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A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  691 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The critically acclaimed, award-winning author of A Sorrow in Our Heart brings to life an event that marked a major turning point in the history of the American frontier--the settling of the Ohio River Valley. "Compelling reading--an epic narrative history."--Publishers Weekly.
Published 1992 by Smithmark
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,967)
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Mar 20, 2014 Marcus rated it liked it
I'm going to start off saying that I'm a historian and I focus on American Indian Frontier Wars, and with that being said, this is a good book with a few caveats. First of all this is historical FICTION, it is not a biography nor is it strictly factual. It is a good read in that it keeps the reader's attention and encourages the reader to finish the book. And that's high praise for what I'm about to say about "A Sorrow in Our Hearts."

So, how is it factually? When dealing with background minutiae
James Christensen
Mar 13, 2010 James Christensen rated it really liked it
Well researched and wonderfully written story of the life of a charismatic, wise, driven native leader, who was cagey, brave, legendary for his battle skills, his coolness under pressure, his ability to turn an apparent rout against the aggressors. He lived from mid - 1700's to 1813 when he was killed in battle. He was Shawnee, but his legacy was his dream and realization, in large part, of the unification of historically warring tribes in a joint effort to repel the white "shamenese" incursions ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Andy rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that have been following me around for years. I've always been wanting to read it but, for various reasons, waited until a month ago to finally start. First off, despite the artists note, I find historical books that include dialogue to be somewhat suspect, especially those that start in the late 18th century. The author tries to explain his use of dialogue and how some historical records virtually scream to be turned into dialogue. I disagree. Ascribing conversations ...more
Brilliant strategist, inspiring speaker, insightful thinker - the Shawnee warrior Tucumseh was probably one of the most influential leaders of any race ever to walk on North American soil.

The mythology around Tecumseh and his astonishing unification of disparate groups of indigenous people for a common cause is legendary. The author, Allan Eckert, has essentially created a textbook as he puts forth his best attempt to weed out the fiction and relate the facts, in painstaking detail, of the life
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Feb 26, 2013 Dee Renee Chesnut rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2013
This book has been part of my home library for twenty years, and I have now read four of the five books by Allan W. Eckert on my history shelves.

Eckert writes this biography of Tecumseh in his historical narrative form so that it almost reads as if it were a 678-page novel. Or it would, if 678-page novels also included 97 pages of Amplification Notes, 11 pages of Principal Sources, 6 pages of Source Codes, 29 pages of Bibliography, and 18 pages of Index. This gives you an idea of the documented
Carol Storm
Jan 10, 2014 Carol Storm rated it liked it
When I was a kid I read a Scholastic Books reader called THE DEFENDERS, that told the stories of Osceola, Tecumseh, and Cochise. Somehow that book told more of Tecumseh's story in thirty pages than this book does in about 2000 pages.

The thing is, I was willing to hear about how great Tecumseh was. How he was a visionary who dreamed of uniting all the Indian tribes into one nation. How he wanted warriors to give up alcohol and torturing prisoners and raping women. And this book tells those facts
Asa Wilder
Jan 08, 2015 Asa Wilder rated it did not like it
This book is so full of shit. I don't understand how this guy got away with it for all those years.
Aug 21, 2010 Fort rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eckert does historical novels well. Taken from deeds and diaries, letters and leases (okay, lame alliteration there) - all that is written about happened. But he novelizes the history. His whole series of frontier and empire novels are exhaustively cited. Long reads, but well worth the time for a student of history. The best two, if you only want to read two of them are this one and "The Frontiersman."
Apr 18, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
Wow, this is quite the tome! It's always a constant surprise to me when I meet someone who hasn't heard of Tecumseh. Being raised in Ohio, it was a name we learned early on in history (there was even a wonderful outdoor theatre program about him in Chillicothe). Because his is a tale that comes from the other side of history, it's one that should be told, and this book goes above and beyond to bring the research for it.

Tecumseh was born under auspicious signs. It was clear that from birth he wou
Ryan Phelps
Jun 26, 2015 Ryan Phelps rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I ended up reading this on again, off again and it may have skewed my perception of the book as a whole...

Anyway, I really enjoy Eckert's writing style and approach to telling the stories of our history. I've had a chance to read the first three of his Winning America series as well and this book follows a similar format and the historical narrative/fiction style. I don't know much about Tecumseh and I'm not a history buff, but I can just as easily get wrapped up in Eckert's wor
Oct 22, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Great, great book. Eckert uses historical facts to weave Tecumseh's life into an extremely accessible narrative. Really informative, and exciting. It took me about 2 months to read, but it never really drags. Not only do you get a good grasp of the life this American Indian icon's life, but of the atmosphere of America at this time...and how we (and the British), ya know, fucked them over big time.

