Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok

The Man and His Myth

Book - 1996
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Book News
Rosa delves for the man behind the myth in his examination of the highly controversial historical character who once described himself as "sort of public property," though he was later to be embarrassed and angered by that status. The author also examines how Hickok was overtaken by his own legend, the deliberate lies that vested him with the reputation of a mankiller, and the initiation and perpetuation of myths in the 19th century frontier. Several photos and illustrations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
James Butler Hickok was alternately labeled courageous, affable, and self-confident; cowardly, cold-blooded, and drunken; a fine specimen of physical manhood; an overdressed dandy with perfumed hair; an unequaled marksman; a poor shot. Born in Illinois in 1837, he was shot dead in Deadwood only 39 years later. By then both famous and infamous, he was widely known as "Wild Bill."
Excavating the reality behind the myth, Joseph Rosa delves into the exploits and ego that defined Hickok and shows how the man was overtaken by his own legend. Rosa exposes a controversial and charismatic man - army and Indian scout, wagonmaster, courier, frontiersman, gunfighter, lawman, prospector, addicted gambler, and short-time actor - who was elevated from regional fame to national notoriety by inadvertently being in the right place at the right time.
Culminating four decades of research by one of the top authorities on Wild West legends, this is a highly entertaining account of the larger-than-life character whose reported accomplishments - both real and imaginary - frequently brought him unwanted publicity. Setting the record straight, Rosa exposes some of the deliberate lies that vested Hickok with a "man-killer" reputation he didn't deserve. In the process, Rosa reveals a great deal about how myths were initiated and perpetuated to glorify the nineteenth-century frontier.

Publisher: Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, [1996]
Copyright Date: ©1996
ISBN: 9780700607730
Branch Call Number: 978.02 HICKO ROSA
Characteristics: xxiv, 276 pages ; 24 cm


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