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Boone: A Biography


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Poet and novelist Morgan (English, Cornell Univ.; Gap Creek) steps away from his historical fiction to provide a beautifully written biography of American scout Daniel Boone as a frontier Moses, leading his people over the western mountains to the rich promised lands of Kentucky. Boone's personal motivations are explored by emphasizing his Quaker family roots-and the later influence of Masonry-within the larger context of a frontier society swirling with political revolution and wilderness wars that eventually displaced many of the American Indian nations with which Boone sympathized. His treatment of Boone attempts a more personalized and popular view than John Mack Faragher's classic Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer yet is still extensively footnoted. Morgan ends by examining how Boone's legend as a heroic scout influenced writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and James Fenimore Cooper, among many others. Strongly recommended for academic, public, and high school libraries with U.S. history collections.-Nathan E. Bender, Univ. of Idaho, Moscow Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Many historical figures are more interesting in reality than in myth. Daniel Boone was one of them....Morgan portrays Boone in lively prose....Morgan is a trustworthy, up-to-date authority.... Boone comes fully alive in his pages." - Publishers Weekly" Morgan steps away from historical fiction to provide a beautifully written biography of American scout Daniel Boone....Strongly recommended." - Library Journal starred review "This outstanding biography will be ideal for general readers." Booklist"

Many historical figures are more interesting in reality than in myth. Daniel Boone was one of them. Brilliant explorer, trapper and pathfinder, renowned marksman and revolutionary militia officer, he was also a loner, parent, legislator, settler and failed speculator. Poet and fiction writer Morgan (Gap Creek) portrays Boone in lively prose but also in excessive detail. Must we know of Boone's life week by week or of favored Shawnee coital positions? And must he give us references to Emerson, Thoreau and Faulkner? Morgan is a trustworthy, up-to-date authority who needs no support from others. Boone comes fully alive in his pages. Morgan's objectivity gives us a completely realized man, the greatest pioneer of the Trans-Appalachian west, who helped open Kentucky to settlement but kept going, settling eventually in Missouri. His luck was as legendary as his deeds, given what he seems to have escaped. Yet Morgan skillfully assesses and often questions the validity of all the tales of good fortune and heroism attached to Boone. Most appealing today, Boone was deeply respectful of the native tribes, a respect returned by the Indians, many of whom he befriended even when he was in conflict with them. If only others had possessed his wisdom and character. Illus., maps. (Oct. 16) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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