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Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon

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Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On May 24, 1869 a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon, to adventurers of that era a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis — and as perilous.

The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals. Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.

Review:

"[N]o other biographer has written as detailed a description of the Green and Colorado Rivers as they were when Powell explored them....Dolnick makes effective use of Powell's beautifully written journals....This is a book about the exploration of two rivers, not why they were explored....Powell fans will find little new....But enthusiasts of exploration literature, lovers of the Grand Canyon and those with a passion for outdoor hardship can find much here to humbel their own adventures." Diana Silver, The New York Times Book Review

Book News Annotation:

John Wesley Powell (1834-1903), a Civil War veteran who had lost an arm at Shiloh, was a geology professor and amateur explorer, with little knowledge of the West. But he was also a natural leader, and in 1869, despite little government support, he set out with a crew of nine men—none of whom had ever run a rapid—on the first expedition to explore the Grand Canyon. Drawing from diaries, journals, and letters of Powell and his crew, Dolnick describes this 99-day, 1,000 mile journey, a tale which makes today's river runners shake their head in disbelief. Dolnick is the former chief science writer at the Boston Globe.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

On May 24, 1869 a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon, to adventurers of that era a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis — and as perilous.

The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals. Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.

About the Author

Edward Dolnick is the former chief science writer at the Boston Globe. He has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and many other publications. He made his first Grand Canyon river trip twenty years ago. He is married and has two children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060196196
Subtitle:
John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon
Author:
Dolnick, Edward
Publisher:
Harper
Location:
New York
Subject:
Discovery and exploration
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
United States - Mountain - Arizona
Subject:
Explorers
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Grand canyon
Subject:
Colorado River.
Subject:
Expeditions & Discoveries
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
52/2001
Publication Date:
20011023
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.58x6.48x1.27 in. 1.55 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » National Parks and Waterways
History and Social Science » Americana » Rivers Lakes Waterways and Mountains
History and Social Science » Americana » Western States

Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon Used Hardcover
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Product details 384 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060196196 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[N]o other biographer has written as detailed a description of the Green and Colorado Rivers as they were when Powell explored them....Dolnick makes effective use of Powell's beautifully written journals....This is a book about the exploration of two rivers, not why they were explored....Powell fans will find little new....But enthusiasts of exploration literature, lovers of the Grand Canyon and those with a passion for outdoor hardship can find much here to humbel their own adventures."
"Synopsis" by , On May 24, 1869 a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon, to adventurers of that era a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis — and as perilous.

The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals. Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.

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