I just finished a very different kind of read: “The Bandit Kings” by Roger Bruns.
Fascinating. It was an interesting read learning about the lives of famous bandits; people like Bill Quantrill, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy& the Sundance Kid, Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger and others.
I enjoyed learning about these outlaws, not because their lives were worth emulating, but to better understand the times they lived in, as well as to recognize that some things just really don’t change.
In reading about these outlaws and the times they lived in, I see many similarities to today:
- an unstable family background among these bandits
- their desire to make a name for themselves, even if it meant doing things unlawful
- an opportunistic mindset from some businesses looking to make money off of sensational headlines, and not researching fact to convey accurate events
- a strange observation that even people who do things considered “unlawful” by the majority of our population will still have a following who cheer them on and look to thwart the efforts of authorities to bring the guilty to judgement
- the outlaw’s desire to make money an easy way, even if it harms others, thus avoiding the daily grind of hard, disciplined work
- a desire for adventure to break out of a “common” existence–they want a thrill
- The existence of courageous men who risked their lives pursuing these outlaws, many of them receiving little in compensation, and gratitude, but offering society a necessary foundation that laws will be enforced and people protected.
It really was a fascinating read. Visit your library and check it out.