Boone: A Biography
  • Boone: A Biography
  • Boone: A Biography

Boone: A Biography

3.8 31
by Robert Morgan
     
 

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The story of Daniel Boone is the story of America—its ideals, its promise, its romance, and its destiny. Bestselling, critically acclaimed author Robert Morgan reveals the complex character of a frontiersman whose heroic life was far stranger and more fascinating than the myths that surround him.

This rich, authoritative biography offers a wholly new…  See more details below

Overview

The story of Daniel Boone is the story of America—its ideals, its promise, its romance, and its destiny. Bestselling, critically acclaimed author Robert Morgan reveals the complex character of a frontiersman whose heroic life was far stranger and more fascinating than the myths that surround him.

This rich, authoritative biography offers a wholly new perspective on a man who has been an American icon for more than two hundred years—a hero as important to American history as his more political contemporaries George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Extensive endnotes, cultural and historical background material, and maps and illustrations underscore the scope of this distinguished and immensely entertaining work.

Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Yardley
"Boone has been thought by many to be virtually a fictional character, subject of tall tales like Mike Fink the Keelboatman, or even Paul Bunyan," and it is "hard to rescue figures like Daniel Boone and Johnny Appleseed from the distortions of television and Walt Disney." Morgan's biography is just such a rescue job, and a wholly successful one. It is a trifle too long… but the thoroughness and authority of Boone: A Biography are beyond dispute. Though there have been many biographies of Boone—most recently, Michael A. Lofaro's well-received Daniel Boone: An American Life (2003)—this one strikes me as ideally suited to today's reader with its vivid descriptive passages (Morgan is, after all, a novelist and poet), its persuasive portrait of Boone and its firm sense of his place in American history.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

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
Library Journal

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 Pioneeryet 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

Kirkus Reviews
Daniel Boone didn't wear a coonskin cap. He liked to read. He wasn't particularly murderous. So much for American myths. Morgan (Brave Enemies, 2003, etc.) risks being overshadowed by John Mack Faragher's Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer (1992), which is much stronger, especially on Boone's significance as a Rousseauvian man of nature. Yet Morgan is an able storyteller with a fine appreciation for Boone as a man of action-and a man of his times. Boone entered history as one of the teamsters accompanying General Edward Braddock's ill-fated campaign to attack the French in Ohio, which ended in a battle that catapulted another American on the scene, George Washington, to fame. The British were routed. "To save himself," writes Morgan, "young Boone cut his horses loose and rode after the fleeing troops." It would not be the last time that Boone would decide that withdrawal was the better part of valor, a strategic sensibility that saved his neck on the Kentucky frontier, where he became a skilled diplomat working among many Indian nations while earning a fair income gathering ginseng. Boone had solid leadership skills, as commemorated in George Caleb Bingham's iconic portrait of Boone leading wary settlers through the Cumberland Gap. Though a frontiersman suspicious of customary authority, he also commanded respect among the military. Court-martialed after a disastrous battle against the British and their Shawnee allies during the Revolutionary War, Boone emerged both exonerated and promoted. (To spite his accuser, though, he moved out of the town named for him, Boonesborough.) He would later be accused of dishonest surveying and other misdemeanors, charges that,Morgan writes, had some basis in carelessness but not in malice. Such dealings with his fellow Americans, however, inclined Boone not to have much to do with them-and thus he pressed ever onward, away from their smoking chimneys over a long lifetime. A welcome re-evaluation of an American legend. Agent: Liz Darhansoff/Darhansoff, Verrill & Feldman
Booklist
"[An] absorbing and stirring chronicle of the great frontiersman....Outstanding."
Booklist, starred review
The Washington Post
"The thoroughness and authority of Boone are beyond dispute. Though there have been many biographies of Boone...this one strikes me as ideally suited to today's reader with its vivid descriptive passages (Morgan is, after all, a novelist and poet), its persuasive portrait of Boone and its firm sense of his place in American history."—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
Boston Globe
"[A] revelatory biography. . . . What Morgan has done with his Boone is to make the man important as an entry point for today’s readers into what has become legend."—The Boston Globe
Entertainment Weekly
"From the crisp first sentence 'Forget the coonskin cap; he never wore one' novelist Morgan (Gap Creek) stakes a fresh claim on the life of famed 18th-century frontiersman Daniel Boone. In this long, passionate, and authoritative bio, Morgan traces Boone's 'fiddle-footed' ancestors from Quaker England to Pennsylvania, sorts out the myths and half-truths surrounding his exploits, and analyzes his legacy. The man that emerges is unschooled yet brilliant, a genius at negotiating with the Indians and reading the wilderness, though, tragically, a complete failure at prospering in the white settlements he helped to found. B+"—Entertainment Weekly
Roanoke Times
"Boone is an excellent biography based on a mountain of research. Robert Morgan . . . is exactly the writer to produce this inquisitive study. Morgan's venerable career in fiction has served him well in his understanding of Boone's multifaceted persona and in his understanding of the expansion of the young republic."— Roanoke Times
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The flesh-and-blood Boone who emerges is vivid and rare, a far cry from the enigmatic icon. This is historical biography at its best."—St. Louis Dispatch
Dallas Morning News
"With Mr. Morgan as biographer, Boone definitely lucked out...Stunning." — The Dallas Morning News
From the Publisher
"With Mr. Morgan as biographer, Boone definitely lucked out...Stunning." — The Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565126541
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/23/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
538
Sales rank:
219,091
File size:
5 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Robert Morgan's lyric mountain language is equal to the epic sweep of history, to the grandeur of the land itself."—Lee Smith

"Morgan provides the finest fictional re-creation of the horrific war in the Southern theater of the War for Independence that I have ever read."—Joseph J. Ellis

Meet the Author

ROBERT MORGAN is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, most notably his novel Gap Creek and his biography of Daniel Boone, both of which were national bestsellers. A professor at Cornell University since 1971 and visiting writer-in-residence at half a dozen universities, his awards include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Find him online at www.robert-morgan.com.

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Boone: A Biography 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is extraordinary and one of the best I have ever read. It covers Boone's life from before birth to after his death in great detail. Is thoroughly researched and documented. The writing style is Captivating from cover to cover. Anyone with an interest in 18th Century American History, or what the Frontier was really like, should read it. Suitable for all ages from Middle School on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was incredibly interesting and well researched. I learned several new things about Boone. If you are reading the ebook version be aware that the photos are towards the end, so keep turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading and learning about Boone. My congratulations to the author on a well written and informative book, it brings to life a boyhood hero of many. Much obliged.
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Very good read. Couldn't put it down.
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luvbooksSB More than 1 year ago
I experienced a full range of emotions, to be sure. Robert Morgan is a genius !
mtnmad More than 1 year ago
not quite through reading it but I have discovered that the NOOK version is missing pages. Not good!
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timetravelercline More than 1 year ago
I found the book to be very informitive and intersting!
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