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The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James
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The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The True Story Behind the Legendary Outlaw Gang, a Civil War Vendetta, and the Forgotten Court Documents That Helped Seal Their Fate
On a dreary December 7, 1869, two strangers entered the Daviess County Savings and Loan in Gallatin, Missouri. One of the men asked the cashier for change and then unexpectedly raised a revolver and shot him at point-blank range. Until now, th
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 24th 2013 by Westholme Publishing
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S.j. Whelchel
Aug 23, 2013 S.j. Whelchel rated it liked it
The book started out strong with a riveting description of the events leading up to the Civil War. I will admit that my grasp of early American history is tenuous at best so this was very interesting to me. The impetus of the racist and infantile "Southern mentality" which still exists today, was outlined through historical moments. It really raises the question (though I realize it's a bit absurd): "Why didn't we just let them secede?" Ultimately, the author proves that Jesse James, and ...more
Henderson County Public Library
Frank and Jesse James occupy a legendary place in the history of post-Civil War America. With the exploits of the two men romanticized by the sympathetic southern press, the brothers were viewed by many as the last rebels fighting against the Northern establishment. Muelberger looks to correct the mythos that surrounds these outlaws by presenting a thoroughly investigated account of one the pair’s more heinous crimes—the 1869 shooting death of a bank clerk that the author claims was not a bank ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Adam rated it liked it
A little bit of overstatement in the title of this book. The "trials" of Jesse James pretty much consist of one default judgment. I'm not even a litigator, but I won a default judgment in small claims court once for a friend and I can tell you it was not the stuff of legend. But it's an interesting read otherwise, and it's good to have someone finally pop the James balloon a little bit. The message that Jesse & Frank James were not heroes, and in fact were nothing more than a couple of ...more
Charles Salzberg
Dec 09, 2013 Charles Salzberg rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for anything about outlaws and The Lost Cause didn't disappoint. Written by an attorney, it's filled with fascinating details about the James brothers, much of it culled from legal records. Through these records, the author builds a strong case for Jesse James being nothing more than a cold-blooded killer who with the help of a particular journalist manipulated the media so that he became a hero to many rather than the true villain he was.
Sep 06, 2015 Tommy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An evidence-based, factual recitation of the James Gang that proves they were criminals (albeit successful); not fighting for the wrongs of the Civil War.
Michelle rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2014
Damon McCook
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Jim Muehlberger is a Kansas City-based lawyer and author. His first book, The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James, was favorably reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. The Kansas City Star named it one of the top 100 books of 2013.

His second book, The 116: The True Story of Abraham Lincoln's Lost Guard, is scheduled to be published Dec 7, 2015.
More about James P. Muehlberger...

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