Megan's Reviews > Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper

Sam Patch, the Famous Jumper by Paul E. Johnson
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's review
Oct 30, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: myth-and-legend
Read in October, 2011

Really there is something else going on here. This is not really a book about a famous jumper. This book is a short biography about the America of the 1820s. Some chapters and scenes from the eloquent narrative are almost perfect. The description of the mill town of Paterson brings to life the beginning struggles to capitalize on two of this country's great assets: nature and labor. Sam Patch becomes a emblem of the rights of the workers and the man's right to unfettered wilderness as a place of retreat and refreshment. As we follow Patch from Paterson to Niagara we see him (drunkenly) walk into a world where commerce has already won (Are the tourists bored? Lets launch a ship full of animals over the falls!). Sam jumps and stumbles through class's cultural warfare and onto Rochester, pet bear in hand. And into legend which seems to sink and rise through our history.

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