Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party

Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party

by George R. Stewart
     
 

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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

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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803291713
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
10/01/1986
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

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What People are saying about this

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Ordeal by Hunger is compulsive reading—a wonderful account, both scholarly and gripping, of a horrifying episode in the history of the west.

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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