"A tale of uplift, with the antislavery settlers embodying a vision of all that was best about American values and American ideals."
– The New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
“David McCullough has become perhaps our best-loved chronicler of America’s past. . . . The Pioneers is the account not just of one Ohio settlement but of myriad such places across America, where innumerable immigrants (as the settlers were known) came to make a fresh start in a strange land. It is a story as resonant today as ever.”
– Gerard Helferich, The Wall Street Journal
“McCullough is among the most thoughtful and thorough historians of the past two generations. . . . [A] great American mind.”
– John S. Gardner, The Guardian
"McCullough is a master of research along with being a wonderful storyteller. He takes the history of the area and turns what could be dry and dull into vibrant and compelling tales. . . . Lovers of history told well know that McCullough is one of the best writers of our past, and his latest will only add to his acclaim."
– Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
"To read The Pioneers is to understand that the settlement of the Northwest Territory was, in some ways, a second phase of the American Revolution – a messy experiment, touched by high ideals and bitter conflicts, that still resonates in ways we’re only beginning to grasp."
– Danny Heitman, Christian Science Monitor
“Like McCullough's other books, The Pioneers succeeds because of the author's strength as a storyteller. The book reads like a novel, with a cast of fascinating characters that the average reader isn't likely to know about. . . . A worthy addition to McCullough's impressive body of work.”
– Michael Schaub, NPR.org
"Readers will immediately recognize that storytelling is one of Mr. McCullough’s great literary strengths. He consistently produces engaging prose about a particular period of time, and makes history come alive."
– Michael Taube, The Washington Times
"A lively history of the Ohio River region in the years between the Revolution and the Civil War. . . . [McCullough's] narrative abounds with well-recognized figures in American history—John Quincy Adams, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Johnny Appleseed—while highlighting lesser-known players. . . . Vintage McCullough and a book that students of American history will find captivating."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In his usual revealing style, McCullough has crafted another dynamic volume of American history. With clarity and incisiveness, he details the experience of a brave and broad-minded band of people who crossed raging rivers, chopped down forests, plowed miles of land, suffered incalculable hardships and braved a lonely frontier to forge a new American ideal. They were indeed the pioneers."
– Dave Kindy, The Providence Journal