Saturday, March 11, 2017

REVIEW: Dodge City

Dodge City
Author: Tom Clavin

I grew up in rural Kansas, so the history of the midwest, especially the Old West era in Kansas,  is near and dear to me. My husband is a huge fan of the fictionalized television show about Dodge City, Gunsmoke. I was so excited when I learned this book was coming out! I knew immediately my husband would love it. Reading about Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday and other real characters and events in Dodge City will make him so happy! His book is on order....I can't wait for it to arrive!

Tom Clavin starts out by giving information about southwest Kansas before white settlers arrived. It was filled with Indian tribes fighting for territory, millions of buffalo, and wide open grassland. He talks about the conquistadors who came through exploring in the 1500s and Lewis & Clark in the early 1800s and those who followed after. Then Clavin moves into the era of westward movement, cattle drives, railroads and lawlessness in the prairie.

This book is just crammed full of well-researched information. At times, it seemed a bit disorganized but the history was interesting, even if not always related in linear fashion. Technically, the book really isn't just about Dodge City but relates stories about people, events and the history of the region.

I had to read this book a little bit at a time. When my brain went into fact-overload, I would take a break and come back later for more. Clavin gives factual insights into what Dodge City and the Old West was really like, and how the exaggerated stories in books and movies came about.

A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys history! Just keep in mind that this book is a non-fiction history, not a fictionalized story. Don't expect simple entertainment, but a journey through the real history of the region, the era and some of the famous people who battled to tame the west.

Tom Clavin is the author of 11 non-fiction books on famous people including Roger Maris and the DiMaggio brothers.

**I voluntarily read an Advance Readers copy of this book from St Martin's Press via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

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