|Publisher:||W W Norton & Co Inc|
|Publish Date:||May 2011|
|Number of Pages:||380|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.65|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.5 x 1.3 x 9.3|
Captivated as a child by the mythical Davy Crockett as presented by Walt Disney during the 1950's, Wallis (Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd) endeavors here to find the man behind the myth; he notes that Crockett always referred to himself in writing as David, but his mission is not specifically to debunk the mythology that surrounded Crockett so much as to present a readable and folksy account of the actual facts of Crockett's life.
This is not an academic study that contextualizes Crockett in relation to many of his contemporaries or explores the milieu in which he thrived. Like Daniel Boone, Crockett was viewed as the quintessential frontiersman, but historians seem to have shied away from Crockett since a Mexican diary revealed in the 1970s that he did not die in the heat of battle at the Alamo but was instead executed as a prisoner. Wallis concludes by arguing that we should celebrate Crockett for how he lived.
Verdict: Lay readers will enjoy this biography, and if it leads them to want to learn more about Boone as well, they will enjoy Robert Morgan's Boone: A Biography.
-John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
His name was David Crockett. He never signed his name any other way, but popular culture transformed his memory into "Davy Crockett", and Hollywood gave him a raccoon hat he hardly ever wore. Best-selling historian Michael Wallis casts a fresh look at the frontiersman, storyteller, and politician behind these legendary stories. Born into a humble Tennessee family in 1786, Crockett never "killed him a b'ar" when he was only three.
But he did cut a huge swath across early-nineteenth-century America—as a bear hunter, a frontier explorer, a soldier serving under Andrew Jackson, an unlikely congressman, and, finally, a martyr in his now-controversial death at the Alamo. Wallis's David Crockett is more than a riveting story. It is a revelatory, authoritative biography that separates fact from fiction, providing us with an extraordinary evocation of a true American hero and the rough-and-tumble times in which he lived.
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