As the war rages through the Mohawk Valley, newlyweds Gilbert and Lana Martin must arm themselves with knife and musket and face a powerful alliance of green-coated Tories, British regulars, and the Iroquois. Reprint.
Interesting and well-written novel
By on Jan 17, 2003
This story of the Revolutionary War era settlers in the Mohawk River valley was excellent. Edmonds did considerable historical research and his characters come alive as he tells this tale of the conflict between the Tories who support the King and the farmers who are in favor of the revolt against England. The story focuses on Gil and Lana Martin, two young settlers who work tirelessly to get a farm established in the valley. Their hard work is repeatedly destroyed by the Destructives -- Tory and Indian raiders who burn the farms and crops and slaughter anyone who supports the Revolution. The farmer militias strike back at the Tories and their supporters and strike with equal savagery. As in Bosnia and Kosova, the conflict pits neighbor against neighbor. The novel is about the people of the valley -- both the white settlers and to a lesser degree the Indians -- and their fight to survive in a very hostile environment. I found the story entertaining and I learned quite a bit about the people, the place, and the events that occurred there.
Drums Along the Mohawk-
By An 8th Grader From Michigan on Dec 19, 2001
Drums Along the Mohawk is the story of families in the Mohawk River valley that cope with Indian and British attacks on their homes and families. Many of these people fight for the American cause and are very serious about it. This is a different perspective, the fighting on the frontier. It may be hard to find, but it is worth the effort for a challenging and emotional book. The characters and their jobs, no matter how minor they are, come to life in one of the best books I have read about the American Revolution from a Patriot point-of-view. I would strongly suggest this book for a history or war reader and an advance reader.
Definitely a lesson in history
By Donna From Washington State on Oct 07, 2010
I read this book after having read the other reviews posted below. I was looking for an alternative to Johnny Tremain for my homeschooled 7th grader to read regarding the Revolutionary War era (she had already read JT). This was an excellent book. I simply cannot recommend it highly enough, with just a few cautionary comments. Because the story is about war, there are some truly gory narratives, including two descriptions of torture. Because the story is about men and women, there is reference to sex. Because of the era that is described, there are times when you want to cringe as you read the decidedly un-PC depictions of Native Americans, African Americans and other ethnic groups. One reviewer hated Gilbert Martin; however, I saw him as a flawed man under a great deal of pressure trying to figure out his role as husband, father, provider, farmer, citizen, and, by necessity, militia. His fulfillment of those roles became increasingly more difficult as the years passed and his own hopes and dreams became seemingly out of reach. I saw Lana as the main character, among many memorable ones. Her journey from bride to survivor is one I won't soon forget. I certainly won't look at a peacock feather in the same way. This was not just a non-stop tale of battles. This was a tale of the brave men and women, of whatever ethnicity, fighting to retain their property and freedom while the Revolutionary War raged. The typical historical depiction of the Revolutionary War centers around a few heroic figures. This makes you realize that ordinary people sacrificed everything they had to maintain a border to the north during the war. As I read the book, I looked up the places and people described, and in most cases it was accurate and very interesting. I had never heard of the Mohawk Valley before, since I didn't grow up in the eastern United States. I look forward to having discussions with my daughter as she reads the book. There is a lot of information that will enhance her study of that critical period in our nation's history.
Great book - Great author!
By A Voracious Reader on Sep 14, 2006
I am a history buff who happens to also be a woman. Unlike the woman below, I did not find this book to be offensive; I actually thought Gilbert's attitude toward and treatment of his wife Lana was most likely better than the average man who lived at that time in history. Walter D. Edmonds was an excellent and engaging author; I truly wish there were more like him. He grew up in the Mohawk Valley of New York, the setting of this book, and his knowledge of that area's history cannot be surpassed among people who lived in recent times. I personally thought this book was even better than the Leatherstocking series written by James Fenimore Cooper. I *highly* recommend this book. I liked it even better than the movie, which starred a very young Henry Fonda.
Town of German Flatts
By Southern Peach on Oct 31, 2009
Really have enjoyed this book (and the movie) for over 50 years. Grew up in Herkimer, NY (named after General Nicholas Herkimer) and now live in the Town of German Flatts (spelled German Flats in the movie), where the story is to have taken place. I first read the book as a young child and as a result became a huge history buff. From what I learned in school and over the years, the book is a fairly accurate telling of events that happened. Do know that a lot of Revolutionary War history took place in and around the Mohawk Valley.
