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Book recommendation: David McCullough’s The Pioneers Login/Join 
goodheart
Picture of sjtill
posted
I just finished this book, The Pioneers by McCullough. We heard him interviewed by the estimable Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, and my interest was piqued. I have admired a couple of other of his books I read, including 1776 and John Adams.

The book is about the settling of the Northwest Territories, specifically Ohio, and most specifically Marietta, Ohio, after the passage of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. For those not familiar, this was a momentous law; passed by the Continental Congress prior to the Constitution; and it provided the legal basis for the settlement of this vast territory, equal to the 13 colonies in area, ceded by Britain in the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War.
The singular historical importance of this act was that it provided that there would never be slavery permitted in any state that arose from the territory.

McCullough found rich and previously obscure primary sources for his book in a library at Marietta College, and these provided a detailed, first-hand (for him) treasure of letters, books, accounts, and other writings by the pioneers who preached sermons, cared for the sick, built boats and homes, fought Indians, and grew old and were buried, mostly, in their beloved Marietta.

History usually gives short shrift to this important period, the early 1800’s, in US history, but it was crucial to the formation of our country. By the time the pioneers dies, Ohio had a population of two million, remained a free state, and contributed to the growth and eventually the industrialization of the Midwest.

The book is profoundly uplifting, although the contrast between the passionate spirit and lifelong arduous labors of the pioneers and the laziness of their successors is disheartening.

If you enjoy reading American history, I can guarantee a pleasant, enlightening, and memorable time in the pages of The Pioneers.


_________________________
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”--Adam Smith, born June 16, 1723
 
Posts: 15216 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Drug Dealer
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Thanks doc, I just downloaded it to my Kindle. I've read several of his books 1776 was great and The Great Bridge was outstanding. I don't remember what motivated me to start reading it, but it's one of the most fascinating books that I've ever read. Check it out!



When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. - George Bernard Shaw
 
Posts: 14434 | Location: Virginia | Registered: July 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, also, for the recommendation. Anything by David McCullough is well-researched and well-written. I need to get a list of his works and see what I've missed.




 
Posts: 4081 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Got it on my hold list at the local library, it will be a while, but I'll eventually get it. I've read most of his works, excellent author.
 
Posts: 706 | Location: KC Metro MO | Registered: November 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too clever by half
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quote:
Originally posted by marksman41:
Thanks, also, for the recommendation. Anything by David McCullough is well-researched and well-written. I need to get a list of his works and see what I've missed.


If you missed his biography of the Wright brother's, don't. Compelling to the final word. He narrates his audio books beautifully, BTW.




"We have a system that increasingly taxes work, and increasingly subsidizes non-work" - Milton Friedman
 
Posts: 10078 | Location: Richmond, VA | Registered: December 11, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
california
tumbles into the sea
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Thanks..., on the wait list for The Pioneers, and just lined up / downloaded The Wright Brothers into the queue.
 
Posts: 9677 | Location: NV | Registered: July 04, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
Picture of sjtill
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Thanks, jigray, for the heads up on The Wright Brothers. Look forward to that one for sure. America at its best!


_________________________
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”--Adam Smith, born June 16, 1723
 
Posts: 15216 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
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I read his one about the Wright brothers. Excellent.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 48116 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
Picture of Modern Day Savage
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quote:
Originally posted by jigray3:
quote:
Originally posted by marksman41:
Thanks, also, for the recommendation. Anything by David McCullough is well-researched and well-written. I need to get a list of his works and see what I've missed.


If you missed his biography of the Wright brother's, don't. Compelling to the final word. He narrates his audio books beautifully, BTW.


I just finished The Wright Brothers and can't recommend it highly enough. As a pilot and one interested in aviation and history I learned a good deal...and I'm a fan of David McCullough's work.

McCullough is a bit of a character himself and strikes me as someone I would like to meet.

For those who might be interested in reading The Wright Brothers an outfit that does radio programming and podcasts called Our American Stories did a piece based on David McCullough's excellent book and interviewed him for their piece. If you would like a taste of the book here is the 40 minute audio story.

Wright Brothers First Flight

doc, thanks for review and recommendation on The Pioneers...it'll be a while before I can carve out some more reading time but I'm going to add this one to the growing list.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Modern Day Savage,
 
Posts: 4502 | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the recommendation. Have read 1776, John Adams and currently reading Truman.. All VERY highly recommended.

I consider McCullough to be America's Historian. Very thorough writing and research.


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Just my 2¢
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Posts: 7356 | Location: Raleighwood | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Truman was a very good read.


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
 
Posts: 5017 | Location: Central Texas | Registered: September 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
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McCullough’s love for America shines through everything he has written, and it’s particularly evident in his interviews with Brian Lamb.


_________________________
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”--Adam Smith, born June 16, 1723
 
Posts: 15216 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eschew Obfuscation
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Thanks for your review. McCullough is one of my favorite authors. I bought “The Pioneers”, but have not started it yet.

I completely agree with raves of his other books, but would also add “The Johnstown Flood” and “The Path Between the Seas”. I thought these were both excellent as well.


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“The Left want to be our shepherds. But that requires us to be sheep.” ― Thomas Sowell
 
Posts: 4584 | Location: Chicago, IL | Registered: December 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just got this from our library for my Kindle. The ‘Wright Brothers’ is next.
Mike



I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
...................................
When you have no future, you live in the past. " Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
...................................
Liberalism is a failure to find pathways to intelligence in your brain. - David Lawrence
 
Posts: 2028 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I currently have the book on reserve at the local library. Looking forward to a good read.
 
Posts: 735 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mcrimm:
I just got this from our library for my Kindle. The ‘Wright Brothers’ is next.
Mike


The Wright Brothers is a really good book. I learned a lot of the Wright Brothers history. I did not know what they had done to promote early aviation.
 
Posts: 735 | Registered: June 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've finished The Pioneers. It illustrated how tough life was in those days. Those folks were incredible. The book was somewhat like Undaunted Courage or Centennial.

I'm into Ship of Fools now by Tucker Carlson. The Wright Brothers is on Deck.



I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
...................................
When you have no future, you live in the past. " Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
...................................
Liberalism is a failure to find pathways to intelligence in your brain. - David Lawrence
 
Posts: 2028 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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