Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

Peter Stark 2014
Read: 2019

My brother Bill from Oregon recommended this book. It’s a great companion to Undaunted Courage which is one of my favorite books of all time. Though not as compelling or as historically rich as Undaunted Courage, this is a great story of 1812-era America and the foresight of John Jacob Astor as he tried to be the first to establish a settlement on the west coast. It’s a story of amazing bravery, foolheartedness, and the awesome beauty and power of the American west. If you liked Undaunted Courage, I highly recommend it. And a bonus is that when you travel through Oregon, you will recognize a lot of the names from this book. I biked through the snow-filled McKinzey pass two years ago, and when I do it next, I will have a new appreciation for the hardship that Mr. McKinzey and others endured. Not a beautiful book, but a solid read.

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