Ride the Devil’s Herd: Wyatt Earp’s Epic Battle Against the West’s Biggest Outlaw Gang

Hanover Square: Harlequin. Mar. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781335015853. $29.99. HIST
Boessenecker (Texas Ranger: The Epic Life of Frank Hamer) uses historical newspaper accounts to offer an examination of Wyatt Earp and his two-year war against a band of outlaws known as the Cowboys. The lawlessness of the Mexican-American borderland during the 19th century allowed the Cowboys to operate in Texas and New Mexico and finally in Arizona where they came up against Earp and his brothers. Boessenecker provides biographical information on the Earps, including the family’s westward movement, their search for riches, and their eventual employment in law enforcement. An integral part of this book is the examination of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ, and the participation of Cowboys Curly Bill Brocius and Ike Clanton. In the final chapter, Boessenecker presents commentary on the state of current law enforcement and its similarities to what the Earps faced in their pursuit of outlaws.
VERDICT Readers interested in Wyatt Earp and “Wild West” history will enjoy this new chronicle of the lawman’s life and times.

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