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Editorial Reviews. Book Description. A story of Bat Masterson in the old west, written in the day 60 WESTERNS: Cowboy Adventures, Yukon & Oregon Trail Tales, Famous Outlaws, Gold. 60 WESTERNS: Cowboy Adventures, Yukon.
Table of contents



Buildings went up--including saloons. The end result was flammable. Cowboys would come into town after getting paid, get drunk, get into fights. With one another and with townspeople. Boot Hill came to be as one result. Into this toxic environment, lawmen entered the picture.


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Earp and Masterson were among these. Over a period of about ten years or so, Dodge City was very much alive. Warp, Masterson, their brothers, and their deputies began to reduce the carnage to bring a certain degree of order into the community. They also made some enemies.

The book traces their time in Dodge City, their movement elsewhere, the tensions among various actors in Dodge City and elsewhere think Tombstone and the OK Corral. We also learn of their later lives. There is more information on Earp's life than Masterson's, but the book does a nice job of giving readers a view of these two men. While Dodge deserves top billing, this is not so much a book about the history of the city as it is a collection of tales that are threaded loosely around famous or perhaps infamous people associated with Dodge City. The stories are not exclusive to one location, if there is a story to tell of a once-inhabitant, it is threaded into the pages of this book if it happens in Dodge, Tombstone, or anywhe If there is a "star" of this book, it is not Wyatt Earp or Bat Masterson, but Dodge City itself.

The stories are not exclusive to one location, if there is a story to tell of a once-inhabitant, it is threaded into the pages of this book if it happens in Dodge, Tombstone, or anywhere else in the country. I found the stories enjoyable, even if the book may not be as aptly named as I expected. The book is organized into four parts, although I use the word "organized" loosely. The sections seem near the verge of being tangential before the next Act begins.

For this type of storytelling, I think it works and keeps things more interesting than having a single story arc between the covers.

Especially when the subject matter themselves are restless men who served in many different professions, in many different places, with many different lovers over the course of their lives. The book made these larger-than-life legends very relatable and human in a way that I've never experienced before.

Usually when I read about Wyatt Earp or Bat Masterson I can still imagine them only as their sepia-toned, one dimensional photographs represent. This book really brought them to life in a realistic way that is much more endearing than looking at old pictures, or watching costumed actors portray them in TV and movies. Dodge City shows a more human side of these legends of the western frontier.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing me with this much-anticipated arc for review. Jan 12, David rated it it was amazing. Mar 01, Juli rated it really liked it Shelves: I grew up in rural Kansas, so the history of the midwest, especially the Old West era in Kansas, is near and dear to me. My husband is a huge fan of the fictionalized television show about Dodge City, Gunsmoke. I was so excited when I learned this book was coming out!

I knew immediately my husband would love it. His book is on order I can't wait for it to arrive! Tom I grew up in rural Kansas, so the history of the midwest, especially the Old West era in Kansas, is near and dear to me. Tom Clavin starts out by giving information about southwest Kansas before white settlers arrived. It was filled with Indian tribes fighting for territory, millions of buffalo, and wide open grassland.

Then Clavin moves into the era of westward movement, cattle drives, railroads and lawlessness in the prairie. This book is just crammed full of well-researched information. At times, it seemed a bit disorganized but the history was interesting, even if not always related in linear fashion. Technically, the book really isn't just about Dodge City but relates stories about people, events and the history of the region.

I had to read this book a little bit at a time. When my brain went into fact-overload, I would take a break and come back later for more. Clavin gives factual insights into what Dodge City and the Old West was really like, and how the exaggerated stories in books and movies came about. A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys history! Just keep in mind that this book is a non-fiction history, not a fictionalized story. Don't expect simple entertainment, but a journey through the real history of the region, the era and some of the famous people who battled to tame the west.

Tom Clavin is the author of 11 non-fiction books on famous people including Roger Maris and the DiMaggio brothers. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Jun 22, Don rated it it was amazing. I have always had a fascination with the Old West. The outlaws, Indians, cowtowns and lawmen that made the time and place such an enthralling chapter of American history have forever been of immense interest and even obsession to me. Westerns in TV and films have continually fueled my passion for that world yet I always carried this lingering doubt in the back of my mind that the real stories of the icons of that era would not be near as interesting as the fiction I had been fed.

