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Dear Old Kit: The Historical Christopher Carson 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0806122533
ISBN-10: 0806122536
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harvey L. Carter, author of a number of books on the West, is John and Harriet Parker Campbell Professor of American History in Colorado College, Colorado Springs.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1st edition (September 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806122536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806122533
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,008,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a readable and scholarly work that should be part ofthe library of anyone who is an aficionado of the Old West. This bookexplained to me not only who Kit Carson was, but why he was significant. Although the author makes a good case for why Carson can be considered a hero, he also doesn't shy away from commenting on the man's mistakes. The biography seemed thoughtful, balanced, clear, concise, and thoroughly researched. Moreover, this book is particularly special because, in addition to the author's biography, it contains the complete text of Kit Carson's own autobiography, along with biographer Carter's helpful annotations to it. There are also some photos giving the biography and autobiography an added dimension. Two more points: Carson's life is exciting-- he was a mountain man, an explorer, a scout, a cavalry officer, and more! Also, this biography is only about ten years old, so you know that Carter is basing his inferences on fairly reliable, up-to-date research! All in all, I'd say that whether you're a novice or an expert on the subject, if you had to read or own just one book about Kit Carson, this should be it.
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Format: Paperback
Kit Carson is one of my favorite historical figures and this is my favorite book about him. Carter republishes and annotates Carson's laconic autobiography of adventures as a fur trapper, mountain man, indian fighter, soldier, and explorer. Carson went from being an illiterate saddlers's apprentice in 1825 to one of the famous men in America by the end of his life in 1868. A small, unprepossessing man, he never learned to read or write, never made any money, and was modest, even ashamed of his fame. Arguably, Carson lived through more adventures than anyone else in American history.
Carter admires his subject which is good because Kit Carson is sometimes portrayed these days as a monstrous genocidiare because of his role in defeating the Navajos and forcing them to move to a reservation on which many of them died. In reality, Carson was a relatively humane soldier who often defended the rights of the Indians and who became a good agent on their behalf. But, unlettered and overly impressed by the authority, judgments, and education of his superiors, Carson didn't possess the moral courage and confidence to challenge his orders to suppress the Navajos.
Carter's research into Carson's life is thorough. He employs the unusual technique of publishing Carson's autobiography as written and commenting on it in extensive footnotes. Some might find this irritating as your eyes must move from text to footnote constantly. Carter also publishes a large collection of photographs of Carson, examines his fame, and extolls his virtues.
To my mind, Kit Carson is the premier hero of the western expansion of the U.S. Carter's book is one of the most accurate and well-researched accounts of Carson's remarkable life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear Old Kit: The Historical Christopher Carson, is without a doubt a must read for anyone interested in Kit Carson. It is thorough, entertaining, and true to the greatest western scout in American history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this years ago but it was time to revisit. I found I enjoyed it again and would recommend it highly.
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