Magazine July 29, 2019, Issue

Founders of the Frontier: David McCullough Discovers Ohio’s Puritan Pioneers

Going Home (Pioneers Braving a Storm) by Carl Wilhelm Hahn (Wikimedia)
The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, 352 pp., $30)

The story of the settling of the American West is perhaps our most powerful national legend. Westward expansion beyond the Atlantic Coast into a wild and dangerous frontier embodied the American ideal of the rugged and free individual. Liberated from the shackles of the Old World, Americans were in command of their own destiny, no longer living by another’s leave. Every man was free to pursue happiness as he saw fit, including out west — if he could survive.

These days the settling of the West comes in for opprobrium and scorn from woke progressives, for whom it is above all

This article appears as “Founders of the Frontier” in the July 29, 2019, print edition of National Review.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




After Harvey Mansfield’s disinvitation from Concordia University, a professor writes in to NR to clarify. Plus, Fred Schwartz on baseball.
The Week

The Week

The Canadian newspaper the National Post reports, ‘Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost.’ Good news for Joe Biden.

Girth Dearth

According to the Left, it is bad to stigmatize the mentally ill, but unless you have the proper opinions on social issues, you have a mental illness.


The Latest