Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Following the trail of legendary frontiersman, Tennessee legislator, and Alamo hero Davy Crockett is no easy task. To do so, Washington Post features writer Bob Thompson takes off on an actual flight of fancy, pursuing historical and contemporary accounts of a man made famous in both fact and fiction. Combining research, anecdotes, and a lot of balderdash, Thompson lovingly hashes over endless Crockett minutiae. Although introduced as a lighthearted romp, the book often lapses into intrusive narration and painstaking detail. Much of the telling involves disclaimers, such as Crockett's jibe after losing an election: 'Ã¢Â€Â˜Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me,' he is said to have told his constituents, Ã¢Â€Â˜you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.'' That story is watered down, as are many of the more interesting tales. One of America's most treasured and fabled icons, Crockett has captured generations of fans and Thompson appears to have engaged most of them for lengthy conversations. Though long-winded, readers will learn a lot about Crockett over the course of this journey. 8 page b/w photo insert. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
BOB THOMPSON was a long-time feature writer for The Washington Post and the editor of its Sunday magazine. During his years at Post, he was known for his pieces on the intersection of American history and myth.