The Santa Fe Ring versus Billy the Kid: The Making of an American Monster, by Gale Cooper (888 pages in hardcover and paperback) exposes New Mexico Territory’s Santa Fe Ring and the rebellions against its tyranny. The Ring was a form of organized crime which infiltrated New Mexico Territory’s executive, judicial, legislative, and law enforcement positions for participants’ mutual gain. Opponents were defeated by rigged elections, malicious prosecution, and assassination. But it was nearly destroyed by one teenager: Billy Bonney, hero of the Lincoln County War freedom fight, whom it branded as the outlaw, “Billy the Kid.” With this book, the Ring’s 152 year cover-up is over. Supported by research of over 50,000 pages of archival documents and books, is the first presentation of the unsung anti-Ring freedom fights wracking New Mexico Territory of the 1870’s. The role played by Billy Bonney, as he sought a pardon from Governor Lew Wallace, is analyzed as jeopardizing the Ring’s existence by demolishing its necessary secrecy for its covert crimes. He had to die. But justice was served by his world-wide fame dragging the clandestine Ring into the light of history and justice.