Monday, 3 February 2014

Book Review: Crossing the Plains: Days of '57

By William Audley Maxwell

First, I should note this....it's a free book off Kindle.

It's a pleasant read at roughly a hundred pages.  It's edited and written in a four-star fashion.  It's rich in details, which would provoke interest in the reader of the era and the people who made the cross-country trip.

So, the factual story?  Well....it lays out this effort in 1857 of a wagon train that left Missouri, for Oregon.  Things go as well as you might expect.  There are some tragic elements, and a fairly difficult moment toward the last thirty pages of the book.

I would suggest....if you ever had a curious idea of what'd it take to cross the open plains, and why these people are a bit bolder on the west coast.....you might want to pick up this book and examine the requirements of transiting across the nation...on foot or on a wagon.  I'd take a humble guess that less than one percent of the nation today....would be willing to take such a trip....if they knew of the potential threats along the way.

For a student of history, or curious notion of the old west.....pick up the book and enjoy the ride.

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