Review: The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this book because it's by David McCullough and because my family on my mother's mother's side settled in Ohio as pioneers from New England, as did those on whom this book is based. I learned a lot about the early settling of Ohio, though it turns out none of it was really relevant to my family history. The focus is on the town of Marietta as it was the first town in the Northwest Territory.

I have to agree with many others who reviewed this book on Goodreads that it reads with a point of view from the ninteenth century rather than something from 2019. McCullough based this book on diaries from a number of the early pioneers. The personal insights from the diaries lends much to the story, and their worldview comes through as you might expect. What's missing is any interpretation or context from the 21st century. I've read many town or county histories from the late 1800s while doing family research and this book reads like one of them. I was disappointed that McCullough did not add more context to the book.

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