Jesse and Frank James were household names long before images of America's most wanted were televised. For several decades after the Civil War, they were hunted by hundreds who supposed them to be involved in every bank and train robbery in the Midwest. Trained as guerrilla fighters in the border conflict between Kansas and Missouri, they joined with the Younger brothers in February 1866 to rob a bank in Liberty, Missouri. That was the beginning of a criminal confederation that seemed beyond the reach of the law until the Northfield, Minnesota, raid killed three of them and sent the James brothers into hiding. But they were the objects of posted rewards that proved too tempting in Jesse's case: in 1882 he was shot in the back by Robert Ford of his own gang. The Rise and Fall of Jesse James, by Robertus Love, a newspaperman who knew Frank James, is a pioneering work that plumbs the personalities of the outlaws, looks at their domestic lives, cites many stories about them, and attempts to separate fact from legend in tracking their violent operations. Michael Fellman assesses Love's 1926 book in his introduction to this Bison Books edition.