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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is a folder which is dedicated to American History and the discussion of the development of America as a country, its trials, tribulations, successes and triumphs and the people who made the dream of a nation a reality.

message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a new book that I hope to read soon covering an interesting aspect of American history; "Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America " by Eric Jay Dolin.

Fur, Fortune, and Empire The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America by Eric Jay Dolin by Eric Jay Dolin
Publishers blurb:
From the best-selling author of Leviathan comes this sweeping narrative of one of America’s most historically rich industries. As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deer skins and “good furs” was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing.

The news of Hudson’s 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent, teeming with untapped natural resources. The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations.

In Fur, Fortune, and Empire, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was “get the furs while they last.” Beavers, sea otters, and buffalos were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read Fur, Fortune, and Empire then is to understand how North America was explored, exploited, and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade. As Dolin demonstrates, fur, both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction, became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West.

This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians; British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America’s China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America’s first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy still resonates today.

Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, Fur, Fortune, and Empire is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today. 16 pages of color and 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations

"Though guns, germs and steel certainly played their parts, Dolin's Fur, Fortune, and Empire leaves little doubt that the trade in pelts 'was a powerful force in shaping the course of American history from the early 1600s through the late 1800s, playing a major role in the settlement and evolution of the colonies, and in the growth of the United States.' Dolin puts forth a compelling and well-annotated tale of greed, slaughter and geopolitics as the Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Swedes, Russians and the American colonists fought for a slice of the profit." - Los Angeles Times

"Who'd think you could write a history of the U.S. centered on three centuries of the trade in furs? Dolin has done so in this spirited tale, although you won't find presidents, treaties, and wars. Instead, the main characters are the Indians, Dutch, French, British, Russians, and Americans who sought wealth and a living in the pelts of fur-bearing animals--beavers especially, but also sea otters, fur seals, and buffalo. Beneath this absorbing story lies the relentless drive (a "lethal wave" in Dolin's words) across the continent. In Dolin's telling, westward expansion wasn't fueled by "manifest destiny" or the thirst for empire but by the chase after animals. People as varied as Peter Stuyvesant, John Jacob Astor, Kit Carson, and the roughhewn "mountain men" play their parts over lands as dispersed as New England and Oregon. By the time animals are driven to near-extinction in the late 19th century, the U.S. is filled in. Neither would have happened without the other. Dolin, author of the acclaimed Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, offers another good history well told." - Publishers Weekly

"Dolin ranks among the historian elite. . . . It's impossible not to be drawn in by the cinematic sweep with which Dolin presents his story, with even the tiniest details accorded entertaining scrutiny. The nature of wampum, the teeth of beavers, the unfortunate introduction of guns and alcohol as barter items, the petty bickering between competing trading camps that all too often escalates into violence - there's wonder in every paragraph. Dolin clearly loves the material he's presenting, and he's excited to share it." - Jeff Guinn (Dallas Morning News)

"Eric Jay Dolin has crafted a stunning companion to his recent history of the American whaling industry, one that situates the sprawling pageant of American history—from the founding of Plymouth Colony to the conquest of the Pacific Northwest and the Great Plains—squarely within the saga of the North American fur trade. Focusing on the three-century chase for wealth in fur, this lively, balanced, and carefully researched account evokes an epic clash of empires from one end of the continent to the other. The book charts the rise and expansion of the American republic on the back of fur-bearing mammals and chronicles, along the way, a rogues’ gallery of astonishingly vivid characters, from Henry Hudson himself and John Jacob Astor, down through Jedediah Smith, Joseph Walker, and Kit Carson. A wonderful and timely rendering of a heedless and bloody minded age." - Ric Burns (documentary filmmaker)

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
That is a great edition to the thread. Thank you.

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) My pleasure Bentley, here is another new release covering a different aspect of American history; "Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War" by A.J. Langguth.

Driven West by A.J. Langguth by A.J. Langguth
Publishers blurb:
After the War of 1812, President Andrew Jackson and his successors led the country to its manifest destiny across the continent. But that expansion unleashed new regional hostilities that led inexorably to Civil War. The earliest victims were the Cherokees and other tribes of the southeast who had lived and prospered for centuries on land that became Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
Jackson, who had first gained fame as an Indian fighter, decreed that the Cherokees be forcibly removed from their rich cotton fields to make way for an exploding white population. His policy set off angry debates in Congress and protests from such celebrated Northern writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson. Southern slave owners saw that defense of the Cherokees as linked to a growing abolitionist movement. They understood that the protests would not end with protecting a few Indian tribes.
Langguth tells the dramatic story of the desperate fate of the Cherokees as they were driven out of Georgia at bayonet point by U.S. Army forces led by General Winfield Scott. At the center of the story are the American statesmen of the day—Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun—and those Cherokee leaders who tried to save their people—Major Ridge, John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, and John Ross.
Driven West presents wrenching firsthand accounts of the forced march across the Mississippi along a path of misery and death that the Cherokees called the Trail of Tears. Survivors reached the distant Oklahoma territory that Jackson had marked out for them, only to find that the bloodiest days of their ordeal still awaited them.
In time, the fierce national collision set off by Jackson’s Indian policy would encompass the Mexican War, the bloody frontier wars over the expansion of slavery, the doctrines of nullification and secession, and, finally, the Civil War itself.
In his masterly narrative of this saga, Langguth captures the idealism and betrayals of headstrong leaders as they steered a raw and vibrant nation in the rush to its destiny.

