The Explorers

The Explorers

Amanda Bellows

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A fascinating new history of America, told through the stories of a diverse cast of ten extraordinary—and often overlooked—adventurers, from Sacagawea to Matthew Henson to Sally Ride, who pushed the boundaries of discovery and determined our national destiny.

"Brilliantly imaginative, beautifully written." David Blight, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

The archetype of the American explorer, a rugged white man, has dominated our popular culture since the late eighteenth century, when Daniel Boone’s autobiography captivated readers with tales of treacherous journeys. But our commonly held ideas about American exploration do not tell the whole story—far from it.

The Explorers rediscovers a diverse group of Americans who went to the western frontier and beyond, traversing the farthest reaches of the globe and even penetrating outer space in their endeavor to find the unknown. Many escaped from lives circumscribed by racism, sexism, poverty, and discrimination as they took on great risk in unfamiliar territory. Born into slavery, James Beckwourth found freedom as a mountain man and became one of the great entrepreneurs of Gold Rush California. Matthew Henson, the son of African American sharecroppers, left rural Maryland behind to seek the North Pole. Women like Harriet Chalmers Adams ascended Peruvian mountains to gain geographic knowledge while Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride shattered glass ceilings by pushing the limits of flight.

In The Explorers, readers will travel across the vast Great Plains and into the heights of the Sierra Nevada mountains; they will traverse the frozen Arctic Ocean and descend into the jungles of South America; they will journey by canoe and horseback, train and dogsled, airplane and space shuttle. Readers will experience the exhilarating history of American exploration alongside the men and women who shared a deep drive to discover the unknown.

Across two centuries and many thousands of miles of terrain, Amanda Bellows offers an ode to our country’s most intrepid adventurers—and reveals the history of America in the process.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780063227408

Number of pages: 384

Format: Hardback

Imprint: William Morrow

English en