Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West

St. Martin's. Feb. 2017. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781250071484. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466882621. HIST
Clavin (coauthor, The Heart of Everything That Is) presents an extraordinary account of the iconic Wild West town of Dodge City, KS, as told through the experiences of legendary lawmen Wyatt Earp (1848–1929) and Bat Masterson (1853–1921). Clavin intricately links the history of the frontier town with that of the Southwestern mining town of Tombstone, AZ. Using period newspapers and both popular and academic histories, Clavin's most successful contribution is his attention to Masterson and his brothers, who have been largely overshadowed by the Earps. Luke Short and Bill Tilghman also get their due as lawmen, as does Doc Holliday.
VERDICT Clavin brings true personality to a severe Earp and the affable but steady-nerved Masterson during their roles in taming the wildest excesses of the Western frontier. Although this work is targeted to a popular audience, the pace of the narrative is slowed by placing finely detailed information and side stories within the main text (instead of as endnotes).

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