*Starred Review* More than a century after the violence ended, the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys still evokes images of snaggletoothed rustics with a gun in one hand and a jug of moonshine whiskey in the other. The recent dramatized series on the History Channel attempted to present a more realistic view while regenerating interest in the affair. King, who served as an advisor on that series, goes much further in this well-written, superbly researched, but depressingly grim chronicle. The two families lived in relative harmony for generations astride the Tug River, which forms the current boundary between Kentucky and West Virginia. The families traded with each other and even intermarried. The roots of the conflict, according to King, are found in the political and military tensions generated by the Civil War. After the war, the tensions quickly escalated into violence, which intensified as economic factors, family loyalty, and outside interference complicated matters. King paints an unrelentingly sad portrait of families locked in a tragic struggle from which even moderating members seemed unable to withdraw. This is an outstanding reexamination of a mythic but all too real and savage story. --Jay Freeman
"Fast-paced....Scrupulously documented....The Feud
is popular history as it ought to be written."
---Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal
---Matt Damsker, USA Today
"King's well-researched narrative confidently separates hearsay from fact, and bulges with bloody set pieces and visceral family passions which exploded into savage fighting that went on for nearly a decade."
---Matthew Price, Boston Globe
"Well-documented, authoritative, and entertaining....King has done an admirable job of research, and his able narrative matches the convoluted, bloody facts."
---Mark Gamin, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The definitive account of the feud...as riveting as it is informative."
---Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
"A fast-paced...fascinating and lurid tale. King's entertaining chronicle sheds new light on a legendary chapter in American history."―Publishers Weekly
"Well-written, superbly researched....An outstanding reexamination of a mythic and savage story."―Booklist
"Engrossing....Riveting yet nuanced...Highly recommended."
---Claire Houck, Library Journal