The Lincoln County War: A Documentary History

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9780806126074: The Lincoln County War: A Documentary History

The legend of the Lincoln County War and its most romantic figure, Billy the Kid, holds a special place in the history of the American West. Fueled by greed, propelled by religious and racial prejudice, inflamed by liquor and firearms, the war was a struggle to the death for the economic domination of a region where both sides saw enormous opportunity for acquiring wealth. In the end, neither side won and both suffered tremendous losses, human and financial.
In this documentary history, for the first time, the participants and eyewitnesses tell the story of those bloody events in their own words. Frederick Nolan has drawn from many and diverse sources, some never before published, to present a detailed and comprehensive account of the whirlwind of violence that swept over Lincoln County, New Mexico, more than a century ago.
John Tunstall, the McSweens, Jimmy Dolan, Billy the Kid, the Hispanic townspeople of Lincoln, the outsiders who tried to understand what was happening and restore law and order to the strife-torn territory--all speak out in The Lincoln County War. Nolan weaves their stories and opinions together with his own insightful commentary to produce a seamless, immensely readable account. As the adherents and sympathizers of the Murphy-Dolan and Tunstall-McSween factions tell their versions of events, the story develops a gripping power. Enlivened with eighty-three photographs of both people and places and three maps, the book also includes a detailed chronology of events and biographies of many of the participants.

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About the Author:

Frederick Nolan is widely recognized as the world's leading authority on the history of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War and both he and his work on the subject have been garlanded with honors. He has received the Border Regional Library Association of Texas' Award for Literary Excellence, the first France V. Scholes Prize from the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the first J. Evetts Haley Fellowship from the Haley Memorial Library in Midland, Texas. The Western Outlaw-Lawman History Association has presented him with its highest honor, the Glenn Shirley Award, for his lifetime contribution to outlaw-lawman history and The Westerners Foundation has named his The West of Billy the Kid one of the 100 most important 20th-century historical works on the American West. In 2007 the National Outlaw-Lawman Association awarded him its prestigious William D. Reynolds Award in recognition of his outstanding research and writing in Western history and in 2008 True West magazine named him ''Best Living Non-Fiction Writer.'' Among his other books about the West are Bad Blood:The Life and Times of the Horrell Brothers; The West of Billy the Kid; and The Life and Death of John Henry Tunstall, the latter from Sunstone Press in a new edition. He lives in England.

From Library Journal:

"The Lincoln County War 1878-81 established nothing and proved nothing." Thus Nolan renders judgment on a conflict for economic control in New Mexico that attracted international attention. Weaving correspondence, newspaper accounts, and other documents into the fabric of his narrative, he strips away many of the myths that have surrounded the participants, often quoting multiple versions of the same event. Nolan provides a very readable and careful analysis of the conflict, adding significantly to the documentation available and to our knowledge of events, extending and amplifying the account in Maurice Garland Fulton's History of the Lincoln County War (Univ. of Arizona Pr., 1968). An important and reliable account essential for Western history collections and strongly recommended for others.
- Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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