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Publisher's Summary

In this sweeping, enthralling biography, acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer brings to life the remarkable Samuel de Champlain - soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France.
We remember Champlain mainly as a great explorer. On foot and by ship and canoe, he traveled through what are now six Canadian provinces and five American states. Over more than 30 years he founded, colonized, and administered French settlements in North America. Sailing frequently between France and Canada, he maneuvered through court intrigue in Paris and negotiated among more than a dozen Indian nations in North America to establish New France. Champlain had early support from Henri IV and later Louis XIII, but the Queen Regent Marie de Medici and Cardinal Richelieu opposed his efforts. Despite much resistance and many defeats, Champlain, by his astonishing dedication and stamina, finally established France's New World colony. He tried constantly to maintain peace among Indian nations that were sometimes at war with one another, but when he had to, he took up arms and forcefully imposed a new balance of power, proving himself a formidable strategist and warrior.
Throughout his three decades in North America, Champlain remained committed to a remarkable vision, a Grand Design for France's colony. He encouraged intermarriage among the French colonists and the natives, and he insisted on tolerance for Protestants. He was a visionary leader, especially when compared to his English and Spanish contemporaries - a man who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world of cruelty and violence. This superb biography, the first in decades, is as dramatic and exciting as the life it portrays. Deeply researched, it is illustrated throughout with many contemporary images and maps, including several drawn by Champlain himself.
©2008 David Hackett Fischer (P)2008 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jonah on 11-02-08

Excellent Narration - Illuminating History

Edward Herrmann's narration is superb, as usual. This is a very pleasant listen. Its quality is exceeded only by the enjoyability of the text itself.
The author brings Champlain's character, life and times in an illuminating and interesting manner. His relationships with native Americans were especially poignant.
This story of French colonization in North America fills in a few gaps that I've developed as a US citizen fed on a diet of typical American colonial histories. Upon completion of this book, it occurred to me that my Canadian friends have reason to be proud of their historical connection to this great man.
In my view, this book is a natural complement of Nathanial Philbrick's book - Mayflower.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys history or biographies.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Audrey on 12-30-08

Father of Nieux Francais in a New Light

This is an excellent listen. Wonderful narration of a refreshing look at a progressive architect of the Euro-Native civilization in the Champlain Valley of North America & Canada.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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