“A.J. Langguth’s Driven West is American history at its absolute finest. The sad legacy of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal policy is expertly re-examined with literary verve and deep scholarship. Langguth is a master of the narrative history. Highly recommended!” - Douglas Brinkley, (author of The Wilderness Warrior)

“Jack Langguth has adopted a distinctive and hugely satisfying approach in recounting the fate of the Cherokee Indians, crushed by the exuberance of Manifest Destiny in the three decades from Jackson to Lincoln. In weaving the Cherokee story into the broader tapestry of American politics of that time, he renders a dramatic pictorial filled with powerful and sad figures, the clash of cultural impulse, and the force of human tragedy. The story is heart-breaking, as history so often is.” - Robert Merry, (author of A Country of Vast Designs)

message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) This is the next book I will be reading in a few days time which covers an interesting period of American history; "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne by S.C. Gwynne
Publishers blurb:
S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun.
The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.
Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend.
S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.

"The vast, semi-arid grasslands of the southern Great Plains could be dominated by hunters and warriors on horseback. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the Comanches, often referred to as “lords of the Plains,” were the single most powerful military force in the region, to the frustration of both the Mexican and U.S. governments. In this engrossing chronicle, award-winning journalist Gwynne traces the rise of the Comanche people from their roots as primitive bands of hunter-gatherers to their mastery of the horse and emergence as the feared power brokers of the area. At the center of the narrative is the charismatic Quanah Parker, who skillfully navigated the gaps between his traditional culture and the emerging, settled culture of the late-nineteenth century. Quanah was the son of a Comanche warrior and a woman named Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped at the age of nine and chose to stay with the Comanches. Quanah was a brilliant, feared war chief who guided his people in adapting to new realities after their final suppression by the U.S. Calvary. An outstanding addition to western-history collections." - Booklist

"S.G. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon is many things—a thrilling account of the Texas frontier in the nineteenth century, a vivid description of the Comanche nation, a fascinating portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, the mysterious, magnificent Quanah—but most of all it is a ripping good read. Gwynne writes history with a pounding pulse and a beating heart. In Empire of the Summer Moon he’s given us an epic frontier peopled with real men and women, living and dying and hoping and dreaming at the bloody edge of civilization. I couldn’t put it down." - Jake Silverstein, Editor, (Texas Monthly, and author of Nothing Happened and Then It Did)

"Sam Gwynne is a master story-teller and a dogged reporter, and in this book he makes history come to life in a way that everyone -- not just students of the Texas myth -- will find irresistible. I couldn't put it down." - Evan Smith, (CEO and Editor in Chief, The Texas Tribune)

"Man for man, the Comanches were the fiercest and most resourceful warriors in North America, and they held onto their domain with an almost otherworldly tenacity. In this sweeping work, S.C. Gwynne recreates the Comanche's lost world with gusto and style—and without sentimentality. After reading Empire of the Summer Moon, you'll never think about Texas, or the Great Plains, in quite the same way again." - Hampton Sides, (author of Blood and Thunder and Hellhound On His Trail)

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Looks very interesting Aussie Rick.

message 7: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I think it will be a good book, if Hampton Sides recommends it than it should be a pretty good historical account. I quite enjoyed his book; "Blood and Thunder".

Blood and Thunder An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides by Hampton Sides

message 8: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a book I read a few years back covering a tragic episode in American history; "The Children's Blizzard" by David Laskin. I found this book to be a well written and extremely moving account of this terrible tragedy.

The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin by David Laskin
"In 1888, a sudden, violent blizzard swept across the American plains, killing hundreds of people, many of them children on their way home from school. As Laskin (Partisans) writes in this gripping chronicle of meteorological chance and human folly and error, the School Children's Blizzard, as it came to be known, was "a clean, fine blade through the history of the prairie," a turning point in the minds of the most steadfast settlers: by the turn of the 20th century, 60% of pioneer families had left the plains. Laskin shows how portions of Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas, heavily promoted by railroads and speculators, represented "land, freedom, hope" for thousands of impoverished European immigrants—particularly Germans and Scandinavians—who instead found an unpredictable, sometimes brutal environment, a "land they loved but didn't really understand." Their stories of bitter struggle in the blizzard, which Laskin relates via survivors' accounts and a novelistic imagination, are consistently affecting. And Laskin's careful consideration of the inefficiencies of the army's inexpert weather service and his chronicle of the storm's aftermath in the papers (differences in death counts provoked a national "unseemly brawl") add to this rewarding read." - Publishers Weekly

message 9: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Again, here is another book that I really enjoyed, so much so I purchased a copy for my daughter to read after she had watched the movie 'Balto'.

