ALL HONEST MEN The Story of J. Willis Newton and America's Most Successful Outlaw Gang

Author: Stanush (Claude & Michele)
Year: 2003
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: F/F
ISBN: 9781579620844
Price: 15.00
Hardback. A book based on the true-life story of J. Willis Newton, a feisty sharecropper's son who fled the Texas cotton fields to become the leader of the most successful band of outlaws in American history. It is also a window into one of the country's most pivotal eras, the early 20th century - when the United States was passing from a primarily rural society into an industrialised and urban one, and the American Dream was changing from owning a patch of land to making "big money". If there were an Olympic competition for bank and train robbing, Willis and his 3 brothers - Joe, Jess and Dock - would easily have won the gold medal, carrying off more money in their day than Jesse James, the Daltons, Butch Cassidy, and all the other famous outlaws put together. They were fascinating characters who bridged the Old World outlaw era and the gangster world of Al Capone. In the early 1920s, with the help of nitroglycerin, the best cars, and "systems analysis", Willis' 4-brother gang emptied dozens of banks and pulled off the biggest train robbery in US history - a $3million heist near Chicago. A flinty and restless person, Willis decided he wasn't going to spend his life picking cotton and following a "stinking mule's ass". Ironically, he modelled himself after his mother, Janetta Pecos, a hefty hardworking woman who, weary of the family's slave-like existence, told him once that if she had been a man, she might have become an outlaw. The only other person Willis respected as much as his mother was Louise Brown, whom he met in Omaha, Nebraska, between robberies. Like Willis' mother, Louise was smart, wily and strong, and he fell deeply in love with her. The relationship blossomed until Louise discovered something about Willis that he'd neglected to mention - he was a bank robber. What happened after that surprised them both. Told from Willis' perspective in a southern oral vernacular, the book was written in novel form to explore Willis' thinking and feelings as he moved from a rural society (where everything was done by hand and the workday was from dawn to dusk) to the high-living urban life of a successful bank-robber. Illus. + Authors' Notes. 320pp. 8vo. h/back. F. in F. dw.


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