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The Instant New York Times Besteller National Bestseller "[The] authors’ finest work to date." — Wall Street Journal The explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power--Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies The Instant New York Times Besteller National Bestseller "[The] authors’ finest work to date." — Wall Street Journal The explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power--Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies founded by Great Britain, anxious colonists desperate to conquer and settle North America’s “First Frontier” beyond the Appalachian Mountains commence a series of bloody battles. These violent conflicts are waged against the Native American tribes whose lands they covet, the French, and finally against the mother country itself in an American Revolution destined to reverberate around the world. This is the setting of Blood and Treasure, and the guide to this epic narrative is America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder, Daniel Boone—not the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the brutal birth of the United States is told through the eyes of both the ordinary and larger-than-life men and women, white and red, who witnessed it. This fast-paced and fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, and eyewitness accounts, is a stirring chronicle of the conflict over America’s “First Frontier” that places the reader at the center of this remarkable epoch and its gripping tales of courage and sacrifice.


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The Instant New York Times Besteller National Bestseller "[The] authors’ finest work to date." — Wall Street Journal The explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power--Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies The Instant New York Times Besteller National Bestseller "[The] authors’ finest work to date." — Wall Street Journal The explosive true saga of the legendary figure Daniel Boone and the bloody struggle for America's frontier by two bestselling authors at the height of their writing power--Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies founded by Great Britain, anxious colonists desperate to conquer and settle North America’s “First Frontier” beyond the Appalachian Mountains commence a series of bloody battles. These violent conflicts are waged against the Native American tribes whose lands they covet, the French, and finally against the mother country itself in an American Revolution destined to reverberate around the world. This is the setting of Blood and Treasure, and the guide to this epic narrative is America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder, Daniel Boone—not the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the brutal birth of the United States is told through the eyes of both the ordinary and larger-than-life men and women, white and red, who witnessed it. This fast-paced and fiery narrative, fueled by contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, and eyewitness accounts, is a stirring chronicle of the conflict over America’s “First Frontier” that places the reader at the center of this remarkable epoch and its gripping tales of courage and sacrifice.

30 review for Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier

  1. 5 out of 5

    PamG

    Blood and Treasure – Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin is an extremely well written history and biography book. While it covers Daniel Boone’s life, it also covers the history and events of the times and shows where they intersect. The author brought a strong sense of time and place to the people and events in the book. It is not just a recitation of facts, but a story of the people and events. It draws the reader into Daniel Boone’s world. It Blood and Treasure – Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin is an extremely well written history and biography book. While it covers Daniel Boone’s life, it also covers the history and events of the times and shows where they intersect. The author brought a strong sense of time and place to the people and events in the book. It is not just a recitation of facts, but a story of the people and events. It draws the reader into Daniel Boone’s world. It also doesn’t shy away from the grimmer aspects of life in the 1700’s and early 1800’s as well as some less than amazing aspects of Boone’s life. He was definitely an extraordinary pioneer that was a capable leader, hunter, and fighter with a work ethic he got from observing his parents. However, he was much more than this. He was fascinated by Native American culture, weapons, clothing, jewelry, and medicines from an early age. But he also struggled throughout his life with financial debt. His marriage to Rebecca Bryan was also fascinating. They both had to have a lot of patience and be slow to anger. The authors don’t shy away from the various wars that followed European immigrants coming to the New World. These had a severe detrimental effect on Native Americans resulting in loss of homelands, loss of hunting grounds, starvation, disease, loss of life through war, and other adverse effects on their culture. This is not the sanitized history and biography books that one often reads in school. It also debunks some of the legends about Daniel Boone. Men, women, and children were killed by the colonists, the British, the French, and the Native Americans; not just one or two of these. This book doesn’t gloss over the negative aspects of life or human activities and the atrocities that occurred. We need to learn what really occurred. It was interesting to read about the intertribal dynamics and how they changed over time. Additionally, communication and semantic misunderstandings often had grave consequences. The book’s timeline includes the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War so the actions of several other famous people of the times are included. The prose was very readable and did not feel like so many dry nonfiction books. The writing style kept me engaged throughout. Overall, this book was well-written and well-researched. I learned a lot and want to read more by these authors. My only quibble is that there were no maps of the times included in the book. However, I was able to find some applicable maps online. Readers that like history and adventure may enjoy this book as much as I did. St. Martin’s Press, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for April 20, 2021.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Daniel Boone had always despised, and would for the rest of his life, his outsize reputation as an Indian fighter. He maintained that dealing with belligerent Native Americans, whether via combat or negotiation, was for the most part a matter of luck and instinct. His rescue by Simon Kenton was evidence of the former, his quick thinking on the Licking River, the latter. He was vastly more proud of his ability to endure the burdens of a huntsman’s life with a seemingly preternatural stoicism. Daniel Boone had always despised, and would for the rest of his life, his outsize reputation as an Indian fighter. He maintained that dealing with belligerent Native Americans, whether via combat or negotiation, was for the most part a matter of luck and instinct. His rescue by Simon Kenton was evidence of the former, his quick thinking on the Licking River, the latter. He was vastly more proud of his ability to endure the burdens of a huntsman’s life with a seemingly preternatural stoicism. Now, it was as if the patience he had honed over a lifetime of stalking game through the deep woods was in anticipation of this moment. He would need that gift in the coming months. When I was a kid, one of my favorite possessions was a bona fide, official Davy Crockett coonskin cap. No actual raccoons suffered to create that bit of headgear. Disney had made several live-action films in the 1950s (TV mini-series’ really) celebrating Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Crockett may have actually worn one that wild creatures suffered to provide. Daniel Boone preferred beaver hats. Although Crockett and Boone were born a half-century apart their deaths were separated by a mere sixteen years. But to young TV viewers in the 1950s the two seemed inseparable, played on the screen by the same actor, Fess Parker, wearing pretty much the same costumes, no doubt saving Disney some wardrobe expenses. Fess Parker - image from the California Wine Club The memories I retain of the shows are much-faded, but I doubt much has been lost. Civilized American good guy frontiersmen (Crockett) or pioneer (Boone) doing battle with hostile indigenous residents, and battling corruption among his own people. Standard TV fodder of the 1950s and early 1960s, with the usual doses of humble wisdom, and little mention made of the genocide that was being foisted on sundry North American native peoples. Bob Drury - image from Macmillan It was the chance to fill that cavernous memory hole with some actual information, on at least one of Fess Parker’s greatest roles, that drew me to Blood and Treasure. On finishing the book, it was possible to drop a coin into that chasm and hear it hit bottom, after a reasonable wait, much better then hearing nothing prior. Tom Clavin - image from The Southampton Press There is history and there is Boone. It is the information on both that is of great value here. Those of my generation at least know the name Daniel Boone, even if our image of him may have been the product of Disneyfication. I expect there are many, born later, to whom the name Boone is likelier to summon images of a baseball figure, a town or city by that name, or a brand of sickly alcoholic beverage. He was a fascinating real-world character, whatever hat he chose to wear. The authors report in the C-Span interview that, unlike Parker’s cinema-friendly 6’5”, Daniel Boone was actually 5’7” or 5’8,” a typical height for a man of his times. He had several cousins, however who were over six feet and Boone was concerned that a raccoon skin cap would make him look even smaller. He favored a felt hunter’s hat that was made of beaver. A child’s “Davy Crockett” hat – image from the Smithsonian The character himself is fascinating, presenting both as a man of his era, and a person with some 21st century sensibilities. Daniel Boone was born in what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1734, the 6th of eleven children, to Quaker immigrants from England and Wales. The family ran afoul of local public opinion when one of their children married outside the religion, while visibly pregnant. When another, Boone’s brother, Israel, also married outside the faith, and dad stood by him, Pop was excommunicated. Daniel stayed away from the church after that. Three years later the family moved to North Carolina. While Boone carried a bible with him on his long hunts, considered himself a Christian and had all his children baptized, he was not exactly a bible thumper. He was open to other ways of viewing the world. This willingness to learn would serve him well. Boone was fascinated by and respectful of Indian ways as a kid. He spent considerable time with Native Americans, studying their culture, and learning their woodland hunting, tracking, and survival skills. He learned the birdsongs of local avian life, studied the use of plants for medicinal purposes, learned Indian crafts. He was a proficient enough hunter that by age twelve he was providing game meat for his family. His gift for frontier life was clear very early on. In a way he was a frontiersman savant, like those 7-year-olds who play Rachmaninoff as if it’s no big deal. By fifteen he was considered the finest hunter in the area. Daniel Boone by Alonzo Chappel – circa 1861 - From the National Portrait Gallery, via Wikimedia He had considerable respect for his wife, Rebecca, maintaining impressive wisdom about their relationship. After he had been away on a long hunt, for a year, for example, he returned home to be presented with a new daughter. He could count high enough to figure that the child was not his. Rebecca told him that she had thought he was dead (not an unlikely excuse at the time) and had fallen for someone who looked very much like Daniel, his younger brother. Daniel coped, noting with an impressive sense of humor that he had married a full-blooded woman, not a portrait of a saint, raised the girl as his own, and was grateful that Rebecca had at least kept it in the family. He confronts many personal challenges over the years, losing several children (he and Rebecca had ten) to illness or Indian attacks. The book opens with the torture and murder of his teenage son, James. He is called on time and time again to work with militia or government military units. He served with the British in their conflict with their French rivals for North American influence. He was a part of many of the conflicts that took part in the western colonial lands in the late 18th century. I had not heard of any of these. Drury and Clavin point out their often very surprising significance. Boone was not initially cast to star in this novel. Drury and Clavin, with more than a few history book pelts in their saddlebags, had written about the wars waged on the plains Indians, many of whom had been pushed west by the advancing white invaders, and wanted to trace that process back. The book covers, roughly, the period from the 1730s,when Boone was born, to 1799, when he moved his family west to Missouri. The book was supposed to be about how the Indians had been driven out of the land between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. In doing their research, however, Boone kept turning up, a Zelig-like character, involved in many of the seminal events of his time. Served with a British regiment? Check. Served with George Washington? Check. Developed the primary trail through the Cumberland Gap? You betcha. He even established a town that would be named after him, Boonesborough, and led the defense of a western fort, the loss of which might have changed the outcome of the American Revolution. The man really was a legend in his own time. A natural leader, he partook of many of the important battles that occurred between settlers, through their militias and their English backers, and both the native people they were attempting to displace and their French allies. He functioned as a diplomat as well, respected by many of the Indians and seen as a man of his word, not a common attribute at the time. And so he became the narrative thread that pulled together a large number of related, but disconnected parts. The frontier in the 18th century was the Appalachian Mountains. The Wild, Wild West was the land between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. The English had entered into treaties with Indian tribes that basically drew a line there. We will allow our colonists to advance only so far, and no farther. The colonists, however, were more than happy to roll their eyes, mutter a “whatever” or the 18th century equivalent, and continue pushing westward, making life difficult for just about everyone. I was reminded of contemporary settlers, eager to occupy land outside their legal realm. At least some of this westward movement was driven by land speculation, including by some founding father sorts. I know it is tough to believe that real-estate developers might be anything other than sober, law-abiding capitalists, but, like the poor, it appears that we will always have them with us. Drury and Clavin offer a look at the diverse tribes that occupied the areas in conflict, showing differences among them. One particularly horrifying episode involved a group of Indians who had converted to the Moravian faith, a sect of Christianity. They were pacifists, took up no arms, but were slaughtered anyway by a group of American Rangers in what became known as the Moravian Massacre, a shameful episode, widely talked about at the time. We also see leaders of one tribe, in negotiations, willingly ceding land to their white counterparts, when they, in fact, had no hold over that land at all. I was reminded of the contemporary situation in Afghanistan, among other places, where tribal allegiances easily trump larger national demands. Many of the most effective, and memorable of Indian leaders are shown, impressive in their tactical leadership, creativity, and tenacity. The American Revolution was more an eastern than western conflict, but there were times when battles on the western frontier might have determined a different outcome to the colonial attempt to separate from the motherland. These were mostly, no they were entirely, news to me. It is in learning about so many of these turning points that the value of the book is most manifest. If, like me, your knowledge of American history has been shaped primarily by what we learned in grade school, high school, and college, and absorbed from popular culture, you will get a very strong sense of just how much we do not know, and had never suspected. In a way, it was like opening up the back of a mechanical watch and seeing all the intricate gears at work, impacting each other to produce the simple result of indicating the time of day. Getting there is not so simple. Nor is truly appreciating how 21st century America came to be what it is today. This book offers an up-close look at some of those gears. My reading experience of this book was wildly divergent. I found it to be a very difficult read for the first half, at least, dragging myself through anywhere from ten to thirty pages a day for what seemed forever. Even then, I recognized that there was a lot of valuable information to be absorbed, so stuck with it. It is true that there are a lot of characters passing through these pages, a bounty of place names, a plethora of battles, skirmishes, and conflicts that were significant and interesting. But it felt so overwhelming that the TMI sirens were blaring repeatedly. But at a certain point, some of the characters, through repeated appearance, became recognizable. Oh, yeah, I remember him now. Wasn’t he the one who…? Yep, that’s the guy. At a certain point it was not a duty to return to the book, fulfilling a felt obligation, trying to learn something, but a joy. Quite a switch, I know. But as I read the latter half of the book, it became clear that this was not just a rich history book, but quite an amazing adventure story, a saga, filled with deeds heroic and dastardly. There are many compelling characters in these pages, and so many ripping yarns that reading this became like sailing through something by George R. R. Martin. Taking the analogy to the next step, I have zero doubt that, with the many compelling narratives at play in this book, it would make a fantastic GoT-level TV series. It certainly has the blood and gore to play at that level, the territorial rivalries, the vanity, backstabbing, the double-dealing, the battles, sieges, murders, tortures and war crimes, but also the underlying content to give it all a lot more heft. This is how nations are created. This is how they grow. These are the people who paid the price for that creation. These are the decisions that were made, the promises broken and kept, the lies told, the excuses offered. Sorry, no dragons, or other mythical beasts, but there is, at the core, a bona fide legend. (James Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohican was inspired by Boone rescuing his kidnapped daughter, Jemima) Thankfully, it will require no blood for you to check this one out, and only a modest amount of treasure. Like the Cherokee, the tribes north of the Ohio River strongly suspected that America’s War for Independence was being fought over Indian land despite high-minded slogans about taxation without representation. It was the Shawnee who recognized the earliest that this internecine conflict among the whites could only end badly for the tribe should the rapacious colonists prevail. Native American support of the Crown, in essence, was the lesser of two evils. It was not the British, after all, who had begun desecrating Kanta-ke with cabins and cornfields. Review posted – May 21, 2021 Publication date – April 20, 2021 I received this book as an e-pub from St Martin’s Press via NetGalley in return for a fair review. No raccoons, beavers, or other wildlife were harmed providing headgear used during the writing of this review. =============================EXTRA STUFF Links to Bob Drury’ personal site, and to Tom Clavin’s personal and FB pages Items of Interest -----C-Span - Interview with Drury and Clavin - video - 50:08 – This one is all you will need -----Gulliver’s Travels - Boone’s favorite book -----National Museum of American History - The saga of Davy Crockett's coonskin cap -----Wiki on the Moravian Massacre -----Wiki for Last of the Mohican -----Gutenberg – full text of Last of the Mohicans

