Daniel Boone: An American Life

Overview

The embodiment of the American hero, the man of action, the pathfinder, Daniel Boone represents the great adventure of his age — the westward movement of the American people. Daniel Boone: An American Life brings together over thirty years of research in an extraordinary biography of the quintessential pioneer. Based on primary sources, the book depicts Boone through the eyes of those who knew him and within the historical contexts of his eighty-six years. The story of Daniel Boone offers new insights into the ...

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Daniel Boone: An American Life

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Overview

The embodiment of the American hero, the man of action, the pathfinder, Daniel Boone represents the great adventure of his age — the westward movement of the American people. Daniel Boone: An American Life brings together over thirty years of research in an extraordinary biography of the quintessential pioneer. Based on primary sources, the book depicts Boone through the eyes of those who knew him and within the historical contexts of his eighty-six years. The story of Daniel Boone offers new insights into the turbulent birth and growth of the nation and demonstrates why the frontier forms such a significant part of the American experience.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lofaro (editor, The Tall Tales of Davy Crockett), a University of Tennessee professor of American studies, returns to one of his favorite subjects to repaint a portrait of the famed frontiersman with a new patina of insight, finding facts amid myths as he places Boone's life (1734-1820) in the historical context of the period. Boone, he writes, typifies Americans' "paradoxical relationship to the wilderness," which he sought "to subdue and improve and to preserve and enjoy." The phrase "may have" surfaces occasionally, but Lofaro has skillfully and authoritatively mapped the roots and routes of this wilderness wanderer who could not control his "itching foot." Beginning with Boone's Pennsylvania childhood and early years in North Carolina, the narrative continues through his long hunting expeditions, Kentucky explorations, Indian attacks, his 1756 marriage, blazing the Wilderness Road, founding Boonesborough, his escape from Shawnee Indians after months of captivity, his land claims loss and legal morass, followed by his celebrity status after John Filson's The Adventures of Daniel Boon (1784), a "bombastic, ghost-written retelling of the pioneer's `autobiographical' adventures," turned Boone into an international frontier hero and icon. Striding through battles and bloodshed, Boone breathes and lives in this work, lightened with humorous anecdotes and descriptions of frontier customs and traditions. Lofaro's exhaustive research is evident on every page. 12 b&w illus. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Boone may never have cried "Elbow room!" But he clearly preferred life on the fringes of advancing white civilization, where he could hunt and trap in much the same manner as the Indians. So shows noted Boone scholar Lofaro (American studies & American literature, Univ. of Tennessee) in this relatively short, albeit engaging biography. Drawing on numerous manuscript collections, he sorts fact from fiction in the Boone lore and allows his subject and his friends to speak directly to the reader whenever possible. While Lofaro makes no claim that his work is comprehensive, he distills the essence of the man, showing the historical pattern that serves as the basis for Boone's ambivalence toward civilization and, in so doing, illustrating the impact of the American Revolution on the Kentucky frontier. Including an excellent bibliographic essay, this is a solid first book on Boone for both students and general readers. Highly recommended.-Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

""A good read.... The story of Daniel Boone, full also of soldiering, hunting and exploring, has been told before; and maybe each time it gets a little better, and even a little more accurate."--Edmonson News" --

""Piecing together the truth from second- and third-person reports is not an easy task, and no original Boone autobiography and few firsthand interviews are in existence." -- Andrea Watkins, H-Net Review" --

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813134628
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 3/7/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 494,491
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael A. Lofaro is Lindsay Young Professor of American and Cultural Studies and American literature at the University of Tennessee. A recognized authority on the early frontier and importance of frontier heroes such as Boone and Crockett in American life, he is the author or editor of twelve books, an online database, and over seventy-five articles.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Map xvi

Partial Genealogy of the Boone Family xviii

1 "Let the Girls Do the Spelling": The Boyhood of Daniel Boone 1

2 Soldier, Suitor, Hunter, Explorer 10

3 "In Quest of the Country of Kentucke" 26

4 Henderson's "Infamous Company of Land Pyrates": Transylvania 40

5 Cutting the Wilderness Road 53

6 Revolution and Rescue on the Frontier 65

7 Shel-tow-ee, Son of Blackfish 82

8 Patriot or Traitor?: Boonesborough Besieged 94

9 From Pauper to Legislator 108

10 "Our Affairs Became More and More Alarming": The Disaster at Blue Licks 121

11 "Your Land Is All Survayd": Prosperity, Debt, and Retreat 133

12 "I Want More Elbow-Room": Bound for Missouri 150

13 One Last Hunt: The Final Decade 161

14 "The Sons of Daniel Boone": A Hero's Legend and Legacy 178

Postscript 185

Notes 189

A Bibliographic Note and Bibliography 201

Index 211

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