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History of the Lincoln County War [Paperback]

Maurice Garland Fulton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £21.95
Price: £21.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 1968
In the annals of western history, the Lincoln County War stands out as a complex and tragic event in which lives were lost, fortunes destroyed, and peaceful citizens transformed into lonely, exiled outlaws. A classic work on the era of Billy the Kid, this fast-moving account brings new meaning to the war and to those individuals who became its victims.

Product details

  • Paperback: 433 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; annotated edition edition (1 Jan 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816500525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816500529
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 782,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Crackles with murder, intrigue, and the clash of desperate men struggling for possession of a grasslands empire. . . . [This] history will not likely ever be equaled--certainly never surpassed." --"Arizona and the West""This long-awaited book represents a lifetime of research by a meticulous historian . . . lively, well-documented, and most readable." --"Pacific Historical Review""[Fulton] followed Billy the Kid and the story of the Lincoln County War relentlessly and intelligently. . . . [His book is] a superb achievement, reflecting great credit on both Fulton and the editor of the manuscript." --"New Mexico Historical Review"

About the Author

Maurice G. Fulton was a foremost authority on Lincoln County and also published an annotated edition of Pat Garrett's "Authentic Life of Billy the Kid." Western historian Robert N. Mullin was Fulton's friend, collaborator, and literary executor.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best factual account I have read! 7 Dec 1999
Maurice Fulton was possibly New Mexico's most decorated historian during the period of the Lincoln County War and compiled a vast number of sources including interviews, photographs and genuine documents before writing this book. This collection was so vast that he was unable to complete the book in his own lifetime, hence the collaboration with Robert Mullin, another Western historian. The book itself lays down the facts and events in detail, whilst Fulton's writing remains largely unbiased, despite the legends of Billy the Kid created by other writers. Whilst providing a detailed insight, the book is very readable, unlike some others that I have read which feature a vast number of often confusing footnotes. Fulton's book has provided the basis upon which many more modern historians have written their own accounts and perceptions of the Lincoln County War. However it still, in my opinion, remains the best.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 14 Aug 2006
Well written, detailed, objective & unemotional. This is a marvellous book & surely a must for those with an interest in the subject.
This is the REAL story of the events that made Billy The Kid famous (see also Billy The Kid; A Short & Violent Life by Utley)& narrates the historical fact behind the (pretty inaccurate) tale that was told in the film "Young Guns".
The true story of the Lincoln County War & the part played in it, not only by Billy but also the other main protaganists,vividly bought to life in the pages of this book, is far more complex & far more gripping, than the hotch potch of a story you might be familiar with from "Young Guns" & the plethora of other Billy The Kid films that have been made.
The previous reviewer has it absolutely spot on - an excellent book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history 13 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is history at is very best,a 7star golden rating,brings the real old west to life,do not miss this,if you are a student of western history this should be in your library.A+++,a master work.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed look at the Lincoln County War 9 Feb 2000
By David Kurtz - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great description of the events surrounding the Lincoln County War, which is an absolutely fascinating case study of lawlessness in the American West. Although the author's bias is clear--and probably warranted--the entire series of events is well documented and the writing very accessible. To his credit, the author refuses to fall into the trap of making Billy the Kid--who was just a minor figure--the star of the show. Billy remains a background figure almost throughout and the real players in the drama are made memorable. This book does rely very heavily on excerpts from the self-serving letter writing campaign going on during the events.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fulton's Lincoln County War 4 Nov 2006
By K. J. Schroeder - Published on Amazon.com
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.

K.J. Schroeder
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thorough historical account 22 Mar 2006
By A. York - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who has long been interested in Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, I purchased this book as a means of learning the details and history behind as well as the causes and effects of this notorious chapter of history in the American West. I was not disappointed. Through the use of original letters and first-hand accounts, Fulton is meticulous in his details and does an outstanding job of revealing the connections between each historical figure involved as well as elaborating on the personal motivations and interests of same. My only gripe would be that the book is a bit dense in some spots; however, what accurately researched comprehensive chronicle of history isn't?

If you are looking solely for a light read on the travails and exploits of Billy the Kid, this is not for you. If you are genuinely interested in the history surrounding the Kid's world (he was but one figure on a much larger stage) and the political corruption, violence, and relationships that shaped it, then Fulton's book is a true gem.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read for Fan of the Old West 22 Dec 2003
By Jeff Sartain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Living in New Mexico for a few years, I was always interesting in the Lincoln County War and the true story of Billy the Kid. This book starts from the beginning and does a great job of explain why things happen. It paints a overall picture of Billy the Kid. It is very objective and fact based. I would high recommend it to anyone interested in reading about how the old west really was-not some John Wayne Western.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read for western history fans 16 Feb 2009
By JPH - Published on Amazon.com
This book was a great read from start to finish! Its fascinating account of the Lincoln county war is amazing and it does give all the facts on Billy the kid! There is enough on Billy the kid in this book to satisfy your inquiries into the Kid! Most of the focus is on the war though and all it's participants. You will not be disappointed!
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