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The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons [Anglais] [Broché]

John Wesley Powell

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The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons By John Wesley Powell

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  31 commentaires
36 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bears comparison with Lewis and Clark 12 août 2000
Par Michael Green - Publié sur
Even if you are illiterate, the drawings in this book are frequently incredible. While true, that the drawings don't always fit with the adjacent text, this will neither lessen the impact of the journal nor irritate the enjoyment of its descriptions. Like Lewis and Clark, Powell suffered great hardships on the way, going so far along known courses, and then emerging into the great unknown. His account of his last ten critical days on the Colorado River is compelling, his descriptions of the Grand Canyon and other canyons are frequently better than the illustrious drawings, and his geographic and geologic explanations of the basin's creation help shape a broader view of one of America's most visited places.
I highly recommend this as a reference book, a history book of the area, an adventure story, and an art portfolio.
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Exploration of the Last Unmapped Part of Continental U.S. 30 janvier 2002
Par "bcj222" - Publié sur
On May 24, 1869, Major John W. Powell, a one-armed veteran of the Civil War, along with nine others (geologists, geographers, scouts and adventurers), set out from Green River, Wyoming to explore the last great unmapped and unknown portion of the continental U.S. No man had ever descended the Colorado river as it cut its way through 1,000 miles of incredibly rugged badlands. However, Powell and his band of men completed a remarkable journey of exploration through this country.
A passage from Powell's narrative of the expedition, after they had been on the river nearly two months, conveys very well a perspective of the challenge Powell and his men faced, the courage they demonstrated and Powell's matter of fact, but powerful writing style.
"We are now ready to start on our way down the Great Unknown. Our boats, tied to a common stake, chafe each other as they are tossed by the fretful river. They ride high and buoyant, for their loads are lighter than we could desire. We have but a month's rations remaining. The flour has been resifted through the mosquito-net sieve; the spoiled bacon has been dried and the worst of it boiled; the few pounds of dried apples have been spread in the sun and reshrunken to their normal bulk. The sugar has all melted and gone on its way down the river. But we have a large sack of coffee. The lightening of the boats has this advantage--they will ride the waves better; and we shall have but little to carry when we make a portage. We are three quarters of a mile in the depths of the earth and the great river shrinks into insignificance as it dashes its angry waves against the walls and cliffs that rise to the world above. The waves are but puny ripples. We are but pigmies, running up and down among the sands or lost among the boulders. We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not. What rocks beset the channel, we know not. What walls rise over the river, we know not. Ah, well! We may conjecture many things. The men talk as cheerfully as ever. To me, the cheer is somber and the jests ghastly."
This book is a classic tale of exploration and discovery!
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Better than "In Thin Air". 6 novembre 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
One of the most enthralling and astonishing adventure books I've ever read. Powell was an ace geologist, a pretty good naturalist, a fearless explorer, and a very good writer. Add the unexplored waters of the Grand Canyon -- they truly didn't know what they were getting into when they started down the Canyon -- and you have a great book. The illustrations are first-rate as well.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perilous journey into a sublime landscape 25 avril 2006
Par K.S.Ziegler - Publié sur
Anyone who is enthralled by the beauty of the Southwest, or as Powell defines it - the Colorado River watershed, should read this book. It's not the same now as it was in his day. For one thing, Glen Canyon, which he named, is now submerged under Lake Powell (could any name be more ironic?). No one today can feel the same kind of wonder and awe as Powell and his companions did as they pushed their boats into the raging rapids of the muddy Colorado without having any idea of what was ahead. Even the part of the Colorado watershed that has not been developed, and there is a considerable extent of land under protective status, today has nothing like the remoteness that Powell experienced. Everything has been mapped and carefully scutinized.

Yet, anyone who has spent some time sizing up the immense water-carved rock canyons, can still feel something of the sublimity that Powell felt. It requires more imagination; it is true, but anyone who is determined to make more of a commitment than just standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon can still experience the really sublime features of this landscape. How much more difficult will it be in the future? Will these wilderness wonders become more degraded?

The book describes by daily journal entries the historic river run of 1868 starting at the Flaming Gorge in Wyoming and ending at the Virgin River as well as a follow-up expedition the next year. Powell does not overdo the apprehensions and hardships of himself and companions, nor does he make mention that he accomplished the physical exertion of climbing the canyon walls and navigating the boats with one arm: but largely confines himself to descriptions of the events and the incredible landforms. The extent of the journey and all the spectacular features that he finds and names is impressive. That Powell's group experienced hardships there can be no doubt.

One of the more interesting parts of the book to me was the way Powell approached the Indian tribe that killed his three companions, who decided to abandon the expedition and hike out of the Canyon. In those frontier days, it was the accepted norm to meet violence with violence. But Powell, I thought here, really showed himself to be an exceptional human being. He had a inquiring mind and a sincere desire to learn everything he could without inflicting retribution.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Cornerstone of Southwestern history 4 décembre 2008
Par Seth Davidson - Publié sur
John Wesley Powell wrote one of the finest dedications that's ever been written when, as a very old man, he penned thanks to the men, dead many years, with whom he'd explored the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Those moving words alone intimate the power and excitement awaiting this epic adventure.

Powell's writing is so factual that you have to strain at the words to get a real sense for the incredible dangers that Powell and his men faced. One crew member abandoned early on, and three who gave up just before the expedition's end were killed before ever getting out of the wilderness. Their deaths have been blamed on Mormons or native Americans. Starvation, drowning, and accidental death of every variety threatened the crew at every step of their three-month odyssey.

This trip down the primeval, untamed, terrible Colorado River and the first ever exploration of the Grand Canyon, all done by a one-armed Civil War veteran, ranks perhaps as the literary starting point for the opening of the Southwest. The etchings in the book and the grandeur of the scenery described by Powell are extraordinary.
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