  3. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    I've always wanted to learn more about history regarding the Indian wars prior to the American Revolution. I thought based on what I did know, I considered it to be a fascinating period of change. So, when I saw BLOOD AND TREASURE on the shelves at Target, I was compelled to pick it up and further my education. I was familiar with one of the authors, Tom Clavin, having read one of his excellent books on the Wild West called, Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from I've always wanted to learn more about history regarding the Indian wars prior to the American Revolution. I thought based on what I did know, I considered it to be a fascinating period of change. So, when I saw BLOOD AND TREASURE on the shelves at Target, I was compelled to pick it up and further my education. I was familiar with one of the authors, Tom Clavin, having read one of his excellent books on the Wild West called, Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell. In BLOOD & TREASURE, I did learn a GREAT deal! The life history of Daniel Boone and his adventures alone was very captivating. I really liked how the authors wove his story into the fabric of Colonial expansion and the wars between the Native Americans, the British, and the French. Of course, in its simplest terms, this is a history of white expansion into Native lands to take control and ownership at all costs. The British were after more farm ground and areas that were rich in fur trapping. They wanted to "purchase" thousands of square miles of Native land because they looked upon the indigenous people as ignorant and savage. Interestingly enough, the French were more respectful of Native ways, and often lived among their allied tribes. Nonetheless, they maintained ulterior motives for the fur trade and land control as well. Certain tribes, like the Iroquois, were allied with Britain, and the Huron tribe among others was allied with France. From 1754-1782, There were bloody battles filled with carnage and cruelty between the Red man and the White man. After the 13 original colonies were established, the "frontier" was expanding into present day North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois. Before 1776, colonists fought for westward expansion for the Crown, but after independence was reached, the new Americans fought against the Redcoats with the help of their Indian allies. One fact that stuck with me the most was how much fighting there was AFTER the colonists severed political ties with Great Britain and the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. The Revolutionary War battles did not end until 1782, and the official end of the war finally came in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. At times, there were a lot of figures coming and going in this book, which made it a little confusing in certain chapters. Also, the authors seemed to be a bit in love with their vocabulary, so keep a dictionary handy. Overall however, I am extremely glad I read BLOOD & TREASURE. "My footsteps have often been mixed with blood. Two darling brothers and a son I have lost by savage hands. But now I live in peace and safety in this delightful country which I have seen purchased with a vast expense of blood and treasure." ~DANIEL BOONE

