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The Falcon

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews
John Tanner's fascinating autobiography tells the story of a man torn between white society and the Native Americans with whom he identified.
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 1975)
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This is an absolutely astounding book, hands down the most interesting autobiography I've ever read. The scope is fantastic. His nation was incredibly transitory, and prior to integration into white society, he covers more square miles than some continents, from Kentucky to northwest Manitoba.


This book has forced me to completely reconsider my understanding of Native American culture. Like most Americans, I had the image of a communal, nature-loving people who cared for each other, counted coup
...more
Alethea Bothwell
Not at all what I expected. I somehow assumed that getting adopted by the Indians would lead to a life of happy days in the woods. Tanner's life seemed mostly to be made up of starving - and then having a successful hunt - and then starving again. There was a lot of what seemed fairly random moving around.

It was interesting that there were really NO bosses. People went where they wanted, when they wanted; joined with or abandoned other people for various projects (including war parties - which m
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Paul
This autobiography of John Tanner (the Falcon) is an intriguing read. Tanner was captured by the Shawnee tribe in 1789 at the age of nine and sold to an Ojibwa family. He spends most of his life with Indian tribes in northern Minnesota and North Dakota. Much of what he relates in pre Lewis and Clark and in an era where there was a seemingly marvelous and diverse abundance of game. Still, the winters were incredibly harsh for these tribes and Tanner frequently faced starvation. It is a sad tale i ...more
Carrie Smith
This book gives perspective to the integration of white and natives during the mid 1800's in Canada - then BNA. It is an autobiography by John Tanner, a white man, who as a child was kidnapped by natives. He later went onto be a translator for military personnel and he was aided in writing his story.

Well worth the time if you are a Canadian History lover.
Kateri
This is the most realistic portrayal of Ojibway life during the times of fur traders. His overall tone is very straight-forward and "this happened that way, and that is how it is." It was funny, sad, spiritual, and just a jouney from start to finish. I loved it.
Andy
I liked this despite it being repetitive(many accounts of hunting expeditions with total number of each animal killed) and sometimes incomprehensible writing/language. Fascinating and un-romanticized account of Indian life circa early 1800s.
Mae Cannon
Dec 07, 2009 Mae Cannon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historians of American History
Recommended to Mae by: Alan Taylor
This was a great first-hand account of an Indian captive narrative. I enjoyed the descriptions and detail, but there is not a plot or major storyline.
Andrea
One of my favorite books ever! Captive narratives suck except for this one.
Emily
Dry, but totally fascinating at the same time.
SL
Best captivity narrative ever! Wah-me-gon-a-biew!
Lindsey
It was ok. That's about all I can say. :-)
Brian
One of my top ten favorite books.
Brent
Sep 07, 2010 Brent is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Tanner's autobiography of life with the Ojibwe in northern Michigan.
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Better Back A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, (U.S. Interpreter at the Saut de Ste. Marie) A narrative of the captivity and adventures of John Tanner, (U.S. interpreter at the Saut de Ste. Marie,): during thirty years residence among the Indians in the interior of North America Badges And Insignia Of The British Armed Services Grey Hawk: Life and Adventures Among the Red Indians

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