Here Lies Hugh Glass Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28)

ere-lies-huge-glass-jon-t-coleman-mountain-manThis book really isn’t about Hugh Glass per sé, but about Glass’s affect on our national persona and how we like to make heroes out of blackguards and nobodies. In Here Lies Hugh Glass (, Jon T. Coleman presents Glass as “not a reputable guy.”

He allows that Glass did survive a grizzly attack, was robbed and abandoned, and had to crawl to civilization, but he tries to show that everything else you may have heard about the Mountain Man is false. Coleman rambles a bit, jumping from real to fictional characters, then back to Glass. He cites letters, journals and ads for runaway slaves and apprentices—all designed to show the low nature of men like Glass who went into the wilderness in the early 1820s. He also attacks the credibility of the only witness who actually knew Hugh Glass and wrote about him—fellow Mountain Man George C. Yount. Yet if Glass was such a disreputable guy, why did Yount and the other trappers think so highly of him? Coleman states his opinion of Glass, and, in the end, that’s all it is. My own opinion differs somewhat.

—Bruce Bradley, author of Hugh Glass

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