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The Resource The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis

The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis

Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Title
The best land under heaven
Title remainder
the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Statement of responsibility
Michael Wallis
Title variation
Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
  • An account of the 1846 Donner-Reed expedition reveals the true events surrounding the tragedy, profiling the adventurous characters who shaped the group and how various interpersonal factors led to their harrowing experiences
  • "In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. Now, celebrated historian Michael Wallis--beloved for his myth-busting portraits of legendary American figures--continues his life's work of parsing fact from fiction to tell the true story of one of the most embroidered sagas in Western history. Wallis begins the story in 1846, a momentous "year of decision" for the nation, when incredible territorial strides were being made in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Against this dramatic backdrop, an unlikely band of travelers appeared, stratified in age, wealth, education and ethnicity. At the forefront were the Donners: brothers George and Jacob, true sons of the soil determined to tame the wild land of California; and the Reeds, headed by adventurous, business-savvy patriarch James. In total, the Donner-Reed group would reach 87 men, women, and children, and though personal motives varied--bachelors thirsting for adventure, parents wanting greater futures for their children--everyone was linked by the same unwavering belief that California was theirs for the taking. Skeptical of previous accounts of how the group ended up in peril, Wallis has spent years retracing its ill-fated journey, uncovering hundreds of new documents that illuminate how a combination of greed, backbiting, and recklessness led the group to become hopelessly snowbound at the infamous Donner Pass in present-day California. Climaxing with the grim stories of how the party's paltry rations soon gave way to unimaginable hunger, Wallis not only details the cannibalism that has in perpetuity haunted their legacy but also the heroic rescue parties that managed to reach the stranded, only to discover that just 48 had survived the ordeal. An unflinching and historically invaluable account of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny, The Best Land Under Heaven offers a brilliant, revisionist examination of one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes."--Jacket
Biography type
contains biographical information
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1945-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Wallis, Michael
Dewey number
978/.02
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
F868.N5
LC item number
W36 2017
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Donner Party
  • Pioneers
  • Pioneers
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Donner Party
  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Pioneers
  • Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
  • California
  • United States
  • United States, West
Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xx, 455 pages
Isbn
9780871407696
Lccn
2017012937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • ocn978252186
  • (OCoLC)978252186
Label
The best land under heaven : the Donner Party in the age of Manifest Destiny, Michael Wallis
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xx, 455 pages
Isbn
9780871407696
Lccn
2017012937
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • ocn978252186
  • (OCoLC)978252186

Library Locations

    • Joe A. Guerra, Laredo Public Library – MainBorrow it
      1120 E. Calton Road, Laredo, TX, 78041, US
      27.5416154 -99.4826071
    • Sophie Christen McKendrick, Francisco Ochoa, and Fernando A Salinas Branch LibraryBorrow it
      1920 Palo Blanco Street, Laredo, TX, 78046, US
      27.4728528 -99.475246
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