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The Life and Adventures of Nat Love

Nat Love

Book Overview: 

Nat Love was born a slave, emancipated into abject poverty, grew up riding the range as a cowboy and spent his maturity riding the rails as a Pullman Porter. For me, the most amazing thing about him is that despite the circumstances of his life, which included being owned like a farm animal solely because of the color of his skin and spending later decades living and working as an equal with white coworkers, he was an unrepentant racist! Convinced that the only good Indian was a dead one, and that all Mexicans were “greasers” and/or “bums,” he rarely passed up a chance to shoot a member of either group, whether in self-defense or cold blood, and shows no sign of having appreciated the difference. At one point, he fell in love with a Mexican girl but, apparently unable to tolerate this reality, considered her “Spanish.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I don't think she thought I had the courage to go, and besides I had neither clothing or money and to tell the truth, the outlook was discouraging even to me, but I continued to look for an opportunity which happened in a very unexpected manner shortly after. One day a man by the name of Johnson announced that he would raffle a fine beautiful horse at fifty cents a chance. I heard of it at once, but had no money with which to get a chance. However, when there's a will there's a way, so I went to the barn and caught two chickens which I sold for fifty cents and at once got a chance. My chance won the horse. Mr. Johnson said he would give me fifty dollars for the horse and as I needed the money more than the horse I sold the horse back. Mr. Johnson at once raffled him off again and again I won the horse, which I again sold for fifty dollars. With nearly a hundred dollars I went home and told mother of what I had done and gave her half of the money, telling[Pg 39][Pg 38] her. . . Read More

Community Reviews

What a life he lived! Born in a slave cabin, fatherless, providing for a family for a time, and off to the wild west at 15. After that, it just got more adventurous. From Arizona to Texas and into Montana it chronicles the changes in the west not from a historic perspective, but from one who lived

This book wasn’t particularly thrilling but it was interesting. I picked up this book after watching the movie “The Harder they Fall” and finding out that Nat Love was a real person. I enjoyed learning more about the post Civil War era. The book also read very quick and easily.

I’m assuming the book

A very enjoyable read, with tons of interesting bits. You have to factor in that Nat Love had a writer write his up for him and the writer, er, jazzed up some of the stories, and the tendency of cowboys to tall tale when reading. But still its fascinating history because much of what he states so ma

This was the second "Western expansion" book based on real life experiences that I read. I was intrigued by the narrative of Nat Love. He exudes self confidence to the point to hyperbole, meaning I see some areas where he may have exaggerated a bit. I am cautious in saying that because times were ve

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