The American Men of Letters Series continues to sustain a high degree of excellence, individually and collectively, with each additional volume. This biography of Cooper is, perhaps for the first time, the ""whole story of the whole man""- a man much more than the author of the Leather Stocking Tales which familiarized a whole generation, and many of their successors, with the region around Cooperstown and Central New York of which Carmer writes in the book reviewed above. The author tells of Cooper's boyhood, of his years at sea, of the town which his father founded and where he grew up, of his writing, his enormous success -- particularly abroad where he was one of the few American writers then accepted -- and of his growing disfavor as he quarreled with the press and the critics, refused to knuckle down to the public, and told unpalatable truths as he saw them. Interwoven with his life is the detailed study of his work, thirty two novels and a dozen other books,- the Leather Stocking Tales, the sea stories, accounts of European travel, the controversial naval history, protest writings, etc. Thoroughly documented, competent presentation, readable text.