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This book about Daniel Boone starts off with the graphic killing of Boone’s son by the Indians. This nonfiction continued to keep my interest throughout. It does a masterful job of combining historic facts (battles, politics) with details about not only Boone’s life but several other well known figures (George Washington). This is one of those nonfiction books that reads almost like fiction. The authors give us both big and small pictures of the times and places. I loved seeing how decisions by This book about Daniel Boone starts off with the graphic killing of Boone’s son by the Indians. This nonfiction continued to keep my interest throughout. It does a masterful job of combining historic facts (battles, politics) with details about not only Boone’s life but several other well known figures (George Washington). This is one of those nonfiction books that reads almost like fiction. The authors give us both big and small pictures of the times and places. I loved seeing how decisions by the British made in England played out in the Yadkin Valley of what became North Carolina. I hadn’t a clue that a royal proclamation made in 1763 designed to stop a war with the Indians played into the start of the colonists’ unhappiness with England. This book doesn’t spare the reader from a lot of gruesome details. Indians and settlers alike killed, tortured and mutilated anyone they caught. I was unaware of the role the Indians played during the Revolutionary War and how they used the “civil war” among the whites, as they saw it, to attempt to take back their lands. And, of course,in the end, both English and Americans hung them out to dry. Drury and Calvin have a wealth of information, which allows for copious amounts of detail. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    The focus of this book is twofold. It is as much about the life of Daniel Boone (1734-1820) as abut 18th century American history and the conflicts between American colonists and Native Americans. The French and Indian War, the Cherokee War, the War for Independence and the many other disputes, conflicts and battles between the indigenous people of America and the colonists can be viewed as the backdrop for the events in Daniel Boone’s life. Make no mistake, this is a book about conflicts, battl The focus of this book is twofold. It is as much about the life of Daniel Boone (1734-1820) as abut 18th century American history and the conflicts between American colonists and Native Americans. The French and Indian War, the Cherokee War, the War for Independence and the many other disputes, conflicts and battles between the indigenous people of America and the colonists can be viewed as the backdrop for the events in Daniel Boone’s life. Make no mistake, this is a book about conflicts, battles and wars between the red- and white-skinned peoples of America. At the book’s end, it is noted that white Americans have been battling Native Americans for three centuries. It might be said to be the longest war of all time. A Chinese professor states this. It is an appropriate summary to the book. I went into this book to learn about Daniel Boone. I did not realize I was getting myself into a book where the central focus would be conflict and warfare. As I read, I realized this to be unavoidable; this was the world Daniel Boone lived in. The picture drawn is not pretty. The author separates fact from legend. This I appreciate. The book is extensively researched. Source material is sited. The focus of the book shifts somewhat—the first half has more history, general American history. The latter half has more about particular events in Boone’s life. I was worried I would not get a feel for Boone’s character, but by the end I found that I had. He was a man who had to explore and discover new places. He was not a man of business—he earned money and then lost it. With the passage of years, he became more involved in politics. He killed many a Native American, but at the same time he respected their ways and customs. One example-–he dressed as they did. First and foremost, he was a frontiersman and a pathfinder. This we learn as we follow his path from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Kentucky to Missouri. We learn not only of Daniel Boone, but of his large, Quaker family too. He loved his wife and his children…..and he could forgive. The author does not always express himself clearly. He infers rather than states exactly what he wants said. This annoyed me when it occurred. It was as though what he was saying was so obvious to him, the message could be joked about or implied. Sometimes he uses idioms or expressions I fail to grasp. Other times, fancy words are used rather than the simple. In non-fiction, I prefer a straightforward presentation of facts. I prefer clarity. George Newburn narrates the audiobook. His voice is strong and clear. Four stars for the narration.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    I have read several of Tom Clavin's books and have enjoyed them all! I always learn something new about America's early history. One thing I appreciate about his books is that he keeps the story interesting. It isn't just dry historical nonfiction....he keeps it interesting and entertaining. These books don't read like a textbook, but rather an unfolding of history by someone who obviously loves it. Drury and Clavin build a history of the early push beyond the Appalachian mountains using obvious I have read several of Tom Clavin's books and have enjoyed them all! I always learn something new about America's early history. One thing I appreciate about his books is that he keeps the story interesting. It isn't just dry historical nonfiction....he keeps it interesting and entertaining. These books don't read like a textbook, but rather an unfolding of history by someone who obviously loves it. Drury and Clavin build a history of the early push beyond the Appalachian mountains using obviously in-depth research and contemporary sources including diaries, newspaper articles and firsthand stories. That makes this book about the real Daniel Boone and the time he lived in -- not not a re-telling of the myth behind the man. This book is about the man....not the larger than life hero from old fiction novels and television shows. And it doesn't pull punches. The foray into the unsettled west was bloody, violent and grim at times. Native American tribes were brutalized, and attacked those venturing into their lands to save their way of life. Men, women and children died. Many, many of them. Loved this book! As usual I'm going to buy a hardback copy for my husband and the audio book for myself. For me these books always warrant a revisit. And my husband loves history as much as I do. I'm definitely eagerly awaiting the next book from both of these authors! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from St. Martins Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bill Riggs

    Daniel Boone’s role in the bloody struggle of America’s original 13 colonies to cross the country’s first frontier - the Appalachian Mountains. Full of information not typically known, the true exploits of America’s most famous frontiersman, the role the British played in organizing the various Indian tribes against the colonists and just how brutal and unforgiving life was on the edge of America’s frontier. A very engaging and enthralling look at a pivotal moment in our country’s history.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Amazing. This is possibly the best history book I have read for a long time. Kudos to the authors for clear, concise, and engaging prose and substantial research. By the time I was only 25% of the way through the galley I had already learned a lot about the Native American tribes that existed in the 1700’s. I also learned a huge amount about the French and Indian Wars and how the French and British recruited Native American tribes to fight the colonists. The book focuses on Daniel Boone and conte Amazing. This is possibly the best history book I have read for a long time. Kudos to the authors for clear, concise, and engaging prose and substantial research. By the time I was only 25% of the way through the galley I had already learned a lot about the Native American tribes that existed in the 1700’s. I also learned a huge amount about the French and Indian Wars and how the French and British recruited Native American tribes to fight the colonists. The book focuses on Daniel Boone and contemporaneous events such as the Revolutionary War. Boone and his travel are placed in the center and events are explained around him. And not just events like treaties and wars. The context of his world is explained at each relevant point, including the vast numbers of beaver that lived in wild areas, the extensive range of the American Buffalo in the 1700’s, and the botany of certain areas. Boone lived from 1734 to 1820, so his life was a part of the infancy of the nation. Numerous colonists, Native Americans, British, and Canadians are profiled when they are introduced into the timeline. This adds important background for understanding the actions of people living at the time, and most importantly, Daniel Boone. The story ranges from the northeast in Pennsylvania, down to Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and even the British Colonies of East Florida and West Florida. Exploration of the Illinois Territory and fighting there during the Revolutionary War is also covered. Emphasis is given to Boone’s search for and experiences in the Native Americans’ storied land of Kanta ke (Kentucky). In going into wild lands where Native Americans lived, he was captured at least 3 times, the last time with the result that he was adopted into the Shawnee tribe. Adoption could be a brutal process and happened to both white and black people. The narrative covers significant amounts of Native American history. I had no idea Potawotami and Chippewa Indians fought colonists on the British side. Large numbers of Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo also fought on behalf of the British in the western territories. Also discussed are numerous brutal raids, battles, and skirmishes with what could be called atrocities or war crimes on both sides of the fence. The authors cite a statistic that during the entirety of the Revolutionary War, the mortality rate of colonists in the 13 Colonies was 1%, while that of “westerly” colonists settling west of the Appalachians was a staggering 7%. I had no idea so much of the Revolutionary War was fought far to the west of the 13 Colonies. This history is of particular interest to me since my family research has revealed that a portion of my father’s family lived in western Virginia, northwestern North Carolina, and northeastern Tennessee (not far from Kentucky), in the 1700s-1800s. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in Native American, Revolutionary War, or U.S. history in general. Thank you to authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read such a fantastic book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    R

    This was an extensively research book centering around the life and times of Daniel Boone but in the same sense it also involved those other prominent and lesser known figures that were part of this historic time period. This included many Native Americans who fought to preserve their land and way of life. When learning about this time period, we were only afforded a glimpse into the past. However, with each chapter the authors provided in-depth accounts surrounding important events. It almost f This was an extensively research book centering around the life and times of Daniel Boone but in the same sense it also involved those other prominent and lesser known figures that were part of this historic time period. This included many Native Americans who fought to preserve their land and way of life. When learning about this time period, we were only afforded a glimpse into the past. However, with each chapter the authors provided in-depth accounts surrounding important events. It almost felt like watching a historical mini series-with each chapter bringing these events to life. Some of these detailed events were very heartbreakingly sad. The title, Blood and Treasure, was aptly named. An ARC was given for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    This book was exactly what I was hoping for. Not only does it succeed as a concise, thorough, and meticulously researched account of the conquest of America's first frontier, it also manages to bring the people and events of this time and place exploding to life with colorful and surprisingly intimate details. The geography, history and storytelling are enough to earn this book 4 stars, but the true magic (and thus, 5 stars) comes from how it reveals the soul and character of the people that cre This book was exactly what I was hoping for. Not only does it succeed as a concise, thorough, and meticulously researched account of the conquest of America's first frontier, it also manages to bring the people and events of this time and place exploding to life with colorful and surprisingly intimate details. The geography, history and storytelling are enough to earn this book 4 stars, but the true magic (and thus, 5 stars) comes from how it reveals the soul and character of the people that created this chapter in U.S. history without any sort of political commentary. The authors let the facts speak for themselves and , in turn, reveal a picture of a nation that is deeply flawed at its core despite how badly it wants to think of itself as a superior model for the rest of the world. The truth is, this country will never be "great" until we come to grips with our horrific past and go through a genuine and authentic reckoning. We are simply not who we think we are...and, sadly, we never have been.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jani Brooks

