The Brave Cowboy

The Brave Cowboy

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The Brave Cowboy

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The Brave Cowboy (1956) was Edward Abbey's second published novel, as detailed in . The first-edition of the book is considered the rarest of Abbey's eight novels. There was only one printing of 5,000 copies and many of them have not survived. One online rare book dealer shows copies of the first U.S. edition start at $4,000 and the highest asking price is $10,000.

In 1993 Dream Garden Press produced a special limited edition of the book that includes an introduction by Kirk Douglas, who was the star in the film made about the book. It also includes photos from the film. Douglas signed 500 copies of that special edition.

Plot summary

This book is the story of a cowboy (Burns), who lives as a transient worker and roaming ranch hand much as the cowboys of old did, and refuses to join modern society. He rejects much of modern technology, prefers to cut down any fence he comes across, will not carry any kind of modern identification such as a driver's license or Social Security card, and refuses to register for the draft. When a friend of his, who is a philosophical anarchist, is jailed for refusing to register for the draft, Burns deliberately gets himself arrested in an attempt to break his friend out of jail, but winds up on the run from the law himself.

Bondi has been tried and is awaiting transport from county jail to federal prison but refuses to escape with Burns. As police have discovered that Burns has also never registered for the draft, authorities are intent on...
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