Jesse James: Legendary Outlaw (Historical American Biographies)

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9780766010550: Jesse James: Legendary Outlaw (Historical American Biographies)

Traces the life of the renowned bandit, from his childhood in Missouri, through his years as guerrilla fighter and outlaw, exploring the development of his legend and the romanticization of his illegal deeds.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-8-This evenhanded and compelling account gives due attention to James's life and legend. Bruns never glorifies the man's criminal acts, though he points out that many others have done so. Carefully explaining how the political atmosphere of the 1850s, particularly in Kansas and Missouri, gave rise to radical acts among pro- and anti-slavery factions, the author shows how violence can be accepted in certain climates and manipulated for personal benefit. The book is heavily footnoted, thus providing not only avenues for further research, but also a more authoritative tone than many biographies for this age group. Even so, the scholarship does not impede the flow of the narrative or the clear analysis of events, and many students will undoubtedly read the book for the story alone, without ever looking at the documentation. The final two chapters focus almost entirely on the legend and its embellishment in popular culture, including a brief account of the 1995 testing that confirmed that the body in James's coffin really is his (and, by extension, that the numerous claimants to have been him after 1882 were fraudulent). The illustrative material includes black-and-white maps, photographs, reproductions of pertinent dime-novel covers, and period drawings. A clear and lively addition.
Coop Renner, Coldwell Elementary-Intermediate School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bruns, Roger A.
Published by Enslow Pub Inc (1998)
ISBN 10: 0766010554 ISBN 13: 9780766010550
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