Born on a Mountaintop
On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier
By Bob Thompson
(Crown Publishing Group (NY), Hardcover, 9780307720894, 375pp.)
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
List Price: $27.00*
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Combining the stories of the real hero and his Disney-enhanced afterlife, Born on a Mountaintop delves deep into our love for an American icon.
Pioneer. Congressman. Martyr of the Alamo. King of the Wild Frontier. As with all great legends, Davy Crockett's has been retold many times. Over the years, he has been repeatedly reinvented by historians and popular storytellers. In fact, one could argue that there are three distinct Crocketts: the real David as he was before he became famous; the celebrity politician whose backwoods image Crockett himself created, then lost control of; and the mythic Davy we know today.
In the road-trip tradition of Sarah Vowell and Tony Horwitz, Bob Thompson follows Crockett's footsteps from the Tennessee river valley where he was born, to Washington, where he served three terms in Congress, and on to Texas and the gates of the Alamo, seeking out those who know, love and are still willing to fight over Davy's life and legacy.
Born on a Mountaintop will be more than just a bold new biography of one of the great American heroes. Thompson's rich mix of scholarship, reportage, humor, and exploration of modern Crockett landscapes will bring Davy Crockett's impact on the American imagination vividly to life.
The American hero really was from Tennessee and he really was a skilled frontiersman, but he may not have actually worn that coonskin hat. A new book by Bob Thompson tries to separate the man from the myth. More at NPR.org
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