• Daniel Boone

  • The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer
  • By: John Mack Faragher
  • Narrated by: Tom Parker
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (636 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the first and most reliable biography of Daniel Boone in more than 50 years, award-winning historian Faragher brilliantly portrays America's famous frontier hero while illuminating the American hero-making process itself.

Drawing from popular narrative, the public record, scraps of documentation from Boone's own hand, and a treasure trove of reminiscences gathered by 19th-century antiquarians, Faragher uses the methods of new social history to create a portrait of the man and the times he helped shape. Blending themes from a much vitalized Western and frontier history with the words and ideas of ordinary people, Faragher has produced a book that will stand as the definitive life of Daniel Boone for decades to come, and one that illuminates the frontier world of Boone like no other.

©1992 John Mack Faragher (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Well-written and immensely satisfying in several ways, this biography separates myth from fact while also showing that this is a man about whom legends have been made.... Boone speaks to the American spirit in an elemental way that is wonderfully conveyed by this author, in a book that readers will find memorable." ( School Library Journal)
"Tom Parker read this with a quiet voice, using a variety of expressions and intonations. Faragher's story, combined with Parker's narration, aids in the digestion of this new insight into early American history." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Daniel Boone

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book for history readers

I enjoy history and hence enjoyed this book. The author does an excellent job of attempting to separate fact from fiction. He gives us the man, Daniel Boone, with his all his faults and attributes. This book is extremely well researched and the writer has clearly attempted to present an honest version of this man's life. I came away feeling like I know who Mr. Boone was and what he was about. I was sad when he died and this tells me the author did his job.

5 people found this helpful

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Outstanding!

Perhaps the best biography I have ever read. Wonderful storytelling. Don’t take this to suggest that this is light on history. The author brings authoritative facts to a true historical narrative.

There were times I did not want to put this down. Incidents were, at times, spellbinding. Then there were the humorous accounts that caused me to laugh out loud.

Having visited the Boone home in Missouri, I was anxious to know how he would deal with the controversy of two gravesites: one near the Missouri home and another in Kentucky. I was pleased with the information. No spoilers in my review!

I recommend this book to lovers of history, Boone, and early American expansion. I learned more than I could have anticipated. The Boone I met here is 98 percent different than the Boone I had known before.

3 people found this helpful

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Good Historical Reference

Definitely chock full of facts. Recommend you quit reading when DB dies. Every fact researched is included, pertinent or not, which makes for a dry mind numbing read.

2 people found this helpful

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good, learned a good bit

not bad for a historical audio book. Not the world's biggest page turner. but enjoyable and not a snoozer. I was driving back to Raleigh from Louisville, and stopping in the Cumberland Gap, so I put this on. really cool part of American history that is not emphasized much anymore, so I enjoyed learning some new things.

2 people found this helpful

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"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

The quote from the classic John Ford western "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" applies remarkably well to the life (and legend) of Daniel Boone. Faragher's 1993 biography does a fine job of separating fact from myth (or just from bad facts) in presenting the intensely *American* life of pioneer Daniel Boone. Extensive use of primary sources presents a figure that is both hard to imagine existing in real and yet at the same time feels all too familiar.

The unreality of Boone's life on the American frontier, including everything from his extensive exploration of what would become Kentucky to his repeated battles with/captures by/escapes from Indian tribes (sometimes hostile, sometimes not), not to mention his extensive long hunts throughout the Kentucky/Missouri wilderness, the factual Boone is legendary in and of itself.

That Boone became such a symbol for so many -- was he the quintessential frontiersman, the backwoods philosopher, the Indian fighter? -- yes and no. Faragher does draws out the truth behind many of the myths surrounding Boone including the famous (but likely false) story of his carving into a Wisconsin tree that "D. Boon cilled a bar. 1760." For while Boone certainly "cilled" a lot of "bars" - the location and misspelling of the name (Boone never forgot the "e" when writing his name renders the validity of this particular tree suspect). Small details and corrections like this abound and are wonderful insights into what Boone was, meant, and symbolized.

Faragher also demonstrates Boone's thoroughgoing *Americanness* by showing how often Boone ended up in court and in debt. So many popular histories of prominent Colonial era figures tend to gloss over the fact that they almost uniformly engaged in rampant land speculation and tended to accumulate massive and frequent debts as a result. The sheer number of lawsuits that Boone was a party to or deposed in as a result of his land speculations or less-than-average-quality surveys become almost comical as the book goes on.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Faragher's book is that while Boone is frequently lauded as a founding father of sorts for Kentucky, he left Kentucky for Missouri in 1799 as a result of multiple debts and legal actions, vowing never to return to the Bluegrass State (and mostly kept his word) - this estrangement from Kentucky became such a sore point that over the next 150 years (!) both Missouri and Kentucky would engage in small scale historical and legislative battles over who really "owned" the legacy (not to mention the earthly remains) of Daniel Boone.

It's a supremely odd and interesting coda to a fascinating and full biography of an American legend.

1 person found this helpful

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A good history of a legend

loved it, learned so much about my boyhood hero. I was very satisfied with thos book.

1 person found this helpful

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interesting man with a story

it's an interesting story but the presentation doesn't grab your attention and the reader doesn't improve the situation

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Great Book

Great narrative on Daniel Boone's life and times! Excellent read and narration of an american pioneer!

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Boring

Totally boring. Endless worthless trivia. Don’t buy. Repetitive questionable statements. Virtually no action to make Boone a great American hero .

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Hated every moment

This is a returner! The story drags on an on like a HS lecture, I tried and tried but in the end I dumped out after four hours. I don’t get the high ratings. Must be plans and fakes.