Tecumseh: A Life

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Macmillan, Apr 15, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 492 pages
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If Sitting Bull is the most famous American Indian, Tecumseh, the legendary Shawnee chieftain, is the most revered. In the early years of the nineteenth century he dreamed of welding the diverse North American tribes into a vast confederacy stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, strong enough to defend the cultures and lands of the Indians from the aggression of the United States.

A charismatic leader with outstanding military and political talents, Tecumseh created a powerful pan-Indian alliance to replace intertribal conflict and indifference. A major figure in the War of 1812, he helped defeat American attempts to invade Canada, and his followers engaged U.S. armies across the entire frontier. Although Tecumseh died in battle at the height of his fame with his vision of a great Indian confederacy in shreds, his reputation is secure. Unlike most Indian leaders, who operated locally or participated in intertribal warfare, Tecumseh does not stand for one tribe or nation but for all Native Americans. Despite his failed attempt at solidarity, he remains the ultimate symbol of endeavor and courage, unity and fraternity.

The product of thirty years of research in North America and Europe, this comprehensive and authoritative biography offers new revelations about every stage of the legendary chief's life by the leading scholar on Tecumseh and the Shawnees.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Al-G - LibraryThing

This one took me a while to read because it is very in-depth and a very detailed look at the life of both Tecumseh and his younger brother, the Prophet or Tenskwetawa. The book is an academic account ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This biography demythologizes the legendary Shawnee chief while still according him mythic stature. In popular culture, Tecumseh is a tragic symbol of the American Indian: a brilliant and charismatic ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Dr. John Sugden is already acknowledged as the leading authority on Tecumseh and the Shawnee. His previous books include Tecumseh's Last Stand and the critically acclaimed Sir Francis Drake. In 1988 Dr. Sugden was a Ford Foundation Fellow.

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