Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

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9780099521174: Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

At sixteen, Jesse James began his fighting career by killing Unionist neighbours on their doorsteps. In the bloodshed and bitterness that followed the South's surrender at Appomattox, Jesse and his fellow guerillas, with their gunfights and hold-ups, became part of the intensely brutal struggle by the White South against the racial egalitarianism and Federal power fostered by Reconstruction. In the first serious biography of Jesse James in forty years, T. J. Stiles paints a strikingly new and vivid portrait of the period before the American Civil War, during the conflict and its aftermath. With groundbreaking scholarship and dazzling reinterpretation, T. J. Stiles has refashioned one of the great legends of American history.

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Probably no American outlaw has attracted more attention--much of it flattering--than Jesse James. This revisionist biography by T.J. Stiles delves into the exciting life James led--"a tale of ambushes, gun battles, and daring raids, of narrow escapes, betrayals, and revenge." Yet it also places James within a specific political context, showing why it was possible for this murderous bandit to emerge as a folk hero among Southern sympathizers following the Civil War (in which he fought as a teenager). James is often grouped with famous frontier criminals like Billy the Kidd and Butch Cassidy, but he's best understood as a Southerner who forged partisan alliances in postwar Missouri and promoted himself as a latter-day Robin Hood. Stiles describes James as "a foul-mouthed killer who hated as fiercely as anyone on the planet" and places his life in the context of "the struggle for--or rather, against--black freedom." Stiles's fundamental point about James is as startling as it is convincing: "In his political consciousness and close alliance with a propagandist and power broker, in his efforts to win media attention with his crimes ... Jesse James was a forerunner of the modern terrorist." Tough words, but also deserved. --John J. Miller

From the Inside Flap:

A brilliant biography of Jesse James, and a stunning reinterpretation of an American icon. Stripped of the familiar myths surrounding him, James emerges a far more significant figure: ruthless, purposeful, intensely political; a man who, in the midst of his crimes and notoriety, made himself a spokesman for the renewal of the Confederate cause during the bitter decade that followed Appomattox.

Traditionally, Jesse James has been portrayed as a Wild West bandit, a Robin Hood of sorts. But in this meticulously researched, vividly written account of his life, he emerges as far more complicated. Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery atmosphere in bitterly divided Missouri, he began at sixteen to fight alongside some of the most savage Confederate guerrillas. When the Civil War ended, his violent path led him into the brutal conflicts of Reconstruction.

We follow James as he places himself squarely in the forefront of the former Confederates? bid to capture political power with his reckless daring, his visibility, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with a rising ex-Confederate editor, John Newman Edwards, who helped shape James?s image for their common purpose. In uniting violence and the news media on behalf of a political cause, James was hardly the quaint figure of legend. Rather, as his life played out across the racial divide, the rise of the Klan, and the expansion of the railroads, he was a forerunner of what we have come to call a terrorist.

T.J. Stiles has written a memorable book--a revelation of both the man and his time.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. At sixteen, Jesse James began his fighting career by killing Unionist neighbours on their doorsteps. In the bloodshed and bitterness that followed the South s surrender at Appomattox, Jesse and his fellow guerillas, with their gunfights and hold-ups, became part of the intensely brutal struggle by the White South against the racial egalitarianism and Federal power fostered by Reconstruction. In the first serious biography of Jesse James in forty years, T. J. Stiles paints a strikingly new and vivid portrait of the period before the American Civil War, during the conflict and its aftermath. With groundbreaking scholarship and dazzling reinterpretation, T. J. Stiles has refashioned one of the great legends of American history. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099521174

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. At sixteen, Jesse James began his fighting career by killing Unionist neighbours on their doorsteps. In the bloodshed and bitterness that followed the South s surrender at Appomattox, Jesse and his fellow guerillas, with their gunfights and hold-ups, became part of the intensely brutal struggle by the White South against the racial egalitarianism and Federal power fostered by Reconstruction. In the first serious biography of Jesse James in forty years, T. J. Stiles paints a strikingly new and vivid portrait of the period before the American Civil War, during the conflict and its aftermath. With groundbreaking scholarship and dazzling reinterpretation, T. J. Stiles has refashioned one of the great legends of American history. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099521174

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Book Description Vintage, 2007. Book Condition: New. Jesse James began at 16 to fight alongside some of the savage Confederate guerrillas. In the bloodshed that followed Civil War, we see James and his fellow guerrillas, with their gunfights and holdups, become part of the brutal struggle by the White South against racial egalitarianism and Federal power fostered by Reconstruction. Num Pages: 544 pages. BIC Classification: BGH; HBJK; HBLL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 132 x 38. Weight in Grams: 384. . 2007. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099521174

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. Jesse James began at 16 to fight alongside some of the savage Confederate guerrillas. In the bloodshed that followed Civil War, we see James and his fellow guerrillas, with their gunfights and holdups, become part of the brutal struggle by the White South against racial egalitarianism and Federal power fostered by Reconstruction. Num Pages: 544 pages. BIC Classification: BGH; HBJK; HBLL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 132 x 38. Weight in Grams: 384. . 2007. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099521174

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; At sixteen, Jesse James began his fighting career by killing Unionist neighbours on their doorsteps. In the bloodshed and bitterness that followed the South's surrender at Appomattox, Jesse and his fellow guerillas, with their gunfights and hold-ups, became part of the intensely brutal struggle by t. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099521174_rkm

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