Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America

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Macmillan, May 2, 2006 - History - 366 pages
9 Reviews
A gripping account of four explorers adrift in an unknown land and the harrowing journey that took them across North America 270 years before Lewis and Clark

One part Heart of Darkness, one part Lewis and Clark, Brutal Journey tells the story of a group of explorers who came to the new world on the heels of Cortés; bound for glory, only four of four hundred would survive. Eight years and some five thousand miles later, three Spaniards and a black Moroccan wandered out of the wilderness to the north of the Rio Grande and into Cortes’ gold-drenched Mexico.

The four survivors of the Narváez expedition brought nothing back from their sojourn other than their story, but what a tale it was. They had become killers and cannibals, torturers and torture victims, slavers and enslaved. They became faith healers, arms dealers, canoe thieves, spider eaters, and finally, when there were only the four of them left in the high Texas desert, they became itinerate messiahs. They became, in other words, whatever it took to stay alive long enough to inch their way toward Mexico, the only place where they were certain they would find an outpost of the Spanish empire.

The journey of the Cabeza De Vaca expedition is one of the greatest survival epics in the history of American exploration. By drawing on the accounts of the first explorers and the most recent findings of archaeologists and academic historians, Paul Schneider offers a thrilling and authentic narrative to replace a legend of North American exploration.

  

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Review: Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America

User Review  - Stephanie - Goodreads

This is the book that introduced me to the term cacafuego...love this book Read full review

Review: Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America

User Review  - Dan Bertalan - Goodreads

Anyone who lives or travels north america should red this book. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
A Continent to Call His Own
7
The Company Gathers
22
Across the Ocean Sea
35
Into the Gulf
59
The Requirement
78
In Tocobagas Charnel House
88
Leaving Safety Harbor
102
The Sound of Flutes
127
Into the Gulf Again
166
Pecans and Prickly Pears
241
The Traveling Medicine Show
269
Six Hundred Hearts of Deer
288
Lost in the New World
314
Bibliography
337
Acknowledgments
351

Across the Withlacoochee
116

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About the author (2006)

Paul Schneider, author of the highly praised and successful The Adirondacks (0-8050-5990-3), a New York Times Notable Book, and The Enduring Shore (0-8050-6734-5), lives with his wife and son in Martha's Vineyard and Bradenton, Florida.

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