Down the Great Unknown
John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon
By Edward Dolnick
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060955861, 400pp.)
Publication Date: September 2002
0n May 24, 1869, a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon; to adventurers of that era it was a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis -- and as perilous.
The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals, Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.
Edward Dolnick is the author of Down the Great Unknown, The Forgers Spell, and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.
“Written with authority and zeal, this rich narrative is popular history at its best.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Edward Dolnick’s Down the Great Unknown is both good history and a successful adventure yarn.”