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“Best Biography of a Cowman Ever Written” (Reese)

45. HALEY, J. Evetts. Charles Goodnight Cowman and Plainsman with Illustrations by Harold Bugbee. Boston, New York & Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin Company & the Riverside Press, 1936. xiii [3], 485 [1 blank] pp., text illustrations by Bugbee (3 full page, including frontispiece portrait of Goodnight and double-page map: A Map of the Southwest in Goodnight’s pioneer days, showing the Trails which he blazed following p. xiii). 8vo, original beige cloth lettered in dark brown on spine and upper cover. Binding moderately worn and with some staining (several dark spots on lower cover), interior fine. In the scarce d.j. with photograph of Goodnight and a buffalo (jacket moderately worn and strengthened along top, a few small chips at fold, but no loss of text or image). Inscribed and signed by author: “Inscribed for Mrs. H. J. Porterfield, mother of one of the most spirited members of the high-spirited Haley Family, by Evetts Haley, July 5, 1936.”

     First edition. Basic Texas Books 81: “Superb biography of one of the greatest Texans.” Adams, Guns 890. Adams, Herd 960: “Scarce.” Campbell, p. 82. Campbell, My Favorite 101 Books about the Cattle Industry 42. Dobie, Big Bend Bibliography, p. 10. Dobie, pp. 104, 160. Dobie & Dykes, 44 & 44 #13. Dykes, Collecting Range Life Literature, p. 5. Fifty Great Western Illustrators (Bugbee 74); Dykes, Kid 225; Dykes, Western High Spots, p. 18 (“Western Movement: Its Literature”); p. 30 (“My Ten Most Outstanding Books on the West”); p. 70 (“High Spots of Western Illustrating”); p. 78 (“A Range Man’s Library”): “Best biography ever written of a range man and may be the best biography ever written about a Westerner”; p. 103 (“The Texas Ranch Today”); p. 118 (“Ranger Reading”): “Properly classed as a Ranger item because Goodnight served as a scout and guide for the Texas Rangers during the War Between the States.” Greene, The Fifty Best Books on Texas, p. 35: “He trailed longhorns to Colorado and Kansas—but he also opened a college so his ranch families could be educated [and] helped save the American buffalo from extinction.” Howes H36. Merrill, Aristocrats of the Cow Country, p. 18. One Hundred Head Cut Out of the Jeff Dykes Herd 76: “Haley’s biography of Goodnight was based on ‘Goodnight’s own lusty narrative.’” Rader 1730.

     Reese, Six Score 53: “Best biography of a cowman ever written. Goodnight’s career spanned the history of the development of West Texas, from Indian fighting to oil wells. Goodnight, while not the largest cattleman in Texas, was undoubtedly the most important.... Haley’s beautifully written biography, perhaps his best book, is an ample vehicle for a mighty figure, and is a classic of American biography.” Robinson, Haley (1978) 8; Haley (1967) 62: “For seventy years Goodnight played a dominant role in civilizing the frontier. He was strong-willed, courageous, determined and wise. Through these matchless pages we trail with Goodnight upon the vast expanses of awesome, forbidding and yet inspiring and conquerable plains of grass and long reaches of waterless sand. With him we hunt Indians, guide Texas Rangers, palaver with outlaws, and blaze cattle trails nearly 2,000 miles beyond the settlements.... Certainly one of the foremost western items for all times.” Saunders 2935. Tate, Indians of Texas 2374: “Much information on Goodnight’s earlier years as an ‘Indian fighter’ in northwestern Texas, and his association with Comanches, especially Quanah Parker.” ($400-800) 

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