Do not miss this book! It is a very important piece of our Western United States Legacy. It is is not just about John Wesley Powell and his trip down the Colorado River through the might Grand Canyon. (although it is a great read about his adventure and quite a good yarn!) It also ponders the development of the West and some history of it's many explorers and thrillseekers.
If you really want to understand how the West was developed this is a must read.
Stegner was a wonderful writer!
I love Wallace Stegner, but just couldn\'t warm up to this. Maybe because it\'s non-fiction. It\'s about Wesley Powell, a geologist who worked to protect the American West. Hope someone else can enjoy this book.
One of my favorite authors has written a biography/history of John Wesley Powell and the exploration of the Colorado River valley. In the first part of the book, Powell, with only one arm, doggedly pursues his goal of navigating and mapping the river. Stegner includes enough excitement and intrigue to keep you turning the pages. The latter portion concerns the subsequent attempts at settlement, development, and struggles between ranching/mining interests and governmental attempts to limit exploitation of land and settlers. Sadly, politicians haven't changed much over the decades.
Powell had a vision for the west that would have vastly altered its present incarnation, and may have avoided many of the problems that currently plague the area. A good read with lots of history.
I had trouble getting into it, although I've liked Stegner's fiction.