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Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership (Library of American Biography Series) (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321043719
ISBN-10: 0321043715
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this biography, David Edmunds examines the life of legendary Shawnee leader Tecumesh and his pivotal role in defending the Native American way of life. Since his death as an avowed warrior at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, the details of Tecumseh's life have passed into the realm of legend, myth and drama. In this new edition, David Edmunds considers the man who acted as a diplomat - a charismatic strategist who attempted to smooth cultural divisions between tribes and collectively oppose the seizure of their land. The titles in the "Library of American Biography Series" make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretive biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. In addition, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.

About the Author

R. David Edmunds, Watson Professor of American History at the University of Texas at Dallas, received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma. He has written or edited nine books, including The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire (1987), which won the Francis Parkman Prize, and The Fox Wars: The Mesquakie Challenge to New France (1993), which won the Alfred Heggoy Prize. He has held Ford Foundation, Newberry, and Guggenheim fellowships and has advised documentary filmmakers, tribal governments, foundations, and museums. In 2003, Dr. Edmunds served as President of the American Society for Ethnohistory.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 2 edition (July 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321043715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321043719
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a textbook companion of the author's biography of Tecumseh's brother, Tenskwatawa or the Prophet. R. David Edmunds is known for both his combination of ethnographic material, oral tradition, and traditional historical research with good storytelling. His unique contribution is highlighting the importance of the religious message of revitalization to Indian resistance in the Old Northwest. This book is a good introduction to Indian experiences in the Old Northwest during the Revolutionary and Early Republic Periods. Those really interested in this title may want to continue their reading with "The Shawnee Prophet" by the same author, "A Spirited Resistance" by Gregory Dowd, and "The Middle Ground" by Richard White.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book for a college Ohio History class. I hadn't had any previous knowledge about Tecumseh other than he was an Indian leader. Overall it was a very interesting book. Some may run into some problems if they do not fully understand the history of the War of 1812 in Ohio. Some of the battle descriptions go into detail. There is a chapter in the book that describes some of the Shawnee cultures and customs that I found very interesting.
All said, this is a very good biography of a very respected Indian leader.
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By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a good overall view of the life of Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief. Also mentioned are his brother, the Prophet, and important historical events of the time. A good resource for those interested in the subject, a little dry for an everyday read.
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Format: Paperback
On one level, this book is yet another iteration of the usual, sad story of continuous European encroachment of Indian lands via broken promises and the various trappings of European "civilization" (especially disease and alcohol) that undermined Native American culture. More specifically, it is the story of one Indian who tried, both intelligently and valiantly, to check the Caucasian tide.

Tecumseh lived from 1768 to 1813. His father was Shawnee; his mother was Creek. He was raised among the Shawnees of Ohio. He came of age after the Revolutionary War, as the young United States expanded gradually but relentlessly beyond the Appalachians into Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. The prototypical pretense for expansion was a treaty with this or that group of Indians whereby the U.S. gave them money and trade goods in exchange for the right to settle on a vast tract of land that in most cases the Indian group in question did not truly own, at least vis-à-vis all other Indians. Tecumseh was savvy enough to understand the mechanism of American expansion and that it represented a collective problem for Indians who were splintered into numerous tribal groups. So, around 1807, Tecumseh proposed and began to pursue a two-prong policy. First, explicit recognition that all remaining Indian lands (lands not already ceded to the U.S. by one or another treaty, however fraudulent) were owned by all Indians, so that any future transfers of Indian land to the Americans had to be approved by all Indians. In other words, individual tribes no longer had the right to sell what they claimed to be their tribal territory to the government.
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Format: Paperback
I thought this book provided a good overview of Tecumseh's life and mission. This is a brief biography to be sure, but it is a good introduction to Tecumseh. Those looking for a detailed biography need to look elsewhere.
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Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership (Library of American Biography Series) (2nd Edition)
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