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Description - Seven Trails West by Arthur King Peters

Seven Trails West tells many stories in one; the epic tale of determined men and women (some of them famous trailbreakers, some little known); the lures that attracted these pragmatic dreamers to the West; and the ordeals and disappointments they overcame along the way. Richly illustrated with archival photos, paintings, maps, and documents, this exhilarating book offers the general reader a vivid overview of the western trail network that bound an immature nation together and provided an armature for later development. By turns an inspiring and disturbing account, Seven Trails West explores the virtues and vices, the triumphs and failures of the greatest voluntary mass migration in history. The critical yet still little-known role played by the trails in this migration is vital for understanding how America came to be.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780789206787
ISBN-10: 0789206781
Format: Paperback
(190mm x 252mm x 26mm)
Pages: 252
Imprint: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
Publisher: Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
Publish Date: 23-Nov-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - Seven Trails West by Arthur King Peters

Book Reviews - Seven Trails West by Arthur King Peters

US Kirkus Review » A fine narrative history of the various pathways that allowed Manifest Destiny (in all its dubious incarnations) to become a reality. From 1805 to 1869, from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, a half-million people went west, and the country expanded by some 2,000 miles from the Mississippi to the Pacific. The Lewis and Clark expedition might not have found the Northwest Passage, but it did reinforce American geopolitical claims to the continental landmass, and it gave a hint of the commercial possibilities ripe for exploitation, first among them the fur trade. Explorers, fortune-seekers, but mostly just plain folk seeking a better life followed the trappers, beating their way along such routes as the Santa Fe Trail, 1,000 hot, dry miles through hostile territory (the Pawnee, Kiowa, and Comanche were none too thrilled by the pilgrims' progress); the often brutal Oregon-California Trail; and the Mormon Trail blazed by the Latter-day Saints. Then there were what Peters describes as "trails of a new order that enabled speed of communication and transport": first the Pony Express, then the transcontinental telegraph, a thin thread of wire stretching from New York City to San Francisco. The apex (or nadir, depending on your point of view) was reached with the transcontinental railroad irrevocably linking the country: "From sea to sea, America was now one nation." The railroad was forced down the throats of Native Americans with Sherman's ugly Indian policy: "The more we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed in the next war." Peters's vivid, anecdotal narrative of these routes illustrates how the frontier was shaped by contingency working within the context of explosive cultural processes. To this already admirable drama add superb graphic work - archival photos, maps, contemporary photography, period paintings - and you have an elegant, captivating package. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Books By Arthur King Peters

Seven Trails West by Arthur King Peters
Hardback, January 1996