West Like Lightning
The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express
Paperback ISBN: 0062496786
"A GROUNDBREAKING WORK," hails True West:The #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of American Sniper brings the Pony Express to life in this rich and rollicking new history "One can hear horse hooves pounding across the prairie and sense the fear and courage and excitement." —Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men with colorful names like “Bronco Charlie” and “Sawed-Off Jim” galloped at speed over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just eighteen months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. Jim DeFelice’s brilliantly entertaining West Like Lightning is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life, and legacy into the full context of the American story. The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company—or “Pony Express,” as it came to be known—was part of a plan by William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell to create the next American Express, a transportation and financial juggernaut that already dominated commerce back east. All that stood in their way were almost two thousand miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and harsh, unsettled wilderness. The Pony used a relay system of courageous horseback riders to ferry mail halfway across a continent in just ten days. The challenges the riders faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering thousands of letters at record speed. The service instantly became the most direct means of communication between the eastern United States and its far western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union. Populated with cast of characters including Abraham Lincoln (news of whose electoral victory the Express delivered to California), Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody (who fed the legend of the Express in his Wild West Show), and Mark Twain (who celebrated the riders in Roughing It), West Like Lightning masterfully traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world—west to Sacramento, the capital of California, then booming from the gold rush. Jim DeFelice, who traveled the Pony’s route in his research, plumbs the legends, myths, and surprising truth of the service, exploring its lasting relevance today as a symbol of American enterprise, audacity, and daring.
Autumn of the Black Snake
The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West
Hardcover ISBN: 0374107343
The forgotten story of how the U.S. Army was created to fight a crucial Indian war In 1783, with the signing of the Peace of Paris, the American Revolution was complete. And yet even as the newly independent United States secured peace with Great Britain, it found itself losing an escalating military conflict on its borderlands. The enemy was the indigenous people of the Ohio Valley, who rightly saw the new nation as a threat to their existence. In 1791, years of skirmishes, raids, and quagmires climaxed in the grisly defeat of a motley collection of irregular American militiamen by a brilliantly organized confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians—with nearly one thousand U.S. casualties, the worst defeat the nation would ever suffer at native hands. Americans were shocked, perhaps none more so than their commander in chief, George Washington, who came to a fateful conclusion: the United States needed an army. Autumn of the Black Snake tells how the early republic battled the coalition of Indians that came closer than any adversary, before or since, to halting the nation’s expansion. In evocative and absorbing prose, William Hogeland conjures up the woodland battles and the hardball politics that formed the Legion of the United States, the country’s first true standing army. His memorable portraits of soldiers and leaders on both sides—from the daring war chiefs Blue Jacket and Little Turtle to the doomed Richard Butler and a steely, even ruthless Washington—drive a tale of horrific violence, brilliant strategizing, stupendous blunders, and valorous deeds. This sweeping account, at once exciting and dark, builds to a crescendo as Washington and Alexander Hamilton, at enormous risk, outmaneuver Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other skeptics of standing armies—and Washington appoints General “Mad
Last Rebel of the Civil War
Paperback ISBN: 0375705589
A provocative reassessment of the legendary American outlaw chronicles the life and times of Jesse James, from his youth in a fiercely pro-slavery Missouri, to his teenage years fighting alongside Confederate guerrillas, to his alliance with other ex-Confederates to gain political power, to his criminal career. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian
John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Paperback ISBN: 0140159940
In this book Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life overcoming Washington politics in getting his message across. Only now, we may recognize just how accurate a prophet he was. "This book goes far beyond biography, into the nature and soul of the American West. It is Stegner at his best, assaying an entire era of our history, packing his pages with insights as shrewd as his prose." ?Ivan Doig
Covered Wagon Days
A Journey Across the Plains in the Sixties, and Pioneer Days in the Northwest, from the Private Journals of Albert Jerome Dickso
Paperback ISBN: 0803265824
Albert Jerome Dickson was fourteen years old in 1864 when he left LaCrosse, Wisconsin, in a small caravan of covered wagons headed for Montana Territory. Thousands of emigrants had preceded him on the Oregon Trail, but none ever described the journey in sharper detail. Covered Wagon Days recreates the daily progress of Dickson's party, which included his guardians, Joshua and Rebecca Ridgley. The logistics of such a trip, the sights along a trail marked by ruts and fresh graves, the rigors of camping, the encounters with Indians and returning pilgrims and vigilantes running after road agents—all figure in Dickson's memoir. The payoff for the Ridgleys is not the gold being discovered in the mountains near Virginia City but a fine farm in Gallatin Valley. As vivid as any novel about the Oregon Trail and pioneering in the Northwest, Covered Wagon Days, first published in 1929, is based on journals and materials that were edited by the author's son, Arthur Jerome Dickson.
Billy the Kid
The Endless Ride
Paperback ISBN: 039333063x
Complemented by rare images and period photographs, an evocative re-creation of the life of Billy the Kid journeys behind the sensationalized legend to reveal the real world of the celebrity outlaw, a young man who became one of the most enduring icons of the American West. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
An Illustrated History
Hardcover ISBN: 0316922366
The creators of the landmark public television series The Civil War and Baseball present a lavishly illustrated companion book to the forthcoming series tracing the history of the West. TV tie-in. $300,000 ad/promo. BOMC, History, & QPB Main.