    America - Eighteenth Century America's early growing pains before the formation of a new republic was a time of exploration and movement for those who were anxious to escape the routines of life in cities and towns. Rumors of plenty of land, abundant game, and freedom from taxation and laws made plenty of men (and a few women) determined to live a life where they are in control. The stories from frontiersmen of the almost mythical Cumberland Gap, great rivers, and open lands to the west fascinate America - Eighteenth Century America's early growing pains before the formation of a new republic was a time of exploration and movement for those who were anxious to escape the routines of life in cities and towns. Rumors of plenty of land, abundant game, and freedom from taxation and laws made plenty of men (and a few women) determined to live a life where they are in control. The stories from frontiersmen of the almost mythical Cumberland Gap, great rivers, and open lands to the west fascinated many, including one independent man named Daniel Boone. Daniel was born to Squire and Sarah Boone in the wilds of Pennsylvania, the eldest son, and a wild "child" from birth. When he was supposed to be tending to the family's livestock, he, instead, was exploring the backcountry, studying the flora and fauna. His skill as a hunter soon became legendary as he supplied his family with all forms of wildlife. Daniel was also intrigued by the occasional visits of the local Native Americans, Delaware and Shawnee, who came to their township to trade. He took to copying their dress, and learning their medicinal practices. His independent streak would stay with him all of his life. With their Pennsylvania homeland getting too crowded, Squire Boone moved his family to North Carolina, opening up more land for Daniel to explore. It was his wanderlust that set Daniel and his family, including his wife Rebecca, to keep moving west as he grew into adulthood. As his own family grew, Daniel had to find ways to support them, so hunting and trapping became his life. But exploring was also high on his list of living life to the fullest. Unfortunately, it also meant leaving his family for months on end, and at one time he was gone for a year. When he returned from that trip, he was mildly stunned to discover that Rebecca, who thought he was dead, had delivered another baby while he was gone, and it certainly wasn't his. But Daniel, being Daniel, was forgiving and accepted the child as his own. The baby was, in fact, Daniel's own brother's! Times being what they were, the British and the French were at odds even thousands of miles from their own countries. When the French and Indian War began, Daniel joined the North Carolina militia, and was in several battles, including the Battle of Monongahela and the Battle of Fort Duquesne in which he had to fight Indians. It wouldn't be his last encounters with them. When Daniel kept hearing about a way to get west of the mountains through a pass, known as the Cumberland Gap, he set out with others to find it, with the help of an Irishman who felt that he knew the correct direction. It was obvious to Daniel and his men that the pathway was correct after finding that buffalo, elk, and probably humans traversed it. So, while Boone is the one who is given credit for discovering it, clearly Indians and possibly other white men had been there before. Boone's legendary life included his involvement with Lord Dunmore's War which was between settlers in Kentucky and Native Americans, and one the settlers won. He was later hired to survey land in Kentucky and he founded the colony of Boonsborough. While known for being a frontiersman, land surveyor, and fabled hunter, Daniel was lousy as a businessman. His land speculation kept him in perpetual debt. However, his reputation usually was helpful in getting work. When the War for Independence broke out, he served as a militia officer in Kentucky, where much of the fighting was with Indians. BLOOD AND TREASURE is quite a detailed read. Daniel Boone was a legend, but he was also just a man of his times. He owned slaves, he respected the Native Americans, but in the end, would be no kinder than most white men to them, and he had a terrible head for business, so his family suffered for that over and over again. What I enjoyed, in a sad way, the most about this book was the history of what the white people did to the Native Americans. Yes, the Indians responded by doing gruesome things to those they attacked, but they ultimately paid the bigger price of losing their lands, and their dignity Brilliantly written and impeccably researched, BLOOD AND TREASURE brings to light the amazing history of not only Daniel Boone, but how our fledgling country began its spread to the west.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlos

    Illuminates Boone and his family in a way I was not informed of before. Good narrator.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    In my youth Daniel Boone was a hot commodity, as were Lewis and Clark, Crockett, Custer, Carson, and a long list of other figures whose lives made America’s dream of manifest destiny a reality. At my young age, Boone’s adventures in opening the wilderness were a thrill, but that is all they were, adventures. The authors of the books I read back then did little to provide context to his deeds. Over the years, America’s attitudes towards its interactions with native Americans underwent a quantum s In my youth Daniel Boone was a hot commodity, as were Lewis and Clark, Crockett, Custer, Carson, and a long list of other figures whose lives made America’s dream of manifest destiny a reality. At my young age, Boone’s adventures in opening the wilderness were a thrill, but that is all they were, adventures. The authors of the books I read back then did little to provide context to his deeds. Over the years, America’s attitudes towards its interactions with native Americans underwent a quantum shift. The publication of books such as Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West changed our view from that of Indian wars to genocidal extermination. In the final decades of the twentieth century the heroic luster of early American explorers and pioneers tarnished in the face of unrelenting condemnation to the point where my daughters, both in their twenties, had never heard of Daniel Boone before today. Fortunately, the new millennium has brought us a new generation of historians whose interests lie more in telling an accurate, unbiased story than in glorifying one side or the other. Authors such as Nathaniel Philbrick and Erik Larson have made careers out of taking all we think we know about famous people and events and turning it on its head by the simple expedient of telling the unvarnished truth. High on this list of authors are Bob Drury and Tom Clavin who have cowritten books spanning U.S. history from Valley Forge to Vietnam, including a biography of Oglala Sioux Chief Red Cloud. Their newest book, Blood and Treasure, relates the events surrounding Daniel Boone’s settlement of Kentucky and his role in the American Revolutionary War. It has been fifty years since I last read a book about him. Back then, books told the story of Daniel Boone, the legend. Now, I finally get a chance to learn about Daniel Boone, the man. It is not a ‘warts and all’ exposé aimed at trashing his reputation, but a skillfully researched account of his life provided in the context of the times in which he lived. Many of the more memorable stories of him are about Boone the Indian fighter, his close calls and escapes, but they leave out the fact that these events were part of a larger war. During the Revolution, the British actively recruited warriors from numerous tribes to make war on the American settlers. By opening up a western front, they hoped to pull men and resources away from George Washington’s army and thereby end the war. To this end, the British Army offered bounties for American scalps. When the Shawnee and several other tribes besieged Boonesborough in 1778 they were accompanied by forty to fifty British and and Canadians and fought under the Union Jack. Had the siege succeeded, they could have easily taken several smaller settlements and “flank the coastal revolutionaries from the rear, forcing Washington’s Continental Army to defend two fronts. Gen. Cornwallis was already planning to open a southern theater, and it is easy to imagine he and Hamilton crushing the southern rebels between them”. In the Shawnees’ defense, The British were offering them the one thing that their survival depended on, all the land west of the Alleghenies and laws prohibiting white settlements in Indian lands. Stamp Acts and ‘taxation without representation’ be damned. This vast expanse of unsettled land is what the war was all about. Bottom line: Drury and Clavin penned an amazing book that revisits a history that has been all but forgotten. As a genealogist, I appreciate the tremendous amount of research that went into it. I highly recommend this book. *Quotations are cited from an advanced reading copy and may not be the same as appears in the final published edition. The review was based on an advanced reading copy obtained at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. While this does take any ‘not worth what I paid for it’ statements out of my review, it otherwise has no impact on the content of my review. FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements: *5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. *4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is. *3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered great or memorable. *2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending. *1 Star – The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I think I became aware of Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier online, probably on Goodreads. I love the scene on the cover. And growing up in southern Indiana, I heard a lot about Daniel Boone (interestingly enough, not so much now in northern Indiana, although obviously I’m not in school anymore). That kind of makes sense because reading this book helped me associate Boone strongly with Kentucky, or Kanta-Ke, as the area was known in frontier days. I grew I think I became aware of Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America’s First Frontier online, probably on Goodreads. I love the scene on the cover. And growing up in southern Indiana, I heard a lot about Daniel Boone (interestingly enough, not so much now in northern Indiana, although obviously I’m not in school anymore). That kind of makes sense because reading this book helped me associate Boone strongly with Kentucky, or Kanta-Ke, as the area was known in frontier days. I grew up knowing about Squire Boone Caverns — there are two Squire Boones, one is Daniel’s father and the other his younger brother. Interestingly, the caverns are where Squire (the brother) requested to be buried, and you can visit today and see his casket inside the cave. So, I went into this book thinking it would be all about Daniel Boone. Mainly, though, it was about the settlers exploring the “new world” area of Kentucky, and having frequent conflicts with Indians. Daniel Boone was a major player in this, but his story was secondary to the overall history of the frontier era from maybe 1850 to 1890-ish. Indians There was a LOT about Indians in this book. I found myself alternating between feeling bad for them (after all, they were the original occupants in this area and the settlers undeniably came in and wanted their land), and feeling like Caroline Ingalls, who famously said, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian!” Trust me, after many of the tales told here, you didn’t want to end up captured by an Indian. There were so many stories of them forcing their captures to run a gauntlet where they would be hit with poles and tortured in other ways before being killed. They chopped off their victims’ hands while requiring them to perform Indian dances, then in one case followed that by amputating the poor guy’s legs, and finally tossing his torso onto the fire. Others were tied to stakes before being burned to death. It was really nasty, medieval-era stuff. And yet the frontiersman gave as good as they got in many of the conflicts, resorting to violence too. In many parts of the book it was hard to find a “good guy.” Boone’s observations on the Indians (which he was qualified to make, since at one point he was captured and spent weeks in an Indian camp with an “adoptive” family): he found them to be pragmatic, and rather than living by a certain creed, they would do what it took to get the end they wanted. They would pretend to make a treaty with you and violate it without a thought if they felt it would help them long-term. He felt the children ran wild with little to no discipline, and was amazed at how Indian men would consult female Indian elders about tribal decisions: “not even the most enlightened Anglo-American men treated their women with such egalitarianism.” You had to feel for the Indians as, despite their fighting, they just kept losing more and more ground: “the tribe ceded ancestral lands to the Americans, including centuries-old settlements, as opposed to wilderness hunting grounds.” I found “Logan’s Lament,” written by an Indian Chief, poignant. Despite the loss of life on both sides from the many battles between Indians and frontiersmen, far more Indian deaths came from other means. Many died from smallpox brought by the Europeans (one tale is told of the white men giving blankets ‘infected with smallpox’ to Indians as a “gift” — not sure how you’d do that, but it sounds positively … Chinese in inspiration, shall we say?). Alcohol, introduced by the frontiersmen, killed many more. And of course, the introduction of guns was deadly. Boone’s Personality I honestly hoped to learn more about Boone himself than I ended up doing from this 350-page book. He had a practical, philosophical outlook that I appreciated. As an example, he was once on an expedition with other men for months and when they returned to camp, his wife was pregnant (the child could not have been his). He reasoned that he had married a woman, not a painting, and accepted the child with no issues (interestingly, she was the only one of his four daughters to survive childbearing age). Boone lived to be 85, which is really unbelievable after reading about the many times he was captured, ambushed, etc. by the Indians. He outlived his wife and many of his children. He really was tough, and said, “I firmly believe that it takes but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatever state fortune many place him.” He said this after a decision was made to abandon a bunch of his group’s supplies to an Indian tribe, a decision he disagreed with but went along with amiably. The book’s title comes from a Boone quote, near the end of his life: “I live in peace and safety in this delightful country which I have seen purchased with a vast expence (sic) of blood and treasure.” Kentucky Reading this book gave me a new appreciation for Kentucky, and I have a few places I’d love to see. Throughout the book, this painting kept popping into my mind. It’s a (admittedly highly stylized) look at Daniel Boone leading a group through the Cumberland Pass into Kentucky. I’m not sure where I first saw it, but it’s definitely part of my past. Maybe a copy hung in the halls of my elementary school? Boone, who began in North Carolina, absolutely loved the Kentucky territory, calling it “the most extraordinary country that the sun enlightens with his celestial beams.” Wow — high praise, especially considering that I grew up in southern Indiana hearing “Kentuckian jokes,” etc. It was a whole new take on the area. Issues If you know me, you know I’ll usually find at least a few issues with a book, and this one is no exception. It was a challenging read, one where you frequently find yourself reading along and realize you haven’t been paying attention for a page or so. The sentence structure is definitely high-end, and this is a book you need concentration to make it through (hmmmm — maybe they did that on purpose, to make the book similar to the Kentucky frontier …???). There are also a lot of … high end? vocabulary words. I’m all for rich vocabulary, but in this book I encountered remuda — brume — tramontane — palimpsest — jument — those are a sampling. It just seemed unnecessarily overwritten. I always keep a lookout too for books veering into “woke”/politically-correct content. Often authors walk a fine line here. These authors were doing just fine until the penultimate page (ha ha, it’s a word worthy of this book), when they bring up a Chinese Communist Party lecturer coming over to America “some years ago” and claiming that the US had fought the longest war in recorded history: the 300-year conflict with the Indians. Wadda ya know, the American generals listening “came around to the Chinese general’s point of view.” Um, okay. I found that vignette really bizarre and out of place with the rest of the story — maybe the authors were dipping a little too heavily into the firewater by that point? But hey, woo hoo and kudos to the CCP! Of course they have done such a humane job with the people in their own country. Excellent topic and the book was worth reading. I’m just sorry it wasn’t written in a more accessible way.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Bradshaw

