Jesse James by T.J. Stiles
Last Rebel of the Civil War

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Synopsis

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About T.J. Stiles

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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 www.tjstiles.com.
 
Published October 27, 2010 by Vintage. 544 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Crime, War, Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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In all of this, Stiles argues, James was more than a passive symbol: he was ''a highly political man who was intensely aware of his effect on Missouri politics.'' After the radical Republicans were largely driven from office in the mid-1870's,...

Oct 27 2002 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

The Guardian

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Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by TJ Stiles Cape £20, pp546 From the end of the American Civil War in 1865 to the death of Jesse James in 1882, the governors of the state of Missouri issued more than 300 proclamations offering rewards for the apprehension, dead or alive, of train robber...

Dec 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

The Guardian

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Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by TJ Stiles 546pp, Jonathan Cape, £20 Once, at a Custer conference in St Paul, Minnesota (yes, there are such things, and yes, many do dress in cavalry blue and wear their hair long), a lecturer in American history told me that to teach the subject in sch...

Feb 08 2003 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

Publishers Weekly

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Political posturing aside, though, James and his ilk used the booty to line their own pockets—and if James mirrored the bigger picture of a society that pushed him into a life of crime, he also embraced that life without remorse.

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BC Books

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Stiles vividly depicts and rightly plays up the increasing chaos in this "microcosm of the United States" where, during the Civil War, "more than anywhere else, neighbor literally fought neighbor, invading homes, looting, burning, and murdering unarmed partisans of the other side."

Dec 11 2005 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

Star Tribune

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Stiles' "Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War" serves a useful purpose, stripping away any romantic Robin Hood remnants that might still cling to the James and Younger "boys" and their associates.

Sep 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

BookPage

In Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, writer/historian T.J.

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London Review of Books

Stiles, however, distils James and the James Gang down until nothing is left of them but their secessionist convictions.

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AuthorsDen

JESSE JAMES, LAST REBEL OF THE CIVIL WAR takes its subject seriously.

Sep 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

HistoryNet

Right in his first chapter, "An Old Man's Tale," he writes: "We do know Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller and Charlie Pitts were killed, but once Chadwell's corpse was put in the ground, there could be no positive identification of Bill Stiles."

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Jesse James: Last Rebel of th...

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