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Jesse James Was His Name; or, Fact and Fiction concerning the Careers of the Notorious James Brothers of Missouri Paperback – June 1, 1977


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Jesse James Was His Name; or, Fact and Fiction concerning the Careers of the Notorious James Brothers of Missouri + Jesse and Frank James: The Family History
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is not an overstatement to say that if the James brothers had not existed they would have been invented, for indeed the legend is primarily a tale untouched by truth. William A. Settle's well-documented volume cuts cleanly through the tangle of folklore, identifies the demonstrable facts and labels the remainder as folklore and legend. Much of the volume deals with the historical setting. . . . Of the multitudes of volumes (not to mention the hundreds of pulps and celluloid monuments) devoted to the James brothers, Settle’s is the first which is scholarly throughout.”—Journal of American History
(Journal of American History)

About the Author

William A. Settle Jr. is the author of The Dawning: A New Day in the Southwest.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books; New edition edition (June 1, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803258607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803258600
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Author Settle (true name: Dr. Robert Parker) was a college history professor from Oklahoma who spent 20+ years researching his subject - the notorious James Brothers of Missouri. His book, first published in 1961, still stands as the resource work in the "Jesse James" field. A historian, Settle refused to use or dwell upon anything except fact when dealing with his material. His research included developing a friendship with Frank James' only son, Robert - who lived on the James brothers' Missouri farm until his death in the 1950's. Settle leaned on family history, but primarily used grass roots documentation in reporting all of he known facts - through the time of publication.

His work is the most often cited reference used by current authors. His research and book opened the way for the current boom of writers and researchers in the field of the James Gang.

Nicely written and easy to read, the book not only discusses the family history and known criminal activities of Jesse and Frank, but tells how and why Jesse James - a known murderer and thief - has crept into legend as a hero.

If you are interested in outlaw and lawman history of the Old West, this book is a "must".
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The research in the book seems to be first-rate. However the author doesn't seem to present the information in a way that leads to the the implied conclusions. He gives information on various robberies, implying they were conducted by the James/Younger gang, but the information doesn't support the conclusion--I wouldn't convict them based on the info presented. In fact, I was left leaning far more toward the James' and Youngers' own statements that they _weren't_ involved in most of these robberies and were convenient victims of post-war, anti-Quantill sentiments. Evidence of the James/Youngers' guilt struck me as being rather shoddy. Sorting out which robberies really could be attributed to whom is largely left to the reader.
Though well worth reading, I would view this book as a suppliment to other reading and research rather than the sole, final statement on the events.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Siniarski on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Settle, along with T.J. Styles and Ted Yeatman are by far the best researchers of the James-Younger Gang. These men write based on fact, the truth is Jesse James was a psychotic murderer who loved attention. The reason his name is more well known than brother Frank, and Cole Younger is he wanted to be famous ( Infamous ) The truth be told Jesse, was just a member of the gang with no more say then Frank or Cole. From all indications he was a lookout who held the horses while the robberies took place in the early days. Mr. Settle was the first to write based on fact's, not myth's and folklore. Nothing made up here, just known information.

C.Shackleford
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By Ag on May 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book but a bit pricey, especially as it is print-on-demand. I don't know if it's because of it being print-on-demand, but the photos and illustrations are very poor quality.
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By Linda Basinger on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
History has proven that there is more to the story than this book provides, but it is a good start on the subject of Jesse James
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Jesse James Was His Name; or, Fact and Fiction concerning the Careers of the Notorious James Brothers of Missouri
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