After many diversions i finally finished reading a river running west donald worsters full scale biography of john wesley powell this was my follow up to several reads of wallace stegners classic account of powells career beyond the hundredth meridian. In a river running west donald worster one of americas foremost historians of the environment and the west authored a biography of one of the most important men of the late nineteenth century john wesley powell. 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. The genius of donald worsters a river running west is not that it provides a compelling and captivating account of the life of john wesley powell it does but rather that through powell worster tells the story of the settlement of the american west the history of surveying the american west and the professionalization of science in the . Although a river running west represents a remarkable scholarly achievement by a distinguished american historian it inevitably invites comparison with wallace stegners beyond the hundredth meridian john wesley powell and the second opening of the west published in 1954 stegners biography of powell has become a classic of western americana
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