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T U E S D A Y

Why do nice guys finish last? In The Bandit Kings: From Jesse James to Pretty Boy Floyd, Roger A. Bruns touches on this age-old irony and examines the American public’s penchant for turning very bad men into very popular folk heroes. Bruns traces the exploits of criminals like train-robber Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum (known for his supposed last words, “I’ll be in hell before you start breakfast, boys!”), and illustrates the transformation from ruthless outlaw to mythic figure. Bruns reads at noon at the National Archives Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 501-5000. (Maria Ware)