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Billy the Kid:
A Short and Violent Life

by Robert M. Utley

ISBN 0803295588 / 9780803295582 / 0-8032-9558-8
Publisher Bison Books
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Whatever his name or alias at the momentHenry McCarty, Henry Antrim, Kid Antrim, Billy Bonneypeople always called him the Kid. Not until his final month did anyone call him Billy the Kid. Newspapers pictured him as a king of outlaws; and his highly publicized capture, trial, escape, and end fixed his image in the public mind for all time. He was only twenty-one years old when a bullet from Sheriff Pat Garetts six-shooter killed him on July 14, 1881. Within a year Billy the Kid became the subject of five dime-novel biographies as well as Garetts ghost-written account, and that was just the beginning.
 
Robert M. Utley does what countless books, movies, television shows, musical compositions, and paintings have failed to do: he successfully strips off the veneer of legendry to expose the reality of Billy the Kid. Using previously untapped sources, he presents an engrossing storythe most complete and accurate everof a youthful hoodlum and sometime killer who found his calling in New Mexicos bloody power struggle known as the Lincoln County War. In unmasking the legend Utley also tells us much about our heritage of frontier vigilantism and violence.
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