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09 Mar

Billy the Kid, “Poker Tom” Emory, Bill Gatlin, Jim Kenedy and Louis “The Animal” Bousman were just a few of the outlaws and desperadoes who vied for dominance with lawmen in an ongoing war of attrition that made sudden death a routine occurrence.Nolan is the author of “The West of Billy the Kid,” “The Wild West: History, Myth and the Making of America,” and many other works of fiction and non-fiction.Richard Selcer successfully separates fact from fiction, myth from reality, in this vibrant study of the men and women of Cowtown’s notorious Acre. Due to a paucity of local sources, the author relies on ``scholarly imagination'' and accounts of other tenderloins.The bibliography includes many major secondary works, although Anne Butler's excellent Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery ( LJ 3/1/85) is unaccountably absent. Nolan will talk about and sign copies of his new book “Tascosa: Its Life and Gaudy Times,” published by Texas Tech University Press.Tascosa was called the cowboy capital of the Texas Panhandle and the hardest place on the frontier.Tenderloin districts were a fact of life in every major town in the American West, but Hell’s Half Acre – its myth and its reality – can be said to be a microcosm of them all. The ``Acre,'' according to this entertaining account, supported a variety of vices, notably drinking, gambling, and prostitution.The most famous and infamous westerners visited the Acre: Timothy (“Longhair Jim”) Courtright, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Sam Bass, Mary Porter, Etta Place, along with Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and many more. It also played host to the Wild Bunch, Sam Bass, and other colorful characters.

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But under the state's governing policy for athletics, students must wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates.Texas is a place where legends are made, die, and are revived.Fort Worth, Texas, claims its own legend – Hell’s Half Acre – a wild ’n woolly accumulation of bordellos, cribs, dance houses, saloons, and gambling parlors.For civic leaders and reformers, the Acre presented a dilemma – the very establishments they sought to close down or regulate were major contributors to the local economy. [H]ere, entertaining and enlightening in equal measure, is Selcer's Hell's Half Acre, vivid history focused on Fort Worth's notorious red-light district in its late-19th century flourishing. This lively and readable work suffers from a repetitive text and some minor factual errors.Controversial in its heyday and receiving new attention by such movies as Lonesome Dove, Hell’s Half Acre remains the subject of debate among historians and researchers today. For example, ``Squirrel-tooth Alice,'' a well-known bawd, acquired her moniker on account of her pet, not her appearance.