By Mark J. Dworkin

ISBN-10: 0806146850

ISBN-13: 9780806146850

Billy the child, Wyatt Earp, and Joaquín Murrieta are mounted within the American mind's eye as towering legends of the previous West. yet that has no longer consistently been the case. there has been a time while those males have been mostly forgotten relics of a bygone period. Then, within the early 20th century, an imprecise Chicago newspaperman replaced all that.

Walter Noble Burns (1872–1932) served with the 1st Kentucky Infantry throughout the Spanish-American conflict and coated basic John J. Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in Mexico as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. even though history-making those forays could appear, they have been basically the start. within the final six years of his lifestyles, Burns wrote 3 books that propelled New Mexico outlaw Billy the child, Tombstone marshal Wyatt Earp, and California bandit Joaquín Murrieta into the world of legend.

regardless of Burns’s extraordinary command of his subjects—based on exhaustive learn and interviews—he has been principally neglected via students a result of well known, even sometimes fictional, method he hired. In American Mythmaker, the 1st literary biography of Burns, Mark J. Dworkin brings Burns out of the shadows. via cautious research of The Saga of Billy the Kid (1926), Tombstone: An Iliad of the Southwest (1927), and The Robin Hood of Eldorado: The Saga of Joaquín Murrieta (1932) and their reception, Dworkin indicates how Burns used his journalistic education to introduce the historical past of the yank West to his era’s basic readership. within the technique, Burns made his matters loved ones names.

Are Burns’s books truth or fiction? used to be he a historian or a novelist? Dworkin considers those questions as he uncovers the tale in the back of Burns’s mythmaking works. A long-overdue biography of a author who formed our concept of western historical past, American Mythmaker documents in attention-grabbing element the fashioning of a few of the best American legends.

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American Mythmaker: Walter Noble Burns and the Legends of Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, and Joaquín Murrieta by Mark J. Dworkin


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