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A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh
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A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  512 ratings  ·  36 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,319)
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James Christensen
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
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
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
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
Asa Wilder
This book is so full of shit. I don't understand how this guy got away with it for all those years.
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
Carol Storm
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
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
Oct 10, 2007 J.C. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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...
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Philip Tha- B. Toole
Fascinating, loaded with obscure historical data in an absolutely loaded Amplification Notes section at the back.
Nov 19, 2008 Courtney marked it as to-read
haven't started yet, but can't wait til I have time. This has been on my shelf for a longtime, waiting.
James Robert
So well-written and well researched. This is an amazing story. I loved every part of this book.

Beautifully written book, full of historical facts. Highly recommended!
Michael Antonio Canganelli
Feb 25, 2008 Michael Antonio Canganelli rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone seeking a historic understanding of American slaughtering of the American Indian soul
The depth of early American deception in relations with American Indians.
Micaylah G
Fairly accurate. Takes some liberties with assumption.
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Allan W. Eckert was an American historian, historical novelist, and naturalist.
More about Allan W. Eckert...
Incident at Hawk's Hill The Frontiersmen Wilderness Empire (Winning of America) That Dark and Bloody River The Conquerors (Winning of America Series)

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