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Myths and Mysteries of the Old West
How much of what we know about the history of the Old West is true? In this new book, author Michael Rutter looks at the legend and lore behind such notorious figures as Billy the Kid and Calamity Jane and the stories of famous gun fights and battles, telling what really happened. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but these 12 legends stand up to scrutiny, and this book ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by TwoDot
(first published 2004)
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Bandits, Robbers, Outlaws and Desperados
REALLY, Really Underrated Books (Fewer than 100 Ratings)
1,202 books — 346 voters
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Has chapters about several people including Custer, Sitting Bull, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Billy the Kid, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and John Colter. Also includes stories/myths of the Seven Cities of Cibola, The Battle of Adobe Wells, the California Gold Rush, and the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Contains brief, superficial rundowns of western lore. The device of asking rhetorical questions at the first of each chapter to spark readers' interest became tiresome, but the readi ...more
In this short book, Rutter addresses some of the popular myths from the old west. Of the 12 chapters, I found myself interested in Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the most interesting. I don't think the point of the book is to break the myths but, rather to explain the myths and give alternate theories. It's not heavy reading, if you are familiar at all with old west history you probably have heard the stories before but, I still found it a ...more
True aficionados will probably have heard about all of the stories Rutter explores already, but for me, half the fun was learning some new stuff in addition to new facets of others I'm sure everyone knows to some extent. Aside from a rough introduction that doesn't bode well for the writing style (an impression that quickly proves unfounded, by the way), Rutter is an excellent guide to the myths, how they began, and what history can tell us about what really happened.
Exactly what the title suggests - a debunking of familiar myths and recognition of mysteries still surrounding the American wild west. Find out the true - as far as we know - stories surrounding Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Calamity Jane and many more, including General George Armstrong Custer who apparently was a one time Indian supporter.