The Lincoln County War: A Documentary History
The legend of the Lincoln County War and its most romantic figure, Billy the Kid, holds a special place in the history of the American West. Fueled by greed, propelled by religious and racial prejudice, inflamed by liquor and firearms, the war was a struggle to the death for the economic domination of a region where both sides saw enormous opportunity for acquiring wealth. In the end, neither side won and both suffered tremendous losses, human and financial.
In this documentary history, for the first time, the participants and eyewitnesses tell the story of those bloody events in their own words. Frederick Nolan has drawn from many and diverse sources, some never before published, to present a detailed and comprehensive account of the whirlwind of violence that swept over Lincoln County, New Mexico, more than a century ago.
John Tunstall, the McSweens, Jimmy Dolan, Billy the Kid, the Hispanic townspeople of Lincoln, the outsiders who tried to understand what was happening and restore law and order to the strife-torn territory--all speak out in The Lincoln County War. Nolan weaves their stories and opinions together with his own insightful commentary to produce a seamless, immensely readable account. As the adherents and sympathizers of the Murphy-Dolan and Tunstall-McSween factions tell their versions of events, the story develops a gripping power. Enlivened with eighty-three photographs of both people and places and three maps, the book also includes a detailed chronology of events and biographies of many of the participants.
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