The Pioneers

The Pioneers

Book - 1988
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Originally published in 1823, The Pioneers is the first of Cooper's five Leatherstocking Tales, and the one that incorporates most fully his own experience of growing up in a town of the American frontier. The heart of the novel is a conflict over who owns America, and by what concept of right. The competing claims of Native Americans, Tory loyalists, roving hunters, and visionary cultivators are pitted against one another in the area of history, and the magical village ofCooper's youth becomes the scene in which a nation's destiny is forged. The novel also marks the invention of his enduring contribution to world literature: Natty Bumpo, the Leatherstocking.
Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books, 1988.
ISBN: 9780140390070
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: xxiv, 460 p. ; 20 cm.


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Nov 30, 2013

It's pretty easy, even for students of American Lit., to dismiss Cooper as a hack, a sentimentalist and a failed myth-maker. None of those things are inaccurate exactly, but there is more to him than you might think. "The Pioneers" was the first of the Leatherstocking Tales, but is actually the fourth in terms of the chronology. Natty Bumpo is an old, somewhat cranky man living uneasily with the residents of a small village. Already the tension between the individual and society that will be a major theme in our literature is present, as is the love of nature giving way to progress. It's a bit slow, but give it time.


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