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Very Close to Trouble: The Johnny Grant Memoir Hardcover – December 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Washington State Univ Pr; First Edition edition (December 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874221404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874221404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,617,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Grant was 76 when he dictated his memoirs to Clothild Bruneau Grant, the last in his fairly long line of wives. Meikle has ably edited the manuscript down to focus on his life in the 1850s and '60s, when Grant galloped across the western Montana frontier, making a name for himself as an early pioneer and trader. The chapters are no more than a few pages long each, giving readers a memoir that doesn't waste words on flowery description or bog down in introspection. "I hope it may be a warning against the indiscretions of youth, which you will see in this book have been the cause of many failures," wrote Clothild. Grant's eyewitness accounts of frontier life, from a stage overturning to the hanging of highwaymen, the Mormon rising of 1857 and the discovery of gold, give readers an absorbing glimpse into his rough-and-ready times. Grant's voice is distinctive: alternately lively, compassionate, angry and fearful. Grant writes tenderly of the death of one wife: "My little Quarra, when I heard of her death my first thought was the great loss our children sustained. She had been such a good mother. My own loss I realized more and more as time passed." But he is often, perhaps inadvertently, humorous. When Grant writes about Brigham Young, he speaks well of the Mormons, their industrious ways and peaceful city of Salt Lake. "They invited me to join their church. I did not object to having the wives, but I objected to giving the tenth of my horses to the church, so I did not join." Illustrations not seen by PW.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Limey Smokejumper on September 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in Western life at the beginnings of Montana, when it was still Washington Territory, would do well to read this memoir dictated by John Francis Grant to his wife, and thankfully more recently edited by Lyndel Meikle. First hand histories such as these are a true treasure-trove of information, describing daily life among the various creeds of White men, American Indians and Half-breeds at a time when the mass of White Western Movement was set to alter the West forever. There is a movie in this man's life, and those of his friends in what is now Deer Lodge, for it is a remarkable memoir, written simply without hyperbole. If I ever wished to meet one early Montanan, it would be someone like Johnny Grant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Fairbanks on October 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
With all the useless books on the market, many on the best sellers list, this is an over looked treasure. The truth of early western history first hand. The hardship of early life in the west and what day to day people did to build a nation. A great read for anyone and lots of information.
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Format: Paperback
Johnny Grant, whose life is interpreted at the Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site in Montana, left us a rare glimpse of rollicking western frontier life in the Rocky Mountains and Snake River country. Grant is a charismatic, colorful storyteller from a Métis (French, Scottish, and American Indian) tradition. His grandfather was a founding partner of the North West Company and his father headed Hudson's Bay Company trading posts. Grant himself trapped a little, helped pioneer the 1850s cattle industry, marries a Shoshoni Indian named Quarra (a descendent of Sacagawea), assists gold miners, races horses with desperados, encounters vigilantes, gets caught in Canada's Louis Riel rebellion, and is a fair hand with a lot of ladies along the way. Lightly footnoted by NPS Ranger Lyndel Meikle, this memoir by Johnny Grant brings the past alive.
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