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I really like Horwitz's work, but this wasn't really what I expected. Sure, there are plenty of good mini-biographies of fascinating folk, but then you could have called the book Fifty Interesting Americans, except some of the people weren't even Americans. And often they really were not on quests. Surely there is no one in the book that doesn't deserve some attention, but I wonder really what was the purpose of this book. Now, if Horwitz had written the entries, and put his unusual spin on thin...
What a book !! Tony Horwitz poured over 18,000 mini-biographies from the 27 volumes of “American National Biography” to find 50 American adventurers overlooked for decades by standard history books. Early day historians established heroes, and every historian who came along promoted the same heroes. Granted, they were heroes. But writing about them to the exclusion of others just doesn’t seem right. Take Simon Kenton. He did everything Dan’l Boone did, and he rescued Boone when he was attacked
A lot of interesting lives. Reading any given individual life described, amazing as they often are, I felt as if my sense of the world and of history and of America was expanded and enhanced. But they never really added up to anything here. There will always be thousands and thousands more fascinating American lives than we can know about or comprehend. Here are fifty. Was it worth the investment of time and attention? I don't know. Maybe.
I was disappointed. I found myself skipping through the book.
Really ended up skippin gover lots of this...not that interesting to be honest. Horwitz is the editor, not the writer, so it has none of his humor.
Interesting people, but when Tony chooses to use language like pugilist instead of boxer, it makes this a bear to read and takes the fun out of some real characters!
This list of 50 Intrepid Americans is edited by Tony Horwitz, not written by him. That said the 50 individuals were drawn from the American National Biography, which includes over 18,000 Americans who have in some way influenced American history. The included profiles are quite brief. You may want to learn more about some of these people, others not so much. You will run across several characters within the author's books written about at length in his most enjoyable style. Mister Horwitz passed...