The Wild West trumps William and Kate, I’m afraid, as nice as they seem...
The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West
by Jeff Guinn
On October 26, 1881, a confrontation between eight men in a vacant lot Tombstone, Arizona, exploded into deadly gunfire when the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday squared off against Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury. When the dust settled after the 30-second shootout, three men were dead and two were wounded, but the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, often considered the defining battle between frontier forces of good and evil, shaped how future generations came to view the Old West.
The event and the principals, however, come in for a reconsideration in The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons may have become legendary white-hat heroes and black-clad villains, but award-winning journalist Jeff Guinn, drawing on new material from diaries, letters, and Wyatt Earp’s own sketch of the shootout’s conclusion — as well as documentary research in Tombstone and Arizona archives and dozens of interviews — sees the Earps and Doc Holliday and their foes in a different light, and puts a popular period of American history and that fateful day in Tombstone into a revisionist perspective. Indeed, while a loosely knit band of desperados – collectively known as cowboys – who robbed stagecoaches and rustled livestock were at the time causing conflict and threatening whatever tranquility Tombstone had, the bigger picture is placed in the context of a clash between evolving social, political, and economic forces, which includes the impact of independent ranchers and cowboys and the emerging new West of wealthy mining interests and affluent town folk.