The Revenger: The Life and Times of Wild Bill Hickok examines Wild Bill’s life in the context of 19th Century American history, from his birth, through his early manhood, and to his eventual demise. Woven into his life story are the significant role played by the Civil War in the development of his character and philosophy, the role played by popular media in the creation of his legendary status, and the changing of the western landscape and lifestyle that began to eliminate the need for gunmen such as Wild Bill. The book discusses Hickok’s early jobs in law enforcement and his associations with other significant westerners and recounts the events that transformed Hickok from a formidable lawman into a national celebrity and popular hero. Details of Hickok’s most famous gunfights, including weapons used and participants and outcomes and, of course, the end of his career including his famous death at the hands of an assassin in a saloon in Deadwood South Dakota are all explored. The book also incorporates changing views of historiographical interpretation of lawmen/gunmen in general and Wild Bill in particular. The book will have extensive illustrations—archival photos of Wild Bill, his contemporaries, his guns, etc.
Aaron Woodard holds three degrees in American History, including his Ph.D. from Trinity Saint David College in the United Kingdom. He has taught American History at the collegiate level for 15 years. He has been an editorial writer for the Indianapolis News and has written many articles for various peer reviewed academic journals including Journal of the West, Overland Journal and Heritage of the Great Plains. His latest journal article was “Incidents of Lawlessness-Theodore Roosevelt Bags His Men” in the Winter 2016 issue of Heritage of the Great Plains.