Not one of the most respectable figures of the American scene, but certainly a lively, sensational, compelling personality -- Edward Zane Carroll Judson is here proved to be more than Ned Buntline whose fame rested on the dime novels with which he flooded his country. He fled early from his home, learned the hard lessons of the sea, became a magical marksman, fought in the Seminole War and after trying the higher forms of writing, in struggling magazines, began his success in cheap literature. He was also a crusader -- who sometimes did not practice what he preached, notably temperance;- he was a fiery mover of the Know-Nothing party; he discovered and promoted Buffalo Bill; he was saved from a lynching when the rope broke; he ran a scandal sheet and instigated riots and served his time in jail; he had wives -- with and without marriage -- and resulting family trouble and notoriety; and he wound up his spectacular life a leading citizen of Stamford, N.Y., where even his funeral was melodramatic. Cocky, flamboyant, adventurous --here is an almost incredible American ""original"" little known to today's reading public. Perhaps not deathless -- but definitely breathless.