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The Frontiersman: The Real Life and the Many Legends of Davy Crockett Hardcover – August, 1993


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Disney TV series on Davy Crockett created a cultural phenomenon in the 1950s. Later, historians denied that heroic image, calling Crockett a drunkard and liar. Derr ( Some Kind of Paradise ) deftly sorts fact and myth in this definitive biography of the original "common man" who came to embody the frontier spirit. He depicts Crockett as a westward-moving farmer dependent on his second wife's money and managerial skills. Derr traces Crockett's career in politics in the Tennessee legislature and in Congress, giving a lively portrait of state and national politics between 1825 and 1845. Crockett's autobiography, ghostwritten by fellow-Congressman Thomas Chilton, was a bestseller that added to his fame and notoriety. His death at age 50 in 1836 at the Alamo gave rise to further legends. History buffs will enjoy meeting the real Davy Crockett. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Portrayed by Disney as the "king of the wild frontier," the inspiration of a cultural phenomenon, Davy Crockett is the apotheosis of Western heroes. However, most of what is known about him is mythical, not factual. Legends portray him as a hunter, backwoodsman, and narrator of outrageous speeches and tales. In fact, during his lifetime his enemies accused him of drunkenness, corruption, adultery, and gambling. Even the events surrounding his death have been widely disputed. Derr ( Some Kind of Paradise , LJ 9/15/89) has examined various historical documents in order to locate the real man behind the legends. He portrays a poor farmer who spent most of his life away from his home, involved in politics. An outspoken Congressman, Crockett gained the disfavor of President Jackson with his shifting political allegiance. Derr untangles the web surrounding David Crockett in this informative and entertaining work.
- Terri P. Summey, Emporia State Univ. Lib., Kan.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (August 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688096565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688096564
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,879,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hurley VINE VOICE on April 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Derr does an insightful and entertaining job of providing and up to date and reflective history of Davey Crockett. Crockett is a man of simple means, follower of Jackson who remarries to a better station and he is known for his outdoorsman accomplishments along with his wry wit and sometimes-contrary views. Aside from his frontier accomplishments that may well have been embellished by his gift of story telling and sense of humor, Crockett favors the Indians while in congress and opposes Jackson's relocation of the Indians and other bills that do not favor his constituents. Crockett is a fascinating frontiersman/politician and Derr brings the interesting man to earth as he corrects historical exaggeration, which is sometimes Crockett's own as he sometimes lengthens and overstates his service in the Creek War and the war of 1812 and some of his frontier stories. Particularly interesting is that among the frontier of Tennessee; Crocket was a shrewd owner of properties and investment property. However, the man that lost his local election at the height of his national fame and exclaimed, "You can go to hell, and I'll go to Texas!" is a fascinating historic figure of the frontier and of the 1800 era politics. Derr even updates Crockett's death at the Alamo where in reality; he was one of six captured but Santa Anna that was brutally put to the sword. This book is a good read on a fascinating man enhanced to a greater legend first by a ghostwriter than by Disney.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mickey Dran on July 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book in 1976,,we were printing it where i worked at .I must red this a hunderd times,over the year.this book is the reason i got into the black powder that iam in now for I had started building the flintlocks that they carried and making my own buckskins.this book is very bloody and shwo what the frontier was really abot. buy this book you wont put it down or get bored with it in fact there are others that relate to this era by the same writer,,and alas,,he has died a while back,,but the book and his works lives on! mickey
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