Popular Billy The Kid Books
HISTORY OF BILLY THE KID - Full AudioBook - Charles Siringo
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After the young man most people know as Billy the Kid was shot dead—in his stocking feet and not knowing who killed him—dozens of dime novels and unreliable accounts of his life sprang up, quick as garden weeds. Just the lengthy title and subtitle suggest the windy yarns, misconceptions and myths that were to follow. Partly ghostwritten by Connecticut-born Marshall Ashmun Upson, the book was commissioned by Garrett to help clear up and burnish his own image. What was written became the reality that readers bought into, and the book established the Kid as hero and antihero. Other books about the Kid came and went, but in the s, he made a dramatic reappearance spawned by the disparity between the rich and the poor of the time. Once it became the first selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, it helped make the Kid a mainstay of popular culture for years to come, and beyond to this very day.
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Not much is known about his parents, and it's difficult to trace his whereabouts until his family turned up in Silver City, Colo. Both the facts and the legend pick up in , when Henry—already known to some under the alias Kid—shot a man who was bullying him and began a life on the run. Wallis's reconstruction of the Kid's exploits is engrossing. But even more, Wallis Route 66 shows Billy the Kid as a product of his era, one of profound social dislocation. Billy the Kid was, indeed, only the most legendary of a generation of "desperate men" who knew how to handle a gun. At the same time, a new kind of sensationalist journalism was being created, and reporters were more than happy to contribute to the creation of a myth. Wallis, the host of PBS's new American Roads , writes clean prose, occasionally enlivened by a particularly lovely turn of phrase "the liquid rustle of cottonwood leaves".
Kaiser Wilhelm. Wilhelm the first or second? This was a satire — not of historical figures but of their cinematic versions. A quick search of the Internet Movie Database shows scores of films and television programs about Billy the Kid, the first appearing in His mass-entertainment clone has been with us since 19th-century dime novels, existing so independently of history that he is now free to go on a zombie rampage alongside a kaiser in a pointy Prussian helmet.