Wonderful review of a wonderful book!
We all know about the Wild West. Men wore cowboy hats—white stetsons for good guys, black for bad ones. Everyone was armed with a six-shooter, and cowboys were old white dudes with names like “Tex” who’d grown up on the open range. Women came in two kickass models: good (frontier wives/ preachers’ daughters) and bad (dance-hall girls/Soiled Doves such as Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday’s common law wife). Occasionally, the Soiled Doves—if they had a Heart-of-Gold—would become good saloon owners (like Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke) or even wives. On any given noon, there could be shoot-outs on Main Street. Or perhaps a gang of black-hats wearing long dusters would arrive in town, scope out the saloon, and then rob the bank, shooting their way out of town in a hail of bullets as they hightail it back to the Hole-in-the Wall/territory line/Mexico.
Except it turns out… not so…
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