From Library Journal
In this readable history, Cayton (The Frontier Republic, Kent State Univ., 1986) traces the development of Indiana from 1700, when the Miami tribe dominated the region, to 1850 and the end of the frontier. While some scholars might quibble with Cayton's definition and use of the term frontier, he does succeed in producing an enjoyable narrative history of the people who occupied Indiana for 150 years. While not as encompassing as James H. Madison's Indiana Way (Indiana Univ./Indiana Historical Society, 1986), this title focuses on some of the individuals involved in key aspects of Indiana history. Cayton admits that the people he includes are not necessarily those who played the most pivotal roles but are those about whom there is ample source material. He nonetheless provides a balanced perspective and never lapses into the "great man" notion of history. At times, though, one does lose a sense of the broader context in which some of these individuals lived. For the serious reader, the bibliographic essay is particularly good. Recommended for general readers and academic libraries.?Daniel D. Liestman, Seattle Pacific Univ. Lib., Kent, Wash.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
Most history concentrates on the broad sweep of events, battles and political decisions, economic advance or decline, landmark issues and events, and the people who lived and made these events tend to be lost in the big picture. Cayton's lively new history of the frontier period in Indiana puts the focus on people, on how they lived, how they viewed their world, and what motivated them. Here are the stories of Jean-Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes; George Croghan, the ultimate frontier entrepreneur; the world as seen by George Rogers Clark; Josiah Hamar and John Francis Hamtramck; Little Turtle; Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison and William Henry Harrison; Tenskwatawa; Jonathan Jennings; Calvin Fletcher; and many others. Focusing his account on these and other representative individuals, Cayton retells the story of Indiana's settlement in a human and compelling narrative which makes the experience of exploration and settlement real and exciting. Here is a book that will appeal to the general reader and scholar alike while going a long way to reinfusing our understanding of history and the historical process with the breath of life itself.