    Not for the faint of heart - the "blood" in the title says it all. You know what you're in for, when the prologue opens with the gruesome torture and murder of Daniel Boone's 16-year-old son. You might also think the authors display a certain amount of glee at all the mayhem that accompanies the clash of cultures, and the white man's determination to push ever farther westward. But there was plenty of savagery on both sides, and you can't "whitewash" the reality away. To be fair, the authors pre Not for the faint of heart - the "blood" in the title says it all. You know what you're in for, when the prologue opens with the gruesome torture and murder of Daniel Boone's 16-year-old son. You might also think the authors display a certain amount of glee at all the mayhem that accompanies the clash of cultures, and the white man's determination to push ever farther westward. But there was plenty of savagery on both sides, and you can't "whitewash" the reality away. To be fair, the authors present a balanced account from both sides, going into quite a lot of detail about the underlying political situation, and the machinations of both Britain and Spain in using the native Americans against the colonists in their power struggles. We also get the backstory of Boone's family first settling in Pennsylvania, and then migrating to the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina. My own ancestors went from Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Yadkin Valley, and followed Boone and his sons into Kentucky and then Missouri. I would have liked more scholarly detail - this is more of a popular introduction perhaps, rather than a biography per se. A very good overall history and it presents Daniel Boone as he was - the man, not the legend. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced reading e-copy of the book. I may update my review, once I have seen a print copy (my hold at the library should be available soon) and can assess whether there are maps and illustrations. The ARC had a lot of typos and formatting errors which I hope have been corrected in the final publication. Book description: It is the mid-eighteenth century, and in the 13 colonies founded by Great Britain, anxious colonists desperate to conquer and settle North America’s “First Frontier” beyond the Appalachian Mountains commence a series of bloody battles. These violent conflicts are waged against the Native American tribes whose lands they covet, the French, and finally against the mother country itself in an American Revolution destined to reverberate around the world. This is the setting of Blood and Treasure, and the guide to this epic narrative is America’s first and arguably greatest pathfinder, Daniel Boone―not the coonskin cap-wearing caricature of popular culture but the flesh-and-blood frontiersman and Revolutionary War hero whose explorations into the forested frontier beyond the great mountains would become the stuff of legend. Now, thanks to painstaking research by two award-winning authors, the story of the brutal birth of the United States is told through the eyes of both the ordinary and larger-than-life men and women, white and red, who witnessed it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jena Henry

    “Daniel Boone was a man. Yes, a big man.” So begins the music for the popular TV show (from 50 plus years ago) “Daniel Boone.” The story of this big man is brought to life again in “Blood and Treasure” a historical biography by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, that looks at Boone’s life through the resources of the past, and lens of current thinking. Subtitled, “the Fight for America's First Frontier”, this book is more than just facts and sources, it is an exciting presentation of the times surrounding “Daniel Boone was a man. Yes, a big man.” So begins the music for the popular TV show (from 50 plus years ago) “Daniel Boone.” The story of this big man is brought to life again in “Blood and Treasure” a historical biography by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, that looks at Boone’s life through the resources of the past, and lens of current thinking. Subtitled, “the Fight for America's First Frontier”, this book is more than just facts and sources, it is an exciting presentation of the times surrounding and including the American Revolutionary War. Daniel Boone is known as a frontiersman and explorer. He was not book smart, but he was life smart. And he lived through and actively participated in amazing times- the French and Indian Wars and the Revolutionary War. He helped rediscover the Cumberland Gap and the “Warriors Path” and he established settlements in Kentucky- Boonesborough- and other places in the “New Frontier.” He rescued his daughter from an Indian kidnapping, and he himself was taken captive in Ohio. Despite his dangerous adventures, he lived to be 85 years old and was still “erect in form, strong in limb, unflinching in spirit.” This book, carefully written, is engaging- even the footnotes are fascinating. While the story of Boone is a highlight, the book also examines the events of the strife with the Indians as western expansion, and wars with the French, and British combined to create a time of danger, unrest, and cruelty. Many historical figures make an appearance in this book. (The authors explain their use of the word “Indian” because it was the term used during those times.) I noticed that in other reviews of this book, many readers could relate to this book because they had ancestors who had had followed in Daniels Boone’s path. Anyone who likes, history, and exciting adventures will enjoy Blood and Treasure. Thank you to authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advance digital review copy. This is my honest review!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    Drury and Clavin provide an intriguing and colorful study of the settling of America’s first western frontier through the lens of the life and times of Daniel Boone. This book does not dwell on Boone apart from his historical context, but examines the larger push westward from the pre-Revolutionary period and the French and Indian War up to Boone’s death in 1820. Examining this topic through the lens of Boone’s life allows for the introduction of human drama into the historical period (opening w Drury and Clavin provide an intriguing and colorful study of the settling of America’s first western frontier through the lens of the life and times of Daniel Boone. This book does not dwell on Boone apart from his historical context, but examines the larger push westward from the pre-Revolutionary period and the French and Indian War up to Boone’s death in 1820. Examining this topic through the lens of Boone’s life allows for the introduction of human drama into the historical period (opening with the murder of his son James). Boone is particularly relevant in this way given his lifelong fascination with Native American cultures and the land, both of which would be challenged and changed by the movement he represented. One strength is that the narrative helps to show the intersections and fluidity of frontier life in America. George Rogers Clark and George Washington are among those who appear in the course of Boone’s story. And while the Boone story if deeply connected with the settlement of Kentucky, it takes us from birth in Pennsylvania to death in Missouri – with frequent trips between North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana and Virginia. The book ends with an examination of the claim that Boone’s legacy was an artificial product of mythologizing biographers and cultural products. The authors give a negative conclusion to this assessment based on their research. This book served as an opportunity for me to begin researching my own Boone ancestry.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Outstanding History This is a fascinating history of Daniels Boone and Virginia frontier he lived in. It wasn’t yet Kentucky. The book contains a lot of history I wasn’t aware of and provides a lot more insight and details to history that I knew. Daniel Boone was pretty much a TV or cartoon character to most of my life. I’ve read one historical book before this one about him and I’m a maxed at how important he was to American history. A very moving book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

    BLOOD AND TREASURE by the writing team of Bob Drury and Tom Clavin balances readability and research perfectly. Fast-paced and thrilling at times, so much so that it's easy to overlook the depth of information presented about the land beyond the Appalachians and the people of Colonial America (and later the United States) who wished to populate it. I was struck by how intertwined some white settlers and hunters were with the Shawnee and other tribes they encounters and how quickly those relation BLOOD AND TREASURE by the writing team of Bob Drury and Tom Clavin balances readability and research perfectly. Fast-paced and thrilling at times, so much so that it's easy to overlook the depth of information presented about the land beyond the Appalachians and the people of Colonial America (and later the United States) who wished to populate it. I was struck by how intertwined some white settlers and hunters were with the Shawnee and other tribes they encounters and how quickly those relations descended into brutality and killing. Those readers interested in maintaining the vision of Daniel Boone as portrayed by Fess Parker on TV over half a century ago, might want to think about not reading this book. But the 'real' Daniel Boone has a lot to offer as well, and Drury and Clavin have so artfully placed him within the context of the early frontier that I'll never think of him the same again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    The middle of the 1700s was full of uncertainty for the thirteen colonies that Great Britain has founded so far. There are so many different battles going on it’s no wonder everyone was a little anxious. Everyone wants to find a new frontier. And they are all willing to die for it. The Natives, the French, the Spanish, and of course our mother country. The conflicts were gruesome and cruel. Everyone was lying. Someone’s word meant nothing. The Natives were rightly upset and everyone wanted a piec The middle of the 1700s was full of uncertainty for the thirteen colonies that Great Britain has founded so far. There are so many different battles going on it’s no wonder everyone was a little anxious. Everyone wants to find a new frontier. And they are all willing to die for it. The Natives, the French, the Spanish, and of course our mother country. The conflicts were gruesome and cruel. Everyone was lying. Someone’s word meant nothing. The Natives were rightly upset and everyone wanted a piece of the country. And here is where we meet Daniel Boone. Well, actually my husband is a direct descendant of his sister, Elizabeth, so we thought we knew pretty much everything. We did not. The name Daniel Boone brings me immediately to the song. First off, he wasn’t a big man. He wasn’t at all like the movie and cartoon versions. He was a man with a passion for finding out what lay beyond the Appalachians. He wasn’t a fighting man, but he did his part for the revolution. It’s always dangerous to turn people from the past into larger than life characters and that has been done with Boone. It was a fast read and based on a lot of research. How did Boone become such a legend? He was seldom home, working as a trapper with a friend or his brother. They would be gone for long periods of time. He saw his fair share of suffering in his own household and they always seemed to be on the edge of financial ruin and yet Daniel did what he had to do to care for his family. Here you can read his story as told by many different people. The history of America is in this book and I am better for having read it. NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! Full disclosure-I’m not a huge nonfiction fan unless it’s something I am really interested in. Since I didn’t know much about Boone, I snagged this one. It was well-written and organized and researched. I really felt like I knew not only the man but the time period as well by the time I was finished. Although there were some graphic details concerning Indian and white relations, I still think a teen could get into this book. The footnotes weren’t overused and wer Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC! Full disclosure-I’m not a huge nonfiction fan unless it’s something I am really interested in. Since I didn’t know much about Boone, I snagged this one. It was well-written and organized and researched. I really felt like I knew not only the man but the time period as well by the time I was finished. Although there were some graphic details concerning Indian and white relations, I still think a teen could get into this book. The footnotes weren’t overused and were interesting (sometimes those take away from the basic reading, but these didn’t and were done well). You really get a feel for pioneer and Native American struggles of the time period while getting to know what an incredible life Boone led. I admit to getting a little bored at times when I got 3/4 through, but my attention was kept until then and definitely in the afterward info. I do recommend this one if you’re interested in the time period and/or the man who has become a legend.

