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The bestselling author of "Mayflower" sheds new light on one of the iconic stories of the American West
Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custer's Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans' defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
In his tightly structured narrative, Nathaniel Philbrick brilliantly sketches the two larger-than-life antagonists: Sitting Bull, whose charisma and political savvy earned him the position of leader of the Plains Indians, and George Armstrong Custer, one of the Union's greatest cavalry officers and a man with a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage. Philbrick reminds readers that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was also, even in victory, the last stand for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations. Increasingly outraged by the government's Indian policies, the Plains tribes allied themselves and held their ground in southern Montana. Within a few years of Little Bighorn, however, all the major tribal leaders would be confined to Indian reservations.
Throughout, Philbrick beautifully evokes the history and geography of the Great Plains with his characteristic grace and sense of drama. "The Last Stand" is a mesmerizing account of the archetypal story of the American West, one that continues to haunt our collective imagination.
Rodeo people call their sport "more a way of life than a way to make a living." Rodeo is, in fact, a rite that not only expresses a way of life but perpetuates it, reaffirming in a ritual contest between man and animal the values of American ranching society. Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence uses an interpretive approach to analyze rodeo as a symbolic pageant that reenacts the "winning of the West" and as a stylized expression of frontier attitudes toward man and nature. Rodeo constestants are the modern counterparts of the rugged and individualistic cowboys, and the ethos they inherited is marked by ambivalence: they admire the wild and the free yet desire to tame and conquer.Based on extensive field work and drawing on comparative materials from other stock-tending societies, Rodeo is a major contribution to an understanding of the role of performance in society, the culturally constructed view of man's place in nature, and the structure and meaning of social relationships and their representations.
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, MO--the 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 love--multiple times--before 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.
The open-range cattle era lasted barely a quarter century, but it left America irrevocably changed. Cattle Kingdom reveals how the West rose and fell, and how its legacy defines us today. The tale takes us from dust-choked cattle drives to the unlikely splendors of boomtowns like Abilene, Kansas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. We meet a diverse cast, from cowboy Teddy Blue to failed rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt. This is a revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made.
"Knowlton writes well about all the fun stuff: trail drives, rambunctious cow towns, gunfights and range wars . . . He] enlists all of these tropes in support of an intriguing thesis: that the romance of the Old West arose upon the swelling surface of a giant economic bubble . . . Cattle Kingdom is The Great Plains by way of The Big Short." -- Wall Street Journal
"Knowlton deftly balances close-ups and bird's-eye views. We learn countless details . . . More important, we learn why the story played out as it did." -- New York Times Book Review
"The best one-volume history of the legendary era of the cowboy and cattle empires in thirty years." -- True West
Now in paperback, the New York Times bestselling story of the taming of the Wild West, set in Dodge City, the most depraved and criminal town in the nation.
The instant New York Times bestseller
Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City's streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West.
Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Clavin's Dodge City tells the true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) that has gone largely untold--lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now.