American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

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THE REAL KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER

David Crockett was an adventurer, a pioneer, and a media-savvy national celebrity. In his short-but-distinguished lifetime, this charismatic frontiersman won three terms as a U.S. congressman and a presidential nomination. His 1834 memoir enjoyed frenzied sales and prompted the first-ever "official" book tour for its enormously popular author. Down-to-earth, heroic, and independent to a fault, the real Crockett became lost in his own hype-and ...

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New York, NY 2006 Hard cover Annotated. New in very good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 339 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. ... never read: posted 7/14-ed-David Crockett was an adventurer, a pioneer, and a tragic hero. But the life of the real Crockett has been largely obscured, overshadowed and "Disneyfied." The true man is revealed here. Read more Show Less

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American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

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Overview

THE REAL KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER

David Crockett was an adventurer, a pioneer, and a media-savvy national celebrity. In his short-but-distinguished lifetime, this charismatic frontiersman won three terms as a U.S. congressman and a presidential nomination. His 1834 memoir enjoyed frenzied sales and prompted the first-ever "official" book tour for its enormously popular author. Down-to-earth, heroic, and independent to a fault, the real Crockett became lost in his own hype-and he's been overshadowed by a larger-than-life pop-culture character in a coonskin cap.

Now, American Legend debunks the tall tales to reveal the fascinating truth of Crockett's hardscrabble childhood, his near-death experiences, his unlikely rise to Congress-and the controversial last stand at the Alamo that mythologized him beyond recognition. In this beautifully written narrative, Crockett emerges as never before-a rugged individual, a true American original, and an enduring symbol of the Western frontier.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Levy presents a sympathetic but unremarkable biography of the legendary frontiersman in colloquial if occasionally florid prose (an election loss "burned into Crockett like a brand searing a cow's flank"). Those whose image of Crockett was formed by the cultishly successful Disney treatment will find much that is familiar: the Indian fighter with Andrew Jackson, the congressmen from Tennessee and, finally, the Texas patriot who died defending the Alamo. But Levy (Echoes on Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge) offers more (although not a lot more) in the way of background and complexity, and is willing to expose some of Crockett's deficiencies without making judgments: Crockett clearly indulged his wanderlust at the expense of his wife, a strong figure in her own right, and was, for a variety of reasons, an ineffective, bumbling politician. But despite his faults, readers will find Crockett likable and talented. In Levy's view, Crockett's abilities were expansive, and he opines that Crockett's bestselling 1834 autobiography "prefigures by some fifty years the literary genre of `realism,' with nothing remotely like it" until Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And Crockett's falling out with President Jackson over, in part, Jackson's brutal Indian Removal Act of 1830 is to the frontiersman's credit. B&w illus. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399152788
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/29/2005
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Buddy Levy is a journalist who has covered adventure sports and lifestyles around the world. He is assistant clinical professor of English at Washington State University.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Worth reading

    For us boomers raised on the remarkable 1950s Disney production, AMERICAN LEGEND substantiates much of the Davy Crocket TV shows, but also augments it with insight into how much more complex a person the frontier legend was regardless of Buddy Ebson¿s summarizing ballad. Buddy Levy fills much of the gaps including mildly negative commentary. For instance, there is insight into Crockett¿s two wives, five children and four step-children in which the hero¿s itchy feet kept him on the road a lot both his strong spouses took care of the home front with iron wills, but the hero was not home that often (regardless of offspring count). Interesting to this reviewer¿s memory of the Disney show has Mr. Crocket going to Washington as a success story, but the biographer paints a more balanced picture of a somewhat failed politician. However, the most interesting new items (at least to me) is Crockett wrote a bestselling autobiography in which he barnstormed the country selling it and his dispute with his former Commander in the Creek War President Jackson over the abusive Indian Removal Act of 1830. This is an intriguing look at an individual who in the first half of the nineteenth century was a living legend that authenticates how accurate the Disney portrayal was one worth reading and the other worth watching.... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

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    For history buffs and fans of David Crockett

    This well researched book brings to light the "real" David Crockett and not the Dinseyfied "Davy" Crockett. The warts and all David Crockett is far more interesting and seeing his flaws as well as his strengths makes David Crockett more human than his Disney version.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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