The legend of Bat Masterson as the heroic sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas, began in 1881 when an acquaintance duped a New York Sun reporter into writing Masterson up as a man-killing gunfighter. That he later moved to New York City to write a widely followed sports column for 18 years is one of history's great ironies, as Robert K. DeArment relates in this engaging new book.
William Barclay "Bat" Masterson spent the first half of his adult life in the West, planting the seeds for his later legend as he moved from Texas to Kansas and then Colorado. In Denver, his gambling habit and combative nature drew him to the still-developing sport of prizefighting. Masterson attended almost every important match in the United States from the 1880s to 1921, first as a professional gambler betting on the bouts, and later as a promoter and referee. Ultimately, Bat stumbled into writing about the sport.
In Gunfighter in Gotham, DeArment tells how Bat Masterson built a second career from a column in the New York Morning Telegraph. Bat's articles not only covered sports but also reflected his outspoken opinions on war, crime, politics, and a changing society. As his renown as a boxing expert grew, his opinions were picked up by other newspaper editors and reprinted throughout the country and abroad. He counted President Theodore Roosevelt among his friends and readers.
This follow-up to DeArment's definitive biography of the Old West legend narrates the final chapter of Masterson's storied life.
DeArment wrote one of the best biographies of Masterson in the 1970s and it's still in print. With this book the author closes the arc on his subject's life. DeArment isn't sentimental about Bat Masterson--a positive attribute for a biographer. The picture painted is of a genuinely tough, highly social self-promoter who, in the words of Jack Dempsey, "Didn't know shit about boxing." Amend that to he didn't know as much as he thought he knew, nor as much as others gave him credit for. His major predictions were wrong more than they were right. Too often emotion clouded his judgment. He was sustained by his reputation as an Old West Sherriff, his circle of friends, and his years of experience hanging around boxing rings. He knew practically everyone in the fight game. He was rigidly honest. He was financially well-off. He was quick to trade punches. When he moved to New York City from Denver he embraced the Big Apple totally and called himself a "Broadway Guy." And that's who this biography is about: "Broadway Bat."
i enjoyed learning about his life once he came to nyc. he was quite a character a little bit drawn out but a book i would recommend especially for those who like American history.