A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham

A Splendid Savage The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham Frederick Russell Burnham s amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a list

  • Title: A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham
  • Author: Steve Kemper
  • ISBN: 9780393353907
  • Page: 344
  • Format: Paperback
  • Frederick Russell Burnham s 1861 1947 amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world famous as the American scout His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden Frederick Russell Burnham s 1861 1947 amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world famous as the American scout His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden Powell, to found the Boy Scouts His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII.After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern California Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all His friend H Rider Haggard, author of many best selling exotic tales, remarked, In real life he is interesting than any of my heroes of romance Among other well known individuals who figure in Burnham s story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft, as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E H Harriman, Henry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers.Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but he was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.

    One thought on “A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham”

    1. A fascinating life and character-dreamer, schemer, scout, prospector. It's amazing I had never heard of him. Non stop action even as a baby-he survived the Sioux Massacre in Minnesota by hiding in a corn field. This man could not sit still. His wife is the real hero for putting up with him. They lost two children and loved each other but he loved adventure more. Burnham was all over the map from the age of 12: Arizona Territory, Alaska, Africa-all over the continent. He was the type of guy who n [...]

    2. What and interesting life? This was an incredible tale from an adventuresome man who happened to be born in an era that suited him perfectly. From a pioneer family to becoming a scout during a time of wars with the American Indian to traveling and exploring the American West, the Klondike, Mexico, East, West, and South Africa range wars, Indian wars, Boer wars, World wars and more Rhodes, Churchhill, Taft, Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill, Edward Harriman, and a long list of other interesting individual [...]

    3. This book was an exceptional story about an exceptional man. I simply did not want it to end. I can't help but feel as though the author romanticized the myth of this man a bit meaning he painted a rosy picture while hinting at deep flaws, but chose not to make the flaws the focus of the story. It makes me appreciate a time in recent history when men lived very differently than we do todayd perhaps makes me feel as though I was born a century too late.

    4. Heavens. It took me forever to read this book because it was just so exhausting. Burnham did SO. MUCH. I don't know how he did 1/4th of all the things he accomplished. The book is meticulously researched and really well written. It was engaging and informative. Just a good read all around.

    5. WowHad not read much about Burnham before and did not know much about his exploits. If only half of what is reported here is true, Burnham’s life makes Indiana Jones pale by comparison. Soldier, explorer, miner, tracker and conservationist, his story is remarkable. Recommended.

    6. A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham by Steve Kemper is a fascinating, multi-level exploration of the life and adventures of Frederick Burnham, who rose to fame as “the American scout” during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.One might say that Burnham was destined for a life of excitement, beginning with his survival of a Sioux raid at the tender age of 15 months. By 12, he was working as a Western Union mounted messenger and two years later as a [...]

    7. An excellent read and very thought provoking, interesting, and without the old west cliches about Indian scouts.

    8. A splendid life of adventure Burham lived. Too bad that the author could not lay it out so it was smooth and fun to read. If you can overlook the writing, he lived a full life: Africa, Alaska, SoCal, Europe and other parts of the globe.

    9. A good biography of a man who's life is deserving of a movie! From Arizona to Africa to Mexico to the Yukon, California, Europe and back again. Hobnobbing with the likes of Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, author H. Rider Haggard, correspondent Richard Harding Davis, Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt. He made "scouting" an art by observing, listening to the "old beards", and painstaking practice.To quote TR: "He is a scout and a hunter of courage and ability, a man tot [...]

    10. A disappointing biography! Kemper's style is clear but desultory. Perhaps Kemper lost his focus or, more likely, couldn't find anything on which to focus. Moreover, not once did I gain any idea why Burnham's life intrigued Kemper - consequently, I never clicked with Burnham. Burnham often comes across in this biography as paradoxically in love with his wife and children but also selfishly moved to leave them for his adventures. I cannot recall the last book I read that I struggled to read. Perso [...]

    11. (As usual, NB: narrative text concluded on page 386; remainder is notes, etc.)Another on-a-whim book from the library. I'd never even heard of this guy before I picked up the book. Burnham was an interesting fellow! Really, I feel like I can best summarize it by saying that this guy is basically the epitome of a D&D ranger -- tracking, woodlore, all that stuff. He was every inch an adventurer.

    12. Gripping tales of the frontier and Gilded Age. Dovetailed perfectly after reading about Burnham's "gregarious friend from New York" that ended up being a lifelong pal in Teddy Roosevelt. This era of "hard men" makes you want to go out searching for adventure in the woods or the desert.

    13. Fascinating tale of famous scout, explorer, prospector who traveled and fought in the old West, Africa, Mexico, Yukon. A man of contradictions (adamant conservationist when he was older but big game hunter when he was younger), Burnham was the inspiration for the creation of the Boy Scouts

    14. Very entertaining. Burnham is a fellow I had never heard of and who lived at a time I don't know a lot about. His courage and character are a great challenge and encouragement to me.

    15. Fredrick Burnham was a fascinating explorer and tracker who took his almost super-natural skills to multiple continents and in so doing changed history. Great read of a restless, relentless man.

    16. Plenty of new info I did not know before. I always thought of the other engineer named the same. This guy led a wild life I wonder if he was hyper

    17. An absorbing, richly detailed biography of a colorful, larger-than-life, peripatetic adventurer and fortune seeker.

    18. Larger than life character with adventures on nearly every continent. His open racism was none the less appalling. Interesting look back in time.

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