Max Brand is the best-known pen name of Frederick Faust, who was born in Seattle, Washington in 1882, and orphaned early. Faust grew up in the rural San Joaquin Valley of California. At the University of California, Berkeley, he became a student rebel and a one-man literary movement, contributing to campus publications. He was denied his degree because of his unconventional conduct. He then traveled, ending up in New York City where he received simultaneous recognition as a serious poet and successful popular-prose writer. Later, he traveled further, making his home in New York, then in Florence, Italy, and finally Los Angeles. He much preferred Italy, where he lived from 1926 to 1938, and where much of his writing was done. Faust, who wrote under more than a dozen pseudonyms, was a prolific writer, not only of westerns, but also of hundreds of other novels and books, including the popular Dr. Kildare series. Faust's first novel The Untamed (1918) was a success and introduced a semimythical character, Whistlin' Dan Barry, who travels the West following the wild geese, accompanied by a black wolf. His characters, who often have a mythic quality, are memorable, and his books are always entertaining. Faust was also a screenwriter for several Hollywood studios, including MGM, Warner Brothers, and Columbia. Once the United States entered the Second World War, Faust abandoned his lucrative writing career and his work as a screenwriter to serve as a war correspondent with the infantry in Italy, despite his fifty-one years and a bad heart. Faust died in 1944, killed during a night attack on a hilltop village held by the German army. Even after his death, new books based on magazine serials, unpublished manuscripts, or restored versions continue to appear so that he has averaged a new book every four months for seventy-five years.
But when he finally gets arrested for vagrancy, he tells the sheriff his name is Alfred Lamb. Will that identity stick when he tries to help a rancher battle off a pack of cattle rustlers?
With a lengthy career in pulps, comics, and early cinema, and with over two hundred full-length Western novels to his credit, including Destry Rides Again and Montana Rides and the iconic Dr. Kildare series, Max Brand’s action-filled stories of adventure and heroism in the American West continue to entertain readers throughout the world.