This book has f I have always had a fascination with the Old West. This book has finally removed that fear. This book, as the title makes clear, focuses primarily on Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson and the town of Dodge City, Kansas where so many famous characters of the Wild West made history come alive. You get the dates and names, of course, but more importantly you hear the true stories and personal triumphs and tragedies that set these people apart and made their lives so captivating to succeeding generations.

Many well-knowns and some not so well-knowns weave in and out of the narrative to add their particular part to the story. Wyatt Earp's story at least regarding his time in Arizona was already very familiar to me but such was not the case with Bat Masterson. I only knew he had been a peace officer in Kansas and not much else. This book reveals how and why he became so famous and also why, in my opinion, he should be remembered today. The main complement I would like to give the author is this: He realized the truth was more than enough to do the job.

Wyatt and Bat, I wish I could have known ya. Even though I wanted a story without untrue flourishes, this was too dry for me. I'll have to re-think my desire for biographies without embellishments. Apr 04, Nancy Ellis rated it it was amazing. Often truth is more fascinating than fiction, and this is true in the history of Dodge City and the Wild West. This is written in such an engaging style, it makes it easy to follow along on the adventures through the West with Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and other famous and infamous names such as Doc Holliday, Jesse and Frank James, etc.

Filled with the history of the "civilizing" of the West, there is adventure, romance, and violence to produce hundreds of Hollywood movies Sometimes, though, it wasn't really necessary to embellish the true stories very much in order to make them exciting. The author enjoys regaling us with these stories and also debunks many myths, with plenty of humor in the telling. Dodge City at its worst is what represented the West to the rest of the world, and when Dodge City was made safe, the West was considered won.

This is history at its best and a great pleasure to read! Dec 16, Dachokie rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book sets and example of how the truth can make history more interesting. The chapters are brief, yet hearty; they allow the book to be read in short doses that can become somewhat addictive … I found myself always wanting to make time to read a extra chapter or two.

The common bond between Earp and Masterson that led to these interactions was their off-and-on employment as lawmen and their nomadic nature they never seemed content to stay in one place for any lengthy period of time … including an excursion to Alaska, of all places. The lawlessness associated with the general dangers of the frontier mixed with drinking, gambling, prostitution and the penchant for settling scores with firearms certainly provides a treasure of stories to be told; Clavin surely takes advantage of this.

In addition to the more tempered nature of enforcing laws, we find that there were numerous occasions where Earp, Masterson and Holliday were on the wrong end of the law themselves. Some of the most interesting aspects of the book involve the ongoing problems these men experience with gambling, drinking and women.

Surprisingly, many of the individuals covered in the book who survived the violence lived to be quite old in their 80s and 90s. What I really found fascinating was how the lives of these men traversed the almost primitive-like history of the dirty and dangerous world of gun fighting, buffalo hunting and battles with various Indian tribes to the turn of the 20th Century. It is hard to imagine a storyline that covers the dusty O. An era that includes two worlds: This is one of those books that allows your imagination to play out the stories being told and those stories come, one after another.

Wonderfully written history that grabs readers from start to finish.

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The Sunset Trail by Alfred Henry Lewis

Jul 17, Socraticgadfly rated it it was ok Shelves: Repeats legends while claiming to refute them. The biggest legend uncritically repeated is that of Big-Nose Kate. Yes, she was from Hungary, and yes, her father was a doctor. Nor were the family descendants of nobility. And, these legends have all been refuted long ago. There are lesser errors here, too. None big, and none of them would get more than a star dinged. But this one gets the book a huge kic Repeats legends while claiming to refute them. But this one gets the book a huge kick. Mar 14, Dan rated it liked it. Started off a bit slow in that it gives a lot of genealogy on both of the title figures, but once it gets going, was a decent enough read.

I certainly learned quite a bit about both men, their families, and their cohorts. As someone who lives in Kansas, it was also interesting to learn a bit about the area when it was both lawless and as it became tamed. There are plenty of gunfights for those that want to read about them too. Aug 01, VPM rated it it was ok. This book is very well researched but it did not hold my interest. I skipped large portions. The two interesting things I learned from my reading are that people like Bat Masterson and the Earps moved around A LOT and over great distances all across the West, and, many figures from the Wild West lived well into the twentieth century.

