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Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1988
ISBN: 1931672296
Publisher: Little, Brown

Eckert's 33rd book, and the sixth in his ""The Winning of America"" series (Gateway to Empire, etc.), which he has been writing on and off for over 20 years. Again, Eckert writes in a fictional style, making heavy use of documents and diaries and creating dialogue (out of actual recorded comments) so that, although this is history, it is swiftly paced with a dramatic flair. The empire of which Eckert writes is that of the American Indians, as this latest volume brings the saga of the white man's wresting control of the continent to its denouement. The principal event here is the Black Hawk War. Eckert states early on that this was the most difficult book in the series to write, since the nature of that war made many of the white soldiers who participated--William Henry Harrison among them--highly aware of the possibilities for future political careers, thus causing the written commentary of the time to be full of posturing and politicking. Meanwhile, Eckert claims not to champion the cause of either the white man or the Indian: ""There were heroes and rascals on both sides: humanity and atrocity on both sides; rights and wrongs on both sides."" But there is, nevertheless, a pervasive feeling that peeks from the narrative that, as the author himself says earlier, the land was ultimately won by ""encroachment, trickery, warfare, deceit, treachery, purchase, alliance, gift, theft, and treaty."" History for those who enjoy docudrama style, but highly detailed all the same.