Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by T J Stiles - review by William Palmer

William Palmer

Southern Man

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War

By

Jonathan Cape 510pp £20 order from our bookshop
 

Hollywood has presented versions of Jesse James in several movies; usually he is seen as a poor, persecuted farm boy from the gallant South, forced into a genteel form of banditry on the Robin Hood model until his good works are brought to an untimely end by a cowardly bullet in the back. T J Stiles offers a very different picture of Jesse and his world in an exemplary and brilliantly researched study.

Jesse was born in Clay County, Missouri, on 5 September 1847, the son of Robert and Zerelda James. H e could not have picked a more perfect spot to grow up to become the best-known outlaw in America. Missouri was situated between the slave states of the South and the

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter