The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West (B&N Exclusive Edition)

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West (B&N Exclusive Edition)

by David McCullough

Hardcover(B&N Exclusive Edition)

$17.99 $30.00 Save 40% Current price is $17.99, Original price is $30. You Save 40%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, May 28

David McCullough's Summer Reading Recommendations Explore Now


The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition includes a previously unpublished lecture by David McCullough.

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country.

As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River.

McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough’s subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them.

Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982131661
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 12
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit


West Tisbury, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

July 7, 1933

Place of Birth:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


B.A., Yale University, 1955

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
One of the finest books I have read in twenty years. The author captures the essential heart, mind, and spirit of the rugged and courageous men and women who sacrificed comfort and pleasures to take on unimaginable challenges--sickness and death, threats from dishonest and savage Indians, and harsh physical conditions overall to colonize the Northwest Territory and impress upon it the values and ideals of the American people. Inspiring, revelatory, and brimming with hope, this book ought to be taught in every public school in the US.
Anonymous 2 days ago
The book was well written, compelling. The only problem is that it was basically a book about a couple of families that settled Ohio, part of the original Northwest Territory. Nothing wrong with that, but it certainly was a very small slice of the Pioneer experience. I like the author and have a number of his books, but whoever came up with the title, and the cover must not have read the book. Count me guilty of judging a book by its cover. May I have a refund. Thanks
mfhs8502 12 days ago
I was extremely disappointed. Nothing like the advertisement. More like a social itinerary, no dialogue or the accomplishments at the meeting points . Other than reading famous historial people's names, I learned more from completelely fictitious novels written during this period. I didn't get past book/chapter 1