The Indifferent Stars Above

Author: Daniel Brown
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061348105
Release Date: 2009-04-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A chronicle of the mid-nineteenth-century wagon train tragedy draws on the perspectives of one of its survivors, Sarah Graves, recounting how her new husband and she joined the Donner party on their California-bound journey and encountered violent perils, in an account that also offers insight into the scientific reasons that some died while others survived. 20,000 first printing.

The Indifferent Stars Above LP

Author: Daniel James Brown
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061774737
Release Date: 2009-05-19
Genre: History

In April of 1846, Sarah Graves was twenty-one and in love with a young man who played the violin. But she was torn. Her mother, father, and eight siblings were about to disappear over the western horizon forever, bound for California. Sarah could not bear to see them go out of her life, and so days before the planned departure she married the young man with the violin, and the two of them threw their lot in with the rest of Sarah's family. On April 12, they rolled out of the yard of their homestead in three ox-drawn wagons. Seven months later, after joining a party of emigrants led by George Donner, Sarah and her family arrived at Truckee Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains just as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. After a series of desperate attempts to cross the mountains, the party improvised cabins and slaughtered what remained of their emaciated livestock. By early December they were beginning to starve. Sarah's father, a Vermonter, was the only member of the party familiar with snowshoes. Under his instruction, fifteen sets of snowshoes were hastily constructed from oxbows and rawhide, and on December 15, Sarah and fourteen other relatively young, healthy people set out for California on foot, hoping to get relief for the others. Over the next thirty-two days they endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors. In this gripping narrative, Daniel James Brown takes the reader along on every painful footstep of Sarah's journey. Along the way, he weaves into the story revealing insights garnered from a variety of modern scientific perspectives–psychology, physiology, forensics, and archaeology–producing a tale that is not only spell-binding but richly informative.

The Indifferent Stars Above

Author: Daniel James Brown
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061877254
Release Date: 2009-04-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From the #1 bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat comes an unforgettable epic of family, tragedy, and survival on the American frontier “An ideal pairing of talent and material.… Engrossing.… A deft and ambitious storyteller.” – Mary Roach, New York Times Book Review In April of 1846, twenty-one-year-old Sarah Graves, intent on a better future, set out west from Illinois with her new husband, her parents, and eight siblings. Seven months later, after joining a party of pioneers led by George Donner, they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains as the first heavy snows of the season closed the pass ahead of them. In early December, starving and desperate, Sarah and fourteen others set out for California on snowshoes, and, over the next thirty-two days, endured almost unfathomable hardships and horrors. In this gripping narrative, New York Times bestselling author Daniel James Brown sheds new light on one of the most legendary events in American history. Following every painful footstep of Sarah’s journey with the Donner Party, Brown produces a tale both spellbinding and richly informative.

Desperate Passage

Author: Ethan Rarick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195383317
Release Date: 2009-07-08
Genre: History

Drawing on fresh archeological evidence, recent research on topics ranging from survival rates to snowfall totals, and heartbreaking letters and diaries made public by descendants a century-and-a-half after the tragedy, Ethan Rarick offers an intimate portrait of the Donner party--ninety pioneers who became stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the winter of 1846-47-- and their unimaginable ordeal.

Under a Flaming Sky

Author: Daniel Brown
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781493022014
Release Date: 2016-02-01
Genre: History

On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over 2,000 people. Daniel J. Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in the first and only book on to chronicle the dramatic story that unfolded. Whereas Oregon's famous "Biscuit" fire in 2002 burned 350,000 acres in one week, the Hinckley fire did the same damage in five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, "fire whirls," or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire to knock down buildings and carry flaming debris into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit--the melting point of steel. As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Two trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. The heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back his locomotive out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than 400 people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today. Author Daniel Brown has woven together numerous survivors' stories, historical sources, and interviews with forest fire experts in a gripping narrative that tells the fascinating story of one of North America's most devastating fires and how it changed the nation.

The Best Land Under Heaven The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny

Author: Michael Wallis
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
ISBN: 9780871407702
Release Date: 2017-06-06
Genre: History

Cutting through 160 years of mythmaking, best-selling historian Michael Wallis presents the ultimate cautionary tale of America’s westward expansion. "WESTWARD HO! FOR OREGON AND CALIFORNIA!" In the eerily warm spring of 1846, George Donner placed this advertisement in a local newspaper as he and a restless caravan prepared for what they hoped would be the most rewarding journey of a lifetime. But in eagerly pursuing what would a century later become known as the "American dream," this optimistic-yet-motley crew of emigrants was met with a chilling nightmare; in the following months, their jingoistic excitement would be replaced by desperate cries for help that would fall silent in the deadly snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We know these early pioneers as the Donner Party, a name that has elicited horror since the late 1840s. Now, celebrated historian Michael Wallis—beloved for his myth-busting portraits of legendary American figures—continues his life’s work of parsing fact from fiction to tell the true story of one of the most embroidered sagas in Western history. Wallis begins the story in 1846, a momentous "year of decision" for the nation, when incredible territorial strides were being made in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Against this dramatic backdrop, an unlikely band of travelers appeared, stratified in age, wealth, education and ethnicity. At the forefront were the Donners: brothers George and Jacob, true sons of the soil determined to tame the wild land of California; and the Reeds, headed by adventurous, business-savvy patriarch James. In total, the Donner-Reed group would reach eighty-seven men, women, and children, and though personal motives varied—bachelors thirsting for adventure, parents wanting greater futures for their children—everyone was linked by the same unwavering belief that California was theirs for the taking. Skeptical of previous accounts of how the group ended up in peril, Wallis has spent years retracing its ill-fated journey, uncovering hundreds of new documents that illuminate how a combination of greed, backbiting, and recklessness led the group to become hopelessly snowbound at the infamous Donner Pass in present-day California. Climaxing with the grim stories of how the party’s paltry rations soon gave way to unimaginable hunger, Wallis not only details the cannibalism that has in perpetuity haunted their legacy but also the heroic rescue parties that managed to reach the stranded, only to discover that just forty-eight had survived the ordeal. An unflinching and historically invaluable account of the darkest side of Manifest Destiny, The Best Land Under Heaven offers a brilliant, revisionist examination of one of America's most calamitous and sensationalized catastrophes.

