Join Andrew C. Isenberg, historian of the American environment, the American West, and the encounter between natives and settlers, to discuss his recently published book, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life (2013).
A popular culture icon, Earp remains a legendary hero and a “beacon of rough justice in the tumultuous American West” in cinematic battles against organized crime in the 1930s, communism in the 1950s, and, most recently, al-Qaeda. Yet as Isenberg uncovers in his book, the Hollywood Earp is largely fictionalized-and imagined by Earp himself.
As Earp tried to reinvent his reputation and cover up his lawless past, Isenberg writes, “He donned and shucked off roles readily, whipsawing between lawman and lawbreaker, and pursued his changing ambitions recklessly, with little thought to the cost to himself, andto others.”
An engrossing account of the man and his enduring legend, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life is a resounding biography of a quintessential American figure that questions the way in which individuals, with the help of Hollywood, can rewrite their own legacy.
Join Professor Isenberg on Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 PM in the Shannon Room (second floor, Hubbard hall) at Bowdoin College. This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Lectures and Concerts fund and the Department of History, with support from Biology, Environmental Studies, and Government and Legal Studies.