Ordeal by Hunger [NOOK Book]

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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Ordeal by Hunger

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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: 9780547525600
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 327,704
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Ordeal by Hunger

    I couldn't put this book down. It was one of the most powerful I have ever read and almost unbelievable. The experience of the Donner Party is one that is impossible for most of us to imagine. There were passages that brought tears to my eyes.

    This book will leave you paralyzed with wonder and with horror. The Donner Party saga may be one of the greatest stories of all time that is both triumphant and terrible.

    The Donner Party was a group of 87 American pioneers who set out in a wagon train headed west for California, only to find themselves trapped by snow in the Sierra Nevada. The subsequent casualties were extremely high, and many of the survivors cannibalized members of the party who had already died.

    I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    And You Thought You Had It Bad...

    This book should be required reading for anyone interested in California history. The details are not pretty, but neither was their journey from Illinois to California. To make it even better, after you've read the book, drive from Reno to Sacramento, and along the way stop at the site of the Donner encampment. Look west (remember there was no interstate highway or even a dirt road back in the late 1840s) and realistically think about what your chances of survival would have been under the conditions they faced.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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