From Library Journal
Most Americans are familiar with the legend of the outlaw William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. Utley, a noted historian of the Old West, has written a scholarly biography of the Kid, which--as does all good biography--incorporates the history of his times. Using interviews conducted with the Kid's contemporaries, Utley draws a portrait of a youth who, while not the bloodthirsty killer painted by newspapers of the period, was not a Western Robin Hood, either. Utley concludes: "Except in its final months . . . the Kid's career did not measure up to his reputation. Although a superb gunman and arresting personality, he was a quite ordinary outlaw . . . ." While Pat Garrett's The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid (Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1954. o.p.; 1986. pap.) is useful for its contemporary portrait, public and academic libraries serving clients with an interest in the period or the region will want this title.- Sue Kamm, Los Angeles P.L.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
(Cara Pesek UNP blog
"In the last three decades, scholarship about Billy has shaken off its pulp origins and become professional, the best three books, in my view, being Robert M. Utley's Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life (1989), Frederick Nolan's The West of Billy the Kid (1998), and now Michael Wallis's Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride."—Larry McMurtry, New York Review of Books
(Larry McMurtry New York Review of Books
"Utley deftly slices away the veneer of legend to reveal the flesh-and-blood young man a tragic figure who was neither a mythical hero nor a ruthless killer, but a rather ordinary outlaw whose career did not live up to his reputation."—Michael Wallis, True West
(Michael Wallis True West