Jan 12, 2012
In June 1846, General Stephen Watts Kearny rode out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with two thousand soldiers, bound for California. When his expedition ended a year later, the country had doubled in size and now stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Winston Groom recounts the amazing adventure and danger that Kearny and his troops encountered on the trail. Their story intertwines with those of the famous mountain man Kit Carson; Brigham; and the ill-fated Donner party.
Distilling a wealth of letters, journals, and military records, Groom gives us a powerful account that enlivens our understanding of the exciting, if unforgiving, business of country-making.
This is a finely detailed account of one year in the life of the "Wild West". Winston has culled the records from that year and gone through them all with a fine toothed comb to come up with a fully fleshed out history lesson of that time.
This is an honest representation of that year, nothing is made romantic and surrounded by a glowing light. It was a dirty, diseased, life threatening time in US history - but at the same time a grand adventure for people with the will to go forward and discover the unknown.
The writing is somewhat in textbook form, but if you want a good solid history on this particular period - it won't be dry reading.
The fully told story of the Donner party is certainly not dull or dry - rather more on the tragically gruesome side of life.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at email@example.com