The Warrior and the Prophet
A History Book of the Year in The Times
‘Cozzens is a master storyteller; his books weave a wealth of intricate detail into gripping historical narrative.’ The Times
‘Marvellous… One of the best pieces of Native American history I have read.’ S.C. Gwynne, bestselling author of Empire of the Summer Moon
Winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Biography.
Shawnee chief Tecumseh was a man destined for greatness – the son of a prominent war leader, he was supposedly born under a lucky shooting star. Charismatic, intelligent, handsome, he was both a fierce warrior and a savvy politician. In the first biography of Tecumseh in more than twenty years, Peter Cozzens thoroughly revises our understanding of this great leader and his movement, arguing that his overlooked younger brother Tenskwatawa, the ‘Shawnee Prophet’, was a crucial partner in Tecumseh’s success.
Until Tecumseh’s death in 1813, he was, alongside Tenskwatawa, the co-architect of the greatest pan-Indian confederation in history. Over time, Tenskwatawa has been relegated to the shadows, described as a talentless charlatan and a drunk. But Cozzens argues that while Tecumseh was the forward-facing diplomat, appealing even to the white settlers attempting to steal Shawnee land, behind the scenes, Tenskwatawa unified multiple tribes with his deep understanding of Shawnee religion and culture. No other Native American leaders enjoyed such popularity, and none would ever pose a graver threat to colonial expansion than Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa.
Bringing to life an often-overlooked episode in America’s past, Cozzens paints in vivid detail the violent, lawless world of the Old Northwest, when settlers spilled over the Appalachians to bloody effect in their haste to exploit lands won from the War of Independence. The Warrior and the Prophet tells the untold story of the Shawnee brothers who retaliated against this threat – becoming allies with the British army in the process – and reveals how they were the last hope for Native Americans to preserve ways of life they had known for centuries.
Cozzens is a master storyteller; his books weave a wealth of intricate detail into gripping historical narrative... In this book descriptions of battles are especially enthralling; one can almost smell the gunpowder, the blood and the loamy forest floor. * The Times * Mr. Cozzens puts his narrative skills to great use. His compelling prose and deep research in both primary sources and histories of the period combine to place the reader on the ground with the Shawnee brothers... Sharply drawn. * Wall Street Journal * A towering work of scholarship... Indispensable -- Frank McLynn * Literary Review * Marvellous... The Warrior and the Prophet tells a story of nation-defining events and larger-than-life leaders, and Cozzens' nuanced portrait stands as one of the best pieces of Native American history I have read. -- S.C. Gwynne, bestselling author of EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON A thorough profile of the notable Tecumseh and his brother. Author Peter Cozzens sculpts his narrative deftly and compellingly. In relating the barbarity of the frontier wars, the author remains objective yet empathetic. Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa are fascinating figures, capable of greatness and leadership, yet destined for tragedy. A+ work. * San Francisco Book Review * The strength of Cozzens' book is his ability to bring to life the thrilling adventures of Tecumseh and his people. Many a war yarn gets bogged down in minutiae, but the author animates these battles by sharing the human stories behind the fighting. By ably piecing together a history that is equal parts engaging and amply sourced, Cozzens has crafted a satisfying work that leads us to sympathize with his subjects without putting his finger on the scale to prove his point. * Washington Independent Review of Books * Cozzens expertly mines the surprisingly varied array of sources for the brothers' early lives; he presents the fullest picture yet of who these men were before they achieved national fame. His book balances them more than any previous retelling of the story ever has... As close to a fully realized popular biography of Tenkswatawa as is ever likely to be written... Paints in vivid colors the grandest effort of Native Americans to retain their independence - and the political and spiritual leaders who tried to make it happen. * Christian Science Monitor * Award-winning historian Peter Cozzens admirably brings this lost world to life... Cozzens's descriptions of Tenskwatawa's spiritual agenda, centered on Indian independence and rejection of White culture, will remind readers that tribal leaders from Osceola to Sitting Bull attempted to preserve native culture with the weapons of war. The tragedy of their failure haunts America today. * American History Magazine * An insightful, unflinching portrayal of the remarkable siblings who came closer to altering the course of American history than any other Indian leaders. -- Professor H.W. Brands, author of HEIRS OF THE FOUNDERS Cozzens has a gift for depicting the intricacies of combat with both clarity and flair... the dual biography comes across as fair and impartial. Without sentimentality, and without overlooking the faults of its heroes, it presents a nuanced look at their attempt to halt the invasion of their lands. * Columbus Dispatch * An enthralling, deeply researched dual biography of Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his younger brother... Cozzens's cinematic narrative is steeped in Native American culture and laced with vivid battle scenes and character sketches. * Publishers Weekly * Cozzens... shows his skill at revealing the social and daily realities of late 18th- and early 19th-century life, including wonderfully vivid descriptions of pioneer conditions and Algonquin villages... A long overdue non-fiction account. * Library Journal (Starred review) * Engrossing... Cozzens' biography is solidly researched, fluently written, and bound to stand as the best history to date about the Shawnee brothers' lives and effort to rally pan-Indian resistance. * Booklist (Starred review) * Comprehensive... Blending historical fact with solid storytelling, Cozzens delivers a nuanced study of the great warrior and his times. * Kirkus Reviews *
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