Manray9's Reviews > William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic

William Cooper's Town by Alan Taylor
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's review
Jan 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: u-s-history-politics
Read in June, 2005

William Cooper's Town certainly deserved recognition with the 1996 Pulitzer Prize. It is an intriguing look at the development of a frontier community in the earliest days of the republic. The story of parvenu William Cooper's rise and eventual decline from political and social prominence in Upstate New York is well-told with keen insight into the fractiousness of early U.S. politics.

James Fenimore Cooper's first great success in the literary world was a fictionalized account of his father's life. While there are many valuable histories of early American life, Taylor's book is particularly fascinating due to the parallel between William Cooper's life story and his son's novel, The Pioneers. William Cooper's Town is an unusual combination of political history, social analysis and biography linked to a study on James Fenimore Cooper's literary effort to vindicate his father's struggle for wealth, social prominence and prestige.

Taylor's book is an interesting new twist on the old story of a rising man on America's frontier. I recommend it highly. It is well worth your reading time.
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