An accurate time trip to a pre-Revoultionary War family.
By Lex Heath on Oct 25, 1999
This story, although getting long in the tooth, has enough action, drama, and romance to captivate readers of all ages. It's not simply history, but living history, through characters of amaging complexity & realism. To imagine what life was truly like in Colonial America, I think this book is a "must" read.
Drums Along the Mohawk
By Robert Walker on Nov 30, 2009
Another of those classics that I should have read in high school ,but didn't ! I love historical fiction ,especially from the French and Indian through the Civil War ,and this old favorite did not disappoint . These were hard times for these early settlers of the "west " ,the west being western New York state ! Action enough ,but very descriptive of the day to day struggles of early American settlers . It is a great read !
drums and the new deal
By Richard I. Pervo on Sep 22, 2009
This is one of the Depression era lengthy historical romances. E. does an excellent job portraying the unromantic frontier life during the American Revolution. Like Kenneth Roberts Edmunds was a strong opponent of the new Deal, but, unlike Roberts, he abstains from sermonizing. This is an excellent historical novel.
DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK
By Lynne Greco on Feb 23, 2011
Don't miss this book. I loved every page of this beautifully written story about wartime in colonial america. Talk about braving the wilderness! I had no idea how tough it was for settlers in upstate New York. Great story
I was disappointed
By Laloren on Jul 21, 2002
No, I'm not some high school kid forced to read this for freshman English who hated it on principle. I am middle-aged, usually love the classics, am a history buff, and volunteer at the site of a Revolutionary War hospital. So, when I found this in a used book store, I was looking forward to the read. What I found was the Seinfeld of historical fiction--a book about nothing. Well, of course, ostensibly this is a book about the Revolutionary War as fought in upstate New York--at that time the frontier. The writing is good. The history is accurate and well researched, but I kept expecting something to happen at every turn, and very little did. Instead of actual Indian raids, there were usually warnings of raids, so that the folks got into the fort on time. There they spent long, dreary days doing long dreary things--realistic, probably--but not the kind of thing I couldn't put down. In fact, I put it down often, and for long periods. This is a shame because Edmonds' use of words is quite good, and he did an excellent job whenever he was depicting the relationship between Lana and Gil Martin, a married couple caught up in the events. I wish, in fact, that the author had focused more on their individual story, rather than trying to bring in so many different couples and individuals that they were very diffucult to keep track of, and worse, to care about. I give this four stars for the writing style and the history, but, for me, it was pretty boring.
An easy read that gives a sense of devastation of the ...
By Gordon D Sheret on Mar 07, 2015
An easy read that gives a sense of devastation of the Revolutionary War on the New York frontier. Stalin is supposed to have said that a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic. So when Richard Berleth in "Bloody Mohawk" whites: "Refugees returning to the Mohawk Valley in the period between 1783 and 1784 found hardly a barn or house standing from Fonda to German Flats." he gives us the statistics, Edmonds provides the tragedy. Chronicled are Gilbert & Lanna (Magdelana) Martin, newlyweds, and their lives through the war. Their homestead is in Deerfield, a community consisting of a handful of settlers near the end of white settlement on the Mohawk River. Their isolation invites an early raid that burns the homes and barns and displaces the entire community to a slightly more secure fort down river. History tends to teach the Revolutionary War as a series of strategic events, however on the frontier the guerilla war was a constant struggle, often fought between former neighbors. Although the Martins and their neighbors are fictional the events closely follow history as do the names, and personalities of leaders. If you are interested in the history of this period I don't think you will be disappointed.
The author has done an excellent job of bring the historical characters to life - ...
By Betty on Mar 23, 2015
This is an outstanding book based on historical accounts around the Revolutionary War's battles for the upper Mohawk Valley (now New York State). This includes the Battle of Oriskany which was probably the bloodiest battle of the war. The author has done an excellent job of bring the historical characters to life - in explaining how they lived, their struggles and their battle to stay alive in a hostile environment. I wish this book was required reading for our teenagers in NYS so they would know more about the history of their state. BTW - the book came long before the movie.