This book explores in depth the origins, development, and prospects of outlawry and of the relationship of outlaws to the social conditions of changing times. Throughout American history you will find larger-than-life brigands in every period and every region. Often, because we hunger for simple justice, we romanticize them to the point of being unable to separate fact from fiction. Frank Richard Prassel brings this home in a thorough and fascinating examination of the concept of outlawry from Robin Hood, Dick Turpin, and Blackbeard through Jean Lafitte, Pancho Villa, and Billy the Kid to more modern personalities such as John Dillinger, Claude Dallas, and D. B. Cooper. A separate chapter on molls, plus equal treatment in the histories of gangs, traces women's involvement in outlaw activities. Prassel covers the folklore as well as the facts, even including an appendix of ballads by and about outlaws. He makes clear how this motley group of bandits, pirates, highwaymen, desperadoes, rebels, hoodlums, renegades, gangsters, and fugitives—who stand tall in myth—wither in the light of truth, but flourish in the movies. As he tells the stories, there is little to confirm that Jesse and Frank James, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Daltons, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, Belle Starr, the Apache Kid, or any of the so-called good badmen, did anything that did not enrich or otherwise benefit themselves. But there is plenty of evidence, in the form of slain victims and ruined lives, to show how many ways they caused harm. The Great American Outlaw is as much an excellent survey on the phenomenon as it is a brilliant exposition of the larger than-life figures who created it. Above all, it is a tribute to that aspect of humanity that Americans admire most and that Prassel describes as a willingness "to fight, however hopelessly, against exhibitions of privilege."
The Discovery Channel star offers an honest reflection on the highs and lows of his life, from his troubled youth to his failed marriages, and discusses his struggle to overcome his own personal demons and make peace with his past.
Bill Doolin was perhaps the last great American outlaw of the nineteenth century. Once part of the Doolin-Dalton gang, he rode and robbed in the wild Indian Territory that would become Oklahoma. The Daltons were eventually shot to ribbons in their failed attempt to rob two banks at once in Coffeyville, Kansas. But Doolin went on to form a new gang that included notables such as Bitter Creek Newcomb, Black Face Charlie Pierce, a remaining Dalton brother, and the Rose of the Cimarron, Rose Dunn, sister of the notorious Dunn Brothers. Pursuing the gang was a tenacious group of U.S. marshals led by the famed Bill Tilghman. Doolin was considered something of a Robin Hood to the locals—everybody but those he robbed and killed. The marshals were determined to end his reign of terror no matter how long it took. The country, after all, was heading into a new century, and outlaws like Doolin no longer had a place in the West.
With its appeal predicated upon what civilized society rejects, there has always been something hidden in plain sight when it comes to the outlaw figure as cultural myth. Damian A. Carpenter traverses the unsettled outlaw territory that is simultaneously a part of and apart from settled American society by examining outlaw myth, performance, and perception over time. Since the late nineteenth century, the outlaw voice has been most prominent in folk performance, the result being a cultural persona invested in an outlaw tradition that conflates the historic, folkloric, and social in a cultural act. Focusing on the works and guises of Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, and Bob Dylan, Carpenter goes beyond the outlaw figure’s heroic associations and expands on its historical (Jesse James, Billy the Kid), folk (John Henry, Stagolee), and social (tramps, hoboes) forms. He argues that all three performers represent a culturally disruptive force, whether it be the bad outlaw that Lead Belly represented to an urban bourgeoisie audience, the good outlaw that Guthrie shaped to reflect the social concerns of marginalized people, or the honest outlaw that Dylan offered audiences who responded to him as a promoter of clear-sighted self-evaluation. As Carpenter shows, the outlaw and the law as located in society are interdependent in terms of definition. His study provides an in-depth look at the outlaw figure’s self-reflexive commentary and critique of both performer and society that reflects the times in which they played their outlaw roles.
