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A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell

A River Running West The Life of John Wesley Powell 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 Po

  • Title: A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell
  • Author: Donald Worster
  • ISBN: 9780195099911
  • Page: 423
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 alIf 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.

    • A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell BY Donald Worster
      423 Donald Worster
    • thumbnail Title: A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell BY Donald Worster
      Posted by:Donald Worster
      Published :2019-04-20T18:06:01+00:00

    About "Donald Worster"

    1. Donald Worster

      Donald Worster Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell book, this is one of the most wanted Donald Worster author readers around the world.

    723 Comments

    1. Excellent; less hagiographic than Stegner's Powell bioMy comment at the end of my title refers to Wallace Stegner's "Beyond the 100th Meridian." While that is a very good book, it comes close to perpetuating a myth of Saint John Wesley Powell.Compared to Stegner, who may be a point of reference for many readers curious about this book, Worster paints a far more complete picture of Powell, delving much deeper into journals and letters kept by colleagues, underlings, and exploratory co-travlers of [...]



    2. The Grand Canyon has always captured my attention, and the one-armed Civil War veteran who led the first expedition through its depths has always held the place of mythic hero.The problem with reading a biography of this scope, length, and depth is that the hero becomes human, not mythic.Worster’s biography takes us step by step through Powell’s life, from his peripatetic formative years, to his great surveys of the Colorado Plateau. We even endure years and years of his life as an administr [...]


    3. this man and this book blew me away. Powell represents everything that was American what Western exploration in the 19th century. It was a period of unparalleled expectation that our country would be the model for how to rule the world. The western landscape matched that Sensibility. It was wide open. It was rugged. It wasn't untamed.Powell's energy also important for our country. nothing would stop his focus. he saw irrigation and geology as the keys to the new century. And he worked tirelessly [...]


    4. I'm going to call this good for now and treat the rest of it as reference material to be delved into as necessary. This is a well written book that presents a complex man in a well contextualized manner. I especially appreciated the way Worster handles the tension between Powell's religious upbringing and the pressures of an increasingly secularized America, as well as the conflict between American expansionism and the limits of the Western environment, particularly the constraints placed by wat [...]


    5. Aside from being a great chronicle of John Wesley Powell's life and career, this was a great story. Astonishing that less than half the book was devoted to his exploration of the Colorado River (and other rivers). I had no idea what the rest of the book would describe, but I learned about his interest in geology, ethnology, languages, and leadership and management. I also learned about the american government at the time, and how things progress and grow. And I learned about his later life. It s [...]


    6. I have read Powell's account of his two trips down the Grand Canyon,but really did not know the Man. I am Voluntering at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on Lake Powell and decided that now would be a good time to read about "the Major". this was an excellant book(well written) on his life,and what a life he lead. Very little formal education,Civil War Officer (lost his right arm at Shiloh),Explorer of the Grand Canyon(The last unknown and unmaped area in the US)Native American friend & [...]


    7. Okay, I feel like I need some non-fiction once in awhile, and I love biographies. Picked this up, began wading through it as he waded through the Colorado river in 1869. Too much about his life pre 1869, then it went on and on and on, 500+ pages. I figured I could skim after about halfway, just to see how his life continued, so I skimmed, and skimmed and skimmed, then eventually realized I DIDN'T CARE HOW HIS LIFE CONTINUED, so last night, I gave up. Interesting historical exploration, ya da ya [...]


    8. This is a dense book which required three months of reading before I finished it. There were so many people whom Powell influenced and who influenced or antagonized Powell in the years after his first exploration of the Colorado and its canyons and I felt like Worster discussed them all. This is a readable documented biography with a long section of footnotes and resources. It gets four stars because I would recommend it to others. It does not get that fifth star because I would never read it ag [...]


    9. An awful lot of research went into writing this book on Wes Powell. It was a long read (a couple weeks) but well worth it! I knew very little of Powell before reading this book now I feel I know a fair amount about him. He was essentially a self-taught scientist much admired by most of his contemporaries. He was also very driven taking the time and effort to learn the Hopi language (among others). I have yet to read Stegner's book so I can't compare the two but suffice to say the author covers a [...]


    10. it has been a number of years since I've read the book. But what I remember about the book was an excellent description of the period in which Powell emerged. And how it influenced him.The explanation of the indians in the west was informative. The author gave some description of how the east and west are different and how water influences so much in the west.And finally, the development of the usgs.Powell led a fascinating life and Donald Worster did a great job explaining it.


    11. Powell is one of my favorite men of the West, old or new. Worster's biography is the authoritative work on the life of this important 19th century man. It is not as lyrical as Stegner's 1953 bio, but it's more comprehensive and researched more thoroughly. Even so, I like Stegner's book as much as this one--both are excellent reads on Mr. Powell.


    12. The first part, covering Powell's young life, his Civil War heroism, and his fantastic voyages in the West were great. But the balance of the book, and Powell's life, was much less interesting. The author might have been better off not trying to write this long book on the same scale of Powell's long life.


    13. Chapter 5, Down the Great Unknown, what great, suspenseful, humorous, insightful writing. What a trip! You've got to read it, at least this chapter. Worster is a calm type, prone to find paradox and ambiguity. I like his idea of history, strong sense of place, and his light touch with the crazy characters that surrounded this trip down the Green and Colorado Rivers.


    14. Excellent biography about John Wesley Powell who explored the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. He was also heavily involved with the native Americans and their issues and with geology and several other sciences. Some didn't like him. But, he seems to have done a lot for the West. Enjoyable read.


    15. Excellent, thorough piece of research, and enjoyable to read. Contains more coverage of Powell's early years and family history than other biographies. Readers should be aware, however, that Worster hardly gives other explorers due credit, and his personal preferences for understanding the world come through quite obviously in places.


    16. Long but insightful biography of the discoverer of the Grand Canyon, John Wesley Powell. Go into it knowing that Powell is an avowed environmental Marxist (yes, it's a legitimate brand of Marxism), and the narrative will make much more sense.


    17. Long book that took perseverance to finish but very, very interesting to learn about Powell after visiting the Grand Canyon.


    18. This book was recomended by author Dan Flores as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library's "A Reading List For the President Elect: A Western Primer for the Next Administration."


    19. I was disappointed that so much of the book dealt with his role as an administrator in Washington DC. However his approach to land management was interesting.


    20. Not a bad overview of JW Powell's life, but I was hoping for more of the exploration of the Grand Canyon. Also, I am tired of finding typos in books!



    21. I would not call this Worster's greatest work; however, he wrote a magnificent tribute to a man whose contributions to the nation have been largely ignored.


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