Billy and Paulita, the new edition of Joy of the Birds, is a milestone in the literature of Billy the Kid. It is arguably the definitive revisionist telling of his story by one of that historys experts. Billy and Paulita is a virtual world based on research utilizing 40,000 pages of archival documents and books, and input of over 300 consultants, and recreation of the scenes at the actual historic sites. As docufiction, it ends a 130 year cover-up of New Mexicos Santa Fe Ring: a cabal of land-grabbing robber baron, lawmen, and thugs which precipitated the 1878 Lincoln County War freedom fight.
Central to that rebellion was Billy Bonney, outlawed by those victorious enemies as Billy the Kid. He had to die. The truths he testified to could have tumbled the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes. Billy and Paulita is also Americas Romeo and Juliet: in a star-crossed romance of the homeless drifter Billy Bonney and young Paulita Maxwell, the richest heiress in New Mexico Territory.
Billy was killed by betrayal and by the hand of Sheriff Pat Garrett in her brothers bedroom in the family mansion, before midnight on July 14, 1881. Paulita, just pregnant with Billys child, would have heard the fatal shot. Billy and Paulita is also a mythic hero journey in a cosmic battle of good and evil.
Billy Bonneys astounding escapes from Ring clutches and death, and his moral transformations while fighting Ring injustices, yield his comprehension of a wise womans lesson of joy of the birds, told to him in childhood. Like the birds, one can fly without fear, because there are millions of moments to be alive, only one of death, and then one has forever. From that revelation, comes freedom to follow ones highest ideals, and to fearlessly and joyfully walk ones earthly path to its end - as did Billy Bonney.
Gale Cooper, a Harvard educated, M.D. psychiatrist specializing in murder case consultation, moved from a Beverly Hills, California, medical practice to a New Mexico mountain to write Billy and Paulita - whose earlier editions were titled Joy of the Birds. Non-fiction Billy the Kid books by Gale Cooper are: Billy the Kids Writings, Words, and Wit- MegaHoax: The Strange Plot to Exhume Billy the Kid and Become President- and Billy the Kids Pretenders: Brushy Bill and John Miller. The author has also written and illustrated other adult non-fiction books as well as childrens books.