Hellraisers & Trailblazers: The Real Women of The Wild West by Jana Bommersbach and Bob Boze Bell

Hellraisers & Trailblazers: The Real Women of The Wild West by Jana Bommersbach and Bob Boze Bell

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We know all about the bandits and bad boys, the gunfighters and goons, but not the women who held it all together with grit and spit. The reality is plain: there never would have been a settled West without the women—Native and Mexican women here first; Black and White women who followed—all settling the vast, unknown and scary lands beyond the Mississippi River.

But they’ve never gotten their due. If they’re mentioned at all, it’s as whores or tough-living Calamity Janes.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to dig deep to find remarkable stories of the remarkable women of the West—you just have to care enough to dig.
We cared enough. Meet some of the women who should be in every history book.
—Jana Bommersbach

I agree with my longtime friend and coauthor, Jana Bommersbach, that the tough-living bad girls have gotten too much attention in the past, and I believe she’s absolutely right about the importance of including some newfound worthy women. And she has found plenty! Still, I knew we had to cover the bad girls and the wild women as well, so we’ve included both, to put them in context to each other and hopefully bridge the gap between the two. We both agree on one thing: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
—Bob Boze Bell

About the authors:

Jana Bommersbach is an acclaimed and respected journalist whose work has encompassed every facet of the profession: she’s been a reporter and editor for both weekly and daily newspapers; she’s written books and is a major contributor to an anthology; she’s written columns and investigative stories for magazines; she’s appeared on television with both political commentaries and investigative stories. She has been honored with two lifetime achievement awards as “an inspiration to the state’s media community.”

Bob Boze Bell is the author of The Illustrated Life and Times of Doc Holliday; Wyatt Earp; Billy the Kid; Wild Bill Hickok; Bad Men and Geronimo, as well as the quintessential gunfighter series Classic Gunfights I, II and III. Bob Boze Bell serves as executive editor of True West Magazine and has made various appearances as a guest speaker on the History, Discovery and Westerns Channels along with being featured on True West Moments on Encore’s Western Channel. His artwork may been seen on a variety of book covers and in fine art collections worldwide.