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David Crockett: The Lion of the West by…
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David Crockett: The Lion of the West (2011)

by Michael Wallis

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"Print the legend," goes the famous line from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance." And the same could be said about David Crockett.

Like the author, I was obsessed with all things Davy Crockett as a child, due to the Disney TV portrayal of him (in the person of Fess Parker). But here's the truth about Crockett: he wasn't born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, nor did he kill himself a "bar" when he was only 3. He had no sidekick naked George. There was no adventure with Mike Fink and the river boatmen. He didn't refer to himself as "Davy." He didn't even wear a coonskin cap, for heaven's sake (except to glean popularity with the crowds)!

On the other hand, here is what he was: a profligate hunter (he killed hundreds of bears in his lifetime, and who knows how many other creatures). A pretty poor politician. While a loner, someone who loved the adulation of crowds. A poor money-manager. A slave owner. Neglectful of his wife and family.

Though not to simplify--though Crockett was active in the Creek Indian War, he was adamantly opposed to Andrew Jackson's displacement of Indians from the eastern states to west of the Mississippi, which led to the Trail of Tears. Crockett denounced this as an atrocity, and paid dearly for it because of the wrath of Jackson.

History tends to temper heroes. This book does that "Davy" Crockett. ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
This is an interesting, detailed recounting of the life of David Crockett. It dispels many myths and legends about his life. ( )
  proflinton | Dec 21, 2012 |
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For Suzanne Fitzgerald Wallis / For never losing faith in me / And / Joe Swann, a true son of Tennessee
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David Crockett believed in the wind and in the stars.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393067580, Hardcover)

Steeped in legend, shrouded in folklore, the real David Crockett, American frontiersman and cultural icon, finally emerges in this engrossing biography.

His name was David Crockett. He never signed his name any other way, but popular culture transformed his memory into "Davy Crockett," and Hollywood gave him a raccoon hat he hardly ever wore. Best-selling historian Michael Wallis casts a fresh look at the frontiersman, storyteller, and politician behind these legendary stories. Born into a humble Tennessee family in 1786, Crockett never "killed him a b'ar" when he was only three. But he did cut a huge swath across early-nineteenth-century America—as a bear hunter, a frontier explorer, a soldier serving under Andrew Jackson, an unlikely congressman, and, finally, a martyr in his now-controversial death at the Alamo. Wallis's David Crockett is more than a riveting story. It is a revelatory, authoritative biography that separates fact from fiction, providing us with an extraordinary evocation of a true American hero and the rough-and-tumble times in which he lived. 60 black-and-white illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A biography of the legendary frontiersman, soldier, and martyr examines his life--from hunting bears in the unspoiled countryside to helping defend the Alamo--and aims to dispel long-held myths.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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