Pirates of the Prairie: Outlaws and Vigilantes in America’s Heartland

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The slow expansion of colonial America across the North American continent led to many frontiers being conquered, but one of the earliest versions of the Wild West resided in just east of the Mississippi River in Illinois. There, cutthroats and criminals of all sorts tormented local communities until either frontier law or mob law brought them to justice.

Pirates of the Prairie explores this tumultuous time in American history by chronicling horse thieves, murderous families, and even the criminal activities surrounding the early days of the Mormon movement during America’s rocky westward expansion. Devious crooks and colorful characters abound here, all of them thoroughly reprehensible, and many of them suitable for any number of saloon stories.

Lizzio’s writing particularly shines when discussing the limitations of the law at the time as criminals produced false alibis and engaged in sinister schemes to outwit the law, even going so far as to murder those who threatened their larcenous ways. He cleverly puts the reader in the shoes of the beleaguered townsfolk, making you wonder where you’d truly stand on the subject of mob justice if the time came.

Truth is stranger and more fascinating than fiction in Pirates of the Prairie, an enthralling look at a Midwest Wild West some may never known have existed.

Reviewed By:

Author Ken Lizzio
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 248 pages
Publisher Lyons Press
Publish Date 2018-01-09
ISBN 9781684547449
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2019
Category History


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