Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion by Robert Morgan
Thorough in detail, Lions of the West is a assembled, untold together take on American westward expansion in the very late 18th and early 19th centuries. Morgan carefully weaves together the over-arching themes of the growing nation with the charismatic personalities, character traits (both heroic and flawed), and political machinations of more than nine historical figures. Examples include Daniel Boone, Johnny Appleseed, Thomas Jefferson, and Kit Carson. A lesser known example is Nicholas Trist.
Historians will be rightly proud of Morgan’s scholarship. Non-fiction readers will appreciate the narrative, from New England to the Oregon Trail, and from the Oval Office to Halls of Montezuma. The unique perspective of the life of John Quincy Adams does much to effectively point the direction of fate to the Civil War in 1860.
It takes some time to experience these interwoven accounts of American history, though most will consider those hours a worthy investment.