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Crow Killer, New Edition: The Saga of…
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Crow Killer, New Edition: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson (edição 2016)

por Raymond W. Thorp Jr. (Autor), Robert Bunker (Autor), Nathan E. Bender (Contribuidor)

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1184176,475 (3.6)5
The true story (on which the film Jeremiah Johnson was partially based) of John Johnson, who in 1847 found his wife and her unborn child had been killed by Crow braves. Out of this tragedy came one of the most gripping feuds--one man against a whole tribe--in American history.
Título:Crow Killer, New Edition: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson
Autores:Raymond W. Thorp Jr. (Autor)
Outros autores:Robert Bunker (Autor), Nathan E. Bender (Contribuidor)
Informação:Indiana University Press (2016), Edition: New, 208 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Crow Killer: The Saga of Liver-Eating Johnson por Raymond W. Thorp


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My in-laws have a cabin in Montana, and I think they bought this book because it mostly takes place in Montana and regions thereabouts, plus they like Westerns. It tells the story of "Liver-Eating Johnson", also known as John Johnson or Jeremiah Johnson (from the movie with Robert Redford, which is not a true story, but fictionalized. Kind of like 8-Mile), taken from the anecdotes gathered from the few living people who knew him.

I don't like to read much non-fiction, but this book kicks ass. Johnson is one badass guy. He actually did what the book said--cut out the livers of the Crow who attacked him and ate them. For real-real, not for play-play. He killed every single Indian who was sent out to kill him. Even the twenty "special agents"--elite Crow warriors who were independently sent out to hunt and assassinate him. Like Indian ninjas. They hunted and tracked him, some waiting for four years before making their move. And Johnson killed them all. He killed the last one when he caught the guy rifling through his biscuits. It sucks to have all that hard work ruined because you couldn't wait for dinner.

The book is not terribly long, and it's more than just Johnson killing everyone who gets in his way. His alliances switch as the various tribes use him as a pawn in their territory struggles. The Civil War, the Indian reservations, the logging industry, his friends getting killed -- Johnson has to deal with all of it. But he just wants to trap and trade, just like he's always done. And anyone who gets in his way gets scalped. This guy is a better Western icon than Billy the Kid and Wild Bill Hickok combined. He's like the Incredible Hulk if Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday were Captain America and Iron Man. I don't know why we don't learn more about him in school. ( )
  theWallflower | Dec 17, 2013 |
All of the Conrad, none of the guilt!

A sight met her passengers which was certainly calculated to shock the nerves of any eastern tenderfoot. Along the brink of the river bank on both sides of the landing a row of stakes was planted, and each stake carried a white, grinning Indian skull. They were evidently the pride of the inhabitants, and a little to one side, as if guarding them, stood a trapper, well-known throughout eastern Montana by the sobriquet of 'Liver-Eating' Johnson. He was leaning on a crutch, with one leg bandaged and the day being hot his entire dress consisted of a scant, much shrunken, red undershirt, reaching just below his hips. His matted hair and bushy beard fluttered in the breeze, and his giant frame and limbs, so freely exposed to view, formed an exceedingly impressive and characteristic picture. -- Peter Koch of the steamer Huntsville

Equal parts Paul Bunyan, Hannibal Lecter, Horatio Alger, and Wild Boy of Aveyron, this book presents itself as a work of historical non-fiction, but is nothing more than a mash of anecdotes surrounding the life of one of the American frontier's more formidable mountain men. The authors trace his thread through the pioneering mythology of the west, the bits of dialogue reading like some sort of Treasure Island pidgin. While the neutered language may frame the action in a way to make it palatable to the delicate sensibilities of its audience, the action itself would give pause even to Old Testament Yahweh. The technique proves jarring, and the resulting narrative is more a window into the mid-century mindset than that of the nineteenth it professes to chronicle.

Liver-Eating Johnson, apparently inured to both pain and preternatural gore, really only wanted to trap beavers and play house with his squaw wife until a group of young Crow warriors butcher her. Johnson, his inner sociopath triggered, declares war on the entire Crow nation and systematically dispatches them wherever they can be found. His preference is to humiliate them by kicking them and eating the still warm livers from their corpses when time allows. The Crow become the laughing stock of the plains until years later, when they and Johnson make peace.

In the meantime, the frontier is giving way to Anglo-Saxon moxie. Railroads, mining towns, brothels, ranchers and the like begin to displace both the mountain men and natives. Readers are invited to mourn this dislocation in some sort of knee-jerk romanticized Golden Age way, but this invitation, jocularly couched in the homespun witticisms of scalp hungry psychotics, belies the (and I quote) "mechanical precision" with which Native Americans had previously been slaughtered by Johnson and other mountain men. You see, it isn't so much that violence in and of itself is bad, merely the disposition of those who would practice it. The mountain men, libertarian Übermenschen all, were justified in their actions -- it was, after all, a cottage industry. It's not as if they had been exploiting unspoiled nature to sell it back to the eastern dandies they professed to so abhor and, in so doing, laying the groundwork for exploitation on an industrialized level.

Johnson supposedly never liked to take credit for his manly feats, instead deferring to others. In this, he would likewise be proved unknowingly prescient: Hollywood, in 1972, used the story of the man's life as the basis for the movie Jeremiah Johnson. Regrettably, the deranged Santa of yore would be portrayed by the voguish tenderfoot of the day. ( )
  KidSisyphus | Apr 5, 2013 |
This is well done and "liver eater" Johnson was one tough hombre! Both fun and informative. ( )
  mapconsultant | Jan 6, 2010 |
read the real history of John Johnson the real mountain man behind the movie. A good read and source for any interested in mountain men. Raymond W. Thorp used Army records, journal entries, newspare accounts and oral histories to compile this biography of Johnson. What results is not only an interesting story of the man, but a fasinating into the lives of the fur trappers. ( )
  usnmm2 | Mar 22, 2007 |
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The true story (on which the film Jeremiah Johnson was partially based) of John Johnson, who in 1847 found his wife and her unborn child had been killed by Crow braves. Out of this tragedy came one of the most gripping feuds--one man against a whole tribe--in American history.

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