The frontiersmen were a remarkable breed of men. They were often rough and illiterate, sometimes brutal and vicious, often seeking an escape in the wilderness of mid-America from crimes committed back east. In the beautiful but deadly country that would one day come to be known as West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, more often than not they left their bones to bleach beside forest paths or on the banks of the Ohio River, victims of Indians who claimed the vast virgin territory and strove to turn back the growing tide of whites.
These frontiersmen are the subjects of Allan W. Eckert's dramatic history. Against the background of such names as George Rogers Clark, Daniel Boone, Arthur St. Clair, Anthony Wayne, Simon Girty, and William Henry Harrison, Eckert has re-created the life of one of America's most outstanding heroes, Simon Kenton. Kenton's role in opening the Northwest Territory to settlement more than rivaled that of his friend Daniel Boone. By his 18th birthday, Kenton had already won frontier renown as woodsman, fighter, and scout. His incredible physical strength and endurance, his great dignity and innate kindness made him the ideal prototype of the frontier hero.
Yet there is another story to The Frontiersmen. It is equally the story of one of history's greatest leaders, whose misfortune was to be born to a doomed cause and a dying race. Tecumseh, the brilliant Shawnee chief, welded together by the sheer force of his intellect and charisma an incredible Indian confederacy that came desperately close to breaking the thrust of the white man's westward expansion. Like Kenton, Tecumseh was the paragon of his people's virtues, and the story of his life, in Eckert's hands, reveals most profoundly the grandeur and the tragedy of the American Indian.
©2001 Jesse Stuart Foundation (P)2011 Tantor
"Historian-novelist Eckert has fashioned an epic narrative history of the struggle for dominance of the Ohio River Valley that makes compelling reading." (Publishers Weekly)
Based on actual historical documentation, yet presented in "novel" type format. This made for much more enjoyable listening experience.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting? Probably not, it is just too long. But the story kept my interest throughout the entire length.
For those who enjoy long continuous story-type audiobooks (as opposed to short length books), this is a great choice.
In three words! Seriously! Simon Kenton Astounding! I thought I knew most American history and the characters who made it. How could it be that I never even heard of Simon Kenton? He was a man who was braver, more honorable, compassionate, less greedy and bolder, in fact adjectives fail me in describing the amazing man who I never heard of before this book.
Allan Eckert clearly researched and knew his subject well before writing about it. This true story is riveting and exciting. It reads like a novel but has the truth as it's author. I listened twice and will likely listen many more times. It is so awe inspiring. I wish we could have more of Mr. Eckert's work on audio.
The way a man could be both heroic to the degree that he becomes legendary and at the same time be very real. Simon Kenton could have easily been a man who would take advantage of his skill and knowledge in a time and place where both were needed. He stayed the same humble and helpful man throughout his life.
Simon Kenton is the obvious choice, but there were many others along the way who were impressive as well.
The point where Simon met with the preacher and realize he could still be accepted by the Lord. I love the fact that the author didn't let that essential part of his story slip away. It is part of why he is so believable.
Intriguing. Inspiring. Solid.
Simon Butler. He embodies the spirit of the American explorer.
Laugh and cry.
This is a great way to learn history. It should be a must read for school. For my own part, I could not put it down...I wanted to listen to 'what would happen next' at every idle moment.
The Frontiersmen is a life long favorite of mine. Kenton is my 7th generation Grandfather, there's a personal aspect to the book. Eckert does an excellent job converting historic documents to an intriguing tale.
Saving Boone, kicking Andrew Jackson's behind!
As always he does a great job with various voices and imparts emotion to the book well.
A little less dialogue, a little more fact
He puts magnificent character voices in the reader's head
It kept me on the edge of my seat. It is dramatic. Eckert's use of exact dates, including days of the week, are a welcome baseline to readers of history. Too often, historical narratives are written without enough linkage to dates. Eckert's use of them is brilliant, and provides the integral thread to the work.
Eckert's prologue claims that the entire book is authentic history. Much may be, but some of the story wanders from fact. Example: Chief Blue Jacket was not the captured/adpoted son of a white settler; DNA tests on his progeny have proven that he was of Indian derivation. Tthat the prologue and the product differ, muddies an otherwise brilliant work.
The reader is fantastic. His voices really add a great dimension making the different characters distinct.
Reminds me a lot of the James Fenimore Cooper novels. Great story telling.
Simon Kenton has so many wonderful scenes it's hard to pick one.
I am from that area (WV) and didn't know any of the history. It really opened my eyes to how much I don't know. Great book and I'm very excited to have found it. The tone of the writing is very engaging.
Yes. Good reader. Great story, well told.
Some of the accounts of the unbelievable cruelty in the war between the whites and the natives.
This book really made history come alive. Thought I do suspect that some of the stuff about Tacumseh foretelling the future was a bit exaggerated.
The audio was good but I've never read the book.
Too many to name just one.
Way too long to listen to in one sitting. Although the book kept my interest all the way through.
No, I had trouble staying awake during the narration.
It is a level below Mari Sandoz's "Crazy Horse" .
I would encourage more energy during the performance.
I was angry with the settlers, then angry with the Indians. There is a lot of detail about the Indian culture and relations between the various trbes. The information about the dealings of the whites with the Native Americans was enlightening, making me ashamed of this aspect of the American past.
Eckert's plan was to take the reader/listener into the heads of the people in history using a seriers of historical vignettes using conversations and events for which there is little or non-existant records. The book is daunting and difficult as a narrator read book. There was just too much sameness in the characters There are some finely drawn pictures of the the characters, Kenton and Tecumseh, but the others are bland.
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