A painstaking, comprehensive and detached biography of a great historian -- and a full man, Francis Parkman. Brahmin of Boston Brahmins, rigorous ascetic, puritan and patrician, Parkman seems cold and unmagnetic, whether in his youth as Harvard snob or in middle years as hypochondriac. Accurate and painstaking scholar, objective for his times, and truly a great writer, his was a true contribution in historical works dealing with the Indian wars and the French in the New world. Wade's biography holds closely to Parkman's own journals of his wilderness travels, his Oregon Trail trip, his European itineraries. In spite of almost complete breakdown of health, he wrote until a reasonable old age. For students and scholars -- not for the layman.