Jun 14, Veronica rated it liked it Shelves: As much as I enjoyed this book and the topic I found it difficult to follow. I felt like I needed a map. A map, a list a characters, timelines and family trees would have helpful. Jul 02, Warren Benton rated it really liked it Shelves: This book discusses a little of how the west was won. Well not really won, but reformed. Wyatt Earp was the best known of the Earp brothers. One thing about the Earp clan they were highly loyal, and always brave.

Wyatt and Bat were good friends, great gamblers, and tough lawmen. The one thing about the lawmen of the west, they had to keep their cool, not back down, and when push came to shove be better with a 6 shooter than the bad guys. Earp was known for bullying cowboys who caused probl This book discusses a little of how the west was won.

Classic TV series of the 1950s and 1960s

Earp was known for bullying cowboys who caused problems and would throw just about anyone in jail if they got on his nerves to bad. Doc Holliday also makes an appearance in this book because he was one of Wyatt's close friends. Doc and Bat never really cared for each other but both were close to Wyatt. This book centralizes around Dodge City, but Clavin does a good job giving you a feel oh what life was like and how marshall's and cowboys often got into squabbles. Jun 07, Peter Vik rated it it was amazing. The author of this book states that he did not aim to embellish the wild west, but present the historical facts as he understands them.

Assuming the correctness of his research, it is difficult to understand why embellishment would be necessary. The stories in this book are just as exciting as one would expect based on the cultural understanding of this period of American History. Gun fights, fist fights,it was all real. Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson lived truly charmed lives, in the sense that b The author of this book states that he did not aim to embellish the wild west, but present the historical facts as he understands them.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson lived truly charmed lives, in the sense that both lived to be relatively old men against monumentous odds. The book is full of exciting stories and fun facts. If the wild west is your bag, this book is loads of fun. Oct 13, Judy rated it really liked it. I picked up this book on the suggestion of a random patron of my local library and I'm certainly glad that I did. Apparently my knowledge of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the early history of Dodge City is largely a product of the entertainment industry.

This is a fascinating look at the early history of Dodge City before Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson began their duties as law enforcement officers there and continues until both men finally leave Dodge City to spend the rest of their lives elsewh I picked up this book on the suggestion of a random patron of my local library and I'm certainly glad that I did. This is a fascinating look at the early history of Dodge City before Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson began their duties as law enforcement officers there and continues until both men finally leave Dodge City to spend the rest of their lives elsewhere.

A very enjoyable and informative read. Feb 09, Dave rated it really liked it. The book brings to life the real stories behind the legends and stories of Dodge City Kansas. It kind of follows the lives and careers of Wyatt Earp and his brothers and best friend and cohort Doc Holliday. Along with a cast of "deplorables" cowboys, gunslingers, and all sorts of badmen. The book was well researched using resources from the various historical societies and museums in states where the book took place.

A fan of the Old West will enjoy thi The book brings to life the real stories behind the legends and stories of Dodge City Kansas. A fan of the Old West will enjoy this book. A lot of detail in this book. Interesting detail, but a lot of it. I mean a lot. Just a lot of detail: Sep 04, Thom Pantazi rated it it was amazing. I have been a fan of history all my life and I really love American history.

Bat Masterson

I thought I knew the Wyatt Earp story but even this famous figure has an astonishing amount of detail that was new to me. The book was nicely laid out in vignettes that illustrate the significance of small players in history. Aug 22, Justin Orman rated it it was amazing. Book is dedicated to 'his friend Bat Masterson.

The Sunset Trail

Hardcover , pages. Published by A. Burt Company first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Sunset Trail , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Feb 19, Royce Ratterman rated it it was ok.

Read for personal pleasure. For some reason I could not get into this story, at least not to the depth of 'captivation' I expected. I just wasn't in the mood for this story - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs. Overall, this work my prove a good resource for other researchers and enthusiasts. Good read I read this book to find out about the legend of Bat Masterson. Author seemed to ramble a bit which caused the reader to become bored but over all a good read.

Some of the story is factual but most is fictitious. If you enjoy stories of the old west, as I do, you will enjoy this read. Mark Maruska rated it it was ok Dec 04, Suzi rated it really liked it Feb 10, Gary Kiehl rated it liked it Oct 03, Larry Waggoner rated it really liked it Sep 29, Shauna marked it as to-read Feb 03, How marked it as to-read Oct 23, Bobbye Attkisson is currently reading it Nov 26,