Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Review: Robert Morgan’s Boone

with one comment

My uncle recommended Boone: A Biography by Robert Morgan to me. Morgan has crafted that rare biography in which the critical lessons of the subject do not become lost in the details of his life. Indeed, Morgan evokes those lessons in the best pieces of writing in the book; the lessons seem to haunt the pages.

Morgan especially calls forth Boone the hunter; Boone loving the solitude of the forest; Boone with a contradictory legacy as a trailblazer, but an unwitting destroyer of much that he loved; Boone the man unable to manage business affairs and finances; Boone the respecter of Indians and their cultures; and perhaps most of all, Boone the man of peace in a world continually by war.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“It is an odd fact that those who accomplish the most often spend years fumbling and stumbling to find what it is they can achieve. The first half of a life may be given to experiment, trial and error, failure after failure.”

“There is no more important milestone in a man’s life than the death of his father.”

“In his midthirties a man either reaches out toward risk and glory or stays within the routines of the expected and ordinary.”

“Two years may be the time it takes to leave behind one’s old self and see the world in a larger, clearer way.”

I’m glad my uncle made this recommendation. Morgan has made a fine contribution to American biography, and to the philosophy of a life well-lived.


Written by Russell S.

November 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

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  1. […] Boone: A Biography — Robert Morgan […]

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