The Notorious Life of Ned Buntline A Tale of Murder, Betrayal, and the Creation of Buffalo Bill

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Edward Zane Carroll Judson aka Ned Buntline (1821-1886) was responsible for creating a highly romantic and often misleading image of the American West, albeit one that the masses found irresistible in the mid-to-late 19th century. Some scholars estimate that he wrote at least 400 dime novels over his lifetime and perhaps as many as 600.

While he is best known for discovering William Frederick Cody (Buffalo Bill) and making the irrepressible scout a star, Judson—by that time—had already lived five lifetimes himself: He had fought Seminole Indians in Florida; started and bankrupted three newspapers; published dozens of successful novels; agitated for the Know-Nothing party; and fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. Along the way, the fiery redheaded, gray-eyed writer lectured extensively about temperance between drinking bouts. He married eight women, seduced at least one other, and cavorted with prostitutes, one of whom beat him physically and legally.

The Notorious Life of Ned Buntline is an open-eyed look at the man who sparked an American legend but whose own scandalous life somehow escaped history's limelight.