3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
No longer a Tombstone moon,
This review is from: Charleston & Millville,A.T. Hell on the San Pedro (Paperback)
Wyatt Earp, like Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, doth bestride the Tombstone world like a colossus, while petty men like the Clantons, McLaurys, Johnny Behan, the vendetta posse men, his own brothers, and, yes, even Doc Holliday, walk under his huge legs and peep about. Or rather he DID bestride the world like that colossus, until Peter Brand, Ann Collier, Steve Gatto, Pam Potter, the inestimable Gary L. Roberts, and others breathed considerable life into those "petty men" and women, giving them lives of their own, assigning them greater purpose than simply enlarging Wyatt's legend. He's still the big Kahuna, but no longer the Colossus. What Roberts et al did for the characters, John D. Rose has done for Charleston and Millville, A.T. These small towns are no longer mere moons of Planet Tombstone. They have orbits of their own, stories and character of their own, capably set forth by author Rose. Rose has approached the story of these towns (Millville a milling center, of course, and Charleston a commercial center serving not just Millville and Tombstone, but also Arizona-Sonora trade routes) with a mix of the chronological and topical. He does it by telling the town stories through the eyes of pioneers and who left behind long paper trails. Richard Gird is the first central character. While not a memoirist, he is so important to the existence of these centers that his documentary record is particularly rich. But James Wolf, Viola Slaughter, Mary Wood and others also left accounts that enable Rose to create vibrant images of virtually every facet of life. The mundane is anything but through Rose's capable stitching of first hand accounts. Eventually, crime, Cow-Boys, and, yes, Wyatt Earp take center stage. Though at no time does Wyatt ever crowd anyone off that stage. As an earlier review notes, considerable space is given to the Johnny-Behind-the=Deuce affair. Rose gives a good accounting, the best I've seen, of what led to the killing of Schneider. He does not tell us whether or not Wyatt did or did not act as the central mob controller, but he does hint that Wyatt did indeed play a major role.
I would actually give the book 4.5 stars for "production value." John's wonderful photos--I especially enjoyed the side-by-side then and now pictures--are not well served by the printer or publisher, whose identity is not mentioned in the book. The photos are great, they are also grainy, and not from original condition. Each is grainy in the same way and to the same degree. Mr. Rose has a website and so I know he knows how to properly digitize images. I can only assume this graininess happened at some point in the printing process. Whether the publisher is Amazon or someone else, they need to work on this side of the effort. Still, all and all, if you are interested in Arizona Territory, Cochise County, Mining and Milling towns, Ghost Towns, even Tombstone, and yes, even that looming presence of Wyatt Earp, you need this book. It is an essential part of the tale, never before as richly told.
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Initial post: Apr 28, 2012 7:06:30 AM PDT
Paul Cool says:
I see now that this is a CreateSpace book, so Amazon needs to work on their printing of images.
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