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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
Dean King, author of The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys: The True Story, digs deep into the history of the feud and both families to find the truth behind the legend. The legend begins much like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Rosanna McCoy and Johnse Hatfield were attracted to each other but their families were filled with hatred. The irony in this story is the similarity in character of both families. They lived in the Appalachian Mountains and they had little use for the government. While the legend depicts love as the cause of the feud, in reality that had little to do with the animosity between the two families. I’m not sure the Hatfields or the McCoys knew why they hated each other. They were willing to murder in a dispute over a hog, burn cabins, and execute young men including a mentally handicapped male. It seems that in the mountains there is a different type of law and justice, one mandated by the most accurate shot and bitter hatred.
Over the last few years there has been a lot of interest in this mountain feud. Say the word 'feud' and many people think of the famous feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. We’ve taken fact and romanticized it into legend when in truth it was a bloody nightmare. Dean King takes the romance out of the story and stands on the facts. The Feud is one of the best researched and most comprehensive books on this topic. The author has stated the facts without taking sides. Kudos to Dean King.