  22. 4 out of 5

    H. P.

    Like most people, I have big holes in my knowledge of the world. Drury and Clavin helped me fill some of those holes with their new biography of Daniel Boone, Blood and Treasure. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know who Daniel Boone was. But I’ve never read a book about Boone as an adult, and there is a lot I don’t know about southern Appalachia’s frontier history, even though it is my history. Drury and Clavin’s approach is perfect for me. I’m not a big biography reader. When I do read one Like most people, I have big holes in my knowledge of the world. Drury and Clavin helped me fill some of those holes with their new biography of Daniel Boone, Blood and Treasure. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know who Daniel Boone was. But I’ve never read a book about Boone as an adult, and there is a lot I don’t know about southern Appalachia’s frontier history, even though it is my history. Drury and Clavin’s approach is perfect for me. I’m not a big biography reader. When I do read one, I prefer it devote ample page space to putting a person’s life into historical context. Drury and Clavin do that—there is an entire chapter devoted to the French and Indian War that elides Boone altogether. Ample page space given over to Boone’s time in the Yadkin Valley is equally welcomed by me, as a North Carolinian. History—good history at least—is hard in any circumstance. Daniel Boone presents particular difficulties. On one hand, there are centuries of mythmaking. On the other, there is a contemporary insistence that American expansion was an act of unmitigated and unreciprocated evil. The truth is much messier than either the triumphalist or revisionist narratives would have you believe. It’s hard to squeeze into any one narrative. History as written can be two-dimensional; history as it happened is always three-dimensional. Frontier history is always messy. The frontiersmen were cruel to the Indians, who were cruel to them (often first) and to each other. The political situation was more than complex, with the antagonisms among the French, British, American settlers, and various Indian tribes shifting constantly. Drury and Clavin know full well how foreign the violence perpetrated has become to us. They respond by shooting us straight. “To modern sensibilities it is difficult to absorb the savageries practiced by both sides of the conflict: the crawling and bawling white toddler found scalped amid the scorched remains of his parents; the captured Indians hung from trees with their severed p____es jammed into slit throats.” There is also the matter of balancing between taking care with the history and embracing the story. There is a pull to repeat a story too good to fact check. There is a countervailing pull to avoid making violence sexy. Drury and Clavin seem careful in their history. But they don’t shy away from telling many (and there are many) wild stories about Boone. Boone’s rescue of his kidnapped daughter did, after all, form the basis for The Last of the Mohicans. His escape from Indians and race to warn of their impending attack is as impressive as the Hugh Glass trek that inspired The Revenant, and better sourced historically. Boone didn’t think of himself as just a fighter and he wasn’t. “Daniel Boone had always despised, and would for the rest of his life, his outsize reputation as an Indian fighter. . . . He was vastly more proud of his ability to endure the burdens of a huntsman’s life with a seemingly preternatural stoicism.” Boone was a skilled fighter to be sure, especially when it came to the kind of irregular action that dominated on the frontier. He was an expert marksman. But he was a man of many skills. Able to survive and navigate in the back country for months at a time. Able to talk his way out of trouble with Indians as quick or quicker than fight his way out. Able to whip up a batch of homemade gunpowder. Able to “restock a rifle with a piece of raw timber” while on the run and use it to take down a small buffalo. Able to travel 160 miles across hard country in four days after escaping from Indians. Most of the narrative is devoted to Boone’s work in “Kanta-ke,” including frontier skirmishing during the American Revolution. A substantial early chunk of the book covers the French and Indian War. But I was pleased to see how much page space was devoted to Boone’s time in Yadkin Valley and the North Carolina highlands. And not just because I am a North Carolinian. That time is essential to understanding Boone as a man and not just as a myth. Boone had Quaker roots, but in many ways, he was a quintessential example of the Scots-English borderer who would dominate the American frontier. His family followed a traditional hillbilly route, first moving west deep into Pennsylvania, then south along the ridges all the way to the Yadkin Valley. Boone moving again into the mountains, then across them to Kentucky, wasn’t at all odd in a time and place where “it was not unusual for pioneer families to shift their homes six times or more in their lifetimes.” Boone hewed to the moral casualness of the hillbilly, not the Quaker. When he returned from a long hunt to discover that his brother had knocked up his wife, Boone readily forgave both and raised the girl as his own. Boone was most adept at the skills most valued by hillbillies and carried immense respect in frontier communities because of it, even if he clashed with more refined, wealthy interlopers from the east who thought they were owed deference. He was good with a rifle. I mean good. He could survive unsupported for months in the backcountry and move long distances through rough terrain at speed. He didn’t believe in honorable combat. He was quick to surrender to superior Indian forces and equally quick to escape. He respected the Indians as peers—it only made him a more effective Indian fighter. He didn’t worry much about legalities when it came to homesteading. Blood and Treasure isn’t perfect. I was surprised to see them describe the Battle of King’s Mountain as taking place “in the borderlands between the Carolinas and Tennessee.” It is well over a two-hour drive from Kings Mountain to the Tennessee border, even today. The similes employed by Drury and Clavin don’t always land (e.g., “The pang of betrayal stung the Shawnee like a copperhead’s strike.”). Still, though, it is finally written. The narrative raced along for me once I internalized the writing style and Drury and Clavin got into Boone’s adulthood. Drury and Clavin’s approach was just the kind of history writing I like, especially given I walked in with a weak background on Boone and on Appalachia’s time as America’s backcountry. It is a crunchy book full of interesting tidbits. I highlighted dozens of interesting passages in my Kindle copy, greatly slowing the writing on this review but a delight in their own right to scan back over. Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of Blood and Treasure.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S BLOOD AND TREASURE ABOUT? It's pretty much in the subtitle—this book is about 2 things—Daniel Boone and the fight (literal and metaphoric) for America's first Frontier—with a focus on what we now know as Kentucky, but pretty much everything on the Western edge of the American colonies/states. It's not a biography of Boone (I'll tell you now, I wrongly expected this to be more of one), it's more like he's the organ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S BLOOD AND TREASURE ABOUT? It's pretty much in the subtitle—this book is about 2 things—Daniel Boone and the fight (literal and metaphoric) for America's first Frontier—with a focus on what we now know as Kentucky, but pretty much everything on the Western edge of the American colonies/states. It's not a biography of Boone (I'll tell you now, I wrongly expected this to be more of one), it's more like he's the organizing principle for the book, as we learn about Boone's roots, early life, and adulthood the authors talk about the conflicts with the Indians on the edge of white civilization's expanse. We'd get a chunk of a wide-view of history over a period, and then we'd focus on Boone's life around that time. Then the focus would widen a bit and we'd look at another period of time—and so on. Two significant ingredients in "the Fight" for the Frontier were what's called The French and Indian War and the American Revolution. There's the French and Indian War (and conflicts that led up to it and sprang from it) to begin with, paved the way for the latter conflicts—we see the pressure put on various tribes from the expansion of settlers, the resistance those settlers faced (from shifting alliances of Indians between themselves, and varying alliances between Western powers and the Indians). As for the Revolution—while most histories/documentaries/etc. about it will acknowledge the fighting in the South and West, few take any time to focus on it. Instead, we casual history readers just get repeated retellings of the stuff we learned in elementary school—Washington*, the Continent Army, Benedict Arnold, Nathan Hale, the Green Mountain Boys, and whatnot—and whatever expansions on some of those topics that Hamilton has taught us in the last few years. This book is a great corrective to that showing how the Indians were largely pawns for the British to use against the colonies, to distract from the larger skirmishes as well as to try to open up another front on the war—another way to steal power and influence from the colonies. You see very clearly how easily the entire War could've changed if not for a couple of significant losses suffered by the British and their Indian allies. * Washington is also featured pretty heavily in the earlier chapters, too—even if he maybe only briefly met Boone on one occasion. LANGUAGE CHOICES I know this sort of this is pretty customary, but I really appreciated the Note to Readers explaining the authors' language choices—starting with the tribal designations they used—the standard versions accepted today (there are enough various entities mentioned throughout that if they'd gone with contemporary names and spellings, I—and most readers—would've been very confused). At the same time, they did preserve the varied and non-standard spellings for just about everything else. For example, there were at least three variant spellings for Kentucky: Cantucky, Kanta-ke, and Kentucki (I think there was one more, but I can't find it). I was a little surprised that they stuck with the term "Indian" as much as they did—but their explanation for it seemed likely and understandable. AN IMAGE SHATTERED—OR MAYBE JUST CORRECTED Yes, I know that the Fess Parker TV show I saw after school in syndication was only very loosely based in reality. And that the handful of MG-targeted biographies I read several times around the same time were sanitized and very partial. Still, those are the images and notions about Boone that have filled my mind for decades. So reading all the ways they were wrong and/or incomplete threw me more than I'm comfortable with. His appearance was particularly jarring—the actual Boone eschewed coonskin caps because they were flat-topped and preferred a high-crowned felt hat to look taller. THat's wrong on so many levels. "Tall as a mountain was he" is about as far from the truth as you can get. The fact that he spent most of his life bouncing between comfort and/or wealth and massive debt is both a commentary on his strengths and weaknesses as it is the volatile times he lived in—he lost so much thanks to colonial governments being mercurial. It was reassuring to see the repeated insistence that he was an honest man, who worked to repay his debts even if it took too long. In the end, Boone seemed to be a good guy trying his best to get by and provide for his family—who accidentally stepped into some degree of celebrity, that magnified some good qualities and replaced the man with a legend. SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT BLOOD AND TREASURE? The writing itself? There are moments that were fantastic. On the whole...., but from time to time, when Drury and Clavin wanted to drive an image or description home, they could be stunning. I would have preferred things to be a bit more even—a bit more balanced and consistent on that front. But the topic and scope didn't really allow for that. So I'll just enjoy those moments of it that I got. As for the book as a whole? It was impressive, entertaining (generally), and informative. When it was at its best, it didn't feel like reading dry history but a compelling look at that portion of US History. At its worst, it was a litany of names, dates, and ideas that didn't do much for me. Thankfully, those moments were few and far between. It's not a difficult read at any point, just pretty dry on occasion. There are so many other things I'd like to have mentioned or discussed—but it would make this post unwieldy. The notes about hunting (both the good and the horrible), Boone's heroics, his character, and family; various aspects of the Indian customs discussed and so much. There's just so much in this book to chew on that I can't sum it up. I liked this—I liked it enough to look at a few other books by this duo to see what they can do with other topics, people, and eras. I think anyone with a modicum of interest in Boone will enjoy this and be glad for the experience. Disclaimer: I received this eARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for this post—thanks to both for this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    The biographer has one main advantage and one main disadvantage. The advantage is perspective: you have a fuller understanding of your subject’s story and their times than they themselves ever had. You can know things about them that they never knew about themselves. The disadvantage is that you can’t fully share the subject’s perspective, understand how their thinking developed, what influenced their worldview and how they made decisions. You can approach their thinking by reading what they wro The biographer has one main advantage and one main disadvantage. The advantage is perspective: you have a fuller understanding of your subject’s story and their times than they themselves ever had. You can know things about them that they never knew about themselves. The disadvantage is that you can’t fully share the subject’s perspective, understand how their thinking developed, what influenced their worldview and how they made decisions. You can approach their thinking by reading what they wrote about themselves and inferring their motivations, but you can’t always grasp what was going on inside their heads. One of the ways to deal with this drawback, especially the farther back you go from the present, is to do what you can to explain the circumstances and factors that shaped the subject and their worldview. In telling the story of Daniel Boone, biographers Bob Drury and Tom Clavin must tell the story of the frontier in the late colonial and revolutionary period, which usually gets filed in the American imagination as “the French and Indian Wars” and quickly forgotten. Drury and Clavin set the stage for young Daniel Boone’s wandering, and for his key role in the expansion of the frontier, by examining what was taking place around him --- the importance of the river transportation network, the formidable barrier of the Appalachians, the rivalries of the Native American tribes, and the power politics of the European colonizers. Boone follows George Washington in a doomed English incursion in the area near present-day Pittsburgh and comes away with a disdain for the British leadership. But he also hears the rumors about Kentucky, which at the time was a contested borderland between rival tribes; its plentiful natural resources and game simultaneously made Kentucky ripe for white settlement. Boone was a “market hunter” in his youth, killing and skinning deer to bring their prized hides to market. Drury and Clavin explain that this is where the term “buck” comes from since deer hides were as good as currency. Because this area of history is so often neglected, it’s extremely helpful that the authors pause in telling Boone’s story to provide the missing perspective. Many factors went into Boone’s decision to move across the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky aside from mere wanderlust and commercial exploitation --- the decimation of the Native American tribes by smallpox, the expanding colonial population, and the emerging independent spirit of the colonists. This is especially helpful in terms of the focus placed on the tribes that were ultimately displaced and dispossessed by Boone and the settlers who came after him. BLOOD AND TREASURE is clear about the human cost of American expansion beyond the Appalachians, portraying Boone not so much as a heroic pioneer but as one of many participants in what turned out to be an unequal struggle. The history of the frontier, from the Cumberland Gap to Sutter’s Mill to the Oklahoma Land Rush, has always been wreathed in fable. Drury and Clavin, to their credit, aren’t in the mythmaking business and present Daniel Boone as a player in a larger theater rather than a protean force of nature. BLOOD AND TREASURE highlights an oft-forgotten stage of American history and does it --- and its subject --- justice. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    Amazing. This is possibly the best history book I have read for a long time. Kudos to the authors for clear, concise, and engaging prose and substantial research. By the time I was only 25% of the way through the galley I had already learned a lot about the Native American tribes that existed in the 1700’s. I also learned a huge amount about the French and Indian Wars and how the French and British recruited Native American tribes to fight the colonists. The book focuses on Daniel Boone and conte Amazing. This is possibly the best history book I have read for a long time. Kudos to the authors for clear, concise, and engaging prose and substantial research. By the time I was only 25% of the way through the galley I had already learned a lot about the Native American tribes that existed in the 1700’s. I also learned a huge amount about the French and Indian Wars and how the French and British recruited Native American tribes to fight the colonists. The book focuses on Daniel Boone and contemporaneous events such as the Revolutionary War. Boone and his travel are placed in the center and events are explained around him. And not just events like treaties and wars. The context of his world is explained at each relevant point, including the vast numbers of beaver that lived in wild areas, the extensive range of the American Buffalo in the 1700’s, and the botany of certain areas. Boone lived from 1734 to 1820, so his life was a part of the infancy of the nation. Numerous colonists, Native Americans, British, and Canadians are profiled when they are introduced into the timeline. This adds important background for understanding the actions of people living at the time, and most importantly, Daniel Boone. The story ranges from the northeast in Pennsylvania, down to Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and even the British Colonies of East Florida and West Florida. Exploration of the Illinois Territory and fighting there during the Revolutionary War is also covered. Emphasis is given to Boone’s search for and experiences in the Native Americans’ storied land of Kanta ke (Kentucky). In going into wild lands where Native Americans lived, he was captured at least 3 times, the last time with the result that he was adopted into the Shawnee tribe. Adoption could be a brutal process and happened to both white and black people. The narrative covers significant amounts of Native American history. I had no idea Potawotami and Chippewa Indians fought colonists on the British side. Large numbers of Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo also fought on behalf of the British in the western territories. Also discussed are numerous brutal raids, battles, and skirmishes with what could be called atrocities or war crimes on both sides of the fence. The authors cite a statistic that during the entirety of the Revolutionary War, the mortality rate of colonists in the 13 Colonies was 1%, while that of “westerly” colonists settling west of the Appalachians was a staggering 7%. I had no idea so much of the Revolutionary War was fought far to the west of the 13 Colonies. This history is of particular interest to me since my family research has revealed that a portion of my father’s family lived in western Virginia, northwestern North Carolina, and northeastern Tennessee (not far from Kentucky), in the 1700s-1800s. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in Native American, Revolutionary War, or U.S. history in general. Thank you to authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read such a fantastic book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luke Johnson

