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From French Community to Missouri Town: Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century Hardcover – September 1, 2006
“A fresh look at the transition of settlements in frontier areas. The author cogently contends that custom and habits ruled the lives of people in Ste. Genevieve, not law imposed from the outside.”—R. Douglas Hurt, author of Nathan Boone and the American Frontier
“This is no garden-variety local history narrative. The author’s nuanced account of Ste. Genevieve’s gradual evolution from a French village into an American town skillfully captures the complexities of that transformation and provides important insights about American democracy.”—William E. Foley, author of Wilderness Journey: The Life of William Clark
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"Although many people worked hard at physically demanding tasks, they did not understand the need for regular exercise." This statement, along with many others which are far too common for a university-press published book, just left me slack-jawed in amazement. The book desperately needs some serious editing. My take on the book is that the author has no idea at all how condescendingly she writes. She is looking back in history and applying current standards and beliefs to past times where such standards have no application at all.
Here are some other gems:
"Life on the frontier could be precarious, but the real threat to Ste. Genevieve came from the unpredictable Mississippi River." - p. 15. Really? Life on the frontier was precarious? Who knew? And the Mississippi floods? Really? Wow.
"Even in Ste. Genevieve, the French liked to build their homes far apart." - p. 16.
The author makes no case for this - nowhere does she demonstrate that the French in other locations built their houses either close together or far apart.
"[Finiels] described Point Basse, the big field, which produced huge harvests, except when the river flooded. Despite the constant peril, farmers returned season after season to plant crops in the incomparably rich soil." - p. 17
Hmmm ... a field which produces "huge" crops except when the river flooded. No!! Incomparably rich soil? Bottom land is almost always richer than upland - that's why farmers plant crops there.
"At the time of his death in 1848, the total value of Sargent's estate exceeded ten thousand dollars. He was a wealthy man." p. 49.Read more ›
Some of the comments in the previous review are simply puzzling.Read more ›