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Death of a Gunfighter: The Quest for Jack Slade, the West's Most Elusive Legend by [Rottenberg, Dan]

Death of a Gunfighter: The Quest for Jack Slade, the West's Most Elusive Legend Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 536 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Was Jack Slade (1831–64) a murderous gunfighter of the Old West, as depicted by Mark Twain in Roughing It, or was Twain off the mark? Journalist Rottenberg takes the results of research by a small group of amateurs who have been digging through records and carefully examining books for mentions of Slade and adds them to his own efforts to present a portrait of a wagonmaster, Overland Mail division superintendent, and at times a hapless drunk. The first two occupations earned Slade a small fortune, the last cost him his life, hanged by a group of vigilantes in Montana. Rottenberg shows Slade in all his complexity, delineating how his skill at keeping the stagecoaches and mail moving was a factor in keeping California in the Union. He examines how the myths and legends surrounding Slade originated and were propagated, sometimes with the aid of Slade himself. Since Slade left no letters or other writings, Rottenberg fills in with discussions of the times, occasionally becoming so immersed in the era that the reader loses sight of Slade. This won't matter to Western history buffs or general readers, but the record here isn't substantial enough for academics. Recommended for public libraries and comprehensive collections on the West.—Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The “West of the Imagination” can be utilized as a process transforming rather unpleasant personalities, such as Wyatt Earp, into characters of noble and mythic figures. This process is particularly evident in the case of Jack Slade. Slade has been portrayed as a skilled, courageous upholder of civilization, the sort of man made famous in dime novels. He has also been described as a cruel psychopath who killed for fun. Rottenberg has spent several years assembling the most credible reports about Slade’s exploits and personality. The result is an interesting, if still unsatisfying, account of a man whose “true” character remains tantalizingly out of reach. Slade, a Mexican War veteran, first achieved fame by securing the stagecoach routes between the Missouri River and the Pacific coast, before and during the Civil War. At some point (Rottenberg blames alcoholism), Slade’s propensity for violence got out of control, and he became a lawless thug. Rottenberg’s portrayal of Slade leaves some questions unanswered, but Western aficionados should still enjoy this effort to understand a mysterious man. --Jay Freeman

Product details

  • File Size: 3904 KB
  • Print Length: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing; 2 edition (April 23, 2010)
  • Publication Date: April 23, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00492CFVC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,269 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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