Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike

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9780199768721: Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike
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It was November 1806. The explorers had gone without food for one day, then two. Their leader, not yet thirty, drove on, determined to ascend the great mountain. Waist deep in snow, he reluctantly turned back. But Zebulon Pike had not been defeated. His name remained on the unclimbed peak-and new adventures lay ahead of him and his republic.

In Citizen Explorer, historian Jared Orsi provides the first modern biography of this soldier and explorer, who rivaled contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Born in 1779, Pike joined the army and served in frontier posts in the Ohio River valley before embarking on a series of astonishing expeditions. He sought the headwaters of the Mississippi and later the sources of the Arkansas and Red Rivers, which led him to Pike's Peak and capture by Spanish forces. Along the way, he met Aaron Burr and General James Wilkinson; Auguste and Pierre Couteau, patriarchs of St. Louis's most powerful fur-trading family, who sought to make themselves indispensible to Jefferson's administration; as well as British fur-traders, Native Americans, and officers of the Spanish empire, all of whom resisted the expansion of the United States. Through Pike's life, Orsi examines how American nationalism thinned as it stretched west, from the Jeffersonian idealism on the Atlantic to a practical, materialist sensibility on the frontier. Surveying and gathering data, Pike sought to incorporate these distant territories into the republic, to overlay the west with the American map grid; yet he became increasingly dependent for survival on people who had no attachment to the nation he served. He eventually died in that service, in a victorious battle in the War of 1812.

Written from an environmental perspective, rich in cultural and political context, Citizen Explorer is a state-of-the-art biography of a remarkable man.

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A Look Inside: Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike [Click Images to Enlarge]

Reconstructed soldiers’ barracks as they might have looked ca. 1802. Fort Massac State Park, Illinois. Photo by author.

Fort Mackinac. Built by the British on an island in the strait between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the fort switched to American control after Jay’s treaty. Under both empires it served as a post for controlling the flow of goods, especially furs, on the Great Lakes. Photo by author.

Pikes Peak, from Mt. Rosa summit. Photo by author.

About the Author:


Jared Orsi is Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University. He is the author of the prizing-winning Hazardous Metropolis: Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Today Zebulon Pike's name is immortalized at Pikes Peak, the second most visited mountain in the world after Japan's Mount Fuji. It overlooks the town of Colorado Springs, where historian Jared Orsi teaches. Orsi was inspired to take up this biography not just by geography but also because there has been no modern interpretation of the life of this key explorer in American history. His life sheds considerable life on the early national period and on the Americanfrontier.Born during the Revolution Zebulon, Pike came of age with the nation. Trained as a soldier and stationed at various frontier posts, Pike believed he had struck a bargain with his country: by sacrificing himself physically for the nation, he would be rewarded with the independence to pursue liberty, prosperity, and refinement. He made a name for himself in the early 1800s, when he was chosen to command an expedition to find the source of the Mississippi River and purchase lands from Indians forfuture army posts. He proved himself as an explorer who could conduct missions into the frontier and penetrate Spanish territory, including Santa Fe, the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana. Along the way he was suspected of mischievous plots against the Spanish and for a time taken captive. (Thisparticularly calls attention to the loose attachment Americans had to the new nation the further West one went.) Nonetheless, he advanced within the army and served during the War of 1812, dying during an expedition he led against York (now Toronto).Orsi aims to interpret the life of Pike through several lenses. He casts him as a nationalist, whose life reflects the tensions of the young republic. Through his figure, he is able to convey the growing interest of Americans in the West, which Pike popularized in his travel narratives. He also sees Pike in environmental terms, analyzing his physical encounters with frontier landscapes. This biography, which would be the only one in print on Pike, should have a similar readership as DonaldWorster's A River Running West and books on the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as books on the interaction between Americans and Native peoples on the frontier. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199768721

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Today Zebulon Pike's name is immortalized at Pikes Peak, the second most visited mountain in the world after Japan's Mount Fuji. It overlooks the town of Colorado Springs, where historian Jared Orsi teaches. Orsi was inspired to take up this biography not just by geography but also because there has been no modern interpretation of the life of this key explorer in American history. His life sheds considerable life on the early national period and on the Americanfrontier.Born during the Revolution Zebulon, Pike came of age with the nation. Trained as a soldier and stationed at various frontier posts, Pike believed he had struck a bargain with his country: by sacrificing himself physically for the nation, he would be rewarded with the independence to pursue liberty, prosperity, and refinement. He made a name for himself in the early 1800s, when he was chosen to command an expedition to find the source of the Mississippi River and purchase lands from Indians forfuture army posts. He proved himself as an explorer who could conduct missions into the frontier and penetrate Spanish territory, including Santa Fe, the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana. Along the way he was suspected of mischievous plots against the Spanish and for a time taken captive. (Thisparticularly calls attention to the loose attachment Americans had to the new nation the further West one went.) Nonetheless, he advanced within the army and served during the War of 1812, dying during an expedition he led against York (now Toronto).Orsi aims to interpret the life of Pike through several lenses. He casts him as a nationalist, whose life reflects the tensions of the young republic. Through his figure, he is able to convey the growing interest of Americans in the West, which Pike popularized in his travel narratives. He also sees Pike in environmental terms, analyzing his physical encounters with frontier landscapes. This biography, which would be the only one in print on Pike, should have a similar readership as DonaldWorster's A River Running West and books on the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as books on the interaction between Americans and Native peoples on the frontier. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199768721

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Today Zebulon Pike's name is immortalized at Pikes Peak, the second most visited mountain in the world after Japan's Mount Fuji. It overlooks the town of Colorado Springs, where historian Jared Orsi teaches. Orsi was inspired to take up this biography not just by geography but also because there has been no modern interpretation of the life of this key explorer in American history. His life sheds considerable life on the early national period and on the Americanfrontier.Born during the Revolution Zebulon, Pike came of age with the nation. Trained as a soldier and stationed at various frontier posts, Pike believed he had struck a bargain with his country: by sacrificing himself physically for the nation, he would be rewarded with the independence to pursue liberty, prosperity, and refinement. He made a name for himself in the early 1800s, when he was chosen to command an expedition to find the source of the Mississippi River and purchase lands from Indians forfuture army posts. He proved himself as an explorer who could conduct missions into the frontier and penetrate Spanish territory, including Santa Fe, the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana. Along the way he was suspected of mischievous plots against the Spanish and for a time taken captive. (Thisparticularly calls attention to the loose attachment Americans had to the new nation the further West one went.) Nonetheless, he advanced within the army and served during the War of 1812, dying during an expedition he led against York (now Toronto).Orsi aims to interpret the life of Pike through several lenses. He casts him as a nationalist, whose life reflects the tensions of the young republic. Through his figure, he is able to convey the growing interest of Americans in the West, which Pike popularized in his travel narratives. He also sees Pike in environmental terms, analyzing his physical encounters with frontier landscapes. This biography, which would be the only one in print on Pike, should have a similar readership as DonaldWorster's A River Running West and books on the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as books on the interaction between Americans and Native peoples on the frontier. Seller Inventory # BTE9780199768721

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