A Life Wild and Perilous: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific

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Henry Holt and Company, 1997 - History - 392 pages
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Early in the nineteenth century, the mountain men emerged as a small but distinctive group whose knowledge and experience of the Trans-Mississippi West extended the national consciousness to continental dimensions. Though Lewis and Clark blazed a narrow corridor of geographical reality in 1803-1805, the West remained largely terra incognita until trappers and traders such as Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Tom Fitzpatrick, and Jedediah Smith opened paths through the snow-choked mountain wilderness of the American West. Collectively, they came to know every stream, mountain crag, canyon cataract, waterless stretch of plain, refuge of game, and Indian hideout.

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A life wild and perilous: mountain men and the paths to the Pacific

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Utley, former chief historian of the National Park Service, knows his terrain firsthand and admirably captures the exciting adventures of the first white men to explore the Rocky Mountain West. While ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Robert M. Utley, former Chief Historian & Assistant Director of the National Park Service, is the author of many books & articles on the West, "Cavalier in Buckskin", also published by the University of Oklahoma Press, won the 1989 Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Book & was a Book-of-the-Month Club & History Book Club selection. Since his retirement from the federal government, he has devoted himself full time to historical research & writing.

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