Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOK REVIEW Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2020-08-18

This article shared 2877 times since Tue Aug 18, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By Charles Leerhsen

$28; Simon & Schuster; 304 pages

That man there? He's just a nice guy.

Kind and generous, respectful and friendly, he's a true gentleman, and he's never judgmental. He loves children and animals, truth and honor. He's a good sport, a good man—and in the new book Butch Cassidy, by Charles Leerhsen, he's a good shot, too.

Eight years before the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was released in 1969, the last of Cassidy's Wild Bunch "went into the ground." Her name was Laura Bullion and, says Leerhsen, she was one of a small handful of female groupies who followed the outlaw gang, led by the man played by Paul Newman.

"It was easy," Leerhsen says "to be smitten by Cassidy..."

Born Robert Parker in a tiny cabin in Beaver, Utah, Cassidy grew up uninterested in both his parents farm, and his ancestors' Mormon religion. He was too fun-loving, too full of mischief and an appreciation for guns, horses, and gambling to settle down—and yet, unlike many Wild West scoundrels, he was well-read, kind and goodhearted which, in the hearts and minds of Old West citizens, set him apart from all the others during his life of crime. Later, though apparently not deceitfully, he began using "Cassidy" as a surname, alternating with his given name.

Despite its appeal as an American legend, however, the story of Butch Cassidy and Harry "Sundance" Longabaugh might've merely enfolded into history, were it not for Hollywood, although Tinseltown messed with the myth. Reel men and real men were two different things and, says Leerhsen, it's possible that Sundance wasn't Cassidy's best friend. Their bones may not lie in South America, and historians believe that Cassidy may have been bisexual; indeed, Cassidy's mother commented on it. About the bank heists, train robberies, and horse thefts: Cassidy was a criminal but was Hollywood correct in portraying him as an "extraordinary human being?"

"Oddly enough," says Leerhsen, "the answer, it seems, is yes..."

Thankfully, that doesn't mean a cliched riding-off-into-the-sunset scene inside Butch Cassidy. There's no such sentimentality here; instead, you'll find lots of delightful set-you-rights and the chance to meet a roguish scoundrel who's hard to historically hate—a notion that many of Cassidy's victims would have surprisingly agreed with.

In explaining why that's so, author Leerhsen shows why Cassidy's exploits loomed so large in the West but were then largely forgotten for so long. In this, readers may get the sense that the movie memorializing didn't please Leerhsen, and that he is no fan of the general Hollywoodization of history.

But that's one small part of what's here. The real appeal of this book—what's fully half the fun of it—is the sense that Leerhsen isn't just telling this tale. He's growling it, grizzled-like, perhaps over campfire and cowpoke stew, surrounded by rustled cattle.

Absolutely, historians will want this book. For sure, L'Amour and McMurtry fans will enjoy it. As for lovers of a good tale, well, if you want something different this summer, Butch Cassidy will be a nice change.

Want more? Then look for The Last Outlaws: The Lives and Legends of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by Thom Hatch; or Butch Cassidy: Beyond the Grave, by W.C. Jameson.


This article shared 2877 times since Tue Aug 18, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess 2022-11-18
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...


Gay News

Opinion: What are the most banned books? Take a guess. 2022-11-14
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more 2022-10-24
- —COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH bell hooks: A voice of love, activism and intersectionality 2022-10-22
- When bell hooks died on Dec. 15, 2021, it was a gut punch. There was no time when bell hooks' extraordinary writing and feminist and lesbian theorizing was not part of the queer community. There was ...


Gay News

Former Chicago Ald. Helen Shiller hosts book launch and reception 2022-10-20
- Publishing house Haymarket Books presented a book-signing and interview session with longtime LGBTQ+ ally and former Chicago Ald. Helen Shiller on Oct. 17. Shiller was interviewed by noted Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian co-author discusses 'No More Police: A Case for Abolition' 2022-10-18
- "We don't need all the answers to start down the road toward where we want to go: a world where everyone has safety, food, clean water, shelter, education, health, art, beauty, and rest."—No More Police: A ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives holds 'Unboxing Queer History LIVE' fall benefit 2022-10-17
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) held its fall benefit, "Unboxing Queer History LIVE!," on Oct. 15 at Gerber/Hart to raise funds in support of the library's mission to preserve LGBTQ+ history in Chicago and the Midwest. ...


Gay News

BOOKS 'Last Call Chicago' release party held at Sidetrack 2022-10-13
- On Oct. 12, co-authors Rick Karlin and St. Sukie de la Croix held a book-release party for their book, Last Call Chicago: A History of 1,001 LGBTQ-Friendly Taverns, Haunts & Hangouts. Last Call Chicago is a ...


Gay News

OutHistory reveals discovery in LGBTQ+ history: identity of pioneering LGBTQ+ author Jennie June 2022-10-12
-- From a press release - New York, NY—Oct. 10, 2022—In celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month, the website OutHistory announced a groundbreaking discovery: the probable identity of Jennie June, the pioneering LGBTQ+ author who bravely defended ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH San Francisco Public Library digitizes LGBTQ+ archives, including Harvey Milk holdings 2022-10-09
LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH - Shot with black-and-white film, two small children stand outside in a San Francisco public plaza draped in protest signs. One reads, "We're Proud, Not Stigmatized." The other declares, "We Love Our Gay Parents." In the right ...


Gay News

BOOKS David Sedaris returns to the Raue Center on Nov. 4 2022-10-06
- Best-selling author David Sedaris will return to the Crystal Lake venue the Raue Center on Friday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. The openly gay humor writer is known for books such as Calypso, Theft By Finding, ...


Gay News

BOOKS Events related to 'Last Call Chicago' on Oct. 10 and 12 2022-10-03
- Last Call Chicago: A History of 1,001 LGBTQ-Friendly Taverns, Haunts & Hangouts is a historical account of LGBTQ+ venues in the Windy City. The book's authors, Rick Karlin and St. Sukie de la Croix, are journalists ...


Gay News

LGBT HISTORY MONTH 'Memory Book' details history of 1970s-era LGBTQ+ attorneys in U.S. 2022-10-01
- Stephen Lachs remembers the 1970s as being a particularly wonderful era in the history of the LGBTQ+-liberation movement. Lachs, 83, was the first out LGBTQ+ person appointed to a judgeship in the United States. Tapped by ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart fall benefit on Oct. 15 2022-09-30
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St., will hold its fall benefit on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. "Unboxing Queer History LIVE!" will be an in-person event to celebrate and support its mission to ...


Gay News

BOOKS 2022 #BannedTogether virtual auction taking place Sept. 22-25 2022-09-22
- On Sept. 22-25, non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) will hold its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ+-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada. The ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS





Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.