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Mountain Men: The Dramatic History and Lore of the First Frontiersmen Paperback – 1 Nov 2006


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"George Laycock has gone to great details to portray the life of Western mountain men, and has done an outstanding job."--Charlie Richie, Backwoodsman Magazine

About the Author

George Laycock has worked as a full-time author, journalist, and photographer since 1951. He has written more than fifty books and has contributed articles to Audubon, Reader's Digest, Outdoor Life, and many other magazines. He lives in Ohio.

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Amazon.com: 19 reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
A Great Mountain Man Book For Your Library 29 Jan 2002
By Texas Cowboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I purchased a hard back copy of this book in the early 1980's. It was then, and still is one of my favorite books on the life of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trappers of the early 19th century. Mr. Laycock did a great job of covering the life of these adventurous trappers. It would take volumes to cover it all but this book is a great condensed version. If I were going to recommend a single book to someone who had no knowledge of the Mountain Men, and wanted to learn of their lifestyles, this would be the book. It is an easy read, lots of great photos and illustrations, and it offers a high rate of accuracy. Also included are some brief biographies of some of the famous mountain men such as Jim Bridger and John Colter, and others. This book tells how they applied their trade and the hardships they faced doing it. This is a great book. I assume the paperback version offered will have the same photographs and illustrations. However, my hard back copy has great color in it and I don't know if the paper back will contain color photographs. Anyway, it is my opinion that this is a great book.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Real Men 28 Oct 2003
By Robert R. Briggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love stories of the old West, this book is a must read!George Laycock does a nice job of giving us a good overview of this time period in our Western History. The book tells much about those days of trapping and exploring when the West was an unknown and unmapped area. In addition to telling the stories of several individual characters like John Colter, Jim Bridger, Hugh Glass, Jeidiah Smith and others, the author takes time to explain the fur trapping business. There are several sections in the book explaining weapons, traps, boats, clothing, tools, etc. The result is that the reader gets a good insight into what these men did and how they did it. The one drawback might be that some of the character studies are a bit short, often leaving the reader wanting more information. However, for a general overview of an important time in our early history, this is a wonderful book. I'd like to see this as required reading in our schools.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Introduction to Mountain Men and their Lifestyle 23 Jan 2006
By Daniel Hurley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Great introduction to the life of Mountain Men in a mere 240 pages. The book starts with several introductory chapters of how Mountain Men got started virtually with Lewis and Clark and then with various fur companies with such men as Manuel Lisa. The author then discusses their lifestyle, the mountains, what trapping was like, how they trapped beaver and their relationships with the Indians. The bulk of the rest of the book contains numerous short chapters on the most famous of the mountain men such as John Colter (perhaps the greatest), Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger, Tom Fiztpatrick, Kit Carson, James Beckworth, the Sublette brothers and several more. What makes the book unique are numerous intervening short sections discussing in detail, with pictures, the equipment or materials the trappers used. Everything from Bull boats, the various types of rifles including the famous Hawken (flint versus percussion), traps, leather clothes, tools and how their leather covers were made as well mocassins. The only negative is that some of the tall tales, which the Mountain Men wre famous for, are not always discriminated. An example is James Beckworth's claim that he ran 95 miles in a single day to escape a band of Indians, and another claimed they covered 150 miles in two days. Stonewall Jackson's corps was famous for covering 30 - 35 miles on relatively good roads, thus it is impossible to accept these numbers by the trappers who were in broken country. But overall, an excellent introduction to Mountain Men, each of which seemed to have several stories about running into a grizzly bear.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Survey of the Mountain Men 9 Nov 2006
By Donald G. Sands - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book to choose for a survey of the mountain man era. It covers all of the famous individuals, most with their own chapter. It also has some excellent presentations on various tools of the trade including their manufacture and use. In summary, a hard book to beat for a survey of that era and the individuals who made the era what is was.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great summary of the Mountian Men 30 Jan 2009
By Jonathan Hale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book greatly; the stories of the mountain men were accurate but not indepth. And the drawings and descriptions of their equipment were great. George Laycock did a great job telling the story of the mountain men and the life of freedom they lived and the equipment they used. Today as I trek through the Rocky Mountains West of Denver on trails well worn and without the danger of Indians or Grizzly Bears, I am awed by the beauty of these majestic snow capped mountains and know why the first mountain men loved them so. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a crisp autumn day, the song of a chickadee, or fresh dew on the grass.
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