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Champlain's Dream

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  929 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
In this sweeping, enthralling biography, acclaimed Pulitzer Prize–winner David Hackett Fischer magnificently brings to life the visionary adventurer who has straddled our history for 400 years. Champlain’s Dream reveals, with rare immediacy and drama, the story of a remarkable man: a leader who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world riven by violence; a man of his own ti ...more
Paperback, 864 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Vintage Canada (first published October 14th 2008)
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Marita
Jam-packed with notes, maps, illustrations and various other appendices, this book by eminent historian, Professor David Hackett Fischer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Washington’s Crossing’ sets a benchmark for biographies. This biography is a comprehensive scholarly work. It is well illustrated, and pages 533-800 are devoted to the various appendices which include a bibliography and extensive notes. However, the narrative style is such that the biography is easy to read, and the notes are ...more
Matt
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up a Minnesotan, I feel a lot of affinity towards Canada. After all, Canadians and Minnesotans share a high tolerance for cold; a generally pleasant disposition towards strangers; and a love of ice hockey and maple syrup. Furthermore, after transplanting to Nebraska – the unaccented home of the Gallup corporation – I’ve been told that my accent is very similar to the parodied intonations of our northern neighbors.

That said, I grew up mostly ignorant of the French-Canadian influence
...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
The life and times of this pivotal figure in history is told in vivid and bold narrative. I did not even know who Samuel de Champlain was before I read this book...how funny it is that history books 'editorialize' who should be written about. I would venture to say that very few Americans know the role Champlain played in his three decades of influence in North America.
James Murphy
Aug 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Champlain's dream is biography so big it edges over into history. It might be more corect to say the life related was so big that it enormously affected history. I personally had a double-edged reaction to it, liking it but not liking it.

Samuel Champlain was the French soldier, mariner, and explorer who was along for some of the earliest voyages of discovery to what is now Canada's Maritime coast and the St. Lawrence Valley. He helped found Quebec and other settlements along the river. He travel
...more
Czarny Pies
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tout Canadien
Shelves: canadian-history
Le reve de Champlain de David Hackett Fischer montre que Champlain a été non-seulement un grand héros du Canada, mais aussi de toute l'Amérique du Nord et de l'Europe entier. Champlain était un grand navigateur, un cartographe hors paire, un diplomat, un administrateur, un guerrier et un grand esprit.

Robert Charlebois a posé la grande question: 'Cartier, Cartier! Pourquoi n'avez vous pas navigué à l'envers.' Voilà le grand cliché qui est très vrai. Le Canada a été fort mal situé pour un emplace
...more
Alan
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much of my reading over the past year or so has focused on this question: How did we (Americans) get to be so politically different, one from the other? How did the "red states" get to be so red? How did the "blue states" get to be so blue? What is the history behind all that?

Books like The Big Sort; Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty ; American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America; A Great and Noble
...more
Bob H
In this warmly-written, epic work, David Hackett Fischer has given us the definitive biography of Samuel Champlain. It's formidably-researched and gives us a richly detailed story of his life and the times he shaped: in this work we learn of early French Canada, and his humane and intelligent rapport with the native peoples, now the First Nation of Canada. He emerges from these pages as an intelligent, charismatic man, even at this distance in time.

It's a book that has had considerable influence
...more
David Bales
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The history of European colonization in the Americas is strewn with rogues, murderers and exploiters, but this book about Samuel de Champlain, "founder" of New France, (Quebec and Acadia) suggests something different; born in sixteenth century France that was torn apart by religious wars between Catholics and Protestants that at times approached genocide, (France had ten civil wars in Champlain's lifetime) Champlain saw such horrors as a young soldier in Europe that he adopted a philosophy of to ...more
Chris
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: colonial-america
Samuel de Champlain was one of the great explorers of the 17th Century. Over the course of 30 years, he explored much of what is now Canada and the New England states. He is considered the founder of New France, which is now Quebec. In 1605, he helped found the colony of Port Royal, Nova Scotia, which was the first permanent French settlement in North America. This is a thorough biography of Champlain but also a history of the first interactions between the French explorers/settlers in North Ame ...more
Henry Sturcke
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I particularly enjoy about David Hackett Fischer’s books is that he is a practitioner of what I like to call “thick history”. On the one hand, he is a throwback to older generations of historians who wrote history as the acts of remarkable individuals – heroes. The Samuel de Champlain who emerges from the pages of this book is definitely that. At the same time, Fischer is informed by the broad range of developments in the practice and writing of history that emerged during the course of the ...more
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Champlain's Dream: Best History Book? 2 5 Feb 02, 2015 04:47PM  
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David Hackett Fischer is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. His major works have tackled everything from large macroeconomic and cultural trends (Albion's Seed, The Great Wave) to narrative histories of significant events (Paul Revere's Ride, Washington's Crossing) to explorations of historiography (Historians' Fallacies, in which he coined the term H ...more
More about David Hackett Fischer...
“Every Canadian winter was a mortal challenge to its habitants.” 1 likes
“The island was said to be “completely covered with pigeons.” Thousands of them fattened on the raspberries, and the settlers fed on the pigeons.16” 0 likes
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