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Publisher's Summary

Frederick Russell Burnham's amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world famous as "the American scout". His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be chief of scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII.

After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his 60s, near his childhood home in Southern California. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many best-selling exotic tales, remarked, "In real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance."

Among other well-known individuals who figure in Burnham's story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E. H. Harriman, Harry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers.

Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but Burnham was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake. Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.

©2016 Steve Kemper (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about A Splendid Savage

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Excellent historical-adventure biography

Fantastic book. By far the most interesting biography I have ever read. It took me a few hours to get into it, and after that I couldn't put it down.

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Fantastic Book

Excellent story. Very well researched. This man led an incredible life. And this life must be taken in contacts with The Times.

1 person found this helpful

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What a life!

Such a cool story about a unicorn of a man. Burnham was a dreamer, adventurer, warrior, and romantic. But, he was somehow incredibly focused on one craft in his life: scouting. For a man so present, he also struggled with depression and anxiety. I learned a lot reading about his truly rich life.

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A real life story unknown to most of us.

Loved it but why haven't the average person known about such a great life lead. Great performance by the reader & author.

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amazing

the guys life is like something from a movie. very interesting and captivating to listen to.

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That narrator though.

Great book. Fascinating biography. Well paced and detailed.
But the narrator was so overly dramatic that I actually looked him up to see if he was the actor who played Dilios from 300 (David Wenham), it's not.
I highly recommend this book with the note that the reader is cheesy.