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How Journalists Invented Wild Bill Hickok

"When it came to the Wild West, the 19th-century press rarely let truth get in the way of a good story. James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok's story was no exception. Mythologized and sensationalized, Hickok was turned into the deadliest gunfighter of all, a so-called moral killer, a national phenomenon even while he was alive," SIU Press says.

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"Rather than attempt to tease truth from fiction, coauthors Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill investigate the ways in which Hickok embodied the culture of glamorized violence Americans embraced after the Civil War and examine the process of how his story emerged, evolved, and turned into a viral multimedia sensation full of the excitement, danger, and romance of the West.

"Journalists, the coauthors demonstrate, invented 'Wild Bill' Hickok, glorifying him as a civilizer. They inflated his body count and constructed his legend in the midst of an emerging celebrity culture that grew up around penny newspapers. His death by treachery, at a relatively young age, made the story tragic, and dime-store novelists took over where the press left off. Reimagined as entertainment, Hickok's legend continued to enthrall Americans in literature, on radio, on television, and in the movies, and it still draws tourists to notorious Deadwood, South Dakota."

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Paul Ashdown on "The Civil War Career Of Wild Bill Hickok."

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on October 29, 2020


MUSIC - The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
TV - Newsmax On Fox News's Betrayal.
POLITICS - Dear Black Students ...
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Losing Ugly.

BOOKS - Ralph Steadman's Life In Ink.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Cole Hauser's Last Champion.


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