Item description for Despite All Obstacles: La Salle and the Conquest of the Mississippi (Great Explorers) by Joan Elizabeth Goodman & Tom McNeely...
Overview An addition to the Great Explorers series offers the biography of the man who explored the St. Lawrence, Ohio, Illinois, and Mississippi Rivers, and who claimed America's heartland for King Louis XIV and France.
To say that Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was determined is like saