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Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 23, 2013
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“Superb. ... Mr. Gardner earns an A+ for his research and an A++ for his writing. (New York Journal of Books)
“An elegant narrative that’s as entertaining as it is historically accurate… A must-read.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Action packed…A gripping read and probably tells all there is to tell about a legendary group of psychopaths.” (Kirkus)
“[This] bullet-by-bullet account... sheds considerable light on a neglected aspect of the gang’s life of crime... well done.” (Booklist)
“Rewarding. ... Gardner’s re-creation of the Northfield Raid... orchestrates the often-unwieldy particulars of the event with considerable virtuosity. ... It would be hard to imagine a more thorough account.” (Washington Post)
Top Customer Reviews
Boy, I'm glad I told that annoying, negative voice to shove it.
"Shot All to Hell" tells the story of the infamous James-Younger gang's disastrous attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. The gang, comprised of Frank and Jesse James, Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger, and their pals Charlie Pitts, Clell Miller, and Bill Chadwell, were Dixie-fried sons'o'the South from Missouri who traveled far off their graze to the prosperous mill-town in the southeastern part of the Land of 1000 Lakes hoping to a) take down the mythical "big score" that would enable them to retire, and b) strike a blow against the Yankees whom the gang--all ex-Confederate guerilla fighters who had ridden with Captains Quantrill and Anderson--still held in contempt 11 years after Lee's surrender. Cocky and absolutely positive that the citizens of Northfield would be easily cowed by their six-gun prowess, they never even considered what would happen if a town full of farmers, merchants, college students, mill-workers, and Scandinavian immigrants took up arms against them.Read more ›
Gardner provides unique insights into the gang's motivations. It turns out, that the group is comprised of mostly ex-confederates. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why they would want to rob a northern bank. On top of the giant blow the heist would cause the Northerners, the giant sum of money that the gang would acquire would allow the James Brothers to settle down and end their outlaw ways. But as most heists go, this one doesn't go as plan. Despite the gang's confidence in their actions, they never expected the bankers to fight back. Throughout the book, Gardner chronicles the actions of the gang and the group of citizens determined to defeat the notorious criminals.
This book could have easily been a rehash of historical facts, regurgitated as fresh revelations. Fortunately, Gardner eschews the pitfalls of other historical books, writing with a quick prose and surprisingly vibrant wit. He sheds a new light on several aspects of the James gang, remaining objective in both is reporting and observations. This books reads as a fast paced, historical, western, managing to remain both factual and entertaining. At under 300 pages, Shot All to Hell is the perfect summer read for those looking for a smart, quick, alternative to the standard fare.
Author Gardner provides enriching detail regarding the suffering the robbers experienced as they made their way through unfamiliar woods in rainy weather in addition to nursing their troublesome wounds. The Youngers eventually split up from the James' brothers with the Youngers being captured.
I found it interesting that the dead bandits were propped up and photographed and then put on display for the public to view. This practice of putting the Younger gang on display for the curious public after their arrest took place as well.
This attempted bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota, has to be the ultimate fiasco in bank robberies and the enraged citizens of Northfield were not about to let this happen in their town. The author provides us with information regarding what took place regarding each of the participants. Jesse, of course, was murdered by fellow gang member Bob Ford with the Younger boys and Frank James serving prison sentences. All were eventually released and the death of each is briefly mentioned.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book. Mark Lee Gardner's extensive research on this makes the story so much more interesting and really makes the legend come alive. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Good read. Well researched and a fast and entertaining read. I just bought his book on Billy the Kid.Published 16 days ago by Tony Mizgalski
The best book about the Northfield disaster I have had the unsettling pleasure to read.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Pretty good. I think the author did the best he could with this story. It was pretty 'Plain Jane'. In other words, he wrote from a non-fictionalized perspective. Read morePublished 1 month ago by asdf
One of the best books on the James gang and their raid on Northfield, Minnesota. Well researched and written, it's a real page turner.Published 1 month ago by Marc Levitt
Awesome retelling of the life and time of Jesse James. Wasn't just a biography but a journey retold in a way that made it exciting and kept me turning the pages. Loved it!Published 1 month ago by always learning
This was actually an very interesting read, and I learned more about the real events vs. the legends and stories. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr. D A Dworaczyk
I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched and vividly told story of some of the most famous outlaws in US history.Published 2 months ago by William Patrick
I would like to recommend what i consider a terrific book on the Northfield Raid and robbery. The book is aptly titled "Shot All To Hell" subtitled "Jesse James, The... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Frank Goodrich