Two famous 19th century outlaws from opposite sides of the world are brought to rollicking life in the acclaimed historian’s “marvelous dual biography” (Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior).
The legendary exploits of Billy the Kid and Ned Kelly live on in the public imaginations of their respective countries, the United States and Australia. But the outlaws’ reputations are so mythologized, the truth of their lives has become obscure. In Wanted, Robert M. Utley reveals the true stories and parallel courses of the two notorious contemporaries who lived by the gun, were executed while still in their twenties, and remain compelling figures in the folklore of their homelands.
Utley draws sharp portraits of both young men, offering insightful comparisons of their lives and legacies. Billy was a fun-loving sharpshooter who excelled at escape and lived on the run after indictment for his role in the Lincoln Country War. While Ned, raised in the bush by his Irish convict father, was driven by outrage against British colonial authority to steal cattle and sheep, kill three policemen, and rob banks for the benefit of impoverished Irish sympathizers. Recounting their exploits, differences, and shared fates, Utley illuminates the worlds in which they lived on opposite sides of the globe.
“Robert M. Utley displays the gifts that have made him a storied interpreter of the nineteenth-century west.”—T. J. Stiles, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The First Tycoon