The Warrior and the Prophet
‘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 Tenskwatwa, 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, Tenskwatwa unified their people 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.
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 Comprehensive... Blending historical fact with solid storytelling, Cozzens delivers a nuanced study of the great warrior and his times. * Kirkus Reviews * 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) * 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) * 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 * 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 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 *
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