Viewed from the perspective of history, family values, ethics, morals, and upbringing, there's no logical reason the James brothers turned to a life of crime rather than lawful employment. Their family was not poor nor uneducated, and the boys were not beaten nor neglected. They were, as is well-known, Confederate guerrillas in the Civil War, and after the South fell, they turned to robbery and murder.
The Civil War has been cited as justification or an excuse for the boys' lives of crime. But, thousands and thousands of Civil War veterans, on both sides, returned to their homes and lived peacefully, within the law. Of course, others, including the James' brothers did not, but they were in the minority, and war simply cannot be used as an explanation.
Nonetheless, this is a very detailed account of the brothers' lives and of some of those associated with them. It is likely you'll learn something new!
This edition of the book contains all 22 original illustrations, rejuvenated.
Joseph A. Dacus was a popular author and journalist of the late 19th century.