On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, eight men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American frontier history. Thirty bullets were exchanged in thirty seconds, killing three men and wounding three others.
The fight sprang forth from a tense, hot summer. Cattle rustlers had been terrorizing the back country of Mexico and selling the livestock they stole to corrupt ranchers. The Mexican government built forts along the border to try to thwart American outlaws, while Arizona citizens became increasingly agitated. Rustlers, who became known as the cow-boys, began to kill each other as well as innocent citizens. That October, tensions boiled over with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Claiborne confronting the Tombstone marshal, Virgil Earp, and the suddenly deputized Wyatt and Morgan Earp and shotgun-toting Doc Holliday.
Bestselling author Tom Clavin peers behind decades of legend surrounding the story of Tombstone to reveal the true story of the drama and violence that made it famous. Tombstone also digs deep into the vendetta ride that followed the tragic gunfight, when Wyatt and Warren Earp and Holliday went vigilante to track down the likes of Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and other cowboys who had cowardly gunned down his brothers. That "vendetta ride" would make the myth of Wyatt Earp complete and punctuate the struggle for power in the American frontier's last boom town.
"Commemorated in hundreds of books, songs, movies and television shows, the gunfight [at the OK Corral] has often been portrayed as the consummate battle between order and chaos, virtue and vice. But as Clavin reminds us in [his] recent book on the infamous clash, the men behind the badges were hardly exemplars of righteousness. Trot[s] along at a brisk pace."—The Wall Street Journal
"Rootin'-tootin' history . . . Updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin's careful research and vivid writing."—Kirkus Reviews
“Clavin shows that there is more to the story of Tombstone than the Earps and the well-known gunfight. Readers who enjoyed the first two books in this popular history trilogy will look forward to this excellent and fitting conclusion."—Library Journal
"Clavin briskly sketches dozens of historical figures and gamely interrogates primary and secondary sources to separate fact from fiction. This animated account entertains."—Publishers Weekly
“MEN OF RESTLESS BLOOD”
Three years before that day in the Dragoon Mountains, in 1879, Wyatt Earp had bade farewell to Dodge City. It had also been time for Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday to move on from the Kansas...