PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewMcCullough tells the history of the Ohio Territory as a story of uplift, of what can happen when the doers of good are let loose upon a place. This is American history as a vision of our better selves. Lord knows we need it ... McCullough plays down the violence that displaced the Indians...He adopts settlers’ prejudiced language about \'savages\' and \'wilderness,\' words that denied Indians’ humanity and active use of their land. He also states that the Ohio Territory was \'unsettled.\' No, it had people in it, as he slightly admits in a paragraph on how the Indians \'considered\' the land to be theirs ... McCullough is quite right not to have written a glib lament for a falling-off from an originary moral peak. But his fondness for the sweetly evoked Midwest of the early to mid-20th century betrays an ahistorical vision.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewCoss may be too optimistic about the solutions, but he’s absolutely right that we continue to underestimate nature’s challenges and limits. In 2016, the world is still a dangerous place.