The purpose of this biography is to separate the facts about John Smith- soldier, colonizer, writer and individual-from the legends, both flattering and scurrilous which have grown up around the man. The painstaking research that is so evident and the biographer's candid admissions of certain flaws in John Smith indicate that the writer is unprejudiced and that his verdict can be accepted as correct. The book traces Smith's life from his childhood in England through his adventures as a roving soldier on the Continent, then back to England and on to America where he played an essential role in the founding of the Jamestown colony, and then back to England again where he struggled unsuccessfully to gain the credit and the encouragement he deserved. The truth about certain parts of his life is impossible to ascertain, but there are a number of theories advanced about what happened during these gaps and certain ones are supported. The biography will please everyone who is interested in either John Smith or the early 17th century, but the flat, reportorial style will do little to attract a wider market and does little to make Smith's life as exciting for the reader as it was for Smith.