Ordeal by Hunger

Overview


The tragedy of the Donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the American West. In 1846 eighty-seven people -- men, women, and children -- set out for California, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. After struggling across the desert, losing many oxen, and nearly dying of thirst, they reached the very summit of the Sierras, only to be trapped by blinding snow and bitter storms. Many perished; some survived by resorting to cannibalism; all were subjected to unbearable suffering. ...
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Overview


The tragedy of the Donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the American West. In 1846 eighty-seven people -- men, women, and children -- set out for California, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. After struggling across the desert, losing many oxen, and nearly dying of thirst, they reached the very summit of the Sierras, only to be trapped by blinding snow and bitter storms. Many perished; some survived by resorting to cannibalism; all were subjected to unbearable suffering. Incorporating the diaries of the survivors and other contemporary documents, George Stewart wrote the definitive history of that ill-fated band of pioneers; an astonishing account of what human beings may endure and achieve in the final press of circumstance.

Hope. Hardship. Cannibalism. Incorporating the diaries of the Donner party survivors and other contemporary documents, Stewart wrote the definitive history of that ill-fated band of pioneers, an astonishing account of what human beings may endure and achieve in the final press of circumstance. "Excellent."--New York Times.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprint of the 1988 edition (which carries a supplement and three accounts by survivors). No new material (in spite of the desperate need for a large scale map of Donner Lake & environs). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780848806361
  • Publisher: Amereon LTD.
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994

Meet the Author


George R. Stewart (1895-1980) taught for more than fifty years at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Pickett's Charge, Earth Abides, and numerous other books of history, biography, and fiction.
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