Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell

TOMBSTONE                                            TOM CALVIN

On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, nine men clashed in what would be known as the most famous shootout in American frontier history. Thirty bullets were exchanged in thirty seconds, killing three men and wounding three others.

The fight sprang forth from a tense, hot summer. Cattle rustlers had been terrorizing the back country of Mexico and selling the livestock they stole to corrupt ranchers. The Mexican government built forts along the border to try to thwart American outlaws, while Arizona citizens became increasingly agitated. Rustlers, who became known as the cow-boys, began to kill each other as well as innocent citizens. That October, tensions boiled over with Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and Billy Claiborne confronting the Tombstone marshal, Virgil Earp, and the suddenly deputized Wyatt and Morgan Earp and shotgun-toting Doc Holliday.

Bestselling author Tom Clavin peers behind decades of legend surrounding the story of Tombstone to reveal the true story of the drama and violence that made it famous. Tombstone also digs deep into the vendetta ride that followed the tragic gunfight, when Wyatt and Warren Earp and Holliday went vigilante to track down the likes of Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and other cowboys who had cowardly gunned down his brothers. That "vendetta ride" would make the myth of Wyatt Earp complete and punctuate the struggle for power in the American frontier's last boom town.


The author first sets you up with the history of how the town got its name who the mining came into existence, the men associated with the mine how much they were able to pull out of it and what happened to those men. You are then given the history of the Claytons and how the settled in Arizona and then how they would end up into cattle rustling and other illegal activities.
You are given a history of the Earp family from the marriages, births the different places that they would live and then how the brothers would be together they’re in Tombstone. You are given a look into the different activities that the cowboys were into robbing the different stages coming through besides the cattle rustling and their rides into Mexico. The author sets the stage with all of the players when Doc is in town that leads up to what would be the gunfight.
Once you are there and taken through the fight it is quick and over. Also, within a short span news reports are out of the shot out, and then the tide switches on the Earp’s. Arrested you are taken through their trail when they are released but then months later two brothers would be gunned down in cold blood. One would lose the use of his arm, the other brother killed playing pool. When a trial was held but the men are set free this is when Wyatt goes on his so-called vendetta ride. You are taken through that ride and the events that happened all the up to when after the last shoot out when Wyatt was not hit but his jacket was full of holes he just rides away. He then shows up a few more times where he eventually makes it to Hollywood where he works until his death. Though you may know the story and most of the facts this is still a fascinating story of greed, politics, newspapers working at swaying the perception one way or the other. Overall a good book. I received this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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