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The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American Westby Jeff Guinn
Synopses & Reviews
On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral shaped how future generations came to view the old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a West populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones, and where law enforcement largely consisted of sheriffs and outlaws facing off at high noon on the main streets of dusty, desolate towns where every man packed at least one six-shooter on his hips. It’s colorful stuff—but the truth is even better.
As The Last Gunfight makes clear, the real story of the O.K. Corral and the West is far different from what we’ve been led to believe by countless TV Westerns and Hollywood films. Drawing on new material from private collections—including diaries, letters, and Wyatt Earp’s own hand-drawn sketch of the shootout’s conclusion—as well as documentary research in Tombstone and Arizona archives and dozens of interviews, award-winning author Jeff Guinn gives us a startlingly different and far more fascinating picture of what the West was like, who the Earps and Doc Holliday and their cowboy adversaries really were, what actually happened on that cold day in Tombstone, and why.
The gunfight did not actually occur in the O.K. Corral, and it was in no way a defining battle between frontier forces of good and evil. Combining newfound facts with cinematic storytelling, Guinn depicts an accidental if inevitable clash between competing social, political, and economic forces representing the old West of ruggedly independent ranchers and cowboys and the emerging new West of wealthy mining interests and well-heeled town folk.
With its masterful storytelling, fresh research, and memorable characters—the Earps, cattle rustlers, frontier prostitutes, renegade Apaches, and Tombstone itself, a beguiling hybrid of elegance and decadence—The Last Gunfight is both hugely entertaining and illuminating, and the definitive work on the Wild West’s greatest shootout.
A andlt;Iandgt;New York Times andlt;/Iandgt;bestseller, Jeff Guinnand#8217;s definitive, myth-busting account of the most famous gunfight in American history reveals who Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons and McLaurys really were and what the shootout was all about.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral would shape how future generations came to view the Old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a frontier populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones. Itand#8217;s a colorful storyand#8212;but the truth is even better. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Drawing on new material from private collectionsand#8212;including diaries, letters, and Wyatt Earpand#8217;s own hand-drawn sketch of the shootoutand#8217;s conclusionand#8212;as well as archival research, Jeff Guinn gives us a startlingly different and far more fascinating picture of what actually happened that day in Tombstone and why
Now in paperback, bestselling author Jeff Guinn’s definitive, myth-busting account of the most famous shoot-out in American history—“A terrific read” (Clive Cussler).
The so-called Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (which was actually an arrest gone wrong, and didn’t happen in the corral at all) is the tipping point for widespread misunderstandings about the American West. Overblown accounts exaggerated or completely misrepresented what happened there on October 26, 1881, forming the basis for skewed dime novels, films, and the ubiquitous television westerns of the 1950s and early 1960s, in which good guys shot it out on a regular basis with evil outlaws.
With its masterful storytelling, fresh research, and memorable characters, The Last Gunfight reveals the evolving allure of the American West and how the famous shootout itself represented an accidental, if inevitable, clash between competing social, political, and economic forces.
About the Author
Jeff Guinn is the author of Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, which was a finalist for an Edgar Award in 2010. An award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction, he was books editor and senior writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and has appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", CNN's "Headline News," "CBS Sunday Morning," and "Fox and Friends". He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
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