Cover image for Tombstone : the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the vendetta ride from hell
Title:
Tombstone : the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the vendetta ride from hell
ISBN:
9781250214584
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
xiii, 386 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Genre:
Summary:
That October, tensions boiled over with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank Mc Laury, and Billy Claiborne confronting the Tombstone marshal, Virgil Earp, and the suddenly deputized Wyatt and Morgan Earp and shotgun-toting Doc Holliday. Tombstone also digs deep into the vendetta ride that followed the tragic gunfight, when Wyatt and Warren Earp and Holliday went vigilante to track down the likes of Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and other cowboys who had cowardly gunned down his brothers. That vendetta ride would make the myth of Wyatt Earp complete and punctuate the struggle for power in the American frontiers last boom town.
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Summary

Summary

THE INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"With a former newsman's nose for the truth, Clavin has sifted the facts, myths, and lies to produce what might be as accurate an account as we will ever get of the old West's most famous feud." -- Associated Press

The true story of the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the famous Battle at the OK Corral, by the New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City and Wild Bill.

On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, eight men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American frontier history. Thirty bullets were exchanged in thirty seconds, killing three men and wounding three others.

The fight sprang forth from a tense, hot summer. Cattle rustlers had been terrorizing the back country of Mexico and selling the livestock they stole to corrupt ranchers. The Mexican government built forts along the border to try to thwart American outlaws, while Arizona citizens became increasingly agitated. Rustlers, who became known as the cow-boys, began to kill each other as well as innocent citizens. That October, tensions boiled over with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Claiborne confronting the Tombstone marshal, Virgil Earp, and the suddenly deputized Wyatt and Morgan Earp and shotgun-toting Doc Holliday.

Bestselling author Tom Clavin peers behind decades of legend surrounding the story of Tombstone to reveal the true story of the drama and violence that made it famous. Tombstone also digs deep into the vendetta ride that followed the tragic gunfight, when Wyatt and Warren Earp and Holliday went vigilante to track down the likes of Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and other cowboys who had cowardly gunned down his brothers. That "vendetta ride" would make the myth of Wyatt Earp complete and punctuate the struggle for power in the American frontier's last boom town.


Author Notes

Tom Clavin was born in the Bronx, New York. He is a bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. Two of his books have been New York Times best sellers, The Heart of Everything That Is and Halsey's Typhoon. Other books that have received popular and critical acclaim include The DiMaggios, Last Men Out, Gil Hodges, Roger Maris, The Last Stand of Fox Company, and his most recent book, Reckless: The Racehorse Who Became a Marine Corps Hero.Two of his books were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., was "the last gasp of violent lawlessness in a closing frontier," according to this scrupulous history. Journalist Clavin (coauthor, Valley Forge) details the origins of the boomtown's name (the prospector who filed the area's first silver claim had been told "the only stone you'll find out there is your tombstone") and the clash of mining, ranching, and civic interests that set the stage for the shootout. Lawmen Wyatt and Virgil Earp arrived in Tombstone in 1879 and were eventually joined by their younger brother Morgan and Wyatt's friend Doc Holliday. Tensions rose between the Earp clan and the McLaury and Clanton families, ranchers who supplied the town with beef by stealing cattle and squatting on public lands. An attempt by the Earps to uphold a recently passed gun ordinance sparked the firefight, which killed Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury and set off a chain of events including Virgil's maiming, Morgan's murder, and Wyatt and Doc's "vendetta ride" against the cowboys they held responsible. Clavin briskly sketches dozens of historical figures and gamely interrogates primary and secondary sources to separate fact from fiction. Though other histories, including Jeff Guinn's The Last Gunfight, have told the story more definitively, this animated account entertains. Agent: Nat Sobel. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

Rootin'-tootin' history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West's wildest city in the late 19th century. The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events--making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren't as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson "took the 'peace' in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull." Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most--Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday--died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren't really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren't particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. "It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens," he writes at one high point, "to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather." Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out. Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin's careful research and vivid writing. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. xi
Prologuep. 1
Act I The Territory
1 "Men of Restless Blood"p. 9
2 "Sunlight Into Our Hearts"p. 20
3 "I'll Get Every Son of a Bitch"p. 33
4 "The Only Stone You'll Find"p. 48
Act II The Brothers
5 "Desperate Characters"p. 57
6 "Three Peas in a Pod"p. 65
7 "Nobody Much Like Him"p. 78
8 "A City Upon a Hill"p. 92
9 "You Will Have to Fight Anyway"p. 106
10 "An Incredible Beauty"p. 118
Act III The Cowboys
11 "Give Up That Pistol"p. 129
12 "Very Lively Town"p. 144
13 "Strike Up a Tune"p. 155
14 "Dead When He Hit the Ground"p. 166
15 "I Hold for Nobody!"p. 176
16 "The Fury of the Flames"p. 186
17 "Revenge Seems the Order of the Day"p. 197
Act IV The Gunfight
18 "Rather Die Fighting"p. 211
19 "Geronimo Is Coming!"p. 223
20 "Kill Us or Be Killed"p. 232
21 "Right Here, Right Now"p. 241
22 "The Fight's Commenced"p. 254
23 "It Had Come at Last"p. 268
Act V The Vendetta
24 "It Was a Fight for Life"p. 277
25 "A Smoldering Fire"p. 291
26 "I'm Your Huckleberry"p. 304
27 "A Bad Character Sent to Hell"p. 317
28 "A Bloody, Wretched Business"p. 327
29 "Murderers and Outlaws"p. 338
Epiloguep. 351
Acknowledgmentsp. 367
Selected Bibliographyp. 369