Loading, please wait...

A Splendid Savage - by Steve Kemper (Paperback)

About this item


Number of Pages: 464

Genre: Biography + Autobiography

Sub-Genre: Adventurers & Explorers

Format: Paperback

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Age Range: Adult

Author: Steve Kemper

Language: English

Street Date: February 21, 2017
TCIN: 77475874
UPC: 9780393353907
Item Number (DPCI): 247-17-7481
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported


About the Book

Rich, detailed, and pitch-perfect, with the witty and wonderful skipping off every page. --Maxwell Carter, Wall Street Journal

Book Synopsis

Frederick Russell Burnham's (1861-1947) amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world-famous as "the American scout." His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII.

After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern California. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many best-selling exotic tales, remarked, "In real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance."

Among other well-known individuals who figure in Burnham's story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft, as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E. H. Harriman, Henry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers.

Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but he was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake. Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.

Review Quotes

[A] life was so full of derring-do and fearless exploits that, lacking historical record, one would assume him to be myth.--Jonah Ogles "Outside"

A brilliant biography of a Westering man whose life would have been remembered by all who have studied and written about the West, except for the fact that the arc of his life, which reads like a Jack London adventure, stretched well beyond the borders of the American West in time and scope.--Stuart Rosebrook "True West"

A rollicking, gripping portrait of Frederick Russell Burnham (1861-1947), a highly skilled military scout, outdoorsman, marksman, and prospector, whose legendary survival skills helped inspire the creation of the Boy Scouts.-- "Library Journal"

A splendid book about an amazing life. If this work were not history, it might seem an overly ambitious adventure novel whose hero deserved a multi-volume series.--Clyde A. Milner "History Book Club"

Admirably resurrects the larger-than-life figure of Frederick Russell Burnham (1861-1947) in an account chockfull of adventures that feel ripped from dime-store novels.-- "Publishers Weekly"

Burnham lived a life of astonishing adventure...In Kemper's sure and enthusiastic hands, Burnham storms through the pages of this rousing volume, outwitting determined foes and collecting mining and ranching interests on two continents that never seemed to pay off as expected...Thrilling adventures presented with the flair they deserve.-- "Kirkus Reviews"

Monumental...every chapter of which could inspire a thrilling novel on its own.-- "Historical Novel Society"

There's almost too much for one book, let alone one life...Mr. Kemper's narrative is rich, detailed, and pitch-perfect, with the witty and wonderful skipping off every page.--Maxwell Carter "Wall Street Journal"
If the item details above aren’t accurate or complete, we want to know about it. Report incorrect product info.

Shipping options

Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1 inches length x 5.4 inches width x 8.1 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.75 pounds
We regret that this item cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
This item cannot be shipped to the following locations: Virgin Islands, U.S., United States Minor Outlying Islands, American Samoa (see also separate entry under AS), Puerto Rico (see also separate entry under PR), Northern Mariana Islands, Guam (see also separate entry under GU), APO/FPO

Return details

This item can be returned to any Target store or Target.com.
This item must be returned within 90 days of the in-store purchase, ship date or online order pickup. See return policy for details.
See the return policy for complete information.

From the manufacturer

No information loaded.

Guest Ratings & Reviews

Prices, promotions, styles and availability may vary by store & online. See our price match guarantee. See how a store is chosen for you.

*See offer details. Restrictions apply. Pricing, promotions and availability may vary by location and at Target.com.