Synopses & Reviews
In A Wilderness so Immense,
historian Jon Kukla recounts the fascinating tale of the personal maneuverings, political posturing, and international intrigue that culminated in the greatest land deal in history. Spanning nearly two decades, Kuklas book brings to life a pageant of characters from Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Jay, to Napoleon and Carlos III of Spain and other colorful figures.
Employing letters, memoirs, contemporary documents, and a host of other sources, Kukla creates a complete and compelling account of the Louisiana Purchase. From the hinterlands in Kentucky to the courts of Spain, France, and England to the halls of Congress, he re-creates the forces and personalities that turned a struggle for navigation rights on the Mississippi into an event that doubled the size of the country and altered the destiny of the United States forever.
Interweaving the stories of ordinary settlers and imperial decision-makers, Kukla depicts a world of revolutionary intrigue that transformed a small and precarious union into a world power--all without bloodshed and for about four cents an acre.
About the Author
Jon Kukla received his B.A. from Carthage College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has directed historical research and publishing at the Library of Virginia and has been curator and director of the Historic New Orleans Collection. In 2000 he returned to Virginia as director of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation. He lives in Charlotte County, Virginia.