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David Zeisberger: A Life Among the Indians Hardcover – October, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 441 pages
  • Publisher: The Kent State University Press; First Edition edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873385683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873385688
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,905,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Earl P. Olmstead is president of the Tuscarawas County Historical Society and the Curator of the Tusc-Kent Archives, Tuscarawas Campus of Kent State University. He is the author of Blackcoats among the Delaware for which he received a Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Terry L on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a extremely well researched book. While not a "can't-put-it-down" book, it is written in a style that keeps one interested. It doesn't have the more exciting style of, say, The Frontiersman by Allan Eckert, but it is a good read non-the-less. There is plenty of history here, plenty of information about the Indians of the time, politics, characters, etc. However, so much history is covered that it is impossible to cover any part in great depth which makes it difficult to feel that one is part of the action. Instead, the book is more of the typical history book where one feels to be on the outside looking in.
I live near where much of this history takes place in Ohio, so I find the history of this area more interesting than some, and I don't understand why David Zeisberger doesn't get more mention in history. This is a fascinating person. Fascincating enough that his history could be written in a more exciting style by the right author. However, this isn't a put down, as this is the best book on the subject I have read.
The book starts out with the childhood of Zeisberger, which is a little slow reading. This information is important, though, as it shows what environment Zeisberger grew up in and how it affected his life later.
However, I was more interested in the years between 1740-1782. This is a wonderfully exciting time in Ohio history, and Olmstead covers it well. Because of the focus of the book, Olmstead covers events such as Braddock's Massacre in only a page or so, whereas there are entire books written on just this one battle. However, the book is about Zeisberger, and Olmstead relates how events such as these affected the lives of those around Zeisberger and the Moravian missions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wanderer on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Note: Some immature Mormon is angry over my negative reviews of books written to prove the Book of Mormon, and that person has been slamming my reviews.

Your comments or "helpful" votes are appreciated. Thanks

I was disappointed that one reviewer only gave this wonderful biography three stars. It deserves five. I thought he gave a good review, but he ended on a negative and illogical note. He said, "I don't think anyone could be disappointed in this book if they are interested in either the time period or David Zeisberger. As a book on Zeisberger, this should be a 5 star, but as a book in general, a 3 is about it." ???

Olmstead's biography of David Zeisberger, the compassionate missionary to the Indians in the 1700s, is well written and fascinating. The book is not about the origins of Mormonism, but Olmstead's portrait of Zeisberger's world provides many insights into the origins of Mormonism.

In describing the religious and culturally diverse melting pot that was the early United States, Olmstead prepares the reader for the study of the origins of Mormonism. Colonial diversity was striking. As early as 1646, there were more than eighteen European languages spoken in the Hudson River Valley and with them, of course, sprang fountains of cultural and religious folklore.

It is now possible to see how, almost of necessity, that the religious stew that had been brewing in the 1700s would boil over into something new in the early 1800s. Consider the population of Pennsylvania about the time of the American Revolution.

There were a myriad of Indian groups, and the settlers consisted of German, English, Scotch-Irish, Scots, Swedes, Finns, Dutch, French, Welsh, Swiss, and black Africans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an amateur historian, I was hesitant to spend $40 for a history book and reluctantly made this purchase. Having finished reading the book, I now believe that it was worth every penny. This book is a biography about an amazing man--Rev. David Zeiberger--and his attempt to Christianize the Iroquois and Delaware Indians in the 1700s and early 1800s. Unfortunately for Rev. Zeisberger, he found himself hated by both colonists and Indians during a period in which the colonists and Indians were repeatedly at war in their struggle for land. His love of God and the Indians caused him to continue his efforts during good times and bad times. The story is exciting, the text is accurate and easy to understand, and the historical information is invaluable. Of note, this book ends shortly after the Gnaddenhutten massacre. I look forward to reading the second book in the series, Blackcoats Among the Delaware: David Zeisberger on the Ohio Frontier, that describes the remainder of his life.
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By Miss Jane M Boyles on April 13, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good historical book.
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