Cruelest Miles, The The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race against an Epidemic by Gay Salisbury by Gay Salisbury
" 'No one understands Alaska. [Officials in Washington] wire me to step over to Nome to look up a little matter, not realizing that it takes me 11 days to get there.' That's the state's governor, Scott Bone, in 1922, three years before the distant, former Gold Rush outpost would need help combating an incipient diphtheria epidemic. As the Salisbury cousins amply demonstrate, upstate Alaska during winter was about as alien and forbidding as the moon-total isolation, endless night, bizarre acoustics, unreliably frozen rivers, and 60-below temperatures eventually causing both body and mind to shut down altogether. Under these circumstances, the 674-mile dogsled journey required to bring Nome the desperately needed serum seemed destined to fail, to put it mildly. The authors rightly frame the undertaking as the last gasp of an ancient technology before the impending arrival of air and road travel. As soon as news of the situation reached the "lower 48," it instantly became headline fodder for weeks. The book demonstrates the remarkable intimacy mushers develop with their lead dogs-only a handful of sled dogs have the character, courage, intelligence and will to be the lead dog. Especially heroic were renowned musher Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog, Balto, who undertook the treacherous and long final leg; the dog is immortalized by a statue in New York City's Central Park. The journey itself occupies the second half of the book; the authors judiciously flesh out the story with fascinating background information about Nome, the Gold Rush, dogsledding and Alaska. This is an elegantly written book, inspiring tremendous respect for the hardy mushers and their canine partners." - Publishers Weekly

message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Terrific adds Aussie Rick

message 11: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Oct 11, 2010 02:30PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) One more great book covering the history of early America; "Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America" by Paul Schneider.

Brutal Journey The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America (John MacRae Books (Hardcover)) by Paul Schneider by Paul Schneider
"Despite his failure to suppress the rebellious Cortés in Mexico, would-be conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez was given another chance by the king of Spain, who awarded him governorship over the entire Gulf Coast of the modern United States. But Narváez's luck was no better this time: the expedition, which arrived in 1528, was a complete disaster. Out of the 400 men who went ashore in Florida, only four made it to Mexico eight years later, long after Narváez himself was lost at sea in a makeshift boat. Schneider (The Adirondacks) has only two firsthand documents to work with, but he ably combines the raw narrative with a wealth of secondary research to create a vivid tale filled with gripping scenes, as when natives lead the starving Spanish forces into a swamp ambush. Though primarily concerned with the Spaniards' experiences, Schneider also provides well-rounded portrayals of the indigenous cultures they came in contact with—among them tribes that came to regard the handful of survivors as magical healers who could raise the dead. The ethnographic balance takes a thrilling adventure and turns it into an engrossing case study of early European colonialism gone epically wrong." - Publishers Weekly

"Schneider presents would-be conquistador Cabeza de Vaca's incredible survival story. The treasurer of an attempted conquest of Florida in 1528, de Vaca was one of four remnants of the disastrous Narvaez expedition and wrote a memoir about his ordeal. Working off that central document, Schneider seamlessly fixes it to contextual sources (archaeology; records of the ensuing de Soto and Coronado expeditions) to render a perceptive sense of the country the fugitive Spaniards traveled through and the Indians they encountered. Under the theme of inverted expectations, Schneider relates the Spaniards' incremental descent from violently self-assured superiority over Indians, to dependence, and, finally, enslavement for the last of the living. That one of them, Esteban, already a slave, helped lead the band to Mexico, and received re-enslavement for his pains, enhances Schneider's excellent development of cultural self-perceptions. Equally able in his dramatizations of the privations and brutalities suffusing this extraordinary tale, Schneider scores big with fans of historical (mis)adventure." - Booklist

On the same subject but not read by me is this title:

A Land So Strange The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked Across America in the Sixteenth Century by Andre Resendez by Andre Resendez
"In 1528, 300 conquistadores embarked on the ambitious mission of colonizing Florida. They all disappeared. Eight years later, a band of Spanish slave-traders were rounding up their fleeing human cargo in northwest Mexico when they espied a group of men who appeared to be natives approaching them. One was white. Just as astonishingly, a companion of his was African. Who were these strange figures? They, and two others, were the last survivors of the lost expedition. Their march across Florida, their voyage on spindly rafts across the Gulf of Mexico, their captivity in Texas and their trek across the southwest to the Pacific coast form the backbone of Reséndez's riveting account of the epic journey. The author, a history professor at the University of California–Davis, tells the tale from the Spanish, African and Indian points of view: Native Americans were just as amazed by the original visitors as the visitors were by them, and Reséndez focuses on how the interlopers remade themselves as medicine men and made sense of social worlds other Europeans could not even begin to fathom. Told from an intriguing and original perspective, Reséndez's narrative is a marvelous addition to the corpus of survival and adventure literature." - Publishers Weekly

