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Capture of New Mexico’s Rustler King John Kinney in Wild West magazine

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in News | Comments Off on Capture of New Mexico’s Rustler King John Kinney in Wild West magazine

The April 2014 issue of Wild West magazine includes my article on the capture of John Kinney by New Mexico militia (the “Shakespeare Guards” under Captain James Black), orchestrated by federal government Customs Bureau agents. The article provides, for the first time, the inside story on the events that led the Shakespeare Guards to John Kinney’s location inside Arizona Territory as he attempted to escape justice.  The narrative is drawn in part from a report prepared by Customs Special Agent William Howland, accompanied by Howland’s previously unseen map of the chase, discovered by yours truly in the National Archives in Washington, DC.  I’d like to thank Lincoln County War authority Frederick Nolan for his assistance in helping to get the story right and the editorial staff of Wild West magazine for improving the text’s readability and the article’s overall...

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The books that introduced me to and hooked me on the Old West

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Articles, News, The Books That | Comments Off on The books that introduced me to and hooked me on the Old West

Several blog entries ago, I credited Hollywood films and TV shows with spurring my interest in history. Oddly enough, although I probably watched more Western movies and TV shows than anything else in my youth, they did not kick start any particular desire to read about the Old West. Most, if not all the books I bought in my teens and twenties were by subscription or book club choices. It was not until my late 30s that I began in earnest to purchase books on the Old West. But now they own and overflow that 11-foot long book shelf, the biggest one in the house. I’ll post later about the importance of the American Heritage Publishing Company to the early building of my library, but my first book on the West, at least that I still own, was a...

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Favorite books read in 2013

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Articles, News | Comments Off on Favorite books read in 2013

Two can’t-put-it-down page-turners topped my list for 2013. The books were biographies of 1960s cultural icons> the one a rock band that changed the world, and the other a crafty if intellectually limited, self-absorbed, bloody-minded, puppet-master who epitomized that decade’s dark side. In both instances, the authors uncovered important new sources, stirring their stories into the well-known histories to paint fresh and highly revealing portraits and brilliantly analyzed assessments of their subjects and the worlds they inhabited. Strong  writing boosted my enjoyment of each book. If one volume narrowly edged the other out for top spot, that was a function of subject matter. Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles: All These Years, Vol. 1: Tune In (Crown Archtype): An extraordinary achievement. Lewisohn places John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey and their four struggling, fragmented, and tragic...

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The Books That…(Part 4)

Posted by on Nov 23, 2013 in News, The Books That, Writing History | Comments Off on The Books That…(Part 4)

My first adult level history book, the one that led me to buy a thousand more, and to start writing.

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The Books That… Part 2: Growing Up With Books

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Articles, News, The Books That | Comments Off on The Books That… Part 2: Growing Up With Books

For ten years until his retirement, my father was figuratively chained to the Minuteman missile. His evenings, apart from dinner with the family, were largely spent reading and writing technical memoranda and reports designed to help ensure that the United States’s strategic nuclear warhead missile remained a jump ahead of Russian defenses. For that reason, I rarely saw a book in his hand. My mother’s night stand supported the complete works of Jacqueline Susann, the novels of Harold Robbins, authors Mr. Spock undoubtedly will refer to in a future century as “the giants.” Both parents encouraged their children to read. Our home library did not reflect the widest of tastes, but did allow for a child’s “cultural literacy” before that term became popular. I spent countless hours poring through our Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, A-Z. I devoured selected portion...

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The Books That… (Part 1)

Posted by on Nov 2, 2013 in News, The Books That | Comments Off on The Books That… (Part 1)

I’m boxing my books in preparation for upgrading the basement, currently home to a very large desk, two file cabinets, and fifteen book cases, not counting the three DIY cheapies. My library has grown, or rather gotten out of control, since we moved in over a decade ago. For a while, I was a book aggregator. I didn’t collect books so much as amass them in vain efforts to be a “completist.” To be fair, I’m the guilty party. Karen reads virtually every book she buys, while I too often buy them for the day I hope to read them. In the case of hundreds, it ain’t never gonna happen. I’ve tried to be a little more sensible in recent years, with mixed success. We’re still buying books, but Karen has jumped with both eyes into the world of e-books. That makes shelving...

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