The Gunfighter -- Man or Myth?
by Joseph G. Rosa
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Book Club Edition
Was the gunfighter of the wild West a hero, protector of the innocent and helpless, or was he a trigger-happy rascal? Was a "lawman" like Wild Boll Hickock, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Ben Thompson, or Mysterious Dave Mather, a noble defender of society, or was he a killer who shot from behind a badge to avoid paying for the crimes?
The gunfighter was a man bred in a lawless and violent era of civil war, range wars, and greed for land and gold. He played a real part in a period when men were conditioned to settle difference with gunplay. He shot and fought and killed throughout Texas in its struggle with Mexico, along the Kansas-Missouri border, and up and down the cattle trails. Black powder smoke from his guns darkened the Kansas cowtowns and the Far West mining camps.
As the West became settled and law and order was established, the gunfighter era passed into the realm of romance -- and into the hands of novelists and mythmakers. Today, as the author of this book says, "The Western gunfighter is the New World's counterpart of the knights in armor and the Robin Hoods of the Old."
What part of the gunfighter legend is true, and what part a novelist's or screenwriter's fantasy? What has been the gunfighter's influence on American society -- and, for that matter, on world society? For there is no doubt that the shoot-'em-up gun-totin' hero of the early West is a figure of interest and sympathy to people all over the world.
Well documented and rich with illustrations of gunfights and gunmen, this book is a real find for "gunfighter buffs," as well as for all readers interested in knowing what the wild West was really like.
Condition: Used. Hardcover. Dust cover. Pages may be tanning from age. Binding is in the beginning stages of splitting throughout the picture pages, but the pages are still in tact. Previous owner's name and date she bought the book are written on the front endpaper. Dust cover shows discoloration on front, back and spine from age and shows a bit of edge wear. The spine of the dust cover is lightened by the sun fading it.
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