Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MO―the first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.
James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.
Wild Bill also fell in love―multiple times―before marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.
Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100.
The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this rip-roaring, spellbinding true story.
"Clavin, a wily veteran of the writing trade, tacks up the truth like wanted posters in every chapter, while simultaneously savoring a few of the more fanciful falsehoods along the way, a neat trick in which he displays some ambidexterity of his own." ―New York Times Book Review
"A vigorous yarn....Clavin writes fluently and often entertainingly of a man shrouded in legend while being all too human." ―Kirkus Reviews"Well written, full of vivid characters, and detailed. Fans of the Old West and the HBO show Deadwood will appreciate the wild ride." ―Booklist
"Rollicking...an entertaining tale of the man and the legend." ―Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating...a page-turner that may keep the reader up late at night." ―The Oklahoman"A well-written and well-researched tale of a most interesting American frontiersmen, lawman and shootist. Those interested in the true story of the life and times of Wild Bill Hickok will enjoy this book.” ―Washington Times
"Wild Bill will appeal to readers with a fascination for American history, particularly those with an interest in post-Civil War westward expansion. But to a wider audience that has grown up with a romanticized and possibly sanitized version of this slice of America’s story, Clavin’s book will offer a well-researched, entertaining, and more realistic version of America’s past."―The Missourian"Mr. Clavin’s fast-paced biography does a good job of laying out the facts, but ultimately lets the reader decide...We shouldn't like [Wild Bill], much less respect him, but somehow, despite it all, in some deep part of us we do." ―East Hampton Star
"Tom Clavin...gives a nod to every gunslinger and scout of Hickok’s time, and if that’s not catnip to Western fans, nothing is. This book sweeps cross-country, around Indian villages and through decades as it busts myths and sets records straight, pulling readers into cowtowns and across prairies and putting mistruths to rest. That allows this to be more than strictly a history book: Clavin can also make this tale seem as comfortable as a Saturday afternoon sofa-and-blanket-session with an old black-and-white western." ―Times Record
TOM CLAVIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and National Newspaper Association. His books include the bestselling Frontier Lawmen trilogy―Wild Bill, Dodge City, and Tombstone―and Blood and Treasure with Bob Drury. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.