In an entertaining and conversational style, Markley and Cutsforth take conflicting sides to debunk and in some cases proliferate, the myths, legends, and realities of some of the West’s most famous figures, including: Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, the Earp brothers, and many more.
The real lives of the historic figures in Calling Down the Thunder: A Search for Truth in the Old West are shrouded in controversy and myth. Was Jesse James a Southern Son fighting for the cause of the fallen Confederacy, or a blood-thirsty cutthroat justly pursued by the authorities? Was Billy the Kid a misunderstood youth or a cold-blooded killer? Did Buffalo Bill Cody truly ride for the Pony Express as a young man? Or, was he just a blowhard who trumped up his own past in an attempt to seem more heroic in the eyes of audiences attending his Wild West shows? These questions and many more will be explored in this exciting book.
Kellen Cutsforth is a professional writer and is the author of Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels and Bare Knuckle Brawlers: An Englishman’s Journal of Adventure in America (TwoDot Publishers, 2015). He has also published over 20 articles featured in Wild West magazine, True West magazine, Western Writers of America (WWA) Roundup magazine, and the Denver Posse of Westerners Roundup periodical. Cutsforth lives in Littleton, Colorado.
Bill Markley is a member of Western Writers of America (WWA) and is a staff writer for WWA’s Roundup magazine. He has written three nonfiction books, and writes for True West, Wild West, and South Dakota magazines. He reenacts Civil War infantry and frontier cavalry and has participated in the movies: Dances With Wolves, Son of the Morning Star, Far and Away, Gettysburg and Crazy Horse. Markley and his wife, Liz, live in Pierre, South Dakota, where they raised their two children.