Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 27, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
3 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.

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Jesse James: last rebel of the Civil War

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Cold-blooded killer? Missouri Robin Hood? Romantic Western outlaw? Jesse James has been portrayed as all these things, yet many of these portrayals are either too simplistic or too one-sided. The ... Read full review

Review: Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

This is a scholarly work, with a thesis to argue. TJ Stiles makes a convincing case for Jesse James as a politically driven outlaw, aligned with the Quantrells before and during the Civil War, and ... Read full review

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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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