In this brilliant biography T. J. Stiles offers a new understanding of the legendary outlaw Jesse James. Although he has often been portrayed as a Robin Hood of the old west, in this ground-breaking work Stiles places James within the context of the bloody conflicts of the Civil War to reveal a much more complicated and significant figure.
Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery household in bitterly divided Misssouri, at age sixteen James became a bushwhacker, one of the savage Confederate guerrillas that terrorized the border states. After the end of the war, James continued his campaign of robbery and murder into the brutal era of reconstruction, when his reckless daring, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with the sympathetic editor John Newman Edwards placed him squarely at the forefront of the former Confederates’ bid to recapture political power. With meticulous research and vivid accounts of the dramatic adventures of the famous gunman, T. J. Stiles shows how he resembles not the apolitical hero of legend, but rather a figure ready to use violence to command attention for a political cause—in many ways, a forerunner of the modern terrorist.
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|Title of History eBook: Jesse James|
|Release Date: 10-27-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Jesse James|
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Walk about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye may tell it to the generation following.
In the blind man's memory, the river ran west. It was in the spring of 1846 when young Francis Parkman had first looked on the Missouri, and he had seen clearly that its wide and silty waters flowed east to the Mississippi. But when he closed his faltering eyes in a clinic on Staten Island in 1847 and began to dictate the story of his adventure of the previous year, he had already begun to think like the great historian he would soon become. As he scanned in his mind the lines of passengers and clots of wagons and piles of goods crowding the St. Louis levee, as he recalled the sound of steamboat paddles slapping and churning against the Missouri's current, he could see the life of the nation pulsing westward up the river like blood cells pouring through an artery. In the most important sense, the river ran west.1
Parkman did not record how he arrived in St. Louis from his home in Boston, but he undoubtedly spent most of his trip on the water. It was virtually his only choice. Most roads amounted to little more than muddy ravines-in Missouri, it was said that roads were worn, not made-and the first, pioneering railways had yet to cover much territory. So, whenever possible, Americans set out in schooners and square-rigged ships, paddlewheel steamboats, or mule-drawn canal barges. He might have taken a ship to New Orleans, then a riverboat north; or he could have sailed up the Hudson, been to...