The Pioneers

The Pioneers

by James Fenimore Cooper
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The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

In this classic novel, James Fenimore Cooper portrays life in a new settlement on New York's Lake Otsego in the closing years of the eighteenth century. He describes the year's cycle: the turkey shoot at Christmas, the tapping of maple trees, fishing for bass in the evening, the marshalling of the militia. But Cooper is also concerned with exploring the development of the cultural and philosophical underpinnings of the American experience. He writes of the conflicts within the settlement itself, focusing primarily on the contrast between the natural codes of the hunter and woodsman Natty Bumppo and his Indian friend John Mohegan and the more rigid structure of law needed by a more complex society. Quite possibly America's first best-seller (more than three thousand copies were sold within hours of publication), The Pioneers today evokes a vibrant and authentic picture of the American pioneering experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781499270556
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range: 1 - 17 Years

About the Author

James Fenimore Cooper (15 September 1789 – 14 September 1851) was a prolific American writer of tales of the frontier well remembered for his "Leatherstocking" tales, including "The Last of the Mohicans", "The Pathfinder" and "The Deerslayer".

RUDOLPH PALAIS worked in the comics field from the late 1930s to 1969. He and his brother Walter worked for several New York publishers. He then joined the Harry "A" Chesler shop in 1939. He worked briefly for National/DC on 'Doctor Mid-Nite', for Holyoke on 'Catman', for Quality Comics on 'Blackhawk', 'Doll Man' and 'Phantom Lady', and for Charles Biro on the original 'Daredevil'. In the early 1940s he drew the fifth through seventh issue of the 'Rangers of Freedom' comic, about a group of marines.

For twenty years, he was a versatile artist on Gilberton's 'Classics Illustrated' series. Palais contributed among others adaptations of James Fenimore Cooper, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. He also cooperated on several Pre-Trend crime and horror comics over at DC, and he worked on a number of horror comics for Harvey in the 1950s, since his style well suited the macabre stories. In the 1960s, he went to work for Charlton, where he drew for 'The Many Ghosts of Dr. Graves' and 'Ghostly Tales', among other titles. Rudy Palais retired from comics in 1969.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1789

Date of Death:

September 14, 1851

Place of Birth:

Burlington, New Jersey

Place of Death:

Cooperstown, New York


Yale University (expelled in 1805)

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The Pioneers 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Though this is the fourth book of the "Leatherstocking Tales" in which Nathaniel Bumppo, alias Deerslayer, Hawkeye, Pathfinder, and Leatherstocking, appears when the five books are arranged in the chronological order of Bumppo's life, it was the first published. I had more trouble slogging through it than any of the first three, and I believe that the reason is simple. The Pioneers was not written about the exploits of Natty Bumppo. Yes, he is a main character in the book, but the plot mainly revolves around Judge Marmaduke Temple, who settled the area of Lake Otsego, NY, with his family and activities as the taming of the wilderness interacts with the needs and wishes of the now seventy-year-old hunter. It is believed that Cooper based the character of Temple on his own father (the founder of Cooperstown, NY) and the character of Natty Bumppo on some hunter whom Judge Cooper encountered. Natty became such a hero that people wanted more novels about him, so Cooper obliged with The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Pathfinder. Those books are about Natty and his exploits. They are filled with excitement and adventure. The Pioneers is said to be "the most realistic of the Leatherstocking Tales." That may be true, but to me it is also the most boring so far. Like many other novels of the nineteenth century, it begins very slowly with a lot of descriptive introduction and background. The last third of the book has more action and thus is more interesting, but, unfortunately, one cannot understand the last third without having to wade through the first two-thirds. Even the afterword in my copy says, "Taken in this context, the novel does not have the appeal of The Deerslayer, in which Natty is presented in all his youthful vigor; The Last of the Mohicans or The Pathfinder, in which he is still in his full strength; or The Prairie, in which he strikes out once more for the Garden of the West and is at last fully portrayed by his creator as one of the really great characters of fiction. But The Pioneers is also the first novel in which Natty appears, and he is obviously not the principle reason why the novel was written. The reader who picks it up, therefore, as just one of the romantic tales of the wilderness scout is in for a disappointment." That is certainly true. Natty is pictured in The Pioneers as a somewhat crotchety and petulant old man, although he is still honest and loyal to a fault. It also seems to me that there is more bad language, with the "d" word and taking the Lord's name in vain, as well as references to drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, than in the previous books. However, it is still an interesting story and fans of Natty Bumppo will not want to miss it.
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