Pat F. Garrett's the Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid

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9780806132273: Pat F. Garrett's the Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid

More than twelve decades after Billy the Kid’s death in 1881, books, movies, and essays about this western outlaw are still popular. And they all go back to one source: The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid, published in 1882 by the man who killed Billy, Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Frederick Nolan, an authority on the American Southwest, examines the legends introduced by The Authentic Life and shows how Garrett’s book is responsible for misconceptions about the Kid’s early life and his short, violent career. This edition, complete with the original text, corrects errors, amplifies Garrett’s narrative, and elucidates the causes and course of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico during the 1870s. Nolan provides an introduction that reappraises the last, fatal meeting of Garrett and Billy the Kid, as well as a postscript about the sheriff’s snakebitten life following the moment that made him famous.

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About the Author:

Pat F. Garrett, the Southwest's most celebrated sheriff, is best known for his killing of Billy the Kid and for this book, which was written in collaboration with his friend, frontier newspaperman Ashmun Upson.



Frederick Nolan is a leading authority on outlaws and gunfighters of the Old West. His award-winning books include The West of Billy the Kid; The Wild West: History, Myth, and the Making of America; and The Lincoln County War: A Documentary History. He resides in England.

From Library Journal:

Few figures are as associated with the Wild West as Billy, the Kid. As with many of those frontier figures, the myths, often created by pennydreadfuls and B movies, have overshadowed the truth. Sheriff Garrett was both Billy's friend and the man who eventually sent him to the last roundup. With the help of ghostwriter Ash Upton, Garrett published what he called the Kid's Authentic story in 1882. This annotated edition, however, shows that it wasn't quite so authentic after all, and here, Western historian Frederick Nolan includes notes and commentary correcting falsehoods written by Upton along with 19 period photos. Was Billy a true Western hero fighting for justice in New Mexico's Lincoln County War or simply a wacko who enjoyed killing? Find out here.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Garrett, Pat F.
Published by University of Oklahoma Press
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