“The most extensive listing of outlaws and lawmen of the Wild West ever compiled. The narrative is well done, often with bits of dialogue take from contemporary sources.”–Booklist
With over 1000 entries and 400 illustrations, this volume is the most fact-packed history of the West ever assembled. Crime historian extraordinaire Jay Robert Nash has left no stone unturned in his search for the gunmen, train robbers, gangs, desperadoes, range warriors, gamblers, and lawmen that roamed the frontier.
Contrary to popular myth, the Wild West was not a glamorous land where chivalry and courage were the custom and a man died with his boots on. It was a land of incredible hardships–brutal weather, hunger and disease, and the constant threat of violent death. Everyone carried a six-shooter, neutrality was impossible, and violence unavoidable; lawmen and outlaws lived side by side, and often there was no telling one from the other. Into this land came pioneers lured by promises of great fortunes, ex-Confederate soldiers embittered by the outcome of the war, greedy cattle barons, and merchant princes. It was truly an explosive mixture.
Included in this volume are all the great Western legends–Billy the Kid, Jesse and Frank James, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Judge Roy Bean, “Wild Bill” Hickock–and a host of lesser-known figures who, though they may have missed notoriety, were equally lethal. And while the West was very much a man’s world, several women managed to shoot, steal, or gamble their way to fame–including Belle Starr, Pearl Hart, and Calamity Jane.
A compelling read, Encyclopedia of Western Lawmen & Outlaws will be the standard reference for years to come. In addition to alphabetical listings, it offers a glossary of lawmen and a glossary of outlaws, a magnificent photo and illustration appendix, and an extensive bibliography of books on the American West.