This book is an overview and analysis of the global tradition of the outlaw hero. The mythology and history of the outlaw hero is traced from the Roman Empire to the present, showing how both real and mythic figures have influenced social, political, economic and cultural outcomes in many times and places. The book also looks at the contemporary continuations of the outlaw hero mythology, not only in popular culture and everyday life, but also in the current outbreak of global terrorism.
This collection of scholarly essays presents new work from in an emerging line of inquiry: modern outlaw narratives and the textual and cultural relevance of food and feasting. Food, its preparation and its consumption, is presented in outlaw narratives as central points of human interaction, community, conflict, and fellowship. Feast scenes perform a wide variety of functions, serving as cultural repositories of manners and behaviors, catalysts for adventure, or moments of regrouping and redirecting narratives. The book argues that modern outlaw narratives illuminate a potent cross-cultural need for freedom, solidarity, and justice, and it examines ways in which food and feasting are often used to legitimate difference, create discord, and manipulate power dynamics.
Published for devotees of the cowboy and the West, American Cowboy covers all aspects of the Western lifestyle, delivering the best in entertainment, personalities, travel, rodeo action, human interest, art, poetry, fashion, food, horsemanship, history, and every other facet of Western culture. With stunning photography and you-are-there reportage, American Cowboy immerses readers in the cowboy life and the magic that is the great American West.
The Beats, Black Mountain, and New Modes of American Poetry explores correspondences amongst the Black Mountain and Beat Generation writers, two of most well-known and influential groups of poets in the 1950s. The division of writers as Beat or Black Mountain has hindered our understanding of the ways that these poets developed from mutual influences, benefitted from direct relations, and overlapped their boundaries. This collection of academic essays refines and adds context to Beat Studies and Black Mountain Studies by investigating the groups’ intersections and undercurrents. One goal of the book is to deconstruct the Beat and Black Mountain labels in order to reveal the shifting and fluid relationships among the individual poets who developed a revolutionary poetics in the 1950s and beyond. Taken together, these essays clarify the radical experimentation with poetics undertaken by these poets.
By reading two bodies of literature not normally read together - the outlaw literature and espionage literature - Conor McCarthy shows how these genres represent and critique the longstanding use of legal exclusion as a means of supporting state power. Texts discussed range from the medieval Robin Hood ballads, Shakespeare's history plays, and versions of the Ned Kelly story to contemporary writing by John le Carre, Don DeLillo, Ciaran Carson and William Gibson.
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are increasingly seen as a threat to communities around the world. They are a visible threat as a recognizable symbol of deviance and violence. This book uses gang and organized crime theory to explain the groups and looks at policing and political responses to the clubs' activities.
This collection of short, action-filled stories of the Old West’s most egregiously badly behaved female outlaws is a great addition to Western author Robert Barr Smith’s books on the American frontier. Pulling together stories of ladies caught in the acts of mayhem, distraction, murder, and highway robbery, it includes famous names like Belle Starr and lesser known characters, and contains archival illustrations and photographs. Some famous females earned their criminal status through less-than-ladylike pursuits, making a living by capitalizing on the other sex's weaknesses of drinking, gambling, and enjoying the company of women. More than a few, like Cecilia and Edna "The Rabbit" Murray, weren't above robbing a bank or two to stay afloat for a while. Others, however, were much more sinister in their aims, earning a living by making sure others kept dying. Visitors to the homes of Kate Bender and Belle Gunness--dozens, no less--went missing over the years, only to be dug up months or years later, when suspicions were finally aroused.
A comprehensive resource that will prove invaluable to fashion historians, this book presents a detailed exploration of the breadth of visually arresting, consumer-driven styles that have emerged in America since the 20th century. • Offers thorough investigations of American street styles from the early 20th century to the present day • Provides theoretical perspectives on the shifts in American culture that created the social context in which American street styles emerged • Enables readers to perceive the connections between consumer-driven street styles to the fashion industry and to American culture at large