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At every turn, Guinn offers fascinating and illuminating new perspectives on the Tombstone story and its major figures, including:. The very real possibility that, during the famous gunfight, Wyatt shot and seriously wounded his brother Morgan by accident. Moreover, Guinn contends, legends popularized by innumerable TV westerns and movies have distorted the way we view not only the O. Corral shootout, but the entire history of the Old West.

As Hollywood would have it, for example:. Yet the truth, as Guinn reveals it, was far more complex and interesting than a cartoonish confrontation between good guys and bad guys. As he explains, the so-called Gunfight at the O.

Bloody day in Tombstone retold

Corral was actually an arrest gone wrong. It happened not in a colorfully named livestock enclosure, but in a vacant lot on nearby Fremont Street. The fundamental allure of the American West to settlers was financial, and Guinn describes the ways everyone scrambled to get ahead.

Furthermore, the law was a tenuous thing on the frontier — especially for the lawmen — and for the most part laws were observed only when it was convenient. In fact, it represented an unintentional, if inevitable, clash between evolving social, political, and economic forces, though the Earps and the Clantons and the McLaurys and Doc Holliday had no notion of that when they began pulling triggers.

In addition, as Guinn recounts, the taciturn Wyatt Earp was responsible for many of the misconceptions about his own life.

Book review: ‘The Last Gunfight,’ by Jeff Guinn

In a captivating coda, Guinn describes how Wyatt repeatedly tried to sell his story to book publishers and the movies until he died, nearly fifty years after the shootout. View Comments. Login to Comment or create an account Email. Login Forgot your password? Create an Account or login First Name. Last Name.

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We have learned from the mistakes and successes of all those who have made them before. If anything, the reader should take away a desire to not mimic the mistakes made that created the feud in Tombstone. Many innocent lives were effected. I feel sad for all of the families involved.

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Thank you for filling in so many blanks. I was so "into" finishing and learning I could not put the book down. In a nut shell, riviting, enlightening, entertaining and educational.


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I just finished reading the Mr. Guinn's recounting of the Gunfight at the OK Corral; as it is popularly known. The book is really great. It clears up many myths of the Earp legend and does so in an exciting, fun to read style.