Cecil Kuhne tackles one of the West’s great stories in River Master: John Wesley’s Powell’s Legendary Exploration of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. The drama of Powell’s 1869 trek cannot be overstated. No one knew what the Canyon held or what the wild waters of the Colorado would do to the explorers. Every great story needs a great character and this one has Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran who produced vital scientific knowledge. But his brutal leadership nearly incited mutiny.
Kuhne’s telling is smart and beautifully written: “The Powell expedition found itself in an untenable position—surrounded by a dark canyon whose walls heaved their way straight up toward the heavens, and a menacing river whose broad and powerful currents seemed destined to undo them. And all with absolutely no means of retreat.”
—Leo W. Banks, author of Double Wide.