Ride the Devil's Herd: Wyatt Earp's Epic Battle Against the West's Biggest Outlaw Gang

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Description

The little-known story of how a young Wyatt Earp, aided by his brothers, defeated the Cowboys, the Old West's biggest outlaw gang.

Wyatt Earp is regarded as the most famous lawman of the Old West, best known for his role in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. But the story of his two-year war with a band of outlaws known as the Cowboys has never been told in full.

The Cowboys were the largest outlaw gang in the history of the American West. After battles with the law in Texas and New Mexico, they shifted their operations to Arizona. There, led by Curly Bill Brocius, they ruled the border, robbing, rustling, smuggling and killing with impunity until they made the fatal mistake of tangling with the Earp brothers.

Drawing on groundbreaking research into territorial and federal government records, John Boessenecker's Ride the Devil's Herd reveals a time and place in which homicide rates were fifty times higher than those today. The story still bears surprising relevance for contemporary America, involving hot-button issues such as gang violence, border security, unlawful immigration, the dangers of political propagandists parading as journalists, and the prosecution of police officers for carrying out their official duties. Wyatt Earp saw it all in Tombstone.

Product Details

Price: $29.99  $26.99
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Published Date: March 17, 2020
Pages: 512
Dimensions: 6.4 X 1.6 X 9.2 inches | 1.3 pounds
ISBN: 9781335015853

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About the Author

John Boessenecker is the author of nine books, including New York Times bestseller Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer, the Man Who Killed Bonnie and Clyde. He has received the Spur award from Western Writers of America, the Best Book award from Westerners International, and in 2011, 2013 and 2019 True West named him Best Nonfiction Writer. He has appeared frequently as a historical commentator on PBS, The History Channel, A&E, and other media. He lives near San Francisco, California.

Reviews

"An exhaustive account of lawman Wyatt Earp's takedown of the 'loosely organized' gang of bandits and cattle thieves known as the Cowboys." -Publisher's Weekly

"A ripsnortin' ramble across the bloodstained Arizona desert with Wyatt Earp and company. ... A pleasure for thoughtful fans of Old West history, revisionist without being iconoclastic." -Kirkus Reviews

"Wyatt Earp's role in the 1882 border conflict with cattle thieves, smugglers, and stage robbers known as the 'Cowboys' has been controversial, but John Boessenecker does a masterful job of unraveling the story and giving it a carefully crafted reconstruction that immediately moves this book to the first rank of books not only about the Earps but also about outlawry in the Southwest. Using fresh material, mature analysis, and well-paced writing, Boessenecker adds yet another major work to his growing shelf of splendid histories." -Gary L. Roberts, author of Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend

"Ride the Devil's Herd is a marvelous book. By means of meticulous research and splendid writing John Boessenecker has managed to do something never before attempted or accomplished, tying together the many violent clashes between lawmen and outlaws in the American southwest of the 1870-1890 period and showing how depredations by loosely organized gangs of outlaws actually threatened "Manifest Destiny" and the successful taming of the Wild West." -Robert K. DeArment, author and historian

"One of the first lessons when you begin researching Tombstone is that the outlaws are far more interesting than the lawmen. John Boessenecker makes that abundantly clear in in telling their story of the legendary conflict in Cochise County. This engrossing book is a major addition to the literature of Wyatt Earp history."-Casey Tefertiller, author Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend

"Wyatt Earp, arguably the most iconic of all American lawmen, is carefully examined by master Western historian John Boessenecker in Ride the Devil's Herd. Written with an astounding grasp of his subject, Boessnecker has realigned Earp as a man against an incredible foe: the cow-boys of the southwestern borderlands. Using newly-discovered archival records, Ride the Devil's Herd is one of the most important volumes in Earpiana in decades."
-Erik J. Wright, National Tombstone Epitaph and author of Phil Foote: Lawman, Outlaw... Hell-Raiser

"I never expected to read a Wyatt Earp book that contained so much information I was not aware of. " -Jeff Morey, historian and technical advisor for the 1993 film Tombstone

"Readers who want to learn the true details about what happened before, during and after the gunfight will be rewarded... [Boessenecker] provides rich detail on the Earp family and its questionable ethics." -The Roanoke Times