The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill: Forts, Fights & Other Sites by Jeff Barnes

Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Imagine a book that explains real and present day historical tourist sites and the significance of each place in reference to one person’s life from their birth to their death recording the memorable events along the way. For the legendary, William Cody who was known as Buffalo Bill, that is exact; Jeff Barnes created in The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill.

Barnes combines a well-balanced biography of Buffalo Bill filtering the legend from the facts. Additionally he uses photographs and maps as he personally visited each of these sites throughout Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Missouri. With each one, he tells the story while also giving current information such as directions, significance, costs involved, and even the hours and days when open and a listing of additional research for the reader about each place.

This book is a non-fiction journey into Buffalo Bill’s life is written in a fascinating style while allowing the reader to draw conclusions about the personality and character of this Western legend. Barnes informs the reader about conflicting stories and sites to allow the reader to personally decide the authenticity of each event.

For Cody’s family, life had to be difficult considering that most of the time he was not with them. The life of being an Army scout or being an entertaining requires constant changes of location. Cody enjoyed his position of respect in both and thrived in creating the person who became legendary.

The book is masterful in separating thi legend from the factual events and even explains events that are questionable with regards to the oftentimes larger than life person.

What is amazing about this nonfiction gem, is its readability. The author writes with a strong personal voice much like a storyteller as he reveals each home, way station, battlefield, ranch, arena and burial site into an actual image frequently accompanied by a photograph/ Barnes is your personal tour guide allowing the reader to comfortably enjoy the legend of Buffalo Bill and the numerous sites while never leaving their home. (He even mentions sites that you don’t want to visit after the rain since they are basically impassable due to the mud.)

Besides the history of Buffalo Bill, many other legends and events are discussed while being labeled in the index concluding the book.

Jeff Barnes has also written The Great Plains Guide to Custer and Forts of the Northern Plains. He spends his time as an historian, trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society, and is a former newspaper editor while residing in Omaha.

For those of us who would enjoy stopping along way on a long trip to learn about an area or to enjoy traveling from the comfort of your home, The Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill is the perfect companion for everyone.

Click Here to Purchase Great Plains Guide to Buffalo Bill, The: Forts, Fights & Other Sites

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