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WILD BILL HICKOK: THE MAN AND HIS MYTH, by Joseph G. Rosa (University Press of Kansas, 278 pages, $24.95).
In this detailed biography of James Butler Hickok (1837-76), more commonly known as “Wild Bill,” Rosa examines the life of a man who remains, 121 years after his death, one of the most controversial and puzzling characters of the American West. The author traces Hickok’s career as an army scout, wagon master, gunfighter, lawman, prospector, and finally an addicted gambler who was shot in the back of the head while playing poker.