American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

American Legend: The Real-Life Adventures of David Crockett

Buddy Levy

Buddy Levy

From Publishers WeeklyLevy presents a sympathetic but unremarkable biography of the legendary frontiersman in colloquial if occasionally florid prose (an election loss "burned into Crockett like a brand searing a cow's flank"). Those whose image of Crockett was formed by the cultishly successful Disney treatment will find much that is familiar: the Indian fighter with Andrew Jackson, the congressmen from Tennessee and, finally, the Texas patriot who died defending the Alamo. But Levy (Echoes on Rimrock: In Pursuit of the Chukar Partridge) offers more (although not a lot more) in the way of background and complexity, and is willing to expose some of Crockett's deficiencies without making judgments: Crockett clearly indulged his wanderlust at the expense of his wife, a strong figure in her own right, and was, for a variety of reasons, an ineffective, bumbling politician. But despite his faults, readers will find Crockett likable and talented. In Levy's view, Crockett's abilities were expansive, and he opines that Crockett's bestselling 1834 autobiography "prefigures by some fifty years the literary genre of 'realism,' with nothing remotely like it" until Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And Crockett's falling out with President Jackson over, in part, Jackson's brutal Indian Removal Act of 1830 is to the frontiersman's credit. B&w illus. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From BooklistCrockett was born in 1786 in Tennessee and died at the Alamo in 1836. In his brief lifetime, he became a folk hero, a three-time congressman, and a potential presidential contender. In this meticulously researched book, Levy chronicles Crockett's remarkable rise to fame. For most of the first half of his life, Crockett lived from day to day, driven by the barest necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. He married and then rented a small farm, and the couple had two sons and a daughter; his wife died from complications after their daughter's birth. He fought in the War of 1812 against Great Britain and later became a magistrate, the first step in his career in public life. In the end, as Levy has it, Crockett transcended the facts of his life to become an enduring symbol of possibility, remembered not for his deeds or his greatness, but for the tenacity of his spirit. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs

Buddy Levy

Buddy Levy

From BooklistThe saga of Cortés, Montezuma, and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire has been chronicled repeatedly, and with justification, since it is one of the seminal events in world history. There is probably no new information on the conquest left to uncover, but it is a thrilling, moving, and tragic story well worth retelling. Levy is not a professional historian, but he is a fine writer who knows the material, and he is wise enough to allow the pure excitement and drama of the story to unfold naturally. At the center of the tale, of course, are the two protagonists. Cortés is viewed as an intriguing combination of ruthless ambition, religious piety, and surprising tenderness. Montezuma, also deeply religious, was less a man of action than Cortés, and his contemplative nature probably sealed his doom. As Levy illustrates, this was also an earthshaking clash of civilizations that is still working itself out five centuries later. This is a superb work of popular history, ideal for general readers. --Jay Freeman Review"For sheer drama, no age compares to the age of exploration, no explorers compare to the conquistadors and no conquistador compares to Hernan Cortes. In Buddy Levy’s finely wrought and definitive Conquistador, the worlds of Cortes and Montezuma collide and come to life. Five hundred years after the conquest, the Cadillo and his prey have been made human. To read Conquistador is to see, hear and feel two cultures in a struggle to the death with nothing less than the fate of the western hemisphere at stake. Prodigiously researched and stirringly told, Conquistador is a rarity: an invaluable history lesson that also happens to be a page-turning read."—Jeremy Schaap, best-selling author of Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History, and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics "Sweeping and majestic...A pulse-quickening narrative."—Neal Bascomb, author of _Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin_"A century before the Mayflower, a single man settled the destiny of the Americas far more momentously than the Puritans ever could....Conquistador offers a fascinating account of the first and most decisive of those encounters: the one between the impetuous Spanish adventurer Cortés and Montezuma, the ill-starred emperor of the Aztecs.... [An] almost unbelievable story of missionary zeal, greed, cruelty and courage."—_Wall Street Journal_ “Drawing heavily on both Spanish and Aztec sources…. [Levy stresses] the military strategy, diplomatic initiaitves, and personal relationship between Cortés and Aztec emperor Montezuma…. Well-written…. Highly recommended.”—_Library Journal_, starred review “A fateful meeting of civilizations…. Cortes is front and center in this book…. [Levy’s] description of the final siege on Tenochtitlan is especially dramatic.”—Associated Press “Explores just how far invaders will go to take what they want.”–_Cape Cod Times_
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