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The Lawless
John Jakes
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The Lawless (Kent Family Chronicles #7)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  2,582 ratings  ·  45 reviews
The Kent Family Chronicles continue as Jeremiah Kent becomes an infamous shootist in the Wild West-bringing him closer to a destiny that will end in bloodshed.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published December 15th 1980 by Jove (first published 1978)
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Book 7 of 8 of the Kent Family Chronicles brings us full force into the labor union issues of the 1870's. Lots of horrors of those days we can't even begin to imagine. Gideon Kent, oldest son of Jephtha, great grandson of the original Philip Kent, has moved from a one sheet union rag to reporter/publisher of the family New York Union newspaper, in the hopes that he can make his mark in helping American labormen with wage/compensation issues. In reporting on union issues he always sends himself ...more
Thom Swennes
The Civil War is over and a country once again united tries to heal the wounds of war and recover. Westward migration and expansion is helped by the improved means of transportation through both roads and railways. The industrial revolution is gathering steam and the changing economical and social situation brings new problems hitherto unknown. The Kent family splits, one heading west to new and yet untame territories. Another Kent returns to where it all began bringing the epoch full circle. On ...more
I believe this book (#7 in the series) is the best one yet. It exposes the reader to the strain of Gideon's family life, his unrequited love for Julia, and his struggle to become a "self-made" man. Gideon wasn't much of a student in his childhood and he finds he must work harder in his adult life to obtain the skills necessary to join the family publishing company. A reader can feel the pain of his wife's alcohol addiction along with the emotional withdrawal of his children. A hateful foe stalks ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Tammy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
Diverse, Dramatic, very entertaining. The VII novel of The Kent Family Chronicles will not disappoint. Jeptha Kents' three sons took vastly different directions in their lives. From the gun slinging wild west on the edge of civilization with people such as wild Bill. To playboy painter of Europe that rubbed shoulders with the likes of Cezanne and Manet. To New York news publishing. Failed marriages, love, madness, alcoholism, womens rights and more...this is my fourth time reading this and I sti ...more
I read this series the summer before my 8th grade year. And I remember I really liked them. On the pre-test for American History I aced it, got the highest in the whole school, and I credit it all to these books. They are a great way to learn American History. I found the whole series at a yard sale this summer, and bought them, excited to read them again. But they weren't as good the second time. In fact, I didn't even finish the series. Maybe you have to know nothing about American History to ...more
Tara Hall
I read books 2-7 of this series in the last weeks of Feb 2013. While I liked the continuation of the family name through each generation, I could have done without every single important female of the Kent family being raped, sometimes repeatedly. They no sooner got power and money than they lost it, and family members ran the gamut from good to brilliant to corrupt to sleazy to fierce to insane to bloodthirsty. Lots of historical info, also, which made the story more real and interesting. But I ...more
April Martinez
The Lawless by John Jakes

This book just continues the story of the Kent Family. I love the history of the politics of this time, not so different then today's struggles against Corporations and bad politicians. The author seems to write with a thesaurus in one hand and great imagination in the other! It's nice to be challenged by new words which stimulate the brain! These are easy books to read and sprinkled with bits of history!
One more book to go in John Jakes' Bicentennial Series! The Lawless is well titled as this installment of the Kent Family Chronicles seems to have more violence, certainly more brutal, lawless violence. It tracks the stories of Jephtha Kent's three sons: Gideon, the newspaper publisher fighting for union rights; Matt, the tortured artist living in France; and Jeremiah, roaming the wild west under various assumed names. Jeremiah is thought dead by his family, disenchanted Matt refuses to return t ...more
Brent Soderstrum
This is volume 7 of the Kent Family Chronicles. The story takes place in the 15 years following the Civil War. It starts out with Matthew in Paris. He is the artist who won't change his views to be with his girlfriend and son. Most of the book deals with Gideon and his horrible marriage with Margaret. I felt sorry for Gideon with all he had to deal with due to Margaret's insanity. Don't get me wrong, Gideon didn't handle things the way he should have but I couldn't attack him too much based on h ...more
If you want to know your history read this series. This one is post civil war and you learn a lot about the unions trying to make their way into the work scene. Interesting look at how society viewed artists and people who chose to become actors and actresses for the play troupes. I would have given it five stars but I wish John Jakes would give the Kent family a break. All families have their troubles but whoa!
I can't get enough of John Jakes. It got to the point where I just bought all his books and am reading them one after another.

The Kent Family series is well-written and historically accurate. I think I'll make my kids read these when they're in high school.
Holly Weiss
Own paperback 7 of 8.
Glen Stott
This is mostly the story of Gideon Kent and Julia. It deals with women’s suffrage, the robber barons, and the labor movement in the second half of the nineteenth century. Through the eyes of Mathew Kent, it also looks at the beginning of the Impressionist movement in Paris. Through Jeremiah Kent, it takes a brief look at life in the cattle towns such as Abilene. For me, this book was the best of the Kent Family Chronicles so far, though Amanda Kent is still my favorite character.
Paula Hebert
more of the kent family chronicles, this book covers the end of the civil war, the greed and corruption after it, the building of the trans continental railroad, and the settling of the west. as always the historical timeline and data are impeccable, set in a family story that makes america more real, at least for me.
I can't really say that the Kents change very much from generation to generation/book to book, but they remain an engaging lot.

2/19: This was as engaging a tale as its predecessors, and as I'm sure I've already said, Jakes is an old-fashioned storyteller who isn't above ending a chapter - or a book - with a cliffhanger.
John Jakes' reputation for historical accuracy, his writing style, and the story he tells of the fictional Kent family combine to makes the entire 8-volume family saga absolutely wonderful. Reading this series was key in getting me "hooked" on the historical-fiction genre.
I found myself skimming through a few sections, including the final chapter about Eleanor.

Overall, this was a good book. If you are reading the series, you might want to take a break before reading this one. I will be doing the same before I finish the last book.
#7 in the Kent Family Chronicles. I am getting close to the end. It is fascinating reading about one family and seeing how certain genes are passed along through the generations. It is Historical fiction and I enjoy how I can relate to so many of the stories.
Sharon Desruisseaux
I loved this series! This was actually the first series that I had ever read at the young age of 10! This series got me hooked into historical fiction and I have read it all several times since. Cherished series! Highly recommended!
Ice Bear
The Kent family chronicle storyline seemingly running out of original plots as the author tries to run us through US history and people. As I have said on earlier books of this series, lacks the depths of North & South.
Another well written book by Jakes. I've loved his style since I was in junior high over 25 years ago. He's still a very detailed author that is able to make you feel as if you are part of the family.
Many sidebars as we follow various member of the Kent family - mostly that of Gideon who takes over the Newspaper part of the family business. Some very challenging experiences to be met.
It was good but I still cannot give more than four stars. Once again though the author has some sort of sick thing/obsession for putting rape scenes in every book.
Don't know if I was growing weary of the story; but this wasn't one of my favorite entries; perhaps it's because I'm not drawn to stories set in the Wild West.
Just when I htought I was getting tired of the Kent family. This was pretty good. Just one more to go and I will be finished this series.
Robert Grant
This book, while still managing to hold my interest-seems to be the weakest link in the Kent Family chain. At least for me anyway.
Honestly, this is how I truly learned American history. These books follow generations of the "Kents" and their lives in America.
Trisha Borders
Good book-boy that Kent family is just as dysfunctional as they come--lot's of interesting history in a fictional story.
So far, the best of the series. Plot draws you in and the action keeps you on the edge of your chair.
Colleen Waltner
Love, Love, Love the book and the series. This one isn't as good as the rest but you must read them all.
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