A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha

BOOKCOVRNow in its fourth printing from Caxton Press. Read an excerpt at Google Books.

 “If you want to find a rogue’s rookery, go to Omaha.” —Kansas City newspaper, 1873.

Harper’s Magazine advised travelers to go around it.

Rudyard Kipling was both fascinated and appalled by it.

A newspaper in Kansas City found it a “fitting subject for the prayers of a nation.”

But scores of settlers, bullwhackers, gamblers, politicians, and con men saw the future in it. And somehow, almost in spite of itself, Omaha, Nebraska, grew from a speculative scheme in 1854 to a booming city by the turn of the century. Along the way, it generated scores of great stories, some of which I tell in this book. All the stories in the book are true—they only read like fiction.

“…a wonderful and scandalous new book” —Roger Welsch, bestselling author and former CBS Sunday Morning personality

“Bristow’s book… is one that any person with even the most fleeting interest in American history will find very enjoyable… a well-written and thoughtful book of history.”Lincoln Journal-Star

Filled with rambunctious characters and stories, David Bristow’s history of 19th century Omaha is a fast-paced read and a most entertaining book. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down.”Grassroots Nebraska