Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 27, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
21 Reviews
In this brilliant biography T. J. Stiles offers a new understanding of the legendary outlaw Jesse James. Although he has often been portrayed as a Robin Hood of the old west, in this ground-breaking work Stiles places James within the context of the bloody conflicts of the Civil War to reveal a much more complicated and significant figure.

Raised in a fiercely pro-slavery household in bitterly divided Misssouri, at age sixteen James became a bushwhacker, one of the savage Confederate guerrillas that terrorized the border states. After the end of the war, James continued his campaign of robbery and murder into the brutal era of reconstruction, when his reckless daring, his partisan pronouncements, and his alliance with the sympathetic editor John Newman Edwards placed him squarely at the forefront of the former Confederates’ bid to recapture political power. With meticulous research and vivid accounts of the dramatic adventures of the famous gunman, T. J. Stiles shows how he resembles not the apolitical hero of legend, but rather a figure ready to use violence to command attention for a political cause—in many ways, a forerunner of the modern terrorist.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

User Review  - Garth Mailman - Goodreads

As a naive Canadian this book opened my mind to the antebellum experience and the implications of America's experience with slavery. Just as hundreds of draft dodgers later crossed into Canada ... Read full review

Review: Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

User Review  - Bryn Dunham - Goodreads

This is a terrific book about not just the famous outlaw, but the era in which he lived. Popular culture has romanticized him and his banditry, but upon reading this we learn that the truth is far ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

A native of rural Benton County, Minnesota, T.J. Stiles studied history at Carleton College and Columbia University, where he received two graduate degrees. His writings about American history include articles in Smithsonian, essays in the Los Angeles Times and the Denver Post, and a five-volume series of primary-source anthologies. He lives in New York. For more information on T. J. Stiles and Jesse James see

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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