Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire

Narrated by: Douglas R Pratt
Length: 20 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The career of John Charles Frémont (1813-90) ties together the full breadth of American expansionism from its 18th-century origins through its culmination in the Gilded Age. Tom Chaffin's biography demonstrates Frémont's vital importance to the history of American empire and illuminates his role in shattering long-held myths about the ecology and habitability of the American West.

As the most celebrated American explorer and mapper of his time, Frémont stood at the center of the vast federal project of Western exploration and conquest. His expeditions between 1838 and 1854 captured the public's imagination, inspired Americans to accept their nation's destiny as a vast continental empire, and earned him his enduring sobriquet, the Pathfinder.

But Frémont was more than an explorer. Chaffin's dramatic narrative includes Frémont's varied experiences as an entrepreneur, abolitionist, Civil War general, husband to the remarkable Jessie Benton Frémont, two-time Republican presidential candidate, and Gilded Age aristocrat.

“Pathfinder is the most eloquent, understanding, and yet very candid biography of Frémont that has appeared to date. A major contribution to American historical writing.” (Howard R. Lamar, Yale University)

“In his mesmerizing biography, Tom Chaffin brings to life not only Frémont but the amazing personalities who populated his world.” (Landon Jones, former managing editor, People magazine)

“In clear and vivid language, Tom Chaffin's Pathfinder re-creates the life of John C. Frémont...” (Elliott J. Gorn, Purdue University)

©2002 Tom Chaffin (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

“Pathfinder is the most eloquent, understanding, and yet very candid biography of Frémont that has appeared to date. A major contribution to American historical writing.” (Howard R. Lamar, Yale University)

“In his mesmerizing biography, Tom Chaffin brings to life not only Frémont but the amazing personalities who populated his world.” (Landon Jones, former managing editor, People magazine) 

“In clear and vivid language, Tom Chaffin's Pathfinder re-creates the life of John C. Frémont....” (Elliott J. Gorn, Purdue University) 

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Comprehensive but balanced

For good and/or bad John C. Fremont was a man who had a significant impact in the course of United States history. Chaffin gives us a.balanced and honest perspective of who this man was by organizing details from a vast number of primary sources. Loved this book!

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Delightful book

The first chapters are brutally slow and excruciatingly detailed about his life before exploring. Once his adventures start you will be mesmerized with his courage and endurance. A great American story.