Daniel Boone’s Legend Defines the American Mystique

Why a Contemporary Canadian Author Fell in Love With the Tall Tales of the Famous Frontiersman

I’m not American. My childhood social studies curriculum covered Canada’s geography and indigenous peoples, in French (le Saskatchewan, les Iroquois).

So I didn’t grow up learning about Daniel Boone and his exploration of the frontier around the time of the American Revolution. If I’d heard of him at all, I probably thought, like many people, he was fictional. But go back to my British Columbia elementary school and there he is, in a 1985 copy of National Geographic on the shelf of improve-yourself reads. That year I was 10, …

More In: women authors

What Do Readers Want From the Lives of American Women?

Over the Decades, the Expectations of Female Biography Subjects Have Changed, but Not as Much as We Might Think

A hundred years ago, in March 1916, the first biography of Julia Ward Howe was published to general acclaim. Written by Howe’s three daughters, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 was the …