    Though full of very interesting history, Drury seems be able to hit the target of "Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier" about as accurately as a Kentucky long rifle at 500 yards. Is this a biography of the frontiersman? Yes, but there's an awful lot to do with the American Revolutionary War that could be left out. Is it the tale of how Kentucky came into settlement and statehood? Yes, but that's only one aspect of the book. Is it about the Indian Wars leading up to and during Though full of very interesting history, Drury seems be able to hit the target of "Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier" about as accurately as a Kentucky long rifle at 500 yards. Is this a biography of the frontiersman? Yes, but there's an awful lot to do with the American Revolutionary War that could be left out. Is it the tale of how Kentucky came into settlement and statehood? Yes, but that's only one aspect of the book. Is it about the Indian Wars leading up to and during the founding of the United States? Again yes, but that's only one portion. Again, lots of interesting history that was new to me, but just told in a story that was too wide of focus. The part that put me off the most was the author's greatest detail being given the violent deaths of both the settlers and Native Americans in the book. Brains boiled in skulls, gruesome tortures, rotting bodies dug up after being buried, lead bullets striking bone and ricoheting, it's more a slasher film than a book of history at times. The book opens, for reasons I do not understand and with no real purpose, with the violent death of one of Boone's sons but why lead with this? The book then goes back to Daniel Boone's youth, works its way back up to that death, and then it is quickly passed over for more violence and further exploits. That death wasn't a turning point for Boone, and it serves only to shock the reader, and has little purpose beyond that. It's not even about Boone himself, it's about his son. Yes, these were violent times but Drury puts WAY too much emphasis and graphic detail into these parts and not enough detail into differentiating the varies tribal leaders. We've got Corn Cob, Corn Stalk, Corn Tassle three different characters included in the story but very little differentiate them. Again, violence was a very real aspect of life at these times but compare it to how Joseph Boyden writes about it in the ficticious The Orenda, it's definitely there, but it is only there to illustrate, and not to be reveled in the way Drury seems to be writing. Lots of interesting history, and lots of action, yes the book has both so it's engaging and moves at a good pace without being too bogged down in military officers and backstories of the the other characters. Personally, I found the use of a word that - yes - does mean, "a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel" but is ALSO a very offensive word for a homosexual EXTREMELY distasteful. Come on, it's 2021 the author has no excuse for not knowing the sensitivity of that word. But like his taste for graphic detail, it seems the author is more bent upon giving his book shock value than providing a clear history of the life and times of Boone.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James (JD) Dittes

