Download e-book for iPad: Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the by Wallace Stegner

By Wallace Stegner

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Wallace Stegner's interesting examine the outdated American West and the guy who prophetically warned opposed to the risks of settling it

In this booklet Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the prestigious ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the native land of Indian tribes of the yank Southwest. A prophet with out honor who had a profound figuring out of the yankee West, Powell warned some time past of the hazards fiscal exploitation may pose to the West and spent a great deal of his existence overcoming Washington politics in getting his message throughout. in simple terms now, we may possibly realize simply how exact a prophet he was.

"This booklet is going some distance past biography, into the character and soul of the yank West. it really is Stegner at his most sensible, assaying a complete period of our historical past, packing his pages with insights as intelligent as his prose." —Ivan Doig

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Extra resources for Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West

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Atkins lent the boy a quadrant, “which became the constant companion of my walks”, as he used it to measure the height of nearby hills, probably of Exmoor. Another productive encounter, with a man called Birkbeck, made Thomas passionate to study botany. So that he could see plants in detail, he decided to make a microscope following the instructions in Martin’s book. He procured a lathe for turning the requisite optical glass and other materials, which he managed to get hold of with the help of his grandfather and a cooperative clerk working for his father.

Another such prodigy, from the previous generation, was Richard Porson, the classical scholar whose biography Young wrote for the Encyclopaedia Britannica after Porson’s death. ” But Young added a significant rider on the subject of memory, thinking of the fact that Porson, for all his great scholarship in the classics, left nothing to the world that was truly original: It seems to be by a wise and benevolent, though by no means an obvious arrangement of a Creative Providence, that a certain degree of oblivion becomes a most useful instrument in the advancement of human knowledge, enabling us readily to look back on the prominent features only of various objects and occurrences, and to class them and reason upon them, by the help of this involuntary kind of abstraction and generalisation, with incomparably greater facility than we could do, if we retained the whole detail of what had been once but slightly impressed on our minds.

Your mind is not yet strained to any false principles, and he thinks you should be reared and cultivated in the best manner, so as to form your views, to emulate a Bacon or a Newton in the maturity and fullness of time; for he thinks it worth while for a comprehensive mind to be disregardful of any pecuniary emoluments of a profession, if you can but be satisfied with a small competence, and feel your mind prone to and satisfied with enlarged and useful speculations … Have a care, however, that my frankness towards you may not puff you up with vanity, which has been the rock that many others have split on, and I hope you will steer clear from … I had a fever since I last saw you, which has left exceeding weakness in my knees, so that I can hardly walk one hundred yards together, but I must learn to be satisfied in what is past.

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