Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History for 1993
In the first and most reliable biography of Daniel Boone in more than fifty years, award-winning historian Faragher brilliantly portrays America's famous frontier hero. Drawing from popular narrative, the public record, scraps of documentation from Boone's own hand, and a treasure of reminiscence gathered by nineteenth-century antiquarians, Faragher uses the methods of new social history to create a portrait of the man and the times he helped shape. Blending themes from a much vitalized Western and frontier history with the words and ideas of ordinary people, Faragher has produced a book that will stand as the definitive life of Daniel Boone for decades to come, and one that illuminates the frontier world of Boone like no other.
The popular image of Daniel Boone is that of an unlettered backwoodsman, skilled hunter and Indian fighter. But evidence argues that he was reasonably well educated for his time and place, that he was a landowner, businessman and a respected leader of frontier society. Faragher, history professor at Mount Holyoke College, author of Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie , has sifted through folklore and fact to reconstruct a realistic portrait of Boone and the expanding frontier. Except for his long hunts, Boone was surrounded by a close, extended family; his deepest loyalties were to clan and community. The final chapters examine Boone in folklore, literature and art (he was the model for James Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumppo in Last of the Mohicans ). Boone is worthy of historical attention as a personification of the westward movement. Faragher has written an absorbing, definitive biography. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC selection.