The most reliable books on Wyatt Earp by the top researchers in the field

The Books I Picked & Why

A Wyatt Earp Anthology: Long May His Story Be Told

By Roy B. Young, Gary L. Roberts, Casey Tefertiller

Book cover of A Wyatt Earp Anthology: Long May His Story Be Told

Why this book?

Within these pages lie the latest gems of research that expands our knowledge of Wyatt Earp’s life events and character. Each of these contributions by a variety of authors is considered a revelation in the field of Earpiana. Readers cannot know the whole story of Earp without these long-lost chapters of Western history.


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Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend

By Casey Tefertiller

Book cover of Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend

Why this book?

The public was introduced to Wyatt Earp’s story by Walter Noble Burns and Stuart Lake around 1930, but the novelistic liberties taken by these two writers produced two books of fantasy. Other writers who reacted to this fiction swung to the other end of the spectrum and wrote damning indictments against Wyatt Earp. Tefertiller gives us the facts and leaves it to the reader to parse Wyatt Earp, the man.

I have visited many a Sonoran Desert site with Mr. Tefertiller—places where events in the Earp saga took place. There we have engaged in conversations and batted around ideas. I judge him to be a most reliable and dedicated researcher/writer.


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Ride the Devil's Herd: Wyatt Earp's Epic Battle Against the West's Biggest Outlaw Gang

By John Boessenecker

Book cover of Ride the Devil's Herd: Wyatt Earp's Epic Battle Against the West's Biggest Outlaw Gang

Why this book?

Boessenecker has achieved a fine reputation for honesty and thoroughness in his research, plus he has learned how to structure his books to carry a reader forward as a novel does. His book puts into scope how major an event it was for Wyatt Earp to go up against the organized crime gang (known as the “cow-boys”) that had corrupted Southern Arizona. Many of these outlaws had drifted west from New Mexico after taking part in the bloodbath called the Lincoln County War. Ride the Devil’s Herd is more than a history book. It’s a great ride in itself.


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Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend

By Gary L. Roberts

Book cover of Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend

Why this book?

I know Gary Roberts personally, and I have always considered him to be “the voice of reason” in debates concerning Western American history. He is, in my opinion, one of the top three most authoritative researchers in the field of Wyatt Earp. Others who know him treat his conclusions as the final word on a topic. His scholarly work is beautifully written for all levels of readers, from beginner to aficionado to expert. His book on Doc Holliday can be thought of as the companion reader to Mr. Tefertiller’s book.


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Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse Rider: The Story of Texas Jack Vermillion

By Peter Brand

Book cover of Wyatt Earp's Vendetta Posse Rider: The Story of Texas Jack Vermillion

Why this book?

Researchers/writers today make great use of the Internet, but perhaps no one does it better than Peter Brand. Living in Australia, he can make only infrequent trips to America, yet he seems to be able to mine records on the Internet to find the nuggets that others have missed. His revelations about the loyal men who attached to Wyatt Earp in his quest to avenge his assassinated brother, Morgan, have expanded our knowledge of the Earp story to a tremendous degree. Brand is also a personal friend of mine. Each new publication of his throws new light on the shadowy episodes that Earp aficionados want to better understand. It is quite an accomplishment for Peter to gain the status he has achieved among historians. Who would believe that an Aussie could become one of the vanguards of Western research?

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