We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States (review)

We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States (review) REVIEWS Pike than is created by the exclusive focus on his two expeditions and his Journal. As it is, readers can probably assess most of the content in the collection by reading only one or two of the essays (of which Allen's should be one). Buckley's own essay makes the most impassioned plea for a reassessment of Pike, but his enthusiasm often veers into stale archetypes about white explorers. Pike is ``a devoted father,'' ``filled with grit and determination,'' ``a brave and zealous officer'' who ``died with his boots on'' (22, 50, 49). The cloying language is not necessarily inaccurate--Pike was wearing military boots when he perished--but Buckley's Pike is simply too good to be true. Readers might wonder, for example, at Buckley's magnanimous claim that soldiers ``willingly followed him [Pike] into blinding blizzards, snow-capped mountains, and the heat of battle,'' given that Buckley also notes that Pike promised ``instant death'' for any mutinous talk (50, 37). This boys-own-adventure rhetoric is perhaps not appropriate for an academic volume, but it does make the prose move--a quality several of these essays share. Almost all the contributors write in a brisk, straightforward style, saving historiographical minutiae for footnotes. The clarity http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States (review)

Journal of the Early Republic, Volume 33 (1) – Feb 6, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

REVIEWS Pike than is created by the exclusive focus on his two expeditions and his Journal. As it is, readers can probably assess most of the content in the collection by reading only one or two of the essays (of which Allen's should be one). Buckley's own essay makes the most impassioned plea for a reassessment of Pike, but his enthusiasm often veers into stale archetypes about white explorers. Pike is ``a devoted father,'' ``filled with grit and determination,'' ``a brave and zealous officer'' who ``died with his boots on'' (22, 50, 49). The cloying language is not necessarily inaccurate--Pike was wearing military boots when he perished--but Buckley's Pike is simply too good to be true. Readers might wonder, for example, at Buckley's magnanimous claim that soldiers ``willingly followed him [Pike] into blinding blizzards, snow-capped mountains, and the heat of battle,'' given that Buckley also notes that Pike promised ``instant death'' for any mutinous talk (50, 37). This boys-own-adventure rhetoric is perhaps not appropriate for an academic volume, but it does make the prose move--a quality several of these essays share. Almost all the contributors write in a brisk, straightforward style, saving historiographical minutiae for footnotes. The clarity

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Feb 6, 2013

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