The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.
In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MOthe first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.
James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.
Wild Bill also fell in lovemultiple timesbefore marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.
Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100.
The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this rip-roaring, spellbinding true story.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.20(d)|
About the Author
TOM CLAVIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and National Newspaper Association. His books include The Heart of Everything That Is, Halsey’s Typhoon, and Reckless. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY.
Table of Contents
1. A New England Clan
2. Bloody Kansas
3. Death at Rock Creek Station
4. Behind Enemy Lines
5. The Gunfighter
6. Along the Chisholm Trail
7. Frontier Fame
8. Life of a Frontier Marshal
9. Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill
10. "They Killed Me"
11. The Man-Killer
12. The Two-Fisted Marshal
13. The Streets of Abilene
14. A Three-Ring Romance
15. The Running of the Bulls
16. The Reluctant Thespian
17. The Cheyenne Loafer
18. A Woman Called Calamity
19. A Married Man
20. Deadwood Days
21. The Premonition
22. Dead Man's Hand
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*3-3.5 stars. A few years back, I saw a one-man performance by Walt Willey entitled Wild Bill: An Evening with John Butler Hickok (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg6jo... ) and learned that Hickok was born and raised in Troy Grove, IL in LaSalle County, not far from where we are currently living. Walt Willey himself is from nearby Ottawa, IL. Troy Grove is still a small rural town but shows its pride in its most famous son with a memorial: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio.... He was born in 1837 and died in 1876 so his lifespan is an interesting slice of American history, encompassing the Civil War and explorations into the west. He was a frontier plainsman in every sense of the word and got the reputation of a gunslinger, quick on the trigger. "A more picturesque sight than Hickok on horseback could not be imagined." This biography was well-researched and written with an eye to disproving some of the old myths about the man. One thing I found fascinating was that back then, the west was Kansas, Hickok's adopted state. And how quickly the wild west became civilized, leaving no place for free-living men like Wild Bill. I received an arc of this new biography from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
I was expecting this to be an in depth, well researched book... It's just a collection of poorly written tall tales. Somehow I managed to get half way through the book before literally tossing it away.
I enjoyed this book on Wild Bill Hickok very much as an updated biography. Tom Clavin does a great job of sorting between hype and facts to get to what is more likely in the real story of James Butler Hickok and his exploits. Apparently, there had been a sibling named Bill that hadn’t survived, and James and his brother Lorenzo both were fond of calling themselves ‘Bill’ at times. When James went out on his own away from the family, the name stuck, along with various descriptors like Wild Bill or Shanghai Bill. The book does a good job of telling about his short but exciting and event-filled life as a farmer, gunslinger, and lawman. After serving in the Civil War, Hickok made his way to Springfield, Missouri and was enjoying a spell of gambling. He’d met and become friends for a time with Davis Tutt another gambler, but the friendship soured. .Hickok was in a duel where he shot and killed Tutt in July 1865, displaying his lightning-fast quick-draw set his reputation. Unfortunately, it also made him a target for every wannabe gunslinger in the West who thought he was faster and wanted to prove it
this was an excellent biography of James Butler Hickok, an actual exploration of the life of the man without the wild forays into yellow journalism we are more familiar with. I found very interesting the effects of the Pottawatomie Massacre had on the decisions made by the Hickok family concerning their move from Homer, Oklahoma, westward to where land was cheaper and more productive. I liked that many of the facts about the man and his family were garnered from the letters that passed between them, rather than rumor and legend. I have not seen a better picture of this man's life and contributions to the growth of the west. I can highly recommend to friends and family. This was a very good read. I received a free electronic copy of this biography from Netgalley, Tom Clavin, and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.