"In A Land So Strange, University of California, Davis, history professor Andrés Reséndez relates this improbable tale with dynamic grace (Carolyn See of the Washington Post compares the book to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Moby-Dick). The author combines sound research—including more than 70 pages of footnotes and resources for additional study—with a pulp writer’s eye for the compelling detail. The author’s tale makes sense of La Relación, Cabeza de Vaca’s own account of his ordeal written after his return to Spain. The Dallas Morning News also points out the author’s deft interpretation of the text, which is "written in a literary style peculiar to 16th-century Spain and sensitive to the vagaries of the Inquisition." A must-read for anyone interested in the early history of European exploration in North America—or in real-life adventure, compellingly told." - Bookmarks Magazine

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) As a result of reading and quite enjoying the book "Empire of the Summer Moon" I have ordered a copy of a book taken from bibliography that looks like it will offer a very interesting account of early American history. The book is; "Coronado: Knight of Pueblos and Plains" by Herbert Bolton and first published in 1949.

Coronado Knight Of The Pueblos And Plains by Herbert E. Bolton by Herbert E. Bolton
"In February 1540 the army of more than 230 mounted Spanish gentlemen, 62 foot soldiers, several friars, and nearly 1,000 Indian allies headed north from Compostela. After a long march across northern Mexico and southern Arizona the army reached the Zuñi pueblo of Hawikuh in July. This spot Father de Niza identified as Cíbola, but to the disappointed Spaniards it was only "a little unattractive village" of mud and stone. Although discouraged by the lack of golden cities, Coronado dispatched several small exploring parties. One group marched west to the Colorado River, while another, under Pedro del Tovar, succeeded in reaching the Moqui (Hopi) pueblos north of Zuñi. A third group under García López de Cárdenas pushed northwest to the Grand Canyon. A fourth party under Hernando de Alvarado explored the upper Rio Grande. In the winter of 1540 Coronado moved his army to the Rio Grande and conquered the Tiguex pueblos near present-day Albuquerque.

At the Tiguex villages the Spaniards heard of a rich land called Quivira somewhere to the north. In the spring of 1541 Coronado set out to try to find this fabled kingdom. Marching eastward across the Pecos River, he turned north onto the Llano Estacado, the great grassland plains of North America; but when he arrived at Quivira on the Arkansas River, he discovered only a poor Indian village. Sickened by his failure to find gold and riches, Coronado left three missionaries to convert the Indians of Quivira and returned to Tiguex, where he gathered the remnants of his army and turned homeward. He arrived in Mexico in 1542, a bitter and disappointed man. For the next 2 decades the Spaniards forgot the northern lands and concentrated on developing their Mexican possessions.

In 1544 Coronado faced charges of neglect of duty and cruelty to the Indians and lost the governorship of Nueva Galicia. He returned to Mexico City, where he managed his estates and served as regidor, or member of the city council, until his death."

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne by S.C. Gwynne

message 13: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I have just come across this book by one of my favourite authors; "Manifest Destinies" by Steven Woodworth and I figured it may interest some other readers here at the HBC.

Manifest Destinies by Steven Woodworth by Steven Woodworth
Publisher blurb:
A sweeping history of the 1840s, Manifest Destinies captures the enormous sense of possibility that inspired America’s growth and shows how the acquisition of western territories forced the nation to come to grips with the deep fault line that would bring war in the near future.

Steven E. Woodworth gives us a portrait of America at its most vibrant and expansive. It was a decade in which the nation significantly enlarged its boundaries, taking Texas, New Mexico, California, and the Pacific Northwest; William Henry Harrison ran the first modern populist campaign, focusing on entertaining voters rather than on discussing issues; prospectors headed west to search for gold; Joseph Smith founded a new religion; railroads and telegraph lines connected the country’s disparate populations as never before.

When the 1840s dawned, Americans were feeling optimistic about the future: the population was growing, economic conditions were improving, and peace had reigned for nearly thirty years. A hopeful nation looked to the West, where vast areas of unsettled land seemed to promise prosperity to anyone resourceful enough to take advantage. And yet political tensions roiled below the surface; as the country took on new lands, slavery emerged as an irreconcilable source of disagreement between North and South, and secession reared its head for the first time.

Rich in detail and full of dramatic events and fascinating characters, Manifest Destinies is an absorbing and highly entertaining account of a crucial decade that forged a young nation’s character and destiny.

