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Publisher's Summary

The little-known story of how a young Wyatt Earp, aided by his brothers, defeated the Cowboys, the Old West’s biggest outlaw gang.

Wyatt Earp is regarded as the most famous lawman of the Old West, best known for his role in the Gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. But the story of his two-year war with a band of outlaws known as the Cowboys has never been told in full.

The Cowboys were the largest outlaw gang in the history of the American West. After battles with the law in Texas and New Mexico, they shifted their operations to Arizona. There, led by Curly Bill Brocius, they ruled the border, robbing, rustling, smuggling, and killing with impunity until they made the fatal mistake of tangling with the Earp brothers.

Drawing on groundbreaking research into territorial and federal government records, John Boessenecker’s Ride the Devil’s Herd reveals a time and place in which homicide rates were 50 times higher than those today. The story still bears surprising relevance for contemporary America, involving hot-button issues such as gang violence, border security, unlawful immigration, the dangers of political propagandists parading as journalists, and the prosecution of police officers for carrying out their official duties. Wyatt Earp saw it all in Tombstone.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 John Boessenecker (P)2020 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What listeners say about Ride the Devil's Herd

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Tough Listen.

Book starts out at 90mph and every other paragraph the author changes the subject before you have time to digest what they said. On top of that it feels like he is just reading off newspaper articles. Book didn't have a clear timeline and is a major let down. narration is dull and lifeless too.

edit: I just noticed the author also wrote Stagecoaches and Shotguns!! I should've done my homework and noticed that before I bought this book. Both are boring and amateurish.

2 people found this helpful

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The Original Good Guy Gone Vigilante

Great history of a brave guy whom you would not want to know (he had a bad side, which gave him what he needed in order to achieve what he did as a lawman). It is also the classic story of the lawman not afraid to confront bad guys who has to go renegade and vigilante in order to pursue the bad guys while outsmarting the law on his heels, in the pockets of the bad guys, out to 'bring him in' (before he can mete out further personal justice)....

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Far beyond Hollywood's stories on the subject

This book is a historical account. It doesn't read like a novel, but there are many stories within. It does jump around a bit, but mostly moves forward. Additional details supplied from a time which was already covered usually are given to add further perspective to the 'current' events. I found this detailed, well-researched and un-biased biography of the Earp's and those around them to be informative, entertaining, and enlightening. I prefer biographies that present as many sides to the story as possible, and this one outdoes any reasonable expectation of circumspection.
As for criticism relating to frequent quotes of newspaper articles--1) they often provide the most substantial surviving record of the event. 2) they are used to show the bias and politics of the papers in which they were published and allow the reader to understand what the common citizen had available to them for news. and 3) the author was hardly able to refer the reader to YouTube clips to see for themselves what happened.
If you only want the sanitized basics, watch Tombstone or Wyatt Earp. This book is for those with a serious interest in both the time and the circumstances involving these legendary figures.

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perfect for our times-esp for law enforcement

the best thing about this book is it reminds me that there's nothing new under the sun.

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love the history

I really enjoyed this book there is so much I didn't know. You can read this kind of book many times and pick up more and more from it each time.

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thumbs up

great book. it puts you right into the actual gunfight's. very pleased. If you're into western history this book will put you there.

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Fascinating

Mr. Boessenecker has outdone himself again. After his masterpiece on Frank Hamer, I was really hoping this would compare. It did. He, once again, struck a fair balance of the heroic with all their warts. In doing so, he proves that true history, i.e. stories backed by facts and logic, is more interesting, entertaining and fascinating than the legend that has been passed down.
The only downside to listening is the narrator’s inexcusable mispronunciations of certain towns (along with my petty hang-up of the way he says “county”; which is repeated a hundred times over). You will not regret listening to/reading this book. Bravo!

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The Wild West

It reveled just how wild the Arizona & New Mexico territories still were at the turn of the century.
Additionally gave very good description of the Earp family and law enforcement in the early days.