    Looking back on his life with his biographer, John Filson, Boone remarked on the “blood and treasure” spent to secure Kentucky for American settlement. He lost two sons to Indian attacks. His family had fled Boonesborough after his 1778 kidnapping by the Shawnee--and his wife’s family “did not bother to hide their loyalist feelings,” even as he languished in captivity. But there was more blood and treasure lost than kith and kin for the Boone family, and Drury and Clavin really bring the frontier Looking back on his life with his biographer, John Filson, Boone remarked on the “blood and treasure” spent to secure Kentucky for American settlement. He lost two sons to Indian attacks. His family had fled Boonesborough after his 1778 kidnapping by the Shawnee--and his wife’s family “did not bother to hide their loyalist feelings,” even as he languished in captivity. But there was more blood and treasure lost than kith and kin for the Boone family, and Drury and Clavin really bring the frontier of the Revolutionary War Era to life in this vividly written history. The land of "Kenta-ke," named by the Iroquois for its "many meadows" was an intertribal park, stretching from the Cumberland River in the south (along which Nashville, Tennessee, lies today) and the Ohio River in the north. It was a preserved land with no permanent settlements. And the bands of hunting Shawnee, Cherokee, and Chickasaw, met in peace on this land--despite many other armed conflicts throughout the years. Boone entered the region first as a long hunter, taking his share of the abundant bison and beaver, along with many other colonists. But when Boone found the Cumberland Gap--a pass in the Appalachain Moutain Chain where the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia all meet--Kenta-ke was ripe for settlement, and the settlement of Boonesborough was the result. As Boone, his family, and settlers from North Carolina, crossed the mountains to settle in the intertribal game park, the Revolutionary War burst to life in faraway Lexington, Massachusetts. The most interesting parts of this book are found when Drury and Clavin show Boone's travails in Kentucky in the context of the greater war. Shawnee attacks were swift in response to settlement on their historic hunting lands, but the Shawnee and Boones also allowed themselves to become pawns in the greater fight between Britain (which armed and supported the Indians, promising to keep the Appalachians as the fixed border between Indian and colonial lands) and the Colonies, which were fighting, in part, to gain access to the riches of trans-Appalachia. Growing up in the Ohio Valley, I have heard tales of Boone throughout my life--the kidnapping of his daughter, for example, and his time as an adopted son of the Shawnee chief, Blackfish. But Kentucky was a part of a much larger conflict, even as Boone's "blood and treasure" would one day make it a part of a much greater nation. I grew up in the Ohio Valley. I live in the Cumberland Valley. There is much history between them, and this book really captures it. Special thanks to NetGalley for the preview in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Urey Patrick

    My biggest criticism of this book is that much of it reads more like a novel for young adults than a historical work... the authors take liberties, imputing emotions, thoughts, motivations to individuals to spice up the narrative that are more characteristic of a work of fiction than one of history. "Ever alert for Indian sign, he husbanded his little remaining powder and shot judiciously, taking care to use his balls on only the biggest buck elk and deer that would render the most meat." "He did My biggest criticism of this book is that much of it reads more like a novel for young adults than a historical work... the authors take liberties, imputing emotions, thoughts, motivations to individuals to spice up the narrative that are more characteristic of a work of fiction than one of history. "Ever alert for Indian sign, he husbanded his little remaining powder and shot judiciously, taking care to use his balls on only the biggest buck elk and deer that would render the most meat." "He did what he could to carry on Boone's legacy, but there were few men in the borderlands capable of shouldering that burden." "... Col. Richard Callaway still had a drudging score to settle. Not only had Callaway continued to seethe at what he considered Boone's impertinence during the rescue of his kidnapped daughters, he blamed Boone for the captivity of two of his nephews... From Callaway's point of view, who knew what fiendish treatment the sullen and defeated Blackfish had in store for them upon his return to the Ohio Country?" That said, there is a lot of history in this book - much of it little known or recognized these days. Specifically, the authors write knowledgeably of the various and diverse Native American tribes and communities, their interactions with the ever expanding white settlers, the customs and habits of frontier dwellers, and the ever present violence between the frontier settlers and various groupings of Native Americans - the horrific nature of the violence on both sides is made clear... torture, massacres, mutilations were common. The combatants were ruthless and merciless, on both sides. The violence was far more wide spread and the casualty count far higher than conventional wisdom (born largely of neglect and ignorance of the period) would have us believe. The authors overlay the greater events of the day, the French & Indian War, the Revolution, Braddock's defeat, etc. to put the frontier experience into perspective. Daniel Boone is the narrative thread running though the period, although he is often absent from the historical story being told. There are many other perhaps unknown historical figures that the authors introduce and follow throughout - Indian leaders, other frontiersmen, militia leaders, companions and associates of Boone and of other recognized figures. The history is good - it is informative and often revelatory... if you don't mind the penchant to sensationalize and impute motivations of individual thoughts and actions (the action novel character driven approach) then this is an excellent history of a brief and relatively unrecognized era of early American life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christina Dudley

    This was a fascinating and sometimes even exciting book about Daniel Boone and the way Kentucky was fought over and "settled," as well as how changing allegiances with various Native American tribes impacted both the French and Indian War and American Revolution. Frankly, apart from reading Last of the Mohicans and Arundel, I knew just about zip on the subject. Now I know that Fenimore Cooper lifted ideas from Boone's life and gave many of his characteristics to Natty Bumpo! As with any book disc This was a fascinating and sometimes even exciting book about Daniel Boone and the way Kentucky was fought over and "settled," as well as how changing allegiances with various Native American tribes impacted both the French and Indian War and American Revolution. Frankly, apart from reading Last of the Mohicans and Arundel, I knew just about zip on the subject. Now I know that Fenimore Cooper lifted ideas from Boone's life and gave many of his characteristics to Natty Bumpo! As with any book discussing the fate of Native Americans when they came in conflict with settlers, there are equal parts heartbreak and atrocity (on both sides). Ever since Homo Sapiens overran the Neanderthals, the question of who gets to live where has always been settled by violence, and Kentucky is no exception. Amazing to think the same story was repeated, with variations, over and over across the continent, and even into the 1860s the bloodshed continued. I knew nothing of the Shawnee before reading this book, and if I ever get around to that cross-country road trip, there are plenty of sites mentioned here that I'd love to add. Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this e-galley. I'm hoping it gets a good copyedit because there are many errors (missing words, wrong words, grammatical issues) that interrupt the flow. Here are a few: Loc 212: "taught" should be "taut" Loc 919: Beginning with "In the meanwhile, Rebecca--" this is not a complete sentence. Loc 1005: Missing a verb: "Within thirty minutes some 50 white bodies of all ages and genders lay splayed across the ground while the survivors _________ the surrounding forest." Loc 1149: "it's" should be "its" -- "it's untrammeled location" Loc 1829: "He ordered Boone to lead he and his party" should be "him and his party" Loc 1986: "Indian-Illinois border" should be "Indiana-Illinois border" Loc 2076: "did not deter he and his brother" should be "did not deter him or his brother" Loc 2350: period missing after "governor's call to arms" Loc 2553: "budding discord between he and Boone" should be "budding discord between him and Boone" Loc 2634: "Their orty or so pack horses" should be "Their forty or so pack horses" Loc 2748: "investors" is spelled "invbestors" Loc 3978: "it's only shot" should be "its only shot"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kennedy

    If you slept through history classes, you might remember the settlers landing in Plymouth (or if you were even partially awake, Jamestown) and then the patriots declaring independence in Philadelphia, with a huge gap in the history of our country in the intervening years. This book fills in that gap with the story of early colonists pushing their way into the interior of the nascent country. I chose the book based solely on the name of Daniel Boone. On our way to visit relatives in Virginia, we p If you slept through history classes, you might remember the settlers landing in Plymouth (or if you were even partially awake, Jamestown) and then the patriots declaring independence in Philadelphia, with a huge gap in the history of our country in the intervening years. This book fills in that gap with the story of early colonists pushing their way into the interior of the nascent country. I chose the book based solely on the name of Daniel Boone. On our way to visit relatives in Virginia, we pass by the exit to Daniel Boone's Pennsylvania home. I've been puzzled by that, because in my mind, Daniel Boone belongs in Kentucky. Now I know why Pennsylvania can claim him as a resident, and I'll take the exit next time! But the book isn't really about Daniel Boone, although we get a good look at his character and his family and the timeline of its life. He is used as a way for the authors to examine a tense and violent time when Native Americans and colonists were clashing over land, animals and natural resources. For me, the book bogged down while describing the never-ending clashes between these opposing forces. But a deeper student of history won't be deterred. It was a delight to have to keep a dictionary nearby, as the authors have a far better vocabulary than I do. In fact, I almost put down the book after the first few pages, not understanding what on earth they were talking about -- nubbins, fowling piece, chiaroscuro, a sleuth of creatures, corvine appearance, Prester John (you do get a footnote for this one!). But the vocabulary soon leveled off, although it remained challenging to try to visualize the features and positioning of the landscape and territories that form the backdrop of the book. I ignored, as you might, the authors' statement early on that the violent clashes between colonists and Native Americans were "one-sided," with their slant making clear that the white man is the villain. That's an opinion you might not agree with -- What? Were we supposed to just get back on the boat and return to England to face religious persecution, poverty and royal domination? It sounds like the Native American population might have gradually diminished anyway, given their taste for inter-tribal warfare. But don't let opinions keep you from reading the book. Think what you will while you learn a little more about our country.

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