Journals Higher Education

$74.00

Hardcover

04 February 2008

304 Pages | 15 halftones

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195305029


Also Available As:

Ebook


Bookseller Code (06)

Companion website

Desperate Passage

The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West

Ethan Rarick

Drawing on fresh archaeological evidence, recent research on topics ranging from survival rates to snowfall totals, and heartbreaking letters and diaries made public by descendants a century-and-a-half after the tragedy, Ethan Rarick offers an intimate portrait of the Donner party and their unimaginable ordeal: a mother who must divide her family, a little girl who shines with courage, a devoted wife who refuses to abandon her husband, a man who risks his life merely to keep his word. But Rarick resists both the gruesomely sensationalist accounts of the Donner party as well as later attempts to turn the survivors into archetypal pioneer heroes. "The Donner Party," Rarick writes, "is a story of hard decisions that were neither heroic nor villainous. Often, the emigrants displayed a more realistic and typically human mixture of generosity and selfishness, an alloy born of necessity."

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