The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

David McCullough. Simon & Schuster, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6868-0
Popular historian McCullough (1776) uses his well-crafted writing style and thorough research to highlight the evolution of the “Ohio territory” (now Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin) from late-18th-century settlement to well-regarded American cities (Marietta, Cincinnati) by the 1860s. He follows members of a few optimistic, well-connected families whose impact on the region spanned generations, admiringly portraying their efforts to create a new England on the frontier. Settler leaders Rufus Putnam and Manasseh Cutler veered between Eastern political maneuvering for approval (including that of George Washington) for private purchase of the land they wanted and surviving the pioneer trials of wildlife, starvation, and violence between settlers and native Americans (which is treated as a minor subplot). The swiftly moving narrative also shines light on the territory’s consistent antislavery position beginning with the 1787 Northwest Territory Ordinance and leading to the first black vote in 1802. While some readers may be put off by the near-omission of the native people’s perspective, those seeking a pro-colonial history will find this is a fascinating and well-written look at the Cutler families and the Americanizing of Ohio. Illus. Agent: Mort Janklow, Janklow Nesbit Associates. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/03/2019
Release date: 05/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 416 pages - 978-1-5082-7909-9
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-6509-2
Compact Disc - 416 pages - 978-1-5082-7908-2
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