understanding Cowboys like Curly Bill and the McLaury brothers, one cannot hope to understand the events that took place in Tombstone.

MOVIES

(1946, on DVD and Blu-ray, 20th Century Fox): Henry Fonda stars as Wyatt Earp in this huge commercial success directed by John Ford. Many film critics have lauded it as one of the best Westerns ever made. Unfortunately, critics tend to know very little about the real West. About the only factual connection

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