"The 1840s was a decade of exuberant national growth and consolidation that laid the groundwork for schism and strife, argues this colorful history. Woodworth (Nothing but Victory) presents a vivid, episodic pageant of westward-ho empire building: settlers trekking along the Oregon Trail, Forty-Niners bound for the California gold rush, Mormons battling their way toward the promised land of Utah. Woodworth contrasts this flood of pioneering and settlement with a rickety, sclerotic political party system that papered over the problem of slavery, epitomized by the vapid populist sloganeering--"Tippecanoe, and Tyler too!"--of Whig presidential candidate William Henry Harrison in 1840. The themes collide in the book's centerpiece narrative of the Mexican War, which Woodworth, an accomplished Civil War historian, recounts with panache. The author's thesis--that the issue of slavery in the conquered Mexican territories wrecked a fragile national consensus--isn't original, but he elaborates it well, with entertaining, acid-etched sketches of egotistical politicians (and some random potshots at big government and "cultural elites" that seem cribbed from a Tea Party rally). This is narrative history writ large and vigorously--with foreshadowings of tragedy." - Publishers Weekly

message 14: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I just saw this announcement on C-SPAN-3:

C-SPAN Launches American History TV

Experience American History TV: All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3

message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thanks Bryan, this looks like it will be great and thought the announcement should be in multiple locations.

message 16: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Bentley wrote: "Thanks Bryan, this looks like it will be great and thought the announcement should be in multiple locations."

No problem. It looks like good programming.

message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 06, 2011 05:38PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
One thing that is confusing when folks look at the schedule is that I for example have three CSPAN channels and only one is doing this offering. And for some of the programming they just give a generic description of what the program will be focusing on. The presidential ones look like they are well defined and the descriptor tells you specifics. I wanted to tape some of them but some of the descriptors are too generic. I will tape some of the ones where the write-ups tell me specifically what the program will be.

I watched all of the previews and they are terrific.

Ahhh...your note said CSPAN 3!!!!!

Elizabeth (Alaska) And I think we only get CSPAN and CSPAN2. :-(((

message 19: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a very interesting looking book covering a forgotten period in American history; "American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt" by Daniel Rasmussen.

American Uprising The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt by Daniel Rasmussen by Daniel Rasmussen
"This study of a January 1811 slave uprising and march on New Orleans exhumes the deliberately obscured and "largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States." Historian Rasmussen expands on scarce source material to provide a complex context for a revolt that dwarfed such better-known rebellions as Nat Turner's and Denmark Vesey's, a stealthily organized uprising of 500 armed slaves dressed in military uniforms marching on and trying to conquer New Orleans. The author ties together diverse political, economic, and cultural threads in describing the rise (and brutal suppression) of the "ethnically diverse, politically astute, and highly organized" army, and investigates why this "story more Braveheart than Beloved" was consigned to historical footnote. While the book's ambition occasionally exceeds its grasp, it vividly evokes the atmosphere of New Orleans of the early 19th century and how a recalcitrant, French-rooted Louisiana and some Spanish possessions in the Deep South were incorporated into the expanding American nation though brutal revenge justice and political pressures." - Publishers Weekly

"When Americans think of slave rebellions, Nat Turner and John Brown come to mind, but the largest armed resistance to slavery in U.S. history was commanded by Kook, Quamana, Harry Kenner, and Charles Deslondes. The four led an army of several hundred slaves in 1811 to revolt against plantation masters and to march on New Orleans. Historian Rasmussen details the political climate of the time, including French sugar plantation owners destabilized by efforts of the U.S. government to Americanize the region, threats from nearby Spanish-held territories, and the recent slave revolts in Haiti, 6,000 miles away. The slaves were emboldened by Haiti and aided by a cosmopolitan mix of ethnic groups—Africans, Native Americans, people of mixed race, slaves, and Maroons—who enjoyed fairly free movement around the area. Rasmussen details the history and politics of the region, the revolt itself, and the vengeful reprisals that followed, including efforts to rewrite the history of the revolt. Readers will appreciate not just the historic recollection of the attempt to overcome the oppression of slavery but also the more recent developments that have recovered it from obscurity." - Vanessa Bush (Booklist)

message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Here is a very interesting looking book covering a forgotten period in American history; "American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt" by Daniel Rasmussen.


thanks, A.R., great add. It is these episodes that really solidified the South in holding on to slavery.

message 21: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Bryan, it looks like an interesting book. I've read about this rebellion in some other books but nothing in detail. I might have to consider getting a copy :)

message 22: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Hi Bryan, it looks like an interesting book. I've read about this rebellion in some other books but nothing in detail. I might have to consider getting a copy :)"

me too.

message 23: by Angie (new)

Angie | 8 comments Bryan wrote: "'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Here is a very interesting looking book covering a forgotten period in American history; "American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt" by Daniel Rasm..."

This looks like a very interesting book. This premise also reminds me ofSoul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market Soul by Soul Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market by Walter Johnson by Walter Johnson Walter Johnson. Johnson focuses on the slave market in New Orleans and it really adds to story of slavery in the south.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Angie, good effort with your post with the book and author details and thanks for the information on "Soul by Soul".

Soul by Soul Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market by Walter Johnson by Walter Johnson

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hmmm, I'm tempted by this new release; "The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral - And How It Changed the American West" by Jeff Guinn.

