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Frank and Jesse James: The Story Behind the Legend [Hardcover]

By Ted Yeatman (Author)
Our Price $ 22.91  
Retail Value $ 26.95  
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Item Number 115381  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   480
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 7.08" Height: 1.53"
Weight:   2.08 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2000
Publisher   Cumberland House Publishing
ISBN  1581820801  
EAN  9781581820805  
UPC  610529001466  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 26.95 $ 22.91 115381
Paperback $ 24.99 $ 21.24 458128 In Stock
Item Description...

To some he was a Robin Hood, a mythic figure of righteous retribution.

To others he was the devil incarnate, a bloodthirsty hooligan and cold-blooded killer.

The disparity between these views of the outlaw Jesse James is often attributed to an almost invisible line between marauding Missouri guerrilla bands of the Civil War and the general lawlessness that plagued the Old West.

The beginning of the legend of the James brothers, which began in 1866 - the first successful peacetime daylight bank robbery - is somewhat murky. But once their careers in crime commenced, the James brothers eluded capture for sixteen years, until Jesse was killed in 1882 by Bob and Charlie Ford while the three of them planned the robbery of the Platte City Bank. Frank was never apprehended but surrendered voluntarily to the governor of Missouri. Since then the exploits of the James gang have become legendary.

Frank and Jesse James is a complete account of the James brothers during the Civil War, the following sixteen years of notoriety, and the lives of those who outlived Jesse. Yeatman has created a thoroughly documented popular narrative. Also included are dozens of heretofore unpublished illustrations and photographs of the people, places, and artifacts associated with the notorious brothers.

Ted Yeatman began researching this book twenty-five years ago, reviewing materials in Missouri, Tennessee, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. He discovered items that had never been published, particularly a cache of Pinkerton letters concerning the firebombing of the James farm in 1875 (somewhat analogous to the FBI's role in the Branch Davidian crisis near Waco, Texas, in 1993) and heretofore overlooked papers in the National Archives regarding the Civil War activities and later banditry of the James brothers. Yeatman also assisted in the 1995 exhumation and forensic examination of the remains of Jesse.

The result is a complete account of the James brothers during the Civil War, the following sixteen years of notoriety, and the lives of those who outlived Jesse. Yeatman has created a thoroughly documented popular narrative that will be satisfying both to readers who know little or nothing about the James brothers and those who have read everything. Also included are dozens of heretofore unpublished illustrations and photographs of the people, places, and artifacts associated with the notorious brothers.

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More About Ted Yeatman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Yeatman is a freelance researcher and writer.

Ted P. Yeatman currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Frank and Jesse James  Jul 14, 2008
The information is great, but it just did not grab my attention. I love the photos of the family and era.
If You Want the Facts, Here They Are  Mar 10, 2008
Much has been written about this icon of American outlaw mythology. If you are into the facts in detail, and an even-handed view of this subject, then I would highly recommend this book. If you are looking for an exciting tale, full of action and mayhem, you might wish to look elsewhere. All in all, it's a fine read with a lot of facts, and would make an excellent text source for a univerity class. There is a lot of interesting material within, such as Frank James' life after his brother's death. It's well worth the price of admission into this world.
Riveting, Yeatman puts us in the saddle  Feb 9, 2008
This is high-quality 19th century history that captures the tension with which the James brothers lived. It places the reader in Frank and Jesse's historical and geographical context. Above all, it is fair. Yeatman lets the reader decide. Frank emerged as particularly complex, because he was able to straddle the life of a respectable taxpayer and a dangerous outlaw.

This work is particularly poignant, because of current U.S. debates about government spying, habeas corpus, posse comitatus and many other issues that matter as much today, as they did in the days leading up to the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Yeatman's handling of the James brothers Civil War material is particularly deft.

Yeatman's work is filled with numerous historical gems, such as Bess Truman's family's connection to the James brothers; Phil Sheridan's connection to the bombing of the James Sammeul home.
Difficult to swallo  Dec 31, 2007
I have to agree with some of the reviews of Mr. Yeatman's book.
This is extremely poorly written. If I had wanted to read a Civil War recantation, I'd go back and re-read the many in my library.
While some of the historical references during that period may be necessary background for the James family, more often times than not, in this book, the author flies off on a tangent leaving the reader wondering "what happened?"
Trying to muddle through this book is like wandering through a blizzard. There are moments when the snow clears, only to be shrouded again moments later.
Where were the editors? A fascinating subject that has been sadly botched by this effort in my humble opinion.
An fascinating topic made dull  Feb 21, 2006
That any reviewer can grant this book five stars, as some here have, boggles the mind. I have to seriously ask them what books they read that they consider this one worthy of such a high rating. Yes, the subject of the James boys is inherently fascinating and, yes, Ted Yeatman's research was extensive, which is worth one extra star, but as a writer he failed to present his material in an interesting fashion. First, he is too much in love with facts and uses them whether they are necessary or not. (I do not need to know, as just one example, the name of every insignificant Missouri militia outfit that ever marched in the same county as the James boys unless that name is relevant to them. Footnotes would have been a better location if Yeatman felt compelled to include this arcane data.) Another reason the narrative bogs down is that Yeatman failed to heed his word processor's grammar checker when it pointed out the thousands of passive sentences he wrote. Or perhaps he had that feature turned off. If so, he should flick it back on immediately. Lastly, a good writer spins out a narrative that flows like water. Yeatman's jumbled writing contains too many icebergs the reader must dodge or sink in the process.

I am not yet finished reading it and am not certain that I can continue to the end much as I want to learn about the James boys. What a shame. Bad writing made this book a great waste of the author's extensive knowledge. I fail to understand why Cumberland House published this book without extensive editing or not publish it at all. Obviously, they thought the subject material would carry it.

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