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10 thoughts on “Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life

  1. says:

    Robert M Utley is the gold standard for the history of the American West This short, but scholarly life of Billy the Kid shows him to be scrupulous about providing nothing but well researched fact instead of the all too available legends Billy the Kid A Short and Violent Life shows young Henry McCarty alias Henry Antrim alias The Kid alias Billy the Kid to be a lesser figure than the facts would dictate He had committed four murders that could be laid at his feet including three sheriffs and participated in some cattle and horse rustling, but he never really led a gang In fact, he was only 21 years old when Pat Garrett came upon him by luck at Fort Sumner and plugged him.Billy the Kid had numerous allies, particularly among the Hispanic population of New Mexico, and he was a frequent participant at local bailes, with a marked preference for young senoritas It is very likely that if he had found his way across the border into Mexico, he would have lived farther into adulthood Or not Billy was a violent young dude.


  2. says:

    I m not sure if this is the same book I read or not, but I THINK this is the correct title Since I picked it up in the library over fifteen years ago I just can t be sure The cover was different It had the same photo as Odaantje s new poetry book about Billy the Kid Whatever the book read like a novel, and it was so very interesting because no one truly knows for sure if the guy who was shot in NM was Billy the Kid or someone else and if Billy ended up living out his days with his Mexican girlfriend He wasn t really as bad as everyone said, though he did commit murders, they were in self defense mostly He may have been blamed for murders he never really committed too.


  3. says:

    UghI thought this book would never end The only reason I finished it was for a book group Utley s treatment of the history of Billy the Kid was too pompous for my taste I disliked the fact that he relied heavily on Pat Garrett s account of events Granted, Garrett s is a first hand telling, but it s coming from a man who needed a justification for killing a twenty year old man who was no evil than he Additionally, Utley uses his own books as references for facts in this book He also assigns emotional states to the players in the history that he cannot possibly know Finally, he treats the Mexican people in the story as the most shallow folk in the Wild West They are either completely enad of Billy, or they are so terrified by him, that they almost have no choice but to side with him I for one, think my two stars are generous, but the research time Utley put in prompts me to give him that much.


  4. says:

    In his biography Billy the Kid A Short and Violent Life, Robert Utley gives detailed endnotes that greatly focuses on evaluating and analyzing the sources he used during his research He gives extensive backgrounds on different individuals and events that involved Billy the Kid, resulting in a better understanding of how he lived during his lifetime He considered both the positive and negative aspects to the sources used to make his conclusions, pointing out potential embellishments and variations in perspectives Utley also supports future researchers by giving directions on how to find the sources he used for his research and by giving full credit to the establishments that hold useful information about the Kid.


  5. says:

    This is only for people who have an interest in historical outlaw figures Thieves and other criminals have been around since the beginning of time, it doesn t seem to matter what culture or period in history, and many times they choose this life, not because they need to steal or cheat to survive This book is very detailed and probably the most accurate and complete history of Billy the Kid, or any outlaw for that matter, I have read There was a little too much detail my for interest For instance, I didn t need to know the names and background of every person in a posse or a particular gang at the time The book gets better and easier to read about halfway through This is a good book for history buffs only since it is a factual account rather than an exciting re creation.


  6. says:

    The book was incredibly boring It was one of those books where you really, really had to concentrate one what you were reading regardless of how EXCITING it was There where to many names that where only introduced once so you kinda forgot who was who I guess when you read this book be prepared to have a piece of paper and a pen to list them all down Nevertheless if you can stand boring books it would be good to read for a paper because it has A LOT of facts Maybe im just not used to reading non fiction Gormenghast is the Best


  7. says:

    Cudos to historian Utley for weeding through a forest of mythology about the famed gunman s doings to produce an easy to read, entertaining and logical account of Billy the Kid s life Most of his criminal activity was as a hired gun in the Lincoln County war, a business turf war in southern New Mexico Once that war was over the Kid had plenty of chance to leave the territory He chose to stay and continue cattle rustling and horse stealing his sticky end became a foregone conclusion.


  8. says:

    I think I was just not in the mood for this type of book there is great detail in this book, and for me too much I think I would have preferred of a story type book what I did learn from the book was that his legend was probably to do with bad luck as he grew up to become an outlaw and the time were others once his death used his name to write stories.


  9. says:

    When I was studying at the University of New Mexico, I used to drive through Ft Sumner frequently between my hometown and Abq I stopped in one time at the museum there and asked the clerk which biography of The Kid was the most factual She mentioned Utley s so I picked it up, started reading it and then couldn t put the book down A great read and probably is the most factual.


  10. says:

    As much detailed information as you ll find anywhere on Billy the Kid, who was only 21 when he was shot down by Sherrif Pat Garrett Includes several references to a distant cousin of mine Louis Bousman aka the Animal who rode with Pat Garrett in his capture of Billy the Kid at Stinking Springs, NM, and was involved in some major gunfights in Tascosa, Texas.


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Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life summary pdf Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, summary chapter 2 Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, sparknotes Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life 21273fb Whatever His Name Or Alias At The Moment Henry McCarty, Henry Antrim, Kid Antrim, Billy Bonney People 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 Garett S Six Shooter Killed Him On July , Within A Year Billy The Kid Became The Subject Of Five Dime Novel Biographies As Well As Garett S 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 Story The Most Complete And Accurate Ever Of A Youthful Hoodlum And Sometime Killer Who Found His Calling In New Mexico S 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

  • Paperback
  • 284 pages
  • Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life
  • Robert M. Utley
  • English
  • 24 June 2018
  • 9780803295582

About the Author: Robert M. Utley

Robert Marshall Utley is an author and historian who has written sixteen books on the history of the American West He was a former chief historian of the National Park Service Fellow historians commend Utley as the finest historian of the American frontier in the 19th century.The Western History Association annually gives out the Robert M Utley Book Award for the best book published on the mili