The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny

Michael Wallis (Author)
Available

Description

"WESTWARD HO! FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA!"

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. With The Best Land Under Heaven, Wallis has penned what critics agree is "destined to become the standard account" (Washington Post) of the notorious saga. Cutting through 160 years of myth-making, the "expert storyteller" (True West) compellingly recounts how the unlikely band of early pioneers met their fate. Interweaving information from hundreds of newly uncovered documents, Wallis illuminates how a combination of greed and recklessness led to one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes. The result is a "fascinating, horrifying, and inspiring" (Oklahoman) examination of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny.

Product Details

Price
$16.95  $15.59
Publisher
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
May 29, 2018
Pages
496
Dimensions
5.5 X 0.9 X 8.1 inches | 0.85 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
ISBN/EAN
9781631494000

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About the Author

Michael Wallis is an award-winning historian of the Old West and author of Route 66: The Mother Road and several other books, and the co-author of Mankiller: A Chief and Her People. He lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Sante Fe, New Mexico.