Praise for Jefferson's America
"Riveting…Fensters forceful account, peppered with succinct formulations and wry wit, shows how Jefferson launched expeditions to stake his claim to this 'wilderness' and its people… [Jefferson's America] offers fresh insight into the minds of these 19th century men, carrying you deeply, irresistibly, into a distant landscape."
Wall Street Journal
"Expertly detailed... [Fenster] spins a masterful, adventure-filled tale of intrigue, diplomatic maneuverings, and nimble political deal-making for Western lands."
"[Fenster] does an excellent job of making a case for the importance of Jeffersons foresight and the impact of the expeditions on the development of the new nation."
"Fenster skillfully profiles the 'Men of Jefferson' who were selected to spearhead the exploration efforts, but its the wily, resourceful Jefferson who steals the show with his ambitious vision, ability to gauge the foreign opposition, and advantageous use of the federal treasury to support his missions."
"Enthralling… A necessary read for American history buffs."
"A sparkling, sprightly tale of partisan politics, grizzly bears, and the men who charted the American West at a time when it seemed only one map of the Missouri River existed. Julie Fenster probes the political implications and myriad complications of Jeffersonian exploration; she is as expert at describing the badger-stuffing Meriwether Lewis as she is at resurrecting our 18th century cold war with Spain. A taut, colorful account of American expansion, of a peculiar intersection of politics and ideals, and of Americas first post-Revolutionary heroes."
Stacy Schiff, New York Times bestselling author of The Witches and Cleopatra
"Julie Fensters Jeffersons America is a marvelous look at the Age of Jeffersonian Exploration. Larger-than-life figures like William Dunbar and Zebulon Pike are ably brought back to life in this riveting narrative. This is a first-rate book; fair, clear, and enormously welcome. Highly recommended!"
Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of Wilderness Warrior
"The protean Julie M. Fenster, who has written with verve and authority on subjects that range from the dawn of the automobile to the discovery of surgical anesthesia, here turns her formidable narrative gifts to the great seminal adventure of our nationhood. Lewis and Clark were only part of Thomas Jeffersons quest to understand the continent he wished to bring into the American fold, and Fenster follows them along with less-remembered explorersPhilip Nolan, George Hunter, John Evanswhose travails were equally arduous. All of them set out into a world of competing European powers on a high-stakes mission whose complexity the author makes lucid in an absorbing saga bright with sly humor, and sharp with treachery, bad faith, harrowing calamities, and high heroism."
Richard Snow, author of I Invented the Modern Age and A Measureless Peril
"Once again Julie Fenster has uncovered a little appreciated but crucial moment in American history and told its story irresistibly. She brings an almost unbelievable cast of characters and their interwoven adventures to life in a way that is at once both hugely entertaining and surprisingly moving."
Fred Allen, former managing editor of American Heritage
"[A]wonderful and twisted story…Geographers and American history buffs will enjoy Fensters detailed research on these fascinating men, her easy style of writing, and tales beyond the textbooks. She opens an entirely new vista on those who opened the West."