For those of you who are interested in a detailed (almost to a fault) and historic account of New Mexico's Lincoln County War (LCW), this book belongs in your library. It is one of the more accurate accounts of the events before, during, and after the LCW. Fulton clearly did his homework before attempting to provide a historical record. The author is fairly unbiased in his approach, although he distinguishes criminal activity at both the blue collar and white collar levels, siding mostly with the underdog, i.e., the have nots which are generally Mexicans. As with most wars, no one side is completely without guilt.
The extent to which the individual participants have been researched and presented is indeed impressive. The author has shown how minor characters such as cow hands, cattle rustlers, and store clerks played into the intricate design and manipulation of the major characters who capitalized on their political position and social status. The war was not so much a series of gun battles as it was an effort to win the hearts and minds of the New Mexico populace. It could also be viewed from a perspective of Mexican-American rights on the early frontier.
The book has a couple of shortcomings, however. Foremost is that the subtitle is "A Classic Account of Billy the Kid", but don't believe it. In this book, Billy the Kid is seldom mentioned in the great scheme of the War except toward the very end. This subtitle appears to be an attempt by the publisher to grab your attention and sell copies. Second, the author died before the book was finished and there are places where one can distinguish a loss of continuity in the final writing.
Nevertheless, the book has its merits and should be read by anyone interested in New Mexico history, the struggles of cattlemen and Mexican-Americans, the influence of the military in the Southwest, or white collar crime and corruption and the quagmire encountered by those who attempt to enter the legal and political arena in order to do something about it.