Kathleen P. Chamberlain delivers a masterly biography that examines the part that Susan McSween, this “intriguing, frustrating and wonderfully complex” woman, played in the late 1870s Lincoln County War,
the unsolved mysteries of her past, her successful career as the “Cattle Queen of New Mexico” and how, late in life, she defined Billy the Kid for writers like Walter Noble Burns (and through them, us).
She died in 1931 still worrying that “nobody would ever write an ‘honest’ history of the Lincoln County War and her part in it.” At last, her wish has come true in this long-awaited and engrossingly readable life story, In the Shadow of Billy the Kid: Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War. No one remotely interested in those turbulent frontier years should be without it.
—Frederick Nolan, author of The Lincoln County War: A Documentary History