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David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend Hardcover – November 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"James R. Boylston and Allen Wiener have done a masterful job of recovering the real David Crockett, a figure of enormous historical significance in the tumultuous and critical Jacksonian age." - Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

"The best thing on Crockett since William C. Davis's Three Roads to the Alamo. This book should have long life." -- Allen Barra, author of Inventing Wyatt Earp.

"A true gem, essential for anyone interested in Crockett himself, the Jacksonian milieu, the roots of modern democratic practice."  —Daniel Feller, author, The Jacksonian Promise: America, 1815-1840


"A thorough and magnificently researched study of the political career of David Crockett . . . a clear, introspective analysis."  —Gregg Dimmick, MD, author, Sea of Mud


"A highly readable work that sifts the nuggets of truth from the mud of speculation . . . Intensely researched and footnoted."  —Gary Zaboly, author, A True Ranger: The Life and Many Wars of Major Robert Rogers; illustrator, Texian Illiad and Blood of Noble Men



"A splendid book which reveals the true David Crockett."  —Stuart Reid, author, The Secret War for Texas

About the Author

James R. Boylston is a member of the Alamo Society and the Alamo Battlefield Association and has written articles for "The Alamo Journal" and "The Crockett Chronicle." He is also the creator and moderator of the Alamo Studies online forum, a web based discussion group devoted to the serious study of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution. Allen J. Wiener is the author of "The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide" and co-author of "Music of the Alamo." He has written for the "Washington Post," "People," "American History," "Goldmine," "Discoveries," "The Alamo Journal" and "The Crockett Chronicle," and has written liner notes for several CDs.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Bright Sky Press (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933979518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933979519
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
David Crockett's image has been muddied and distorted over the centuries by plays, pulp fiction and Hollywood. Flawed biographies also have short-changed the Tennessean to the point where the real Crockett has been virtually lost. Jim Boylston and Allen Wiener deserve praise for having rescued him. For the first time, Crockett's motivations and political thinking are clarified, especially regarding his long struggle to secure a land bill that would give poor squatters legal title to land they had worked and improved. Crockett's strong opposition to Andrew Jackson's cruel Indian Removal policy is seen as genuine and passionate, and his opposition to Jackson's destruction of the Second Bank of the United States is made sensible. Contrary to past biographies, the Jacksonians did not view Crockett as an insignificant bungler, but recognized his growing popularity and saw him as a serious threat. They spared no expense in their efforts to get rid of him. The authors add the priceless bonus of appending all of Crockett's correspondence, his surviving political circulars, and a selection of his most important speeches. The book is beautifully illustrated with all of Crockett portraits done from life, samples of his hand-written letters, and scenes of Washington when he was in office. David Crockett in Congress will undoubtedly remain the definitive Crockett reference and political biography for decades to come.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well research, well written,and well organized volume that fills in magnificent detail a gap in the life of Crockett. Forget Fess Parker, Billy Bob Thornton, and even John Wayne for a while and enjoy reading a compelete picture of Crockett. The authors have done a fantastic job in not only presenting the "gentleman from the cane" as the complete individual he was, but also give us a indepth look at the issues that were important to him as a three term Congressman. They have done an excellent job at putting Crockett into his proper context. While so much time has been spent in print debating his death, this work gives us his life of a public servant who fought for rights of poor settlers against the removal of the Indians from their lands, and against the Jacksonian Political Machine. The addition of the known images of Crockett, the complete transcripts of his known correspondence and political ciculars makes the work a more than welcome addition to anyones collection.

Big Sky Press should be complemented for the excellent job they have done in the layout and presentation of this book. It's over all design is outstanding!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the definitive book on David Crockett's congressional career. Eight interconnected essays illuminate the major issues with which Crockett was involved, and lend context to the complete collection of annotated letters that make up the book's second section.
All of Crockett's portraits painted from life are showcased in full color, and a selection of his speeches and political circulars round out the volume. Beautifully designed, this book would be a wonderful addition to the library of anyone with an interest in history, and is absolutely essential to Crockett studies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are reading this then you probably already have at least one Crockett biography on your shelf. I was drawn to this book for two reasons; my own fascination with the historical David Crockett (and not the fictional “Davy”) and a high regard for the previous writings of both authors in periodicals such as The Crockett Chronicles and the Journals of The Alamo Society.

While this book is not a full blown biography in the strict sense, it does focus on Crockett at the height of his fame and powers, using his own words, framed by evenhanded and nuanced commentary from both authors. It not only raises the bar on Crockett biographies for its thoroughness, it will be indispensable to any future dissertations on the historical man. The portrait that emerges from these pages therefore is not the naïve, fish out of water that other biographers have tended to sketch, but a long overdue and achingly human image of a man both at odds with and acutely in touch with his own times.

Not only does this book contain the most comprehensive collection of Crockett’s speeches, letters and circulars to date, it for the first time publishes all known contemporary likenesses of Crockett under one roof, which alone is worth the price of admission. Bright Sky Press apparently spared no expense in the printing of this book either, it looks and feels so good that I just can’t file it on my shelf spine out….it has a shelf of its own.
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Format: Hardcover
An excerpt from the April 9, 1836 edition of the Niles Weekly Register (Baltimore, Maryland) provides the now famous account of Davy Crockett's arrival in Texas:

"A gentleman from Nacogdoches, in Texas, informs us, that, whilst there, he dined in public with col. Crockett, who had just arrived from Tennessee. The old bear-hunter, on being toasted, made a speech to the Texians, replete with his usual dry humor. He began nearly in this style: "I am told, gentlemen, that, when a stranger, like myself, arrives among you, the first inquiry is - what brought you here? To satisfy your curiosity at once to myself, I will tell you all about it. I was, for some years, a member of congress. In my last canvass, I told the people of my district, that, if they saw fit to re-elect me, I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but, if not, they might go to h__, and I would go to Texas. I was beaten, gentlemen, and here I am." The roar of applause was like a thunder-burst. [Louisville Journal.

David Crockett died at the Alamo on March 6, 1836, a month and three days before this article finally appeared in the Niles Weekly Register. If you are like me and have always wondered why Crockett would have told the people of his Congressional district back in Tennessee that they might go to hell and he would go to Texas, then you need to read David Crockett in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Poor Man's Friend.

David Crockett in Congress covers David Crockett's entire political career in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress in great detail. The book is a wonderful sampler of Jacksonian politics of the 1820's and 1830's from the perspective of an Andrew Jackson supporter (Crockett) who becomes disillusioned with Jackson and party politics.
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