Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nonfiction Historical Western, Some Gave All, a Must Read for Western Readers

J.R. Sanders' nonfiction, historical western, Some Gave All, will be released in November according to publisher Becky Coffield. The book has been long in coming, but Coffield feels the wait will have been well worthwhile. "Sanders has put a tremendous amount of work and research into this project, and it shows. It is, quite simply, the best book of its type that I've ever read," Coffield said.

Meanwhile, the first official review of the book is in, written by Tom J. for

Nonfiction Historical Western a Must Read for Western Readers

J.R. Sanders’ Some Gave All, a nonfiction historical western, is in a class of its own. Readers of history, biography, and nonfiction about the old-west will find the book absolutely spellbinding.

Sanders has selected relatively forgotten old-west lawmen who “died with their boots on” in the line of duty from 1879 to 1910. As the book cover says, “They risked it all, and paid it all.” Each chapter focuses on a particular lawman and the outlaw(s) who brought about his demise. These stories are fascinating, and Sanders has done extensive research here. The author includes Police Officer Humphrey R. Symons, Deputy Sheriff Cassius M. Hollister, U.S. Marshal Harrington Lee Gosling, Detective John William Gilley, City Marshal James F. Isbell, Sheriff John Jasper Bogard, Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carlyle Cameron, Deputy Sheriff Joseph John Lerri, Deputy Sheriff Charles Milton White, Deputy Sheriff George Clinton Woodsum, Constable Gustave Adolph Koch, Sheriff John Henry Dillingham, Special Agent David Frank Calhoun, and City Marshal John Morgan Rennix. The officers served across the West, from Nevada, to Colorado, Kansas, Texas, California, and even as far east as Missouri.

Equally as fascinating as the stories of the lawmen are the entrancing accounts of the criminals who killed them. There is absolutely not a dull character or calamity in the book.

Sanders’ writing is highly engaging. Each chapter begins differently and immediately draws the reader in. In addition, the trade paperback volume contains over 40 illustrations that add so much impact to the stories. The illustrations bring an intensity and reality to the murderous accounts that one might not otherwise experience.

It’s extremely difficult to choose just one favorite from among the accounts Sanders gives the reader. Each lawman’s death is very disturbing. Yet an excitement pervades the book as one reads. To know the details of real-life killers and lawmen, with no romanticizing as one would find in tales of Hickok, Masterson, Earp, et al, provides quite an experience. Because of Sanders’ attention to detail, readers may feel that they personally know the characters in this book.

Some Gave All is a book that will be around for years to come. It is rare to find a nonfiction/historical/biographical book about the West that is heavily researched and not just a rehashing of Billy the Kid, Pat Garretson, Wyatt Earp and other over-indulged characters. Sanders’ book is real. True. These were real men, often beloved in their communities, who died in shocking, unpredictable ways – each death a tragic loss.

 Tom Jerome

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