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The Real Western Canon
Larry McMurtry, the preeminent chronicler of the American West, celebrates the best of contemporary Western short fiction, introducing a stellar collection of twenty stories that represent, in various ways, the coming-of-age of the legendary American frontier.
Featuring a veritable Who's Who of the century's most distinctive writers, this collection effectively departs from the standard superstars of the Western genre. McMurtry has chosen a refreshing range of work that, when taken as a whole, depicts the evolution and maturation of Western writing over several decades. The featured tales are not so concerned with the American West of history and geography as they are with the American West of the imagination -- one that is alternately comic, gritty, individual, searing, and complex.
A man ruled by his gun meets a woman led by her heart in bestselling author Rosanne Bittner's dazzling romance. When Moss Tucker smelled danger he shot it. When he needed shelter he grabbed it. And when he wanted a woman's touch he bought it. But then he saw Amanda Boone's sparkling azure eyes-an innocent beauty like her would never get involved with a lawbreaking man like him. Chestnut-haired Amanda tried to keep her gaze on the vast frontier that flashed past her train window-but it kept straying to the buckskin-clad stranger. Every inch of him was virile and strong. She knew it was wrong to even think of his muscular arms crushing her soft curves in a fierce embrace. Yet she vowed that before the trip was through he would be the one to tame her savage desire with his wild and lawless love. "Bittner's characters spring to life...extraordinary for the depth of emotion with which they are portrayed."-PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Time after time, Rosanne Bittner brings a full-blown portrait of the untamed West to readers. Her tapestry is woven with authenticity, colorful characters, intense emotions and love's power over every conceivable obstacle."-RT BOOK REVIEWS
Son of a feared fighting man, Barnabas Sackett inherited his father's fiery temper, sense of justice and warrior skills. Declared an outlaw in his native England, Barnabas set his daring sights on the opportunities of the New World. The ruthless piracy of the open seas and the unknown dangers of the savage American wilderness lay before him. And so did the thrill of discovery and the chance to establish a bold new future if he survived.
Filled with action, adventure, mystery, and historical detail, the Sackett saga is an unforgettable achievement by one of America's greatest storytellers. In Jubal Sackett, the second generation of this great American family pursues a destiny in the wilderness of a sprawling new land.
This book is a cultural history of the interplay between the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms. From muskets in the hands of landed gentry opposing tyrannical government to hidden pistols kept to ward off potential attackers, the historical development of entwined legal and cultural discourses has sanctified the use of gun violence by private citizens and specified the conditions under which such violence may be legally justified. Gunslinging justice explores how the Western genre has imagined new justifications for gun violence which American law seems ever-eager to adopt. -- .
Mary Breydon knew how to get things done. Raised on a Virginia plantation, she learned how to care for livestock, respect her workers, and keep good books. But after her husband is killed, she must make a living running a stagecoach station on the Cherokee Trail. Mary faces challenges that even the men eagerly anticipating her failure would have a difficult time overcoming. After being forced to fire the previous station manager with the aid of a bullwhip, Mary must track down stolen horses, defend against Indians, care for a wayward boy, and protect herself and her daughter from Jason Flandrau, a man determined to become governor of the Colorado Territory but who is also the ruthless war criminal who murdered Mary's husband.
At a prominent university in the Washington area, a man suddenly stands in the middle of Grant's lecture, pulls a gun, screams "The South shall rise again," and attempts to assassinate Grant. Ever close at hand, Murphy kills the assassin before he can carry out his assassination plot. Shortly thereafter, the real motive for the assassination attempt is revealed when it is learned that the niece of the British Ambassador, a student at the Washington-area university where the shooting took place, has been kidnapped and the ransom is a quarter of a million in gold. President Arthur and Burke agree to send for Murphy, and Murphy takes full command of the kidnapping investigation.
Tyrel Sackett was born to trouble, but vowed to justice. After having to kill a man in Tennessee, he hit the trail west with his brother Orrin. Those were the years when decent men and women lived in fear of Indians, rustlers, and killers, but the Sackett brothers worked to make the West a place where people could raise their children in peace. Orrin brought law and order from Santa Fe to Montana, and his brother Tye backed him up every step of the way. Till the day the job was done, Tye Sackett was the fastest gun alive.
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