Down the Great Unknown tells the story of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 journey of discovery and tragedy through the Grand Canyon. With a small band of brave men, Powell set out to become the first person to navigate America’s largest canyon from top to bottom. but what should have been a triumphant expedition soon turned into disaster as they were hit by flash floods, stranded without food or water, and enduring treacherous conditions. Only half of Powell’s party would make it out alive, their harrowing experience becoming one of history’s great adventure stories.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for anyone who loves adventure, exploring new places and learning about history. It tells the story of John Wesley Powell’s brave attempt to navigate America’s largest canyon, which ended in disaster when they were hit by flash floods and stranded without food or water. Only half of Powell’s party would make it out alive, making this one of history’s great adventure stories.
- Down the Great Unknown tells the story of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 journey of discovery and tragedy through the Grand Canyon, making for an exciting and informative read.
- Edward Dolnick does a great job at bringing to life not only John Wesley Powell himself but also the other members of his expedition party, providing richly detailed descriptions of their personalities and skills.
- The book is well researched, presenting a compelling alternate history version of what could have happened on that fateful trip down the Grand Canyon.
- It is poorly written
- It is dry and boring to read
- There are no pictures
Learn more about the author
Edward Dolnick is an award-winning science journalist and the author of several books, including The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, John Clerk Maxwell, and the Scientific Revolution. He has been a staff writer for the Boston Globe and a contributing editor at Discover magazine.
“Down the Great Unknown is a spellbinding tale of adventure and heroism. Edward Dolnick brings John Wesley Powell’s journey through the Grand Canyon to life in thrilling detail, capturing both the majesty of America’s greatest natural wonders and the courage, intelligence, and endurance of those who dared explore them.”
“In Down the Great Unknown, Dolnick brings Powell and his crew to life in all their determined glory . . . [it’s] an exciting adventure yarn that also provides rich history.”
“Down the Great Unknown is a spellbinding and harrowing account of John Wesley Powell’s 1869 journey down the Grand Canyon. Edward Dolnick brings to life the courage and determination of this small band of explorers as they battled against hunger, thirst, disease, and treacherous weather conditions in their quest to become the first people ever to navigate America’s largest canyon from top to bottom. This is a story that will keep you captivated from beginning to end.”
“This is a nonfiction page turner. Down the Great Unknown takes you on an adventure with John Wesley Powell as he and his team navigate through the Grand Canyon in 1869. The author does an excellent job of bringing to life not only the amazing scenery but also the danger and excitement of this journey. I could not put it down!”