By Mark J. Dworkin
Walter Noble Burns (1872–1932) served with the 1st Kentucky Infantry throughout the Spanish-American conflict and lined common John J. Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in Mexico as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. although history-making those forays could seem, they have been simply the start. within the final six years of his lifestyles, Burns wrote 3 books that propelled New Mexico outlaw Billy the child, Tombstone marshal Wyatt Earp, and California bandit Joaquín Murrieta into the area of legend.
regardless of Burns’s impressive command of his subjects—based on exhaustive examine and interviews—he has been principally missed via students as a result of renowned, even sometimes fictional, strategy he hired. In American Mythmaker, the 1st literary biography of Burns, Mark J. Dworkin brings Burns out of the shadows. via cautious research of The Saga of Billy the Kid (1926), Tombstone: An Iliad of the Southwest (1927), and The Robin Hood of Eldorado: The Saga of Joaquín Murrieta (1932) and their reception, Dworkin indicates how Burns used his journalistic education to introduce the historical past of the yankee West to his era’s normal readership. within the technique, Burns made his matters loved ones names.
Are Burns’s books truth or fiction? used to be he a historian or a novelist? Dworkin considers those questions as he uncovers the tale in the back of Burns’s mythmaking works. A long-overdue biography of a author who formed our suggestion of western heritage, American Mythmaker documents in interesting element the fashioning of a few of the best American legends.
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Additional resources for American Mythmaker: Walter Noble Burns and the Legends of Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, and Joaquín Murrieta
American Mythmaker: Walter Noble Burns and the Legends of Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, and Joaquín Murrieta by Mark J. Dworkin