Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960 - History - 392 pages
4 Reviews
The tragedy of the Donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the American West. In 1846 eighty-seven people -- men, women, and children -- set out for California, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. After struggling across the desert, losing many oxen, and nearly dying of thirst, they reached the very summit of the Sierras, only to be trapped by blinding snow and bitter storms. Many perished; some survived by resorting to cannibalism; all were subjected to unbearable suffering. Incorporating the diaries of the survivors and other contemporary documents, George Stewart wrote the definitive history of that ill-fated band of pioneers; an astonishing account of what human beings may endure and achieve in the final press of circumstance.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

More Donner Party lore. Author George Stewart doesn’t think much of Charles McGlashan and History of the Donner Party, stating McGlashan was not much of a historian and got most of his information ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jen.e.moore - LibraryThing

A history of the Donner Party, originally written in the 1930s and reissued in the 1960s with some new material, including the text of some of the original letters and diaries of the survivors. I read ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1960)

George R. Stewart (1895-1980) taught for more than fifty years at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Pickett's Charge, Earth Abides, and numerous other books of history, biography, and fiction.

Bibliographic information