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GIVE A BOY A GUN Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing Company (August 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440131685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440131687
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 3.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Claude Dallas Jr. was raised in Upper Michigan and Ohio by a father whose philosophy was "give a boy a gun and you're makin' a man." After high school, the young man went to the rugged border area of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada and worked as a cow-puncher and handyman on several ranches. But his dream was evidently to become a 19th centurystyle mountain man and so he turned to poaching, often killing animals even though he had no need for the meat. In 1981, he killed two game wardens in front of a witness. On the run for 15 months, he was eventually captured in a shootout and found guilty of manslaughter in a singularly bizarre trial. The trial is well told, but the book as a whole is a disappointment from the author of such fine true crime tales as "Son" and The Man with the Candy. November 8
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

``Give a boy a gun and you're makin' a man,'' Claude Dallas, Sr., is quoted as saying in this book about his son, Claude Jr., a self-made cowboy, trapper, and ``mountain man'' who was convicted of manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two Idaho game wardens. Claude Jr. was well-liked by many, including a sympathetic jury which rejected possible first or second degree murder verdicts. Was it a case of self-defense or outright murder? Olsen, who last wrote the popular `` Son'': a psychopath and his victims ( LJ 11/15/83), skillfully presents his viewpoint in a readable tale more reminiscent of Old West traditions than of the 1980s. Recommended. Gregor A. Preston, Univ. of California Lib., Davis
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Olsen's writing style is easy and flows well.
rudy krol
This book appears to give a well rounded account of the life of Claude Dallas and the murders of Bill Pogue and Conley Elms.
John P. Hackett
I highly recommend this book regardless of your opinion on the individual.
H. E. Richards Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As the daughter of Bill Pogue, one of the Game Wardens murdered by Claude Dallas, I know the true story of what happened that day. Jack Olson did a wonderful job of interviewing almost anyone involved and investigating the lifestyle of Claude Dallas that led to this tragic event. I learned as much from reading this book as I did sitting through the long and frustrating trial.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By rudy krol on January 3, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was extremely well written, and I would recommend it to anyone, regardless of their particular interests or hobbies. I know it is a cliche to say that "I could not put this book down," but it fits here. Olsen's writing style is easy and flows well. The whole story is so tragic, but I think the author does a good job of analyzing the events surrounding the murders of two Idaho fish and game wardens. Claude Lafayette Dallas, Jr. is clearly a murderer and yet he also has some sympathetic qualities that the author brings forth. It's a shame that the book is out of print, but if you look hard enough you can get a copy (thankfully, Internet searches will make it easier for you).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Timothy S. Oliver on December 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Claude Dallas was a household word in the small town of Soda Springs, Idaho, when I lived there and read this fine work. Dallas killed a game warden and eluded capture for a long time. Once captured, he escaped prison and was retried. Olsen might have been tempted to romanticize Dallas. He didn't. This book portrays events and people of the modern west accurately. The book is probably available in many libraries in Idaho-particularly in small towns like "Soda."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Jack Olsen puts the reader right in the middle of the exciting true story of the modern wild west. I found it very hard to put down! Unbiased account of a true story. Read and decide who's side you're on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Wayne Cornell on June 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Olsen is a masterful writer. As someone who was involved in this case, I know Jack did his homework. Unlike Jeff Long's book, which made Claude Dallas out to be some sort of folk hero, Olsen's presents the facts and lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JD on July 13, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read several books, article, pamphlets on this subject. It is the best and most accurate accounting of what really happened and it gives both sides of the story / crime equal billing. If you are in to reading about the days when "We the People..." stood for something, and the reality of life as it is right now, read this book. -JD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. E. Richards Jr. on September 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great reading and an intriguing story of Claude Dallas. I highly recommend this book regardless of your opinion on the individual. I received the first book as a gift and bought two others for friends.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rifleman on September 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Much better than Jeff Long's book about Claude Dallas. Olsen presents a fair and balanced view.

Those who make Dallas out to be a folk hero say that Dallas was a hard working cowboy that his employers and co-workers trusted and liked. Those who denigrate Bill Pogue say that Pogue was a hard nosed lawman without any compromise that rubbed many folks the wrong way.

Perhaps there's truth in both those viewpoints but Olsen also documents a colder, darker side of Claude Dallas, as well as revealing a side of Bill Pogue that could be sympathetic, openminded, and personable with violators, as in, "Take that deer home and feed your family and don't you waste one bite!" and "I won't be checking your traps anymore."

After reading the book I feel that the incident at Bull Camp should be looked at as a simple matter of right and wrong in spite of personalities. What if Dallas really was a likeable, hardworking cowboy? Well, then he was a likeable, hardworking cowboy who was in the wrong that day. And what if Pogue really was a hardnosed lawman who was difficult to like? Well, then he was a hardnosed lawman who was difficult to like who was in the right that day.

I believe it was as simple as that.
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