I enjoyed this read by McCullough but not nearly as much as his earlier works. I actually had the honor of hearing Mr. McCullough give a talk on this book at the Hamilton Congregational church in Massachusetts where Reverend Cutler worked two centuries ago. His talk was inspiring as you would expect (one full hour standing at a podium with no notes - at age 85!), but in terms of the book, it just didn't grab me like many of his others. I did enjoy learning about the frontier settlements but I thought there were too many characters and not enough of a central story. Still worth the read though as he is a great writer and there are still great passages worth the time.
I know there was a lot of criticism of this book because it does not address the Native American history of the Ohio frontier outside of a few very short mentions. That is fair criticism, but in my mind, McCullough has never been about a deep dive into academic history, but has been more about telling a story about great men. With that in mind, I don't view this book as a history of the Ohio frontier or the Northwest Territory as much as a story about a number of individuals who went West at the turn of the century 1800.