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The author of Wyatt Earp: A Biography of the Legend, The Cowtown Years is honored and humbled that three legendary Old West historians, Elmer Kelton, Leon Metz, and Loren D. Estleman, have combined their award-winning talents to write the introduction to his book.  Here are some excerpts of what they have to say: 

 

 

 

"It was years before I began to understand the concept of myth, to realize that even serious historians could have biased viewpoints they wished to convey and could be selective in the material they chose to present ...

It is unfair to judge those of other times entirely by the standards of our own. They must be appraised in terms of the times in which they lived, and Wyatt Earp lived in a troubled time of civil war, of social and economic upheaval. He was no saint, but neither was he an unmitigated sinner by the standards of his era. He was Jekyll, but he was also Hyde, which must account for some of our interest in him… The ambiguities of his time make him an intriguing…enigma, a puzzle we can never completely solve because too many of its pieces have disappeared into the dusty haze of time.”

Elmer Kelton, Past President, Western Writers of America; Western Writers Of America Spur Award winner; author of The Day The Cowboys Quit, The Good Old Boys, and others.

 

 

 

 

Why is Wyatt Earp still such a household word nearly a century after his death when admittedly better men than he have long since been forgotton….? 

Fame for Wyatt Earp did not arrive as swiftly as the bullets or the deaths, but the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral plus the inevitable vendetta, accumulating over time, made Wyatt Earp the epitome of the Western legend, a good man righting wrongs. His controversial career had spanned much of the West. His gun roared in numerous watering holes besides Tombstone. Yet, eventually the time would arrive when he and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral would become synonymous.”

Leon Metz, Past-President, Western Writers Of America; Western Writers of America Spur Award winner; author of The Shooters, John Wesley Hardin: Dark Angel Of Texas, and others.

 

 

 

 

Even S. Connell, author of Son Of The Morning Star, has said that the very mention of George Armstrong Custer's name is still capable of starting a fistfight in some circles, notwithstanding the sixscore years that have passed since the dust settled over the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The same can be said of Wyatt Earp. This is true in the living waxworks exhibit that Tombstone has become in our century and in the rarefied air of Western academia, where the gunfight at the O.K. Corral continues to be fought. If Lee Silva's absorbing and meticulously researched book is not the final shot, it is a significant one, and belongs in the library of any serious student of American history and legend.

Loren D. Estleman, President: Western Writers Of America; Western Writers Of America Spur Award winner; editor of American West, author of Bloody Season, and others.

 

 

 

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