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This is the saga of the men and women who opened up the Oregon country and California to mass settlement, changing the country forever. Drawing from letters, diaries, and both published and unpublished memoirs, historian Michael Golay brings to life the traders, trappers, explorers, missionaries, and settlers who withstood seemingly insurmountable odds to seize a Pacific Empire for their nation. He explores the consequences of westward expansion, chronicling the transformational power–both creative and destructive–of American energy and ideals. Anyone who was engrossed by Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage will find this fast–paced tale of exploration and adventure just as compelling–a colorful chronicle of determined characters, moral ambiguities, and the clash of Native American and European cultures.