John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

Audiobook CD - 2014 | Unabridged
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Six years after Lewis and Clark's began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment's leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. Peter Stark recreates this pivotal moment in American history for the first time for modern readers, drawing on original source material to tell the amazing true story of the Astor Expedition.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Audio, [2014]
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062340139
Branch Call Number: COMPACT DISC 979.5 STARK
Characteristics: 9 audio discs (11 hr.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in
audio file,CD audio
Additional Contributors: Kramer, Michael (Narrator)


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Apr 29, 2018

I can’t recommend this book.

This is the type of book I should love, but instead, I kept increasing the speed, hoping a faster talking pace/speed would keep me interested. Since I really dig Oregon/Pacific NW history, I just didn’t want to give up. I ended up listening at 2.1 speed....outrageously fast.

I guess since the author is a historian and NOT a story teller... it’s just dry. There’s too many one dimensional characters, too many facts, when I want interesting story telling.

May 29, 2016

This is an excellent historical account of the first American attempt to colonize the Pacific Northwest, by linking an overland passage to a ship's voyage around South America. Final resting place is now Astoria, Oregon, which turned out not to be a great place to build John Jacob Astor's colony.
The sacrifices in human life are hard to believe in today's view.
I enjoyed the audio version but borrowed the ebook to complete my understanding of this story after I finished listening.

Jan 31, 2015

First off: I did not like the reader - he did not keep the same pace, much of it was too fast. Based on journals of the men involved in this perilous voyage of exploration. IMO it surpasses the account of Lewis & Clark (PBS series excellent.) Many times I thought this can't be fact, as the events seemed so drastic. Powerful account!!

Jul 29, 2014

An excellent treatment about American businessman J. J. Astor's attempt -- in the early 1800's -- to monetize the Lewis and Clark expedition. Astor believed the key to a very profitable world-wide trading business lay in the Pacific Northwest. The idea was to send boats in a big loop around the world, from NYC to Oregon loaded with items native Americans need; trade that for sea otter furs; trade the furs for porcelain and Chinese artwork in Shanghai; sell the Chinese items in London, and bring the proceeds home to NYC. Astor envisioned a big cash cow each time the loop was completed. The only missing link -- this was in 1810 -- was the lack of a fur trading outpost in Oregon. So Astor took a two prong approach, sending a boat around the tip of South America, and sending an overland party. Let's just say it was a good idea in principle, in practice, not so much. The biggest problem was the leadership styles of the boat and overland captains. The sea captain was the "do it my way or else" kind; the overland captain was an "avoid confrontations" kind of guy. What was needed on both fronts was something in the middle. If Astor had found better leaders, we'd be able to drive from San Francisco to Anchorage Alaska and never leave the USA. But it was not to be. A modern treatment of an American story well known in the 1800's by most everyone then, but now, mostly forgotten. Suspenseful drama on the high seas and on land. Recommended.


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