A "New York Times "bestseller, Jeff Guinn's definitive, myth-busting account of the most famous gunfight in American history reveals who Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons and McLaurys really were and what the shootout was all about. On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight ...
A "New York Times "bestseller, Jeff Guinn's definitive, myth-busting account of the most famous gunfight in American history reveals who Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons and McLaurys really were and what the shootout was all about. On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral would shape how future generations came to view the Old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a frontier populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones. It's a colorful story--but the truth is even better. Drawing on new material from private collections--including diaries, letters, and Wyatt Earp's own hand-drawn sketch of the shootout's conclusion--as well as archival research, Jeff Guinn gives us a startlingly different and far more fascinating picture of what actually happened that day in Tombstone and why
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Legends and myths are similar. There may be a bit of truth in them. The book describes Tombstone and its culture as it was in the late 1800s. The Earp brothers, especially Wyatt, reached mythical proportions with movies and TV but the facts tell a different story. For one, the gunfight did not occur at the O.K. Corral. A minor detail that one can ascribe to poetic license. Rather than give a lot of the details about the Earps, Tombstone, and other characters involved I'll suggest you read the book. Suffice it to say, there wasn't much difference between the Earps and the 'cowboys' that made up much of Cochise County.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-03-07 There are no black and white hats in this gripping revisionist account of the famed 1881 showdown. There are only mixed motives, murky schemes, and misguided hotheads. Historian Guinn (Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde) uncovers complex figures who straddle the line between outlaw and lawman: Wyatt Earp, he reveals, was an impetuous gambling impresario and possibly an ex-pimp whose unprovoked bullying helped spark the confrontation, while Doc Holliday was an unstable cardsharp prone to settling minor differences with gunplay. Guinn sets the story in a Tombstone, Ariz., that's a Wild West version of The Wire, complete with seething political intrigues-what Earp was mainly gunning for was a post as county sheriff and its lucrative tax-collecting franchise-and a cowboy culture synonymous with thuggery and deeply entrenched in a semilicit cattle-rustling economy. As Guinn's exhaustively researched, stylishly written narrative untangles the personal feuds and social pressures, he explodes many of the Manichaean myths surrounding the gunfight. He replaces them with something as grimly compelling as a Greek tragedy: a tale of proud men drawn-almost against their will-toward bloodshed. 16 pages of b&w photos; 2 maps. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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