October 8, 2011

New books featuring Soapy Smith



There is very honestly, and simply no better book on the market than Alias Soapy Smith. However, like myself, there are collectors out there who collect everything, historically correct or not. I offer a look at the two latest books I'v located that contain Soapy Smith within their pages.



Outlaw Tales of Alaska: True Stories of the Last Frontier's Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats
ISBN:9780762753260
Author: Heaton, John
Publisher: Two Dot Books
Publication date: 2010
Series: Outlaw Tales
Pages: 197

The following comes from the advertisements for the book. 

Author: Description: Taking a break from his academic work, history professor Heaton relates the tales of a dozen crooks and desperate characters from Alaska's early days. Readers will meet "Soapy" Smith, the underworld boss of Skagway; the murderous Klutuk of southwestern Alaska; the legendary (and sometimes generous) Blue Parka bandit; and Fred Hardy, the first murderer to be hung in the Territory of Alaska. Heaton's book offers readers the best of two worlds: It's fact-checked to academic standards, but written for a general audience. Any reader interested in Alaska history or true crime will find this book a delight. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) -- Book News

Fans of shoot-’em-up books and movie Westerns, as well as history buffs, will enjoy these short biographies about the baddest of the bad villains and desperadoes on the Alaskan frontier. Massacres, mayhem, and mischief fill the pages of Outlaw Tales of Alaska. Readers will find themselves panning for gold with dry gulchers and claim jumpers, ducking the bullets of murderers, plotting strategies with con artists, and hissing at lawmen-turned-outlaws. A refreshing new perspective on some of the most infamous reprobates of the Last Frontier, this book also includes historic, black-and-white photos.
-- Globe Fearon Co

Massacres, mayhem, and mischief fill the pages of Outlaw Tales of Alaska. Pan for gold with dry gulchers and claim jumpers. Duck the bullets of murderers, plot strategies with con artists, hiss at lawmen turned outlaws. A refreshing new perspective on some of the most infamous reprobates of the Last Frontier.
-- Globe Fearon Co
I tried to contact the author, Professor of History, John Heaton of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks but he has not responded as of this post. This book has one chapter of 17 pages devoted to Soapy Smith. I was not able to read any of the chapter but I did note that in the index, which I was able to see, had gang member, John Bowers spelled as Charles Bowers, and it included non-existant person and gang member, Syd Dixon, two common mistakes when using older biographies as a source. I was not able to view the books sources for Soapy Smith but the University of Alaska, Fairbanks is also where King Con author, Jane Haigh teaches so I fear Professfor Heaton mistakenly used her book as a main source. That would explain the two index mistakes. If this is the case then I would not suggest using this book as a source.


The book retails for $14.95 but I was able to find used copies at around $5.72.






Goin' Up to Cripple Creek
ISBN-10: 097997237X
ISBN-13: 978-0979972379
Author: Raymond Walter Seibert
Publisher: Advanced Concept Design
Publication date: October 2009
Pages: 346
Fiction / Historical

From the publishers website I'm guessing that this is a self-published historical fiction novel/love story. Here is what the description and advertisement had to say.

Goin' Up To Cripple Creek is historical western fiction of the Colorado, Cripple Creek Mining District, and the men who established it, and mined its gold. The time period is from the discovery and settlement of this alpine valley, through the establishment of the town of Cripple Creek, to the fires of 1896. This is the first work in The Gold Trail Series. Filled with action and romance, it is a well researched and historical fiction of an exciting time. Starting with the settlement by Levi Welty, and the discovery of gold by Bob Womack, it tells the story of the establishment of the District. A vivid picture of the community, inner workings, and social life emerges. A young mining engineer, Steven Marks, arrives from abroad and is robbed of his money on the road into the new town. With the help of kindly, hard drinking Bob Womack, he is able to establish himself with employment at Guyot's Assay Office, where he becomes acquainted with Winfield Scott Stratton. He meets and falls in love with the independent Elizabeth Yates, who owns a restaurant on the main street. She has made an enemy of Soapy Smith, and a tangled relationship with Steven is complicated by the arrival of her first husband. As the city grows, bad elements of greed, and intemperance, tear the social fabric of the close knit early town. Purged by fire, a community is brought together. -- Advanced Concept Design

A work of historical fiction features the lives of the men and women who established the town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, and mined its gold.

Historical western fiction of the Cripple Creek Mining District, and the men who established it, and mined its gold. The time period is from the discovery and settlement of this alpine valley, through the establishment of the town of Cripple Creek, to the fires of 1896. This is the first work in The Gold Trail Series. Filled with action and romance, it is a well researched work of an exciting time. Original. Exciting, well researched, historical romance of the Colorado, Cripple Creek Mining District from 1890-1896. From the first settlers to the Great Fires of 1896, using historical facts from every reasearch source that could be found, all the main personalities of The District are included and interwoven with a love story that will touch the heart. -- In the Affirmative Pub
I have not read this book and I can't really critizise fiction novels. I would hope no one would use one as a historical source. I found the book to retail for $15.95 but I was able to find copies for as low as $3.49.




Jeff Smith









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