No, no — this ain't a COVID-19 post. After a long sojourn in the woodlands of the 18th Century Ohio River frontier, I’m turning my focus back on one of my other favorite theaters of operations: Southern Africa. And in so doing, I ran across news of a coming re-issue of Charles van Onselen’s Masked Raiders: Irish Banditry in Southern Africa, … [Read more...] about Working The Trapline — Who Are Those Masked Men?
They’re trying to break me. First it’s a new bio of Jim Bridger (first in half a century); now it’s ace narrative historian Jeff Guinn shouting “Tonight We Ride!” I figure if you’ve read Guinn’s The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Gunfight at the OK Corral and How It Changed The American West, you don’t really need to read another Wyatt … [Read more...] about Tonight We Ride!
Looks like I’ll have to be picking up Sebastian Junger’s next tome, which drops on May 18. You will have no trouble discerning why… Throughout history, humans have been driven by the quest for two cherished ideals: community and freedom. The two don’t coexist easily. We value individuality and self-reliance, yet are utterly dependent on community … [Read more...] about Working The Trapline — Freedom Without Remorse
Daniel Boone was a man of average stature, but his mythic presence continues to loom over frontier history. Turns out, he WAS a “big, big man” — if not exactly “the rippinest, roarinest, fightinest man the frontier ever knew.” Exhibit A for the case that Daniel Boone remains America’s premier Frontier Partisan, at least in the public … [Read more...] about The ‘Unmatched Mystique’ Of Daniel Boone
Larry McMurtry’s epic Lonesome Dove features an epigraph from T.K. Whipple that nicely encapsulates the theme of Continuity & Persistence that underpins Frontier Partisans: “All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild … [Read more...] about ‘Life In San Francisco Is Still Just Life’
Badass Santa, in his wisdom and generosity, delivered tomes to be mined for the materials that will craft Series 2 of The Frontier Partisans Podcast. As of now, the plan is for a three-parter: • The Highland Frontier. The Highland Line was a frontier zone for centuries. The English and the Lowland Scots thought and spoke of the … [Read more...] about Highlanders, Stuarts And Sea Dogs
I’m a big fan of the blog Hillbilly Highways. The best thing about the internet is that it brings together communities of like-minded folks who would likely never cross paths without it. H.P. and I have very similar tastes in books and music and there’s a big overlap in our historical interests. I was honored to be asked to be his guest for Episode … [Read more...] about Whiskey And Book Club
By David Wrolson High Plains Scout George MacDonald Fraser is probably best known for the Flashman series of novels. These are a collection of books that place the hero (lightly speaking) at almost every historical point from the British disaster in Afghanistan in the 1840s to the Charge of the Light Brigade to Custer’s Last Stand and beyond. … [Read more...] about The Frontier Partisan World Of George MacDonald Fraser
Liam Neeson has the badass-of-a-certain age character totally locked down. The Marksman has the look of a satisfying if somewhat formulaic modern Western. If your formula includes Liam Neeson and Katheryn Winnick, I’m in... Here’s the caper: Neeson stars in The Marksman as hardened Arizona rancher Jim Hanson, who simply wants to be left alone … [Read more...] about The Marksman
I’m a folker. This is not news to long-time readers here, nor to those who know of my 25 years of involvement with the Sisters Folk Festival. I’m no kinda purist; I love me some rock & roll, and genuine country music remains dear to my soul. Nevertheless, when you dig down to the root, it all comes back to folk music. By way of illustration, … [Read more...] about Bold Ben Hall