The Last Gunfight The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral--And How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn by Jeff Guinn
On the afternoon of October 26, 1881, in a vacant lot in Tombstone, Arizona, a confrontation between eight armed men erupted in a deadly shootout. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral shaped how future generations came to view the old West. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clantons became the stuff of legends, symbolic of a West populated by good guys in white hats and villains in black ones, and where law enforcement largely consisted of sheriffs and outlaws facing off at high noon on the main streets of dusty, desolate towns where every man packed at least one six-shooter on his hips. It’s colorful stuff—but the truth is even better.

As The Last Gunfight makes clear, the real story of the O.K. Corral and the West is far different from what we’ve been led to believe by countless TV Westerns and Hollywood films. Drawing on new material from private collections—including diaries, letters, and Wyatt Earp’s own hand-drawn sketch of the shootout’s conclusion—as well as documentary research in Tombstone and Arizona archives and dozens of interviews, award-winning author Jeff Guinn gives us a startlingly different and far more fascinating picture of what the West was like, who the Earps and Doc Holliday and their cowboy adversaries really were, what actually happened on that cold day in Tombstone, and why.

The gunfight did not actually occur in the O.K. Corral, and it was in no way a defining battle between frontier forces of good and evil. Combining newfound facts with cinematic storytelling, Guinn depicts an accidental if inevitable clash between competing social, political, and economic forces representing the old West of ruggedly independent ranchers and cowboys and the emerging new West of wealthy mining interests and well-heeled town folk.

With its masterful storytelling, fresh research, and memorable characters—the Earps, cattle rustlers, frontier prostitutes, renegade Apaches, and Tombstone itself, a beguiling hybrid of elegance and decadence—The Last Gunfight is both hugely entertaining and illuminating, and the definitive work on the Wild West’s greatest shootout.

“A gripping revisionist account of the famed 1881 showdown. . . . Exhaustively researched, stylishly written. . . . As grimly compelling as a Greek tragedy.” - Publishers Weekly

“An absorbing, meticulous account of the famous O.K. Corral gunfight as it really happened. . . . Guinn places his complex and nuanced story firmly within the context of the evolving Western frontier. . . . A great story.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Jeff Guinn gives us not only the clashing egos and the mythic gunslingers, but also the larger social forces that converged on a roistering mining town in southeastern Arizona that fateful day in 1881. The result is a kind of anti-Western: The cliches are stripped away, the black hats removed, the ‘rugged individualists’ unmasked, leaving us with real human beings who are swayed and shaped by the forces of history, and trapped in time.” - Hampton Sides, (author of Blood and Thunder)

“Jeff Guinn has come up with a new angle and approach to the events of that bloody day in Tombstone. Without that gunfight, Wyatt Earp would have never become a household name a hundred years later. Guinn delves into the myth and separates it from the facts. A terrific read about the West’s most famous lawman.” - Clive Cussler

“The Last Gunfight is a portrayal of criminality, greed, ambition, rivalry, fidelity, and law enforcement gone awry. Add in the aspects of vengeance, lust, and enduring love, and you have a riveting book every bit as good as, if not better than, Go Down Together, Jeff Guinn's much-lauded book about Bonnie and Clyde.” - Lynn R. Bailey, (Tombstone historian and author of Too Tough to Die)

“Welcome to a new OK Corral. Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight blows away more than a century of smoke and myth to reveal the real men and women who walked the streets of Tombstone. And here’s a new portrait of Wyatt Earp in all his complex glory: ambitious and deadly, lawman and lover. Guinn serves up a fresh and fast-paced account of the gunfight that has never lost its deep hold on the American psyche. Meticulously researched, bold in its conclusions, The Last Gunfight deserves a place of honor among the most memorable accounts of western history.” - Ann Kirschner, (author of Sala’s Gift)

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Bryan Craig This looks good:

Railroaded The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America by Richard White by Richard White

Product info:
The transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new forms of corruption. Their operations rearranged space and time, and remade the landscape of the West. As wheel and rail, car and coal, they opened new worlds of work and ways of life. Their discriminatory rates sparked broad opposition and a new antimonopoly politics.

With characteristic originality, range, and authority, Richard White shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success. 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations

message 27: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited May 30, 2011 01:39PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) That does sound like an interesting book Bryan.

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Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "This is the next book I will be reading in a few days time which covers an interesting period of American history; "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne.

[bookcover:Empire of the Summer Moo..."

I'm currently reading that one, And finding it totally delicious. I'm reading the Kindle version and there are no graphics in it except for one kind of pathetic map at the front. Are there more graphics in the paper version? I can find better maps online and pictures, too, but I was just wondering.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Becky wrote: "'Aussie Rick' wrote: "This is the next book I will be reading in a few days time which covers an interesting period of American history; "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S.C. Gwynne.


Hi Becky, I read the hardback edition and along with the map it has a number of B&W pictures of some of the main characters and places from the story.

