Kit Carson: The Life of an American Border Man

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While Kit Carson was known in the 19th century as a fearless frontier hero, some modern scholarship paints him as a notorious Indian killer responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Navajos. Author Hemley examines both views of Carson, attempting to offer a more balanced biography. He admits that this is no easy task; illiterate, Carson left no documents in his own hand to shed light on his thoughts and actions. Everything that we know about Carson comes from his dictation to a secretary — who doubtlessly shaped the narrative as he saw fit — and secondary sources. As a result, this book is not so much a portrait of Carson as it is of the men and women that entered and influenced his life. Hemley leans to a more conciliatory opinion of Carson as a product of his time and place, rather than a stone-cold killer, but he does so in a colorless, lackluster way. The book is well-researched and loaded down with facts; still, one cannot help yearning for the excitement of a Kit Carson “dime novel.”

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Published

Genre
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Century

Price
(US) $19.95

ISBN
(US) 9780806142739

Format
Paperback

Pages
320

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