Desert Between the Mountains: Mormons, Miners, Padres, Mountain Men, and the Opening of the Great Basin: 1772-1789

Overview

On July 24, 1847, a band of Mormon pioneers descended into the Salt Lake Valley. Having crossed the Great Plains and hauled their wagons over the Rocky Mountains, they believed that their long search for a permanent home had finally come to an end. The valley was an arid and inhospitable place, but to them it was Zion. Within ten years of their arrival, the Mormons had established nineteen communities, extending all the way to San Diego, California - a remarkable feat of colonization and one of the great ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (34) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $34.97   
  • Used (32) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$34.97
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(257)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$50.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

On July 24, 1847, a band of Mormon pioneers descended into the Salt Lake Valley. Having crossed the Great Plains and hauled their wagons over the Rocky Mountains, they believed that their long search for a permanent home had finally come to an end. The valley was an arid and inhospitable place, but to them it was Zion. Within ten years of their arrival, the Mormons had established nineteen communities, extending all the way to San Diego, California - a remarkable feat of colonization and one of the great successes of the westward movement. Desert Between the Mountains is by no means, however, a story of splendid and stoic isolation. Beginning with an explanation of the Great Basin's unique and enigmatic topography, Michael S. Durham delineates the region as a crucible for a complex and exciting narrative history. Tales of nomadic Indian tribes, Spanish ecclesiastics, intrepid fur-trappers, and adventurous early explorers are thoroughly chronicled. Moreover, Durham depicts the Mormon way of life under a constant strain from its interaction with miners, soldiers, mountain men, the Pony Express, railroad builders, federal officials, and an assortment of other so-called Gentiles. Desert Between the Mountains concludes with the joining of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah, in 1869, an event that marked the end of the pioneer era. This is a dramatic, multifaceted, and definitive study of the Great Basin, demonstrating, for the first time, that it is a region unified in its history as well as its geography - that today includes all of Nevada, most of Utah, and parts of five other surrounding states.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The most remarkable thing about this fact-filled history of the early days in the great basin of land that lies between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains in present-day Utah and Nevada is how easy it is to read. Durham, author of several volumes in the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America series, is a skillful researcher with an eye for colorful anecdotes. There are no surprises here, no new interpretations of history. Durham has a good word for just about everyone, and the nearest thing to controversy may be that he disagrees with Washington Irving's low opinion of a frontiersman named Joseph R. Walker. Covered are the early explorers Father Francisco Garces, John Fremont, Kit Carson, among them, but the book hits its strideand its chief topicwith the arrival in 1847 of Brigham Young and the Mormons. The keystone of the volume is a long and admiring account of the Mormon settlement of Utah, and the history then moves on to conclude with the gold-rushers, silver miners, Pony Express riders and the railroads, which brought both the Irish and Chinese to the region. The book ends with the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which Durham sees as the end to the frontier and the Indian way of life, although Indians play a very small role in his story. This is well-written history at its most easygoing. Photos not seen by PW. Sept.
Booknews
"Life" magazine correspondent Michael Durham recounts the story of the Mormon pioneers' search for an area in which to settle, their colonization of the Salt Lake Valley area beginning in 1847, and their various encounters with Spanish ecclesiastics, nomadic Indian tribes, fur trappers, and soldiers, weaving through it all a sense of the Great Basin's unique and enigmatic topography. B&w photographs. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
An adequate, if hackneyed, rehearsal of a century's worth of history in the Great Basin region from Durham (a longtime editor for Life magazine).

Durham's three-part narrative is not so much an original work of scholarship as an impressionistic synthesis of the state's history. This approach inevitably sacrifices depth for breadth. The book's publication is timed to coincide with the sesquicentennial celebration of the Mormon arrival in the region. But Mormons don't even appear until Durham has given us a hundred pages of Spanish explorers, fur-trapping "mountain men," trailblazers like Jedediah Smith, and a reprisal of the ill-fated Donner-Reed party. This history is admittedly important, but Durham breezes through it with little analysis and too many stereotypical characterizations. When he addresses the Mormon experience, he does so with a remarkable and welcome impartiality, but his attempt to address the complexities of Mormon polygamy is unpersuasive, and he offers nothing original except a one-line, unsupported rebuttal of the long-standing tradition that Mormons crossed the frozen Mississippi River on foot. The lack of citations, here and elsewhere, is irritating. But the book has its good points: The best chapter is undoubtedly Durham's recital of the incidents leading up to the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, when a Mormon-led party—feeling persecuted and mobilized for a possible battle with the US army—murdered more than 120 adults and children passing through southern Utah toward California. But just when the story becomes engrossing, Durham abandons it for another trajectory, exploring the opening of Utah via the telegraph, Pony Express, and railroad, and introducing still more strands to an already crowded narrative.

Durham is a fine storyteller, but he wants to tell too many stories. What's more, the lack of original research leaves the book seeming more like a recapitulation than an original or necessary work.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805041613
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)