The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 187
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Of the workmanship of the author the trained historian would
not and could not be in doubt even if the author had not in-
cluded the excellent discussion of sources and background books.
For the convenience and challenge of the student and the general
reader these source materials and background books are listed
separately for each of the three parts of the narrative. Of the
author's style both the scholar and the lay reader will say that
it is forceful, that it clearly depicts scenes and incidents, and that
it vividly presents the major and minor characters of the story.
With a powerful pull on the pen the author gives majestic mean-
ing to her materials and savory spice to her style with many
alliterations, of which the following must serve as sufficient ex-
amples-"weapons and words" (p. 14), "Darien, disaster, and
death" (p. 16), "fish and furs" (p. 13), "the salmon, source and
sustainer of life" (p. 188), "its [the Missouri River's] tricks and
traps" (p. 239), and "hunger and hardship" (p. 312).
The major characters are well portrayed, and the tribute paid
by the author to Balboa, namely, "The great secret of Balboa's
success ... was his instinctive generosity with his men" (p. 33),
is deserved also by Mackenzie and by Lewis and Clark. By the
side of the major characters appear certain minor ones whose
roles are indelibly impressed on the reader, who will always
remember Martin Fernandez de Enciso, Francisco Pizarro, Pedra-
rias Davila, Peter Pond, Alexander Mackay, John Ledyard, and
Toussaint Charbonneau and his "Indian squar" Sacajawea.
The closing paragraph, a masterpiece in summation, deserves
quoting. "Three hundred years before [Jefferson's western
dream], Columbus had sailed west to find the East. North Amer-
ica blocked him, and the problem he left behind was the con-
quest of the continental obstacle. Balboa to find gold for his
king, Mackenzie to amass furs for his company, and Lewis and
Clark to secure a highway for their nation's commerce, provided
bridges from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the paths they traced
across North America."
RUDOLPH L. BIESELE
The University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/229/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.