Cossacks, Indians and Buffalo Bill is a wild ride back to a time when real cowboys, outlaws, and Indians were the main source of entertainment. Author Richard Georgian has brought to the reader an incredible and valuable source that has been thoroughly researched, chronicling the traveling shows of Buffalo Bill and his Cossack riders.

The book includes anecdotes and stories of the James gang, Annie Oakley, and a host of others who made a name for themselves during the Wild West days. Mr. Georgian has also woven into the travels of Buffalo Bill, a glimpse behind the scenes with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, and Campbell Brothers Circuses. Buffalo Bill was in competition with other Wild West Shows, including Pawnee Bill, Buckskin Bill, and Cole Younger and Frank James. Georgian has traced Buffalo Bill’s travels across the United States and never omits a single detail. Each year and show in Cossacks, Indians and Buffalo Bill reads like a novella, and every sentence reads like a fact.

It’s a must-read if you have any curiosity of what life was like at the turn of the 20th century in American tent shows. Georgian has spared no detail. He leaves the reader with an understanding and appreciation of how entertainment was provided long before cinemas and Hollywood.

Buffalo Bill is a staple among the famous stars, and now there is a book worth reading if you want to know all there is about the great traveling showman.

T. M. Jacobs
Author of H. E. Heitman: An Early Entrepreneur of Fort Myers, Florida
Founder and Former Editor of Patriots of the American Revolution magazine

Superbly Researched Subject: “I want to say that the book is absolutely wonderful, an easy and interesting read and most informative on details about which I never knew. …as a lover of books, this was a great purchase at $20.00.” 

David Tupper
retired educator/musician

Wild Ride: Local author’s book gives life to little-known history
By James Abraham, Special to Florida Weekly. Read complete Review [PDF]

Ever since the introduction of Russian Cossack riding in America in 1893, this dangerous and difficult act has been a popular part of field shows. The author’s grandfather was an early practitioner of the art, joining the Buffalo Bill show in 1897. That connection started Richard Georgian down the long path of documenting his grandfather’s life, and Russian Cossack riding, which, it turns out, originated in the Republic of Georgia, whose citizens despised both the Russians and the Cossacks. This multi-layered, nuanced book should be on every circus aficionado’s book shelf. I recommend it highly.

Fred D. Pfening III
Former President, Circus Historical Society.

A cowboy is a symbol known worldwide. Most people are unaware of the fact that the Georgian trick riders (a.k.a. Russian Cossacks), who at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, participated in the famous Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and numerous Wild West shows and circuses. They were the ones that made a great contribution to the development and the perfection of cowboy trick riding techniques. According to the noted western historian, Dee Brown, Trick riding came to rodeo by way of a troupe of Cossack daredevils.  The Cossack’s stunts on their galloping horses intrigued western cowboys, who soon introduced variations to American rodeo.

In Cossacks, Indians & Buffalo Bill author Richard Georgian traced, documented and gathered fascinating material on the people who seemed to be the first cultural Georgian ambassadors in USA. This book shows how the almost mystical figure Buffalo Bill with the help of others (and with Georgians) shaped his image to become the part of American history and folklore.

This book is about the brave human beings, ordinary peasants but expert horsemen, who didn’t know they were making history, but were doing it for the sake of the survival of their loved ones in Georgia. It is a book about their tragic fate. The Bolsheviks never forgave them their American journey. It is a book about human struggle, love and survival.

The author knows this field very well; his grandfather Alexis Gogokhia-Georgian was one of these trick riders. Cossacks, Indians & Buffalo Bill is a remarkable book, scrupulously researched, detailed, creatively imagined and wonderfully told. This is the book to be savored.

Irakli Makharadze
Author, Wild West Georgians & Gurian Outlaws

This book is a very valuable tool for anyone interested in circus history. There is so much information on the various shows that careful study is required.

Paul R. Horsman
Book Dealer, CHS member

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