The legend of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico 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.
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, and Frederick Nolan weaves their stories and opinions together with his own insightful commentary to produce a seamless, immensely readable account enlivened with eighty-three photographs and three maps.
Selected by True West magazine as one of its Fifty Greatest Western Books of the 20th Century, acknowledged to be the fullest and most carefully researched study of perhaps the most famous feud in the history of the American West, Frederick Nolan's masterwork, The Lincoln County War, A Documentary History, the result of fifty years of research, is now presented in a new edition which includes an addendum with corrections and additions, together with a new foreword by the author.
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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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