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David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend Hardcover – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Bright Sky Press (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933979518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933979519
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #794,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"James R. Boylston and Allen Wiener have done a masterful job of recovering the real David Crockett, a figure of enormous historical significance in the tumultuous and critical Jacksonian age." - Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

"The best thing on Crockett since William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo. This book should have long life." -- Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp.

"A true gem, essential for anyone interested in Crockett himself, the Jacksonian milieu, the roots of modern democratic practice."  —Daniel Feller, author, The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815-1840


"A thorough and magnificently researched study of the political career of David Crockett . . . a clear, introspective analysis."  —Gregg Dimmick, MD, author, Sea of Mud


"A highly readable work that sifts the nuggets of truth from the mud of speculation . . . Intensely researched and footnoted."  —Gary Zaboly, author, A True Ranger: The Life and Many Wars of Major Robert Rogers; illustrator, Texian Illiad and Blood of Noble Men



"A splendid book which reveals the true David Crockett."  —Stuart Reid, author, The Secret War for Texas

About the Author

James R. Boylston is a member of the Alamo Society and the Alamo Battlefield Association and has written articles for "The Alamo Journal" and "The Crockett Chronicle." He is also the creator and moderator of the Alamo Studies online forum, a web based discussion group devoted to the serious study of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Allen J. Wiener is the author of "The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide" and co-author of "Music of the Alamo." He has written for the "Washington Post," "People," "American History," "Goldmine," "Discoveries," "The Alamo Journal" and "The Crockett Chronicle," and has written liner notes for several CDs.

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Customer Reviews

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I'm just now sitting down to read the book.
David Hulings
It appears to be a well crafted book with a beautiful layout and the publisher deserves all possible credit.
Bookworm
They have done an excellent job at putting Crockett into his proper context.
Kevin R. Young

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kat on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
David Crockett's image has been muddied and distorted over the centuries by plays, pulp fiction and Hollywood. Flawed biographies also have short-changed the Tennessean to the point where the real Crockett has been virtually lost. Jim Boylston and Allen Wiener deserve praise for having rescued him. For the first time, Crockett's motivations and political thinking are clarified, especially regarding his long struggle to secure a land bill that would give poor squatters legal title to land they had worked and improved. Crockett's strong opposition to Andrew Jackson's cruel Indian Removal policy is seen as genuine and passionate, and his opposition to Jackson's destruction of the Second Bank of the United States is made sensible. Contrary to past biographies, the Jacksonians did not view Crockett as an insignificant bungler, but recognized his growing popularity and saw him as a serious threat. They spared no expense in their efforts to get rid of him. The authors add the priceless bonus of appending all of Crockett's correspondence, his surviving political circulars, and a selection of his most important speeches. The book is beautifully illustrated with all of Crockett portraits done from life, samples of his hand-written letters, and scenes of Washington when he was in office. David Crockett in Congress will undoubtedly remain the definitive Crockett reference and political biography for decades to come.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin R. Young on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well research, well written,and well organized volume that fills in magnificent detail a gap in the life of Crockett. Forget Fess Parker, Billy Bob Thornton, and even John Wayne for a while and enjoy reading a compelete picture of Crockett. The authors have done a fantastic job in not only presenting the "gentleman from the cane" as the complete individual he was, but also give us a indepth look at the issues that were important to him as a three term Congressman. They have done an excellent job at putting Crockett into his proper context. While so much time has been spent in print debating his death, this work gives us his life of a public servant who fought for rights of poor settlers against the removal of the Indians from their lands, and against the Jacksonian Political Machine. The addition of the known images of Crockett, the complete transcripts of his known correspondence and political ciculars makes the work a more than welcome addition to anyones collection.

Big Sky Press should be complemented for the excellent job they have done in the layout and presentation of this book. It's over all design is outstanding!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Michel on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the definitive book on David Crockett's congressional career. Eight interconnected essays illuminate the major issues with which Crockett was involved, and lend context to the complete collection of annotated letters that make up the book's second section.
All of Crockett's portraits painted from life are showcased in full color, and a selection of his speeches and political circulars round out the volume. Beautifully designed, this book would be a wonderful addition to the library of anyone with an interest in history, and is absolutely essential to Crockett studies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Searle on February 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
An excerpt from the April 9, 1836 edition of the Niles Weekly Register (Baltimore, Maryland) provides the now famous account of Davy Crockett's arrival in Texas:

"A gentleman from Nacogdoches, in Texas, informs us, that, whilst there, he dined in public with col. Crockett, who had just arrived from Tennessee. The old bear-hunter, on being toasted, made a speech to the Texians, replete with his usual dry humor. He began nearly in this style: "I am told, gentlemen, that, when a stranger, like myself, arrives among you, the first inquiry is - what brought you here? To satisfy your curiosity at once to myself, I will tell you all about it. I was, for some years, a member of congress. In my last canvass, I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to h__, and I would go to Texas. I was beaten, gentlemen, and here I am." The roar of applause was like a thunder-burst. [Louisville Journal.

David Crockett died at the Alamo on March 6, 1836, a month and three days before this article finally appeared in the Niles Weekly Register. If you are like me and have always wondered why Crockett would have told the people of his Congressional district back in Tennessee that they might go to hell and he would go to Texas, then you need to read David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend.

David Crockett in Congress covers David Crockett's entire political career in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress in great detail. The book is a wonderful sampler of Jacksonian politics of the 1820's and 1830's from the perspective of an Andrew Jackson supporter (Crockett) who becomes disillusioned with Jackson and party politics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Evan Lewis on February 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When this book arrived, I was shocked at the size. I'm not sure how I pictured it, but I wasn't expecting a deluxe hardcover the size of a big city phonebook!

Then I read it, and had still another revelation. You see, folks, this is no ordinary history book. It's a landmark in Crockett literature. Bottom line? This is the most important Crockett book to appear in over fifty years. I know, because aside from a handful of juvenile biographies and storybooks, I've read them all.

Why is it so important? First, it provides a wealth of new scholarship regarding an vital and long overlooked period of Crockett's life. And second, it introduces us to the real David Crockett in a way never before possible - in his own words.

"Wait!" you say. "Didn't Crockett write an autobiography?" Yes he did, sort of. And it's a fine read. But he had help. It's not pure Crockett, and it's not always as factual as historians would like.

That autobiography was published in 1834, and for the next 122 years, biographers just rehashed the same information. James Atkins Shackford changed all that in 1956, with David Crockett: The Man and the Legend, opening up acres of new territory in Crockett's life. Most important of these was Crockett's political career. But while Shackford's work on that period was groundbreaking, it left me wanting more. I kept expecting someone to dig into the original sources Shackford only alluded to and give us the whole story.

That's what James Boylston and Allen Wiener have done, and the result is far more than I'd hoped for. The back half of the book delivers all the poop from those original sources - letters, circulars, newspaper articles, and the congressional record.
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