Gunfighter in Gotham

gunfighter-in-gotham_dearmentMany deem Robert K. DeArment’s 1979 biography, Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend, as essential reading.

DeArment’s Gunfighter in Gotham attempts to put a cap on Masterson’s colorful life—he spent his final years in New York City as a sportswriter and raconteur who inspired Broadway’s greatest fictional chronicler, Damon Runyon. Unfortunately, this work seems secondhand. The author does not seem to have a feel for New York and its sporting scene from 1890 to post-WWI. DeArment also makes some embarrassing mistakes: to cite an obvious one, the legendary police commissioner was Rhinelander Waldo, not Waldo Rhinelander. Gunfighter in Gotham is a minor work from a major Western historian.

—Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp: His Life and Many Legends

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