By Mark Dugan
“This is an excellent book and Mark Dugan deserves our thanks for researching and writing in such a clear and lucid style the story of Ham White. … More likeable than the majority of frontier characters, this well illustrated volume is a 'must' for any outlaw and lawman enthusiast.”
“Dugan writes clearly, and his prose is free of academic convolution and professional jargon. The book is designed for a broad audience, and it should enjoy a wide distribution. For the academic reader, however, the extensive documentation in the endnotes is impressive.”
Journal of the West
The American public has long been fascinated by the Old West and the so–called heroes that it produced. Even before the days of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and the dime novel, the public’s heroes have always been somewhat tainted. Numerous stories of chivalry and gallantry have been accredited to outlaws, but all tales have been based upon folklore and legends. Mark Dugan, however, gives us a bona fide American Robin Hood with Ham White. Undoubtedly the premier stage robber in the history of the United States, Ham White was an enigmatic man who proved he could lead an honest life but his compulsion for stage robbery overcame his reasoning. He realized that the crimes he committed were wrong, and to compensate, he attempted to justify them by acts of gallantry. Unlike representations of extreme violence in the Old West, which is mainly fictional, White’s life history is devoid of bloody scenes and unbelievable shootouts, yet there is continuous action throughout the book and readers will find that Dugan’s real–life tale is a more incredible story than fictional hype.
Mark Dugan teaches at Appalachian State University and Caldwell County Community College in North Carolina. He is also the author of Bandit Years: A Gathering of Wolves (Sunstone Press).
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