Ordeal by Hunger

Author: George R. Stewart
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547525600
Release Date: 2013-09-30
Genre: History

“Compulsive reading—a wonderful account, both scholarly and gripping, of a horrifying episode in the history of the west.” —Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 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.

The Boys in the Boat

Author: Daniel James Brown
Publisher: Large Print Press
ISBN: 159413779X
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Genre: History

Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower. By the author of Under a Flaming Sky. (sports & recreation). Simultaneous.

To Stay Alive

Author: Skila Brown
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763678111
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Told in riveting, keenly observed poetry, a moving first-person narrative as experienced by a young survivor of the tragic Donner Party of 1846. The journey west by wagon train promises to be long and arduous for nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves and her parents and eight siblings. Yet she is hopeful about their new life in California: freedom from the demands of family, maybe some romance, better opportunities for all. But when winter comes early to the Sierra Nevada and their group gets a late start, the Graves family, traveling alongside the Donner and Reed parties, must endure one of the most harrowing and storied journeys in American history. Amid the pain of loss and the constant threat of death from starvation or cold, Mary Ann s is a narrative, told beautifully in verse, of a girl learning what it means to be part of a family, to make sacrifices for those we love, and above all to persevere."

Alaska

Author: Walter R. Borneman
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 9780061865275
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: History

The history of Alaska is filled with stories of new land and new riches -- and ever present are new people with competing views over how the valuable resources should be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion call of "Gold!"; soldiers battling out a decisive chapter in world war; oil wildcatters looking for a different kind of mineral wealth; and always at the core of these disputes is the question of how the land is to be used and by whom. While some want Alaska to remain static, others are in the vanguard of change. Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land shows that there are no easy answers on either side and that Alaska will always be crossing the next frontier.

The Boys in the Boat Young Readers Adaptation

Author: Daniel James Brown
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698197596
Release Date: 2015-09-08
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

The #1 New York Times bestseller about the Greatest Generation freshly adapted for the next generation. For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler. At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, whose personal quest captures the spirit of his generation—the generation that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism. This deeply emotional yet easily accessible young readers adaptation of the award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller features never-before-seen photographs, highly visual back matter, and an exclusive new introduction. From the Hardcover edition.

40 Chances

Author: Howard G Buffett
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451687866
Release Date: 2013-10-22
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The son of legendary investor Warren Buffet relates how he set out to help nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security through his passion of farming, in forty stories of lessons learned.

Dead Mountain

Author: Donnie Eichar
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781452129563
Release Date: 2013-10-22
Genre: History

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. This New York Times bestseller is a gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter. A fascinating portrait of the young hikers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations, here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.

The perilous journey of the Donner Party

Author: Marian Calabro
Publisher:
ISBN: 0439186897
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Donner Party

Uses materials from letters and diaries written by survivors of the Donner Party to relate the experiences of that ill-fated group as they endured horrific circumstances on their way to California in 1846-47.

Home Is Burning

Author: Dan Marshall
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 9781250068859
Release Date: 2015-10-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2015 For the Marshalls, laughter is the best medicine. Especially when combined with alcohol, pain pills, excessive cursing, sexual escapades, actual medicine, and more alcohol. Meet Dan Marshall. 25, good job, great girlfriend, and living the dream life in sunny Los Angeles without a care in the world. Until his mother calls. And he ignores it, as you usually do when Mom calls. Then she calls again. And again. Dan thought things were going great at home. But it turns out his mom's cancer, which she had battled throughout his childhood with tenacity and a mouth foul enough to make a sailor blush, is back. And to add insult to injury, his loving father has been diagnosed with ALS. Sayonara L.A., Dan is headed home to Salt Lake City, Utah. Never has there been a more reluctant family reunion: His older sister is resentful, having stayed closer to home to bear the brunt of their mother's illness. His younger brother comes to lend a hand, giving up a journalism career and evenings cruising Chicago gay bars. His next younger sister, a sullen teenager, is a rebel with a cause. And his baby sister - through it all - can only think about her beloved dance troop. Dan returns to shouting matches at the dinner table, old flames knocking at the door, and a speech device programmed to help his father communicate that is as crude as the rest of them. But they put their petty differences aside and form Team Terminal, battling their parents' illnesses as best they can, when not otherwise distracted by the chaos that follows them wherever they go. Not even the family cats escape unscathed. As Dan steps into his role as caregiver, wheelchair wrangler, and sibling referee, he watches pieces of his previous life slip away, and comes to realize that the further you stretch the ties that bind, the tighter they hold you together.