Despite the fact that Eckert has gotten a bit of criticism for dramatizing history too much (espe
Nov 22, 2015 Pat rated it liked it
This was interesting, and much like the author's book from the same general era, The Frontiersmen. At more than 1,060 pages, however (including over 250 pages of footnotes and amplification notes), it was far too long. I also tired of the author's technique of beginning each chapter with an event or reflection and then going backward to see how we arrived at that point. Nonetheless, it was interesting to revisit the histories of the people and places whose mark on our region is still evident tod ...more
Jul 30, 2008 Krystal rated it liked it
I was always curious about Tecumseh because of another book I've read about him, slightly more ficitional :D, by Ann Rinaldi. This book was very detailed about Tecumseh's life and the events that were going on with all the Indians at the time of America's birth. It was very sad to see how the Indians had to leave their homelands. Eckert made the events and emotions behind them very real. It was a bit gruesome at some parts but all in all, it was enjoyable. I admit, I got a little bored with it b ...more
Doris Raines
Apr 06, 2016 Doris Raines rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doris-shelf
Another. Great. Warrior.
Debby Baumgartner
Biography of the great Native American chief, Tecumseh who lived in Ohio.
Oct 10, 2007 J.C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history and biography readers
a fantastic biography of Tecumseh, the Shawnee indian prodigy who would become the youngest to receive Warrior status among his tribe and would eventually lead a united Native American Army against the encroaching U.S. Army during the war of 1812. Well researched ( i assume, but what do I know about research)and beautifully written it is a great book for anyone with an interest in the Native American people and their culture, also for people who just like real good biographies.
Nov 25, 2007 jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-bio
historical narrative at its finest, this is the dazzling, infuriating tale of the great shawnee leader, and the myriad white men who did their damnedest to set the benchmark (and high!) for committing massacres, genocide, and other assorted atrocities. tecumseh was so formidable a man, he commanded respect and adulation even in those who were out to slay him. eckert's prose and storytelling abilities are utterly captivating.
Kyle Boggs
Aug 27, 2009 Kyle Boggs is currently reading it
this book is about 900 pages, and I'm almost half way through it. I've wanted to read this one for a long long time and I finally made it my summer project. There are a couple "life of Tecumseh" books out there, but none of them are as well written, nor as detailed. The book starts before Tecumseh is even born and Eckert beautifully sets the stage so you identify with Tecumseh from page one. Man white people are messed up...
Mar 02, 2015 Donald rated it really liked it
Compelling overview of the life of Tecumseh and the history of the "far" west of the colonies/United States over his lifetime. Even knowing some of the historical outcomes the book still delivered on the tension and frustrations of the Shawnees.

My only quibble was that I found the constant flipping to the back for the historical footnotes too much though, so I likely missed out on some of the context.
Mar 13, 2008 Rusty rated it really liked it
Great story about a little-known historical figure. Eckert is not as one-sided as a lot of other authors who write about the frontier era, who demonize the Europeans and portray the Native Americans as environmentalist innocents, and also includes many other notable historical figures. The story follows Tecumseh from birth and relates the steps he takes to realize his great plan.
May 16, 2009 M S rated it really liked it
Read the amplification notes if nothing else. Imagine that colonization and its effects were all preserved on a transparent layer that could be lifted to reveal a reality that was everpresent underneath and lost for good. That's the experience I had while reading this. My perception of the Ohio valley and Great Lakes region will never be the same.
Casey Wheeler
Oct 24, 2012 Casey Wheeler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Allan's books, this one is well researched and the narrative goes into great detail (sometimes to the length of almost overkill), but I happen to enjoy reading about it. I would only recommend you read this book if you are interested a detailed telling of historical events.
Jan 14, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Superb biography of Tecumseh told by a white historian with a very Indian perspective (for example, the truth of cometary omens, prophecy and great works of medicine is assumed). Wonderful view of Indian life in the Old Northwest in the early 19th century.
Oct 29, 2012 Gail rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This was the book that launched a lot of people from this part of the country into reading Eckert's historical series. While it seemed extremely accurate at the time, later work has shown some of the information to be questionable.
David Zierhart
Nov 28, 2012 David Zierhart rated it really liked it
Another side of history.. Early American history from the point of view of the Native Americans. Tecumseh ALMOST got the tribes united against the invaders.. just too little too late. Fascinating character and study.
Hawaiian Source
Sep 01, 2012 Hawaiian Source rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Great biography of one of the most interesting and least known men in American History. A car trip through the Ohio River Valley and adjacent areas to see some of the sites listed is certainly on my "Bucket List".
Jan 28, 2011 Ad added it
how this country was formed full of blood. interesting and vivid brought right to that time. Also I learned a lot about traditions and ones dignity upheld. great historical book it read like a novel.
Sep 19, 2008 Tori rated it it was amazing
Tecumseh was truly a brillant man. It was truly eye opening at how the American government treated the American Indians. One would think that we would learn our lessons at how we treat each other.
Jul 04, 2007 Joseph rated it it was ok
if you're gonna do fictionalized history, don't just utilize 457686797 end notes that sum up to half the already long book. It counteracts the benefits of using a more entertainment style narrative.
Randy Kelly
May 20, 2013 Randy Kelly rated it it was amazing
A great follow up read if you have read Eckerts "The Frontiersman". This book follows the life and death of Tecumseh, a great Shawnee Chief.
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Allan W. Eckert was an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.

Eckert was born in Buffalo, New York, and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area, but had been a long-time resident of Bellefontaine, Ohio, near where he attended college. As a young man, he hitch-hiked around the United States, living off the land and learning about wildlife. He began writing about nature and American hi
More about Allan W. Eckert...

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