Kenneth Roberts in the Blogosphere: A Shout Out to an Old Friend

Wow.  At the risk of sounding repetitive, I am amazed at how much has been sitting in the hopper since April 2011 that I just forgot about.  Russ Grimm from the blog My Military History has been a rather helpful friend to this blog since its inception.  Today I saw his numerous comments providing links to old newspaper and magazine archives that discuss Kenneth Roberts and his works in his contemporary setting.  Say what you will about Google, but they have made research easier when it comes to research.

KennethRoberts on Rogers' Rangers in MilwaukeeJournal-Aug271942

Take this article, for instance, written on August 27, 1942 by the Milwaukee Journal in which they take parts of Kenneth Roberts’ account of how Roger’s rangers were formed as a way of explaining a new special unit of soldiers being formed in the US forces.  This unit, designed to “strike swiftly, silently, and efficiently,” took their name from Rogers’ Rangers; the new, modern rangers, then, were not something new, but a unit that adopted and adapted a method of warfare almost two centuries old – a method well documented in Roberts’ research and in his novel Northwest Passage

I definitely have my work cut out for me now, as I have a treasure trove in Google’s news archives to find old articles written on Roberts.  The timing, though, isn’t the best…I have a seminar paper to write, but I’d rather be wading through news archives…Again, Russ, thank you very much for your help!  (See also his most recent post in which he provides links on the Battle of Cowpens, which happens to be the subject and title of Roberts’ last book, The Battle of Cowpens, which was published posthumously.)

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K.R. Books: Hauser’s Book Review of “Northwest Passage.”

This has been quite a hectic year as I have begun my Ph. D. in Philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  As such, I have had no time to catch up on news and blog posts on Kenneth Roberts (I have many Google Reader updates starred for review, but have not looked at them!); rather, I’ve been reading up on Jonathan Edwards’ idealism, philosophy of religion, and now aesthetics.  My summer reading plan fell through, of which I hoped to glance through a Roberts book (ideally).  As, so goes the life of a student and father.

Thankfully, there are others who are looking out for some great finds on Kenneth Roberts.  Russ Grimm over at mymilitaryhistory.blogspot.com notified me of a book review written in December 1937 by Mary Jo Hauser for Western Pennsylvania History.  Here’s the bibliographic information:

Mary Jo Hauser

Book Review: Northwest Passage. By Kenneth Roberts.

Source: Western Pennsylvania History, Volume 20, Number 4 (December 1937) , 293a–294

Reviewed Works:

Kenneth Roberts, Northwest Passage., (Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1937. 709 P.)

Full-text:
Download the full-text here:
PDF (414 KB)

You can download a PDF of the book review.  I’ve only had a chance to read the review; however, I noticed that she raised a point that many readers (in 1937) would have issues regarding Roberts’ depiction of Gates’ Indian policy.  She did, though, mention the unpublished original documents Roberts had access to that many others did not.

If memory serves me right, it seems that critics in the past (and present?) charge Roberts of fitting historical facts to fit his plot, or even of doing revisionist history.  I tend to differ (whether it’s because I’m a fan or because I’m naive, I’m not sure); I give Roberts the benefit of the doubt.  I believe Roberts was a historian first and a novelist second, and I believe he presented a picture of Colonial America that he believed was the most accurate based upon his research.

Well, enough of me talking.  Take a gander at the PDF of this book review and enjoy a nice trip back in time.

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