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Book Review of Second Edition of The Outlaw Youngers, A Confederate Brotherhood

Outlaw Youngers book cover

Book Review: Brant, Marley. The Outlaw Youngers: A Confederate Brotherhood (Second Edition) Two Dot , Guilford, Connecticut 2021. 261 pp., about 20 pp. b/w illustrations notes, bibliography, index, softcover, $19.95

By Nancy B. Samuelson

One would assume that when an author does a second edition of a book twenty-nine years after the original that there will be new information in the new edition. Alas, this is not the case with this book.

What’s New & What’s the Same

Marley Brant, author of Outlaw Youngers
Author Marley Brant

A new introduction is added that talks about how the author became interested in the Younger outlaws, and a page and a half addendum is added touting a new book about Jim Younger by the author.

The body of the book is nearly word for word a copy of the first edition.

The index has been greatly reduced in the new edition making it harder to look up things in the new book.

Little Mention of Recent Research

First edition cover of the Outlaw Youngers book
First Edition of The Outlaw Youngers, A Confederate Brotherhood

The book was a good one twenty-nine years ago, but a lot of new books and articles have been written about the James-Younger gang since then. The author has not seen fit to mention any of the newer material. She does make one exception. In the introduction, she does mention that John Jarrette and his wife did not die in a house fire and that he died in Canada many years later. Nothing else is updated in the book.

Some Errors in Fact

There are a number of errors in the book. There is a strange tale about Charlie Pitts. The author claims he was born near Commerce, Oklahoma, in 1844. She gives no source for this story. Oklahoma did not exist in 1844 and Commerce, Oklahoma post office was not established until 1914. Charlie Pitts was really Sam Wells, from Missouri. 

Back cover of Outlaw Youngers book
Rear Book Jacket of The Outlaw Youngers, a Confederate Brotherhood

In the list of prestigious personalities who supposedly supported the Youngers’ fight for parole/pardon, there is incorrect information. Champ Clark is said to be a Congressman from Minnesota. He was a Congressman from Missouri for many years and was a candidate for President in 1912. Hon. John J. Crittenden is also on this list. He was both a Governor of and a Senator from Kentucky and served twice as the U. S. Attorney General. He died in July 1863 so he could not have supported the Youngers’ request for freedom. He had both a son and a grandson by the same name but they were both dead by this time as well.

A Solid Book for a James Gang Library Despite Its Lack of New Information

This was a good book twenty-nine years ago and is worth reading if you have not done so. However, do not buy this book looking for the latest research and new material about the Youngers. There is nothing new here.

Book Review: In the Shadow by Marley Brant

Fraudulent Images of Jesse, Frank, Anna, and the Younger Brothers

Retta Younger and A.B. Rawlins – Destiny by Marriage

The Younger Gang in Prison After Northfield

John Jarette Finally Gets a Grave Marker

Frank Younger – Dead at 80 in a Home Accident


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