Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier Paperback – February 10, 2015
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Drawing on original source material, this gripping true story, filled with high adventure and incredible hardship, documents the three-year expedition, from 1810 to 1813, to establish Fort Astoria, a trading post on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. 75,000 first printing.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In many ways, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, however arduous, was an example of a trip where almost everything went right. There was only one fatality, from illness. Conflict with the Indians was minimal. They never drifted terribly far off course. The Astoria Expedition, on the other hand, is an example where just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong, for both the sea-faring party and the cross-country trekkers. Internal conflict, an ambiguous chain of command, poor decision-making or a lack thereof, faulty wilderness survival skills, undiplomatic relations with the Native population, the outbreak of the War of 1812, and more all added up to a mission impossible with a high body count. Although Lewis and Clark’s crew suffered from hunger and privation, their troubles pale in comparison to the perils encountered by the Astorians. Stark does a good job of bringing these hardships to vivid reality, but he’s always a little too ready to shift focus back to Astor in his cozy Manhattan brownstone and praise the fur baron’s vision of global domination. Stark strikes a pretty good balance between happenings on the East and West coasts, but I would have preferred a little more of the microhistory of the travelers and their survival tales, and a little less of the relentless affirmation of Astor’s importance as a pioneer of globalization.
Though several members of the Astorian land and sea parties kept diaries of the journey, there seems to be a lot less information available on this expedition than that of Lewis and Clark. Stark is forced to skip over periods of time or to resort to filling in blank spots with speculation. All historians do this to some extent, but one wishes there were a greater pool of primary source material from which to draw. Documentation was one of the primary missions of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as it had specific scientific, geographic, and diplomatic mandates to fulfill. The Astoria Expedition, on the other hand, was largely a commercial venture, and its members were primarily focused not on exploration or diplomacy but simply on the getting there. In terms of an adventure story, the Astoria trip may be the grittier and more treacherous quest, but it lacks some of the epic grandeur and Enlightenment spirit of its predecessor.
Stark’s book is an illuminating reinvestigation and compelling retelling of this important episode in America history. It’s also just a great wilderness adventure story. Anyone interested in Western expansion or the early exploration of the American continent will certainly find it an enjoyable read.
When reading of the adventures of both parties that were selected to tame the west coast of Washington State and establish a trading post in “Astoria” was an adventure unto itself. We have no concept today of just how courageous were the individuals who took the land route as well as the individuals who sailed around Cape Horn to ensure one of the parties would reach the destination.
A great read from an historical point as well as a bold reminder of just how much we today owe to those who opened up the west coast for development. My only disappointment with the Kindle version of this book was the complete inability to read and study the maps that were included in the book. Not being able to see the route taken was a strong detriment to the overall story I believe. If you are going to buy this book make sure it is a hard copy, not a Kindle version. Kindle needs to work on the maps to make it easier to view.
In the hands of author Peter Stark, this tale is exciting with a cast of characters and events that while interesting in their own right, are fascinating through the words of a good story teller.