This is the greatest American classic. A must read for every young man living in the Midwest, but they won't teach this in school it's both brutal and true. I appreciate it more the older I become realizing this story is modern history not ancient history. Knowing the creek or river you're passing over on your way to work, just yesterday had hundreds of Indians floating down it in canoes on the path to war.
This is the most important work on frontier expansion I have read. Settlement of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana was an important formatve economic and cultural event during immediate post revolutionary America. Further, Ohio was our first 'mid-Wesern' state, is seventh in state in national population and remains central to American poltics to this very day.
The book nicely describes the initial haphazard and dangerous conditions of the migration and its breath taking speed of advance towards Indiana and then North to the Great Lakes. Further, most of this was undertaken by civilian pioneers - hardly a Conquistador in sight. Further, the book includes the best, most ballanced narrative of settler/indian relatinships I have encounterred; both personal and govermental relationships. The detaled development of Tehcumsa's decade long political/religious movement is especially good.
One shortcomming is the lack of any good summary for the development of North Eastern Ohio (The Western Reserve) which is a relatively short distance from Pitsburgh Pensylvania from which many settlers departed for Ohio and Kentucky. This seemed odd since Northern Ohio not only borders Pesylvania on its East but lake Erie on its North - a long standing East West trade route. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact N Eastern Ohio was I believe, reservedfor parceling out to Revolutionary veterans from Connecticut and is a separate story? Another way to look at this is you get your monies worth.
The controversy surrounding the character Bluejacket notwithstanding, this is an important work of historical writing. I learned more about the westward expansion of our country, particularly the settlement of Ohio, Kentucky than I ever did in all the courses I took on American History. Perhaps the fact that the book is based on actual events and not fiction is what most makes it compelling. I loved this book.
It's a fun read, but DNA evidence of Blue Jacket's descendants confirmed that he was not white. Most conversations in this read are pure speculation or legends. If this sparks an interest in the reader for history, that's great. As historical fiction, it has a good narrative flow. The writer was very familiar with the period and major events throughout Kentucky and the Old Northwest. But to start with the words "this is a true story", it should not take such liberty with other people's thoughts and words. Use dialogue from people's letters, reports, and diaries. Good history books are well sourced and able to stand up to scrutiny.
Fascinating and informative. A great listen. The reading forms a tapestry of the brave people that forged our developmental years.
Kinda long but well written and a great story.
It ended kind of abruptly, but did tie everything together and give closure.