The First Frontier The Forgotten History of Struggle Savagery and Endurance in Early America - Scott Weidensaul
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The First Frontier The Forgotten History of Struggle Savagery and Endurance in Early America  - Scott Weidensaul

Written by Scott Weidensaul
Format(s): EPUB
Language: English

Frontier: the word carries the inevitable scent of the West. But before Custer or Lewis and Clark, before the first Conestoga wagons rumbled across the Plains, it was the East that marked the frontier—the boundary between complex Native cultures and the first colonizing Europeans.

Here is the older, wilder, darker history of a time when the land between the Atlantic and the Appalachians was contested ground—when radically different societies adopted and adapted the ways of the other, while struggling for control of what all considered to be their land.

The First Frontier traces two and a half centuries of history through poignant, mostly unheralded personal stories—like that of a Harvard-educated Indian caught up in seventeenth-century civil warfare, a mixed-blood interpreter trying to straddle his white and Native heritage, and a Puritan woman wielding a scalping knife whose bloody deeds still resonate uneasily today. It is the first book in years to paint a sweeping picture of the Eastern frontier, combining vivid storytelling with the latest research to bring to life modern America’s tumultuous, uncertain beginnings.

From Booklist
The paired terms of frontier and Indian often conjure up images of cavalry troops and eagle-feather-bonneted Sioux or Cheyenne warriors struggling across buffalo-laden plains. As this exciting and revealing chronicle shows, the original frontier was in the East, stretching from the tidewater to the foothills of the Appalachians, and from Maine to Florida. Weidensaul, an author and naturalist, provides a stirring panorama of the land and the peoples who made their mark on it from the late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The land is described, in detail, as lush and enticing, but it was a lushness that could kill when it turned harsh and violent. Across this landscape, Weidensaul tracks the diverse and complicated mix of humanity who cooperated, fought, and transformed it, including various Huron, Iroquoian, and Algonquian Native American groupings and French-, English-, and German-speaking Europeans. This is a rich tableau that both excites and informs about the forging of early American society. --Jay Freeman

Review
“With a novelist's flair, he conveys the experiences of ordinary people pitted against powerful and unpredictable nature. . . Mr. Weidensaul invites readers to imagine the bloody ground beneath modern America's apparently tame landscape.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Exhaustively researched and entertainingly written. . . Credit Weidensaul with proving once again that history does not have to be dull in order to be comprehensive. It would be difficult to find a work of either fact or fiction more filled with excitement and suspense than The First Frontier.”
—The Seattle Times
“With a novelist's flair, he conveys the experiences of ordinary people pitted against powerful and unpredictable nature. . . Mr. Weidensaul invites readers to imagine the bloody ground beneath modern America's apparently tame landscape.”
—The Wall Street Journal

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