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Host: Scott LaMar

First Frontier author Scott Weidensaul describes the brutal history between Native Americans and settlers in PA and on the East Coast

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 16, 2012 8:25 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, July 16:

In most American schools, the nation's history is taught starting with the Jamestown settlement in Virginia and the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in the 1600s and then skips ahead to the American Revolution in the 1770s.  Few of us are familiar with the stories of the challenges and dangers the inhabitants of the North American continent faced in between or before.

Pulitzer Prize finalist and author Scott Weidensaul's latest book, The First Frontier - The Forgotten Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America is one of the most extensive chronicles of the period from when European explorers and settlers arrived in the 16th Century to the French and Indian Wars in the 1760s.

Weidensaul will appear on Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk to describe this violent, brutal 250-year period when Native Americans and Europeans on the East Coast got to know one another, fought, inter-married, traded goods, and enslaved, kidnapped and killed each other.  It is a story not for the faint of heart.

Much of Weidensaul's book focuses on Pennsylvania where areas north and west of Harris' Ferry - today's Harrisburg - were considered the wild frontier.

It's an incredible story so be sure to tune in.

The First Frontier - The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America is witf's Pick-of-the Month book available at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 North Third Street in Harrisburg.  Weidensaul will appear at the bookstore Saturday, July 21 at 3 p.m. as part of Midtown's PA Frontier History Day.

Listen to the program:

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