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Jesse James: A Captivating Guide to a Wild West Outlaw Who Robbed Trains, Banks, and Stagecoaches across the Midwestern United States

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In the minds of many Americans, the name of Jesse James and the Wild West are practically synonymous. The bank robberies, with bullets flying from one side to the other of a dusty little town of the American frontier; the daring train robberies, with locomotives being chased by horses and forced to make a halt only to be boarded by gentlemanly bandits; the spectacular esca In the minds of many Americans, the name of Jesse James and the Wild West are practically synonymous. The bank robberies, with bullets flying from one side to the other of a dusty little town of the American frontier; the daring train robberies, with locomotives being chased by horses and forced to make a halt only to be boarded by gentlemanly bandits; the spectacular escapes of horse riders camouflaged by long coats, firing two revolvers, one in each hand. All of these are episodes that correspond to the life of Jesse James, that notable son of Missouri. In this sense, he is a vital and representative part of American history and life. Jesse James was a robber, a murderer, and a notorious outlaw, who carried as many weapons as he could. He could shoot with both hands while he held the reins of his horse in his teeth. He was an extremely popular man in his day, a phenomenon that he readily accepted because he was a person who craved attention. He supposedly gave part of his booty to the poor, although no evidence of this can be found except in folklore.


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In the minds of many Americans, the name of Jesse James and the Wild West are practically synonymous. The bank robberies, with bullets flying from one side to the other of a dusty little town of the American frontier; the daring train robberies, with locomotives being chased by horses and forced to make a halt only to be boarded by gentlemanly bandits; the spectacular esca In the minds of many Americans, the name of Jesse James and the Wild West are practically synonymous. The bank robberies, with bullets flying from one side to the other of a dusty little town of the American frontier; the daring train robberies, with locomotives being chased by horses and forced to make a halt only to be boarded by gentlemanly bandits; the spectacular escapes of horse riders camouflaged by long coats, firing two revolvers, one in each hand. All of these are episodes that correspond to the life of Jesse James, that notable son of Missouri. In this sense, he is a vital and representative part of American history and life. Jesse James was a robber, a murderer, and a notorious outlaw, who carried as many weapons as he could. He could shoot with both hands while he held the reins of his horse in his teeth. He was an extremely popular man in his day, a phenomenon that he readily accepted because he was a person who craved attention. He supposedly gave part of his booty to the poor, although no evidence of this can be found except in folklore.

19 review for Jesse James: A Captivating Guide to a Wild West Outlaw Who Robbed Trains, Banks, and Stagecoaches across the Midwestern United States

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Jares

    This explanation of Jesse James (and his brother, Frank's) lives seemed very balanced. Captivating History shows the elements of the James boys' lives that affected their later years. The reader is also introduced to a journalist, John Newman Edwards, who was a biographer (and literally a PR agent for Jesse James) and made him a media star of his day. From this description, it seems that Jesse (who was younger than Frank), was only about 16 when a violent group of Union men almost killed Jesse's This explanation of Jesse James (and his brother, Frank's) lives seemed very balanced. Captivating History shows the elements of the James boys' lives that affected their later years. The reader is also introduced to a journalist, John Newman Edwards, who was a biographer (and literally a PR agent for Jesse James) and made him a media star of his day. From this description, it seems that Jesse (who was younger than Frank), was only about 16 when a violent group of Union men almost killed Jesse's step-father and beat Jesse severely. Jesse then joined Quantrill's men, specifically "Bloody Bill" Anderson. This man was probably the most notorious 'mutilator of opponents' known at the time. Anderson, and his behaviors, had to have had a tremendous effect on the impressionable youngster. Anderson was part of a quasi-militia group of guerilla leaders in the Civil War that targeted citizens who were Union loyalists plus Union troops in Kansas and Missouri. Anderson's butchery was, and is, legendary. I think the association with such committed killers and mutilators had to have affected Jesse. He still did wrong, but such a steady diet of violence and mayhem must have been a significant factor in his life. Also, Missouri did not settle down after the Civil War; passions were high for years after the culmination of the conflict. Missouri politics and law did not handle amnesty the same as the federal government. Missouri would not offer amnesty to such violent men. Frank lived and worked in Kentucky for years after the war; he couldn't go home to Missouri. When they looked at the ease of other soldier's return to normal life and the fact that the fatcats of banks and the railroads were profiting off the misery of the defeated, the James men didn't seem to be able to return to a normal life. This is such an interesting study of Jesse James; his life and the times were tumultuous. It prompted me to read further because this book was so intriguing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ken Wlmesherr

  3. 4 out of 5

    Iris Tuck

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Logan

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yang chung mo

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dolores Remsen

  11. 4 out of 5

    PRHS Kindle

  12. 5 out of 5

    farrell simmons

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Shell

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  15. 5 out of 5

    William Ross

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lo Co

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jo

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Vidrine

  19. 5 out of 5

    Theris Weed

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