Until the Americans killed Tecumseh in 1813, he and his brother Tenskwatawa were the co-architects of the broadest pan-Indian confederation in United States history. In previous accounts of Tecumseh's life, Tenskwatawa has been dismissed as a talentless charlatan and a drunk. But award-winning historian Peter Cozzens now shows us that while Tecumseh was a brilliant diplomat and war leader—admired by the same white Americans he opposed—it was Tenskwatawa, called the Shawnee Prophet, who created a vital doctrine of religious and cultural revitalization that unified the disparate tribes of the Old Northwest.
Mr. Cozzens puts his narrative skills to great use. His compelling prose and deep research in both primary sources and histories of the period combine to place the reader on the ground with the Shawnee brothers. He clearly explains the complicated geography and history of this contested place and time ... The book’s sharply drawn characters go beyond the central figures of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa.
... fresh insight into the injustices the United States visited upon its Native population ... Fans of Westerns and war tales will enjoy Cozzens’ detailed descriptions of the battles that resulted and Tecumseh’s and Tenskwatawa’s roles in them ... Cozzens does a fine job with a difficult task: stirring the American reader to root for the enemy by focusing a bright light on our country’s crimes against the Natives ... The strength of Cozzens’ book is his ability to bring to life the thrilling adventures of Tecumseh and his people. Many a war yarn gets bogged down in minutiae, but the author animates these battles by sharing the human stories behind the fighting. By ably piecing together a history that is equal parts engaging and amply sourced, Cozzens has crafted a satisfying work that leads us to sympathize with his subjects without putting his finger on the scale to prove his point.