Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion


Product Details

Algonquin Books
Publish Date
6.09 X 9.02 X 1.42 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Robert Morgan is the author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently Terroir and Dark Energy. He has published twelve volumes of fiction, including Gap Creek, a selection of Oprah's Book Club and a New York Times bestseller. His sequel to Gap Creek, The Road from Gap Creek, received the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is also the author of the nonfiction books Boone: A Biography and Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion.Morgan has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Arts Council and has been awarded the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, he has been inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. Morgan was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina in 1944, and taught at Cornell University from 1971 to 2022.


"Robert Morgan's latest work is a tour de force of historical concision, combining prodigious research and adroit synthesis. The biographer of Daniel Boone and prize-winning novelist and poet sets his sights on creating "a living sense of the westward expansion." -The Boston Globe

"In his fascinating, magnificent Lions of the West, Morgan ... writes with an enviable clarity that makes personalities, issues and events come alive on the page... This authoritative and enlightening book engages the reader from the first page and holds our attention until the last." -BookPage

"Morgan's accounts of these key players make for an intriguing journey westward... Morgan has given us a stimulating and engaging account of how it all came about." -Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Morgan begins his work with Jefferson -- a lover of nature, patron of explorers and dreamer of expansion. Several pages are dedicated to Jefferson's work, Notes on the State of Virginia. "His book is, among other things, a celebration and homage to his birth country," Morgan writes. Though he lacks Jefferson's poetry, the same might be said about Morgan's latest work." -Newark Star-Ledger

"Highly entertaining... A highly readable, often enjoyable, perspective on some of the biggest American luminaries participating, either actively or philosophically, in the settlement of the American West." -Roanoke Times

"Lions of the West is a compelling and insightful history that reads like the talk of a learned companion...Morgan entertains with adventures and details, both high-minded and handy. His largest achievement is something of special note here. In his fiction, poetry, and history, Morgan represents a Scots-Irish/British tradition, and fuses, for all of America, romantic and pragmatic traditions." -Asheville Citizen-Times

"Fans of David McCullough's big best sellers should eat this one up... Morgan knows that the root of history is story, and he has plenty to tell. He gives us wonderful moments: Sam Houston, in Cherokee costume, encountering Alexis de Tocqueville on a steamboat, or Abigail Adams meeting Alexander McGillivray, the half-caste, Charleston-educated chieftain of the Upper Creeks and judging him 'much of a Gentleman.' No novel can do better." -Wilmington Star News

"Robert Morgan should be declared a national treasure, and his latest work, Lions of the West, is bound to become a classic in the study of American westward expansion." -Charlotte News & Observer

"[Morgan's] detailed storytelling is rather poetically fascinating. He reminds us that all figures in history were more than what they accomplished -- that many led the lives of everyday men...I now see the men behind the America I've always known." -Iowa City Press-Citizen

"This valuable addition to the historical record is by a gifted historian and novelist. It fills the gap in a most interesting period of American history. It is a 'can't-put-it-down' kind of history book."
-Southern Pines Pilot

"History as it should be told: through colorful biographical sketches, Morgan presents the unvarnished story of the annexation and settling of the American West." -Shelf Awareness

"Morgan has made the Old West his preserve...[his] sympathetic and thoughtful essay on Kit Carson ruminates on the moral challenges raised by westward expansion. Readers interested in the Old West will be rewarded." -Publishers Weekly

"Morgan has done a good job of cherry-picking the best and the brightest of the bunch... a digestible introduction to American expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the larger-than-life men who led the inexorable charge westward." -Booklist

"A vivid, well-conceived look at western expansion in the old narrative-driven school of Bernard DeVoto and Wallace Stegner." -Kirkus Reviews
"A tour de force of historical concision, combining prodigious research and adroit synthesis."
--The Boston Globe
"Sometimes, superb research can yield memorable chronicling of lives in an economical manner, rather than in a detailed cradle to grave account. That is the case in Morgan's compulsively readable group history."
--The Seattle Times
"Morgan's marriage of history and well-wrought prose is as engrossing as it is edifying."
--The Louisville Courier-Journal
"Morgan's accounts of these key players make for an intriguing journey westward . . . A stimulating and engaging account."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Lions of the West is history at its best."
--The Charleston Post and Courier