Eight short accounts of early American wanderings, lifelessly--and pointlessly--excerpted from autobiographical and historical narratives. Among the adventurers are a twelve-year-old who enlists in the Union Army; a hardy 17th-century Canadian woman who saves her husband from Indians and wins a wrestling match with a bear; a young runaway who has so many adventures on the way to New York that, once there, he's signed on as a reporter; and a lad ""Laughed Out to Sea"" who soon becomes a whaler captain and rescues from a drifting ship the very girl whose loving taunts had sent him off. Stretches of these lives and others are summarized with no sense of structure, drama, or style (paragraph after paragraph begins with stiff participial phrases--""Trudging along the countryside. . . ,"" ""Having no money. . . ,"" ""Peering into various houses. . . ,"" etc.); and the first selection, about a New Bedford boy's Arctic adventure, fails far short of Beatty's merely workaday, book-length version of the same story (KR p.7). Lame.