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Written with Lead: America's Most Famous and Notorious Gunfights from the Revolutionary War to Today Paperback – September 13, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press; 1 edition (September 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815412894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815412892
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,529,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Weir writes well and clearly. The tales are the stuff of high drama and shoot-'em-up movies - American mythology. For those with a taste for such stuff, it's a lovely, informative read. (Michael Pakenham Baltimore Sun)

Well-researched and thorough. (New Gun Week)

About the Author

William Weir, author of Fatal Victories, lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

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A book published on this crime had every library copy stolen and destroyed (p.155)!
Acute Observer
And, isn't it strange that he never came back to Tombstone, even after the Earps were long gone, and that no one ever saw him again -- anywhere?
Marvin D. Pipher
This book had more opinion and poorly researched material than any true crime book I've ever read.
Whitney Adams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Pipher on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This came very close to being a truly outstanding book. Then came chapter eight in which the author completely lost his objectivity and his desire to do adequate research, and in which he presented a thoroughly biased and one sided view of an extremely complex and controversial subject. This chapter is so bad, in fact, that I had to go back and look at the "Notes" and the bibliography to see where he obtained his information. My suspicions were confirmed when I found that he had taken his data from relatively few sources, all of which apparently paint the same picture. This is obviously not one of the author's favorite subjects.

The sad thing to me is that this chapter is so one sided as to cast serious doubt on everything else the author has written.

Not to be too critical: here are a few things which I would dispute. Mr. Weir states that Wyatt Earp once sold stolen horses for a living. There is one instance, when he was a young man, of Earp having been accused of stealing a horse, but, lets get real, Wyatt Earp never sold stolen horses for a living. He also casts aspersions on Earp for making his living as a gambler, but that was a legitimate way to earn a living on the western frontier. He goes on to insinuate that Earp strong-armed himself into a partnership in a gambling house much as Al Copone might do, but there is no evidence that he ever did such a thing. He even represents Wyatt Earp as not much of a lawman, but neglects to say that during the preliminary hearing held in the wake of the "gunfight at the OK Corral" a missive was received from Dodge City attesting to the fact that Earp had been an honest, diligent, and highly respected law officer in that town, and it was signed by virtually every leading citizen there at the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whitney Adams on January 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book had more opinion and poorly researched material than any true crime book I've ever read. Weir is one of the few who believe that John Dillinger did not die that day at the Biograph and this is just one of many silly statements in this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. P. Firriolo on March 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Readers expecting to read the nitty-gritty details of famous gunfights -- the guns, the ammo, the tactics, the wound trauma -- will be sorely disappointed with this book. While Weir gives some general information in this regard, this book is not an after-action report or a forensic analysis of gunfights -- and it isn't intended to be.

Instead, Weir offers readers narratives of violent incidents from the American Revolution to Columbine that are rich in character studies and historical detail, and try to tell the story behind the story. Sure, there's mention of guns and gunfights, but they are secondary to the stories of the people and events that have helped shape and define America and Americans.

Weir cuts through the myths and legends surrounding famous figures like Aaron Burr, Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, and Dillinger, and incidents like the Brinks Job, the Alamo, the Johnson County War, and the siege at Waco. While Weir doesn't explicitly tie the stories together (each is a stand-alone chapter), several recurring themes emerge. Among them is how different the historical reality is from modern popular perceptions (not to mention Hollywood's renditions). Another is how the clear-cut distinctions we like to make between "good guys" and "bad guys" were often not as clear cut as we like to think.

This book starts slowly, and Weir sometimes allows the level of detail to slow the pace of the book too much. But in this kind of work, the detail is ultimately appreciated, and Weir seemingly picks up the pace as he moves along. This book will almost certainly be worthwhile for those who have an interest in learning the truth behind many of the legendary heroes and villains that have become so integral to the American identity.
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By C. Johnson on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting a whole lot when I bought this book. I picked it on a whim to read while traveling. I especially like being able to read one story, stop, pick the book up later and read another. Fewer interruptions are likely to happen when I read this way. The stories are in chronological order and unfold a bit of history. Some very interesting facts, and probably little known to the average person, are revealed. I truly enjoyed this book.
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By Mark Easter on July 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a very poorly researched book with a catchy title. His accounts of most gunfights are just reprints of others work, work that was inacurate.
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