Wyatt Earp A Vigilante Life

ISBN-10: 0809095009

ISBN-13: 9780809095001

Edition: 2013

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Description: An acclaimed Western historian reveals the man behind the myth and illuminates the realities of the old WestIn American popular culture, Wyatt Earp, a law officer in nineteenth-century Dodge City and Tombstone, is an icon of justice. The subject of dozens of films, his memory has been invoked in battles against organized crime (in the 1930s), communism (in the 1950s), and Al Qaeda (after 2001).     Yet as Andrew C. Isenberg shows inWyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, the Hollywood Earp is largely a fiction created by Earp himself, whose life was characterized not by an unflinching devotion to law and order but by inconstancy, defiance of authority, and repeated self-invention. The Earp played on-screen by Henry Fonda and Burt Lancaster is stubbornly duty bound; in actuality, Earp led a life of impulsive law-breaking and shifting identities. When he wasn’t wearing a badge, he was variously a thief, a brothel bouncer, a gambler, and a confidence man. He spent his last decades in Los Angeles, where his plastic identity and his penchant for reinvention freely lent themselves to Hollywood mythmaking. Befriending Western silent-film actors and directors, he presented himself to them as a lawman singularly committed to justice. Having tried and failed over the course of his life to invent a better future for himself, in the end Earp invented a better past. Though Earp, who died in 1929, did not live to see it, Hollywood’s embrace of him as a paragon of law and order was his last and undoubtedly greatest confidence game.

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Publication date: 6/25/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.41" wide x 9.31" long x 1.14" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Map: Wyatt Earp's West
The Earp Family
Lex Talionis
The Sons of Ishmael
Youth Hath Faulty Wand'red
Jerk Your Gun
Wild Justice
Roping the Mark
The Shadows of the Past
Notes
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index
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