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Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Thanks, Rick. I'll just have to go poke around the internet for some maps and photos (or paintings or whatever).

Some books come with gorgeous pictures like The Greater Journey Americans in Paris, 1830-1900 by David McCullough by David McCullough David McCullough. Others, like Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne don't have them. I've had the Kindle app for years (Kindle and iPad) and it's getting better, but still ...

I'll hunt online for them anyway - I'd do that even if there were pictures and maps in the book!

Good thing - source notes are linked wonderfully in the Kindle version - just click on the number.

sorry for the ramble,

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I hope you find some good pictures to go with the story. Since you seem to be enjoying "Empire of the Summer Moon" have you read Hampton Side's book; "Blood and Thunder"?

Empire of the Summer Moon Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne by S.C. Gwynne

Blood and Thunder An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides by Hampton Sides

message 32: by Jill (last edited Jul 12, 2011 05:07PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Here is a book that relates the story of an event that is a part of American history and American myth.
Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell by Evan S. Connell Evan S. Connell
This work has been questioned as to the historic veracity of the account of the Little Bighorn and Custer's Last Stand but I felt it was well researched. The Last Stand, like the Charge of the Light Brigade, has been romanticized over the years and I felt that this book peeled back the layers of myth to reveal Custer, the man. Very readable indeed.

message 33: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Jul 12, 2011 07:51PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Jill wrote: "Here is a book that relates the story of an event that is a part of American history and American myth.
Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell by Evan S. Connell[author:Eva..."

A very good account indeed Jill, good post!

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks, Rick.....I enjoyed the book immensely.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Jill, have you read any of the more recent accounts of Custer and the Little Big Horn?

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) No,I haven' you have any suggestions?

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Ooooh :)

My two recent favourites covering this fascinating subject have been:

The Last Stand Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick by Nathaniel Philbrick

A Terrible Glory Custer and the Little Bighorn - the Last Great Battle of the American West by Jim Donovan by Jim Donovan

You could also try this book but I found it a bit dry compared to the two above:

To Hell With Honor Custer and the Little Big Horn by Larry Sklenar by Larry Sklenar

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Thanks, I will try the first one:

The Last Stand Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick byNathanial Philbrick

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I hope you enjoy it :)

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Just picked up this book in which the author examines four seemingly unrelated events that reflected the change of the nation's attitude from the high of victory in WWI to cynicism

1919 America's Loss of Innocence by Eliot Asinof byEliot Asinof(no photo)

I am only familiar with one of this author's works:

Eight Men Out The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof Eliot Asinof

which is a well written account of the Black Sox Scandal, so I am interested to see how he handles other historical events.

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Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
They both sound terrific Jill. Thank you so much for the adds.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) I just found this book and I enjoy this period of American history so I might end up getting a copy:

DAKOTA DAWN The Decisive First Week of the Sioux Uprising, August 1862 by Gregory Michno by Gregory Michno
In August of 1862, hundreds of Dakota warriors opened without warning a murderous rampage against settlers and soldiers in southern Minnesota. The vortex of the Dakota Uprising along the Minnesota River encompassed thousands of people in what was perhaps the greatest massacre of whites by Indians in American history. To read about the fast paced and unpredictable flood of killing and destruction is to discover heartrending emotion, irony, tragedy, cowardice, and heroism from unexpected quarters. Previous attempts to sort out individual experiences and place the events in a coherent chronological and geographical order have enjoyed little success. Award-winning author Gregory F. Michno's Dakota Dawn: The Decisive First Week of the Sioux Uprising, August 17-24, 1862 offers an essential clarity and vivid portrait that readers will find refreshing and invigorating.

Dakota Dawn focuses in great detail on the first week of the killing spree, a great paroxysm of destruction when the Dakota succeeded, albeit fleetingly, in driving out the white man. During those seven days at least 400 white settlers were killed, the great majority innocent victims slaughtered in the most shocking manner. Nowhere else in the Western United States was there a record of such sustained attacks against a fort (Ridgely) or upon a town (New Ulm). After soldiers put down the uprising, hundreds of Dakotas were captured and put before military tribunals with little or no opportunity to present a fair defense; 38 were hanged on one massive gallows on December 26, 1862.

Michno's research includes select secondary studies and 2,000 pages of primary sources including recollections, original records, diaries, newspaper accounts, and other archival records. One seldomused resource is the Indian Depredation Claim files. After the uprising, settlers filed nearly 3,000 claims for damages in which they itemized losses and set forth their experiences. These priceless documents paint firsthand slices of the life of a frontier people, their cabins, tools, clothes, crops, animals, and cherished possessions. Many of these claims have never been incorporated into a book; Michno's use of them allows him to more fully expound on various episodes and correct previous misconceptions.

