A Man Most Driven: Captain John Smith, Pocahontas and the Founding of America

Author(s): Peter Firstbrook


He fought and beheaded three Turkish adversaries in duels. He was sold into slavery, then murdered his master to escape. He sailed under a pirate flag, was shipwrecked and marched to the gallows to be hanged, only to be reprieved at the eleventh hour. And all this happened before he was thirty years old. This is Captain John Smith's life. Everyone knows the story of Pocahontas, and how in 1607 she saved John Smith. And were it not for Smith's leadership, the Jamestown colony would surely have failed. Yet Smith was a far more ambitious explorer and soldier of fortune than these tales suggest - and a far more ambitious self-promoter, too. With A Man Most Driven, Firstbrook delivers a riveting, enlightening dissection of this myth-making man, England's arrival on the world stage, and the creation of America.


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'Peter Firstbrook's tenacious research for A Man Most Driven convinces me even more that Smith's life was just as incredibly swashbuckling as Smith himself so colorfully but truthfully described.' William M. Kelso, Director of Research and Interpretation at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project 'A lively and vivid new exploration of an extraordinary life.' -- Matthew Parker, author of The Sugar Barons 'A riveting account of the astonishing adventures of one of the true heroes of English and American history. This is a real page-turner and makes history truly come alive.' -- Robert Hutchinson, author of Elizabeth's Spymaster and The Spanish Armada 'Exceptionally well-crafted, engaging' TLS

Peter Firstbrook is author of The Voyage of the Matthew (about the explorer John Cabot), Lost on Everest (about George Mallory), and The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family. He worked for the BBC for twenty-five years as a television producer, director and executive producer, specializing in historical documentaries. He divides his time between London and the Isle of Wight.

General Fields

  • : 9781780747101
  • : Oneworld Publications
  • : Oneworld Publications
  • : June 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Firstbrook
  • : Paperback
  • : 432