Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Wyatt Earp

Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Wyatt Earp Summary

*Includes 30 pictures of Wyatt Earp and important people, places, and events in his life.
*Explains the background surrounding the Gunfight at the OK Corral and a detailed description of how the fight went down.
*Discusses lesser known facts about Earp's life, including his friendships with Hollywood movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

Space may be the final frontier, but no frontier has ever captured the American imagination like the “Wild West”, which still evokes images of dusty cowboys, outlaws, gunfights, gamblers, and barroom brawls over 100 years after the West was settled. A constant fixture in American pop culture, the 19th century American West continues to be vividly and colorful portrayed not just as a place but as a state of mind. In Charles River Editors’ Legends of the West series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most famous frontier figures in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. 

Of all the colorful characters that inhabited the West during the 19th century, the most famous of them all is Wyatt Earp (1848-1929), who has long been regarded as the embodiment of the Wild West. Considered the "toughest and deadliest gunman of his day", Earp symbolized the swagger, the heroism, and even the lawlessness of the West, notorious for being a law enforcer, gambler, saloon keeper, and vigilante. The Western icon is best known for being a sheriff in Tombstone, but before that he had been arrested and jailed several times himself, in one case escaping from prison, and he was not above gambling and spending time in “houses of ill-fame”. 

The seminal moment in Earp’s life also happened to be the West’s most famous gunfight, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which famously pitted Earp, his brothers Morgan and Virgil, and Doc Holliday against Billy Clanton, Tom McLaury and Frank McLaury. Though the gunfight lasted less than a minute, it is still widely remembered as the climactic event of the period, representing lawlessness and justice, vendettas, and a uniquely Western moral code. For Earp, the aftermath led to assassination attempts on his brothers, one of which was successful, touching off the “Earp Vendetta Ride”. 

By the end of the 19th century, Earp was already a poignant symbol of that time and day, having permanently etched his name in the folklore of the West, but he stayed out west, engaging in everything from gold mining to vigilante justice on the Mexican border. A living legend, he even served as an advisor to early Hollywood, which was already pumping out Western movies. When he died in 1929 at the age of 80, one of the West’s toughest fighers and one of its longest survivors had finally passed 

Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Wyatt Earp details Earp’s amazing life and career, including all of its famous ups and infamous downs, while also analyzing his legacy and the mythology that has enveloped his story. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events in his life, you will learn about Wyatt Earp like you never have before, in no time at all.

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