DANIEL BOONE: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer by John Mack Faragher (Henry Holt). The first full-scale biography of the frontiersman in more than 50 years penetrates the national myth surrounding Boone to reveal a credible and sympathetic human being who was reasonably well-educated for his time, rather than the uneducated backwoodsman of lore. Other aspects of the myth also are challenged and corrected by Faragher, based on research that included reminiscences and recollections of family descendants gathered by 19th-Century historians and antiquarians. This authoritative and absorbing tale also makes a contribution to social history.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and winners are selected in each category by an independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced in the Book Review issue of October 31.