West Lafayette, IN artist, Robert C. Tracy offered his thoughts on The Biographies of John Charles Fremont in an Amazon review earlier this week. In celebration of the very first review, today only, the Kindle edition is available for free from Amazon. Here’s Mr. Tracy’s five-star review:
This is a fascinating history of the biographies of John Fremont. What a colorful American hero he was! And who would have known about Fremont?! I’d never heard of Fremont until this book. Mr. Schantz gives the reader an objective evaluation of all of the biographies written about Fremont. The biography – “Author’s Forward” – of Mr. Schantz’s own discovery and further pursuit of his interest in John Charles Fremont, is itself a reading adventure. Moreover, “The Biographies of John Charles Fremont” invites further readings. One of the biographies in the book is “Dream West” by David Nevin. Mr. Schantz says that its “factual discrepancies…detract from the power of the novel’s presentation”. But that’s just it; I want the power of a novel to bring home to me the biography of John Fremont. So, thanks to Mr. Schantz’s book, I’ve now got “Dream West”. And then there’s the artist that Fremont hired, Edward M. Kern. I’ve found several books from Amazon about this artist. For example, “Edward M. Kern : The Travels of an Artist – Explorer”. In this book are drawings and sketches from Kern’s adventures with Fremont. I’ve even found online maps – beautiful cartography – by Fremont’s first map maker, Charles Preuss. And what else? Well, Mr. Schantz’s volume has led me from writers to artists. And from artists like Kern to other American West artists of the time, such as a closer look into the art of Albert Bierstadt, who was painting the West that Fremont was seeing in his travels. “The Biographies of John Charles Fremont” is a delight to read. It’s like a microscope that enlarges things I’m familiar with, and introduces new things for further study. And It makes me feel that the heroism of Fremont is the norm of the American spirit; that in any walk of life, one can be like Fremont – fight the elements and battle against even big government and win. And to find that Fremont had a wife just as much a heroic individual as her love for him, is inspiring. This book is a superb history of the biographies of the American spirit, of glimpsing a path untraveled, unknown even. Of finding that path, of taking that path against tremendous odds. And of winning through it all. A terrific read. Inspiring and enjoyable.
Mr. Tracy kindly agreed to let me share his review, and he passed on some samples of Edward Kern’s art that he found online. Mr. Tracy is a self-taught romantic realist artist. Do check out Tracy Fine Art to see some of Mr. Tracy’s magnificent work, and don’t forget to download your own copy of The Biographies of John Charles Fremont for free today only.