Annotations for Lions of the West : Heroes and Villains of the Westard Expansion
Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the lives of Americans who influenced the development of the Western frontier, including Thomas Jefferson, Kit Carson, and Sam Houston.
New York-based author Morgan writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Here takes a lively re approach to the history of the American west by focusing on a selection of men who had a lion-sized impact (the title is derived from an 1831 play about David Crockett and others called Lion of the West). In separate chapters he profiles Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John Chapman, David Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, Winfield Scott, Kit Carson, Nicholas Trist, and John Quincy Adams. The text is engaging and is supported with a couple dozen maps, a brief chronology of the westward expansion era, a bibliography, and an index. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From Thomas Jefferson's birth in 1743 to the California Gold rush in 1849, America's Manifest destiny comes to life in Robert Morgan's skilled hands. Jefferson, a naturalist and visionary, dreamed that the United States would stretch across the continent from ocean to ocean. The account of how that dream became reality unfolds in the stories of Jefferson and nine other Americans whose adventurous spirits and lust for land pushed the westward boundaries: Andrew Jackson, John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman, David Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, Winfield Scott, Kit Carson, Nicholas Trist, and John Quincy Adams. Their tenacity was matched only by that of their enemies--the Mexican army under Santa Anna at the Alamo, the Comanche and Apache Indians, and the forbidding geography itself.
Known also for his powerful fiction (Gap Creek, The Truest Pleasure, Brave Enemies), Morgan uses his skill at characterization to give life to the personalities of these ten Americans without whom the United States might well have ended at the Arkansas border. Their stories--and those of the nameless thousands who risked their lives to settle on the frontier, displacing thousands of Native Americans--form an extraordinary chapter in American history that led directly to the cataclysm of the Civil War.
With illustrations, portraits, maps, battle plans, appendixes, notes, and time lines, Lions of the West is a richly authoritative biography of America as compelling as a grand novel.