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Publisher's Summary

An epic novel by an award-winning author chronicles the settling of the Ohio River Valley, home to the defiant Shawnee Indians, who vow to defend their land against the seemingly unstoppable.

They came on foot and by horseback, in wagons and on rafts, singly and by the score, restless, adventurous, enterprising, relentless, seeking a foothold on the future. European immigrants and American colonists, settlers and speculators, soldiers and missionaries, fugitives from justice and from despair-pioneers all, in the great and inexorable westward expansion defined at its heart by the majestic flow of the Ohio River. This is their story, a chronicle of monumental dimension, of resounding drama and impact set during a pivotal era in our history: the birth and growth of a nation.

Drawing on a wealth of research, both scholarly and anecdotal-including letters, diaries, and journals of the era-Allan W. Eckert has delivered a landmark of historical authenticity, unprecedented in scope and detail.

©1995 Allan W. Eckert (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

Eckert has fashioned an epic narrative history of the struggle for dominance of the Ohio River Valley that makes compelling reading. -Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about That Dark and Bloody River

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Look at a forgotten chapter of history

I was really excited to find this book. I've been listening to a number of books regarding conflicts between the Native Americans and the United States settlers but it seems most of them focus on the plains Indians between 1820 and 1900. Finally, this book was released and focuses on the French, British, and Northeastern tribes, primarily zeroing in on the tribes of the Ohio River Valley (The Shawnee, Cherokee, Miami) and the Iroquois Confederation.

The prologue ran a little long and was more in line with your general historical summary. I'd compare it to the type of writing found in "The Earth is Weeping" by Peter Cozzens. That is, it's clinical, but not exactly dry. The author gives a compelling summary of the history of the area going back as far as 800 BCE to the 1700s, primarily an era filled with tribe to tribe conflict, with little interaction with European powers until the latter end of this period when the spread of white settlements could no longer be ignored.

The writing picks up after the epilogue in the writers unique style, which consequently lands his writings in the "historical fiction" category. I don't necessarily agree with that categorization, but I understand where it comes from. Eckert writes in a sort of narrative style, pulling from journals and quotes from individuals and working from one day to the next to bring the history to life. It's different from what I usually expect from historical accounts, but I like the changeup. The style gives the story a more intimate feel and immerses you deeper into the personal side of what is taking place.

This book is really good, though not my preferred style. I wasn't able to finish it as it didn't grip me as I expected, but it does a great job illustrating a little known era of history and I can appreciate how well it is written.

4 people found this helpful

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Good companion to The Frontiersmen

Another great book by Eckert!
The reader is not the best for this story, but not a deal breaker either.

3 people found this helpful

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awesome

awesome historically accurate telling of pre and early American settlement of Ohio and Kentucky. should be mandatory 8th grade reading.

2 people found this helpful

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A Sad Narration

For all the guilt our nation feels now for how we acquired the land of the Native Americans it is hard to see how it could have been different. Unlike slavery which was a self inflicted wound by North, South, and West and could have early on been perhaps legislated away, the division between Native and nonnative was a clash of culture, ideals of land use and a hundred other irreconcilable factors that made for a violent shifting frontier.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect book about early Ohio River

this book is basically an absolutely perfect historical outline of the 20+ years that it took to settle the Ohio River Valley. if you happen to know anything about the early years of a settling the Ohio River Valley then this is the book for you. luckily this book does not go into grave details about Larger than Life historical figures such as Simon Kenton and Daniel Boone. to which numerous biographies have been written about. this book mainly gives a full outline along with all of the names and players on the white and Native American side that helps to tell the entire story of how the Ohio River Valley was settled.
I 100% recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the early Ohio River Valley.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book on the history of the Ohio River

if you liked his book The Frontiersmen then you will love this book as well.

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I loved hearing history come alive.

I could not stop listening because zi needed to know what would happen next in each story that actually took place in history.

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Wonderful history of the Upper Ohio River Valley

Loved it! Listened to it every day. Very accurate telling of our history in the Wheeling WV area.

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Great read

A little hard to get into at first. Then really interesting. I really loved it.

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A must hear historical narrative

Yes its a very long listen, but if you love the history of North America you owe it to yourself to listen.