A Shovel of Stars: The Making of the American West, 1800 to the Present

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Simon & Schuster, 1995 - History - 559 pages
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Region by region, through the eyes of the great class of the overlooked, Ted Morgan transforms the bloodless way we have been taught history into gritty human drama. Explorers and fur traders moving beyond the frontier into the Louisiana Purchase territory; Seminoles and runaway slaves in an unlikely coalition to battle the U.S. Army in Florida; mountaineers fighting the British for trapping rights; fortune seekers on the mad California gold rush; Chinese immigrants filling the need for manual labor; men digging mines in the Rockies and laying tracks and telegraph wires across the prairie; prostitutes and outlaws converging on the silver-mine towns of Nevada; cowboys and rustlers driving cattle; the forced removal of the Indians to reservations in Oklahoma; and homesteaders and their sled dogs making their way across Alaska. In A Shovel of Stars, Morgan has captured all the rugged everydayness - the humanity, passion, violence, and unsung heroism - that is the real-life making of America.

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A SHOVEL OF STARS: The Making of the American West 1800 to the Present

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Stuffing a massive subject—in this case, the Anglo-American conquest of North America over the last two centuries—between the covers of a single volume is like teaching a cat to heel: It's a neat ... Read full review

A shovel of stars: the making of the American West, 1800 to the present

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The subtitle for this continuation of the story Morgan began in Wilderness at Dawn (LJ 4/15/93) could be "How the States Were Made," for that is Morgan's focus as he looks at the settlement of each ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ted Morgan is the author of "Maugham" and "FDR"; his latest book is "Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War". He lives in New York.

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