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Age of the Gunfighter: Men and Weapons on the Frontier, 1840-1900 Paperback – September 15, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1ST edition (September 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806127619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806127613
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.5 x 13 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph G. Rosa, who makes his home in Ruislip, Middlesex, England, is the author of the definitive biography of Wild Bill Hickok, They Called Him Wild Bill: The Life and Adventures of James Butler Hickok, as well as The Gunfighter: Man or Myth? And (with Waldo E. Koop) Rowdy Joe Lowe: Gambler with a Gun, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Rosa has been consistant in providing the dates of most of the photographs.
J. Guild
In general, this book is an enthralling visual catalog of the firearms, both famous and obscure, that were utilized in the American West during the years 1840 to 1900.
ThorBjorn
Although there may be minor flubs in the narrative this is still a great book.
Harry Pandolfino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By cowpony@mindspring.com on April 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Of the many books I have on the subject of the West from 1840 - 1900, GUNFIGHTERS is one notch above them all. The pictures and drawnings are superb. The stories and history of each individual rely on fact and not on folk lore that so many other books do.
I am a member of an Old West Re-enactment group and this book is our Bible
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By James Williams on April 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Rosa's book is the best general overview of the West's violent history I have come across. It's the first book I reach for when someone asks me a question about Old West gunfighters. Although he doesn't go into a great deal of detail on individuals, Rosa provides enough accurate historical information about the pertinent events of gunfighters' lives to satisfy most curious readers. There are few notable gunfighters who aren't given mention in Rosa's book. For those who seek a deeper look into the history of the period, or of an individual gunfighter, Rosa's bibliography will point them in the right direction. Unlike many historical treatments which concentrate on events after 1870 and west of the Mississipi, Rosa's treatment includes several antebellum examples of gunfighter/outlaws. My only complaint regarding this aspect of the book is his relatively sparse discussion of the role of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the creation of the culture that fostered the development of the Old West gunfighter. In my opinion, what makes AGE OF THE GUNFIGHTER a real gem is its plethora of superb photos and illustrations. In particular, the many photographic plates of Old West firearms are truly exceptional. The firearms enthusiast or Cowboy Action Shooter who wants to know more about the weapons of the West will find these plates a veritable treasure trove. The book also provides photgraphic portraits of most of the gunslingers, sometimes multiple photos, and some of which I've not seen elsewhere. Rosa also included several of my favorite gunfighter paintings by N.C. Wyeth including the "action" portrait of Wild Bill Hickok sported on the cover. This book is a must buy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harry Pandolfino on February 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although there may be minor flubs in the narrative this is still a great book. For firearms afficionados or Cowboy Shooters like myself the really stocked displays of firearms photos are a great way to study the evolution of 19th century firearms as well as see the wide variations as well as pieces owned by notably figures. The text is a nice introduction to the era of the gunfighter. It's a book that you'll pick up over and over to look at and enjoy.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jay T Pearce on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dr. Rosa's work is indeed beautiful to look at, illustrated with many period photos, lithographs, and modern color photos and pictures as well; however, the above reviewers may have been too quick to suggest his historical accuracy. In one instance, for example, when he is giving the narrative of "Longhaired Jim Courtright" he writes that his name was James Courtright when in fact it was Timothy Isaiah Courtright (thus the name of his private firm was T.I.C. in Fort Worth, TX). Given that Rosa will dedicate several pages to giving a narrative of Courtright's life and death, it might have been nice if he had paid attention to minor details, like, say, getting Courtright's name correct. Such discrepancies undermine the authority one might otherwise attach to Dr. Rosa's work. I would urge the people who are using his work as a "bible" to gather a slightly larger library rather than trusting any single source for their reference purposes. As a single work, this one is pretty, but ultimately, simply a retelling of the same old shootist stories with less than scrupulous attention to historical fact.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Guild TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I've ever found that extensively shows what the Old West of the Gunfighter was really like.Rosa has done a supurb job of defining all aspects of this intriguing period,roughly from 1840 till the end of the century.
Rosa covers all the Gunfighters whose names and faces who have become legends. He also shows us many of the less known and less written about. He has included some of the best pictures of these people you can find ,and all in one volume. Here we are shown how they dressed,and the guns,rifles and tools and equipment they used. We also get wonderful photographs of the towns they inhabited,both inside views and street scenes.There are concise and factual write-ups on many of the characters and their claims to fame.
Rosa has been consistant in providing the dates of most of the photographs.I am not sure when the photography technology was first developed that allowed such a great record;but it was around the time of the early years of this period.Just imagine,what a true representation of these days would have been impossible without this invention.
If you read many westerns or much history of this era ,you will be forever running into the types of weapons used.You are often left with wondering what they looked like. Well,wonder no more;just pull out this book and you will see excellent photographs and descriptions of these firearms,cartridges,cleaning tools,pistol and rifle cases,watches,holsters,belts,playing cards documents,swords, knives,badges,hats,saddle bags and countless other artifacts of the time.The author also shows the musemms where these artifacts are retained.
Also scattered through the book are beautiful examples of artwork done by famous painters of the period.
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