Gallop Toward the Sun: Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison’s Struggle for the Destiny of a Nation

Books on Tape. Aug. 2023. 11:55 hrs. ISBN 9780593605677. $95. HIST
Narrator Eric Jason Martin gives an intense but nuanced performance of historian Stark’s (Young Washington) parallel biography of Shawnee warrior Tecumseh and Indiana governor William Henry Harrison. Martin expertly employs pacing and pitch to draw listeners in, channeling quotes by the two leaders and other witnesses to illuminate the conflict between the two men. Harrison, who viewed his role as state governor as a stepping-stone in his bid for a position in Washington, manipulated Indigenous leaders into signing treaties that would open Western lands for settlers. An eloquent leader, Tecumseh sought to unite the disparate Indigenous peoples in opposition. Martin’s impassioned delivery brings out Tecumseh’s anger as he calls Harrison out on his lies and deceit. He also conveys Tecumseh’s courage in rallying a national confederacy of tribes, his disappointment when defeated in battle, and outrage when their British allies abandon them to the Americans. Martin enlivens what could have been a dry tale and may prompt listeners to consider how one or two events can change the course of history.
VERDICT An affecting performance of a pivotal point in American history. Recommended for readers of H.W. Brands’s The Last Campaign or Peter Cozzens’s A Brutal Reckoning.
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