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John Charles Fremont: Character as Destiny

John Charles Fremont: Character as Destiny

by Andrew Rolle

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Renowned explorer, Civil War general, political leader and hero of California's liberation from Mexico in 1846-1847, Fremont (1813-1890) nevertheless remains an enigmatic and controversial figure in U.S. history. Highly intelligent and charismatic, he married Jessie Benton, daughter of powerful senator Thomas Hart Benton, and attained national prominence by the time he was 31. Fremont's early expeditions into the uncharted West inspired mass immigration to this ``Promised Land.'' Yet as Rolle ( The Immigrant Upraised ) points out in this psychologically probing, unflattering biography, character flaws such as womanizing undermined Fremont's achievements. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This biography of Fremont, a figure who was in many ways the apotheosis of Manifest Destiny, fails to capture the essence of ``the Pathfinder.'' One of the principal sources of the book's drama is the incessant battle for primacy between the lively events of Fremont's varied existence and Rolle's rather dry recitation of them. Luckily the events at times prevail, as in the chapters devoted to Fremont's five expeditions and his unwilling run for the presidency on the first Republican ticket in 1856. Ultimately, however, the flat literary style becomes the dominant force in the narrative with the sad result that, de spite Rolle's admirably thorough re search, Fremont appears as a somewhat inconsequential footnote to 19th-century history. This is not recommended.-- Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Historian Rolle skillfully unravels the psychodynamics of Fremont's complex and reckless nature while recounting his career as explorer of the American West, one of California's first two senators, a Civil War general, a developer of mines and railroad lines, the first Republican presidential candidate, and governor of Arizona Territory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.26(w) x 9.27(h) x 1.30(d)

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