A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - 673 halaman
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If the word hero still belonged in the historian's lexicon, it would certainly be applied to John Wesley Powell. Intrepid explorer, careful scientist, talented writer, and dedicated conservationist, Powell led the expedition that put the Colorado River on American maps and revealed the Grand
Canyon to the world. Now comes the first biography of this towering figure in almost fifty years--a book that captures his life in all its heroism, idealism, and ambivalent, ambiguous humanity.
In A River Running West, Donald Worster, one of our leading Western historians, tells the story of Powell's great adventures and describes his historical significance with compelling clarity and skill. Worster paints a vivid portrait of how this man emerged from the early nineteenth-century world
of immigrants, fervent religion, and rough-and-tumble rural culture, and barely survived the Civil War battle at Shiloh. The heart of Worster's biography is Powell's epic journey down the Colorado in 1869, a tale of harrowing experiences, lethal accidents, and breathtaking discoveries. After years
in the region collecting rocks and fossils and learning to speak the local Native American languages, Powell returned to Washington as an eloquent advocate for the West, one of America's first and most influential conservationists. But in the end, he fell victim to a clique of Western politicians
who pushed for unfettered economic development, relegating the aging explorer to a quiet life of anthropological contemplation.
John Wesley Powell embodied the energy, optimism, and westward impulse of the young United States. A River Running West is a gorgeously written, magisterial account of this great American explorer and environmental pioneer, a true story of undaunted courage in the American West.

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Green River Station 1869
ix
Northern Days
1
A MISSION TO AMERICA
3
RISING ON THE PRAIRIE
37
THE HORNETS NEST OF WAR
85
Canyons of the Colorado
107
WESTWARD THE NATURALIST
109
DOWN THE GREAT UNKNOWN
155
DEMOCRACY ENCOUNTERS THE DESERT
337
Washington DC
381
MYTHS AND MAPS
383
REDEEMING THE EARTH
437
THE PROBLEM OF THE WEST
467
JOURNEYS END
533
Notes
575
Bibliography
611

SURVEYING THE HIGH PLATEAUS
203
KAPURATS
261
THE SUBLIMEST THING ON EARTH
297
Acknowledgments
645
Index
647
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Tentang pengarang (2001)


Donald Worster is Hall Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. His books include The Wealth of Nature, Under Western Skies, and the Bancroft Prize-winning Dust Bowl. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

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