"In Dakota Dawn, Gregory F. Michno expertly chronicles one of the bloodiest weeks in American history-the appalling opening days of Minnesota's 1862 Dakota Indian Outbreak. His is a powerful interpretation of immediate horrific tragedy laced with implications for future Indian-white relations throughout the West. Michno's history is always thorough, riveting, and enlightening." - Jerome A. Greene, (author of Beyond Bear's Paw: The Nez Perce Indians in Canada, and Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898)

"This superb new book by today's best Indian Wars historian examines the bloody first week of the conflict that killed more whites and Native Americans than any other in the Western Indian Wars." - Jerry Morelock, Editor, Armchair General

"Greg Michno has immersed himself in the sources documenting the Minnesota Sioux uprising of 1862. This is new terrain for him, but he brings his usual skills in research and narrative presentation to present an outstanding history of this significant event."- Robert M. Utley, (Award-winning author and former Chief Historian for the National Park Service)

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Daniel Domenech | 14 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Here is a new book that I hope to read soon covering an interesting aspect of American history; "Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America " by Eric Jay Dolin.


I think I'll check it out. Lots to read...

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Lars (larsdhhedbor) | 2 comments I'm currently reading this as research for my next novel:

The Year of the Hangman George Washington's Campaign Against the Iroquois by Glenn F. Williams by Glenn F. Williams.

The dissolution of the Iroquois Confederation, after it was splintered by the alliance of some member nations to the British and others to the Colonists, is a fascinating and singular episode in the relationships between Native Americans and the white man. I'm enjoying delving into it!

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Bryan Craig Nice, Lars, thanks for posting. I didn't know Washington led this campaign.

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Daniel Domenech | 14 comments Any suggestions on books that analyze U.S. history from an unofficial point of view?

message 47: by Jill (last edited Oct 09, 2011 05:30PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) You might try this one, Daniel. It is a fresh look at American history and reveals how US textbooks from different eras over the past two hundred years have described the same historical events in completely different ways. It is written for classroom use but it certainly is different!!

Not Written in Stone Learning and Unlearning American History Through 200 Years of Textbooks by Kyle Ward by Kyle Ward(no photo)

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Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Seizing Destiny How America Grew from Sea to Shining Sea by Richard Kluger by Richard Kluger (no photo)

Written by a Pulitzer Prize winner, this book of American expansion does not whitewash the American pioneers...."they were energetic, had fortitude and great faith in their own prowess but on the other hand were grasping opportunists who justified their often brutal aggression by proclaiming themselves the tamers of wild lands and demeaning the humanity of nonwhites." Certainly a different look at the opening up of the country from sea to shining sea.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Sounds interesting Jill.

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'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here are two new books that may interest others who enjoy accounts of America's early history:

Lions of the West Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion by Robert Morgan by Robert Morgan Robert Morgan
From Thomas Jefferson’s birth in 1743 to the California Gold rush in 1849, America’s Manifest destiny comes to life in Robert Morgan’s skilled hands. Jefferson, a naturalist and visionary, dreamed that the United States would stretch across the continent from ocean to ocean. The account of how that dream became reality unfolds in the stories of Jefferson and nine other Americans whose adventurous spirits and lust for land pushed the westward boundaries: Andrew Jackson, John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman, David Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, Winfield Scott, Kit Carson, Nicholas Trist, and John Quincy Adams. Their tenacity was matched only by that of their enemies—the Mexican army under Santa Anna at the Alamo, the Comanche and Apache Indians, and the forbidding geography itself.

Known also for his powerful fiction (Gap Creek, The Truest Pleasure, Brave Enemies), Morgan uses his skill at characterization to give life to the personalities of these ten Americans without whom the United States might well have ended at the Arkansas border. Their stories—and those of the nameless thousands who risked their lives to settle on the frontier, displacing thousands of Native Americans—form an extraordinary chapter in American history that led directly to the cataclysm of the Civil War.

With illustrations, portraits, maps, battle plans, appendixes, notes, and time lines, Lions of the West is a richly authoritative biography of America as compelling as a grand novel.

Kearny's March The Epic Creation of the American West, 1846-1847 by Winston Groom by Winston Groom Winston Groom
In June 1846, General Stephen Watts Kearny rode out of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with two thousand soldiers, bound for California. At the time, the nation was hell-bent on expansion: James K. Polk had lately won the presidency by threatening England over the borders in Oregon, while Congress had just voted, in defiance of the Mexican government, to annex Texas. After Mexico declared war on the United States, Kearny’s Army of the West was sent out, carrying orders to occupy Mexican territory. When his expedition ended a year later, the country had doubled in size and now stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fulfilling what many saw as the nation’s unique destiny—and at the same time setting the stage for the American Civil War.

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 Young and his Mormon followers fleeing persecution and Illinois; and the ill-fated Donner party, trapped in the snow of the Sierra Nevada. Together, they encounter wild Indians, Mexican armies, political intrigue, dangerous wildlife, gold rushes, and land-grabs. Some returned in glory, others in shackles, and some not at all. But these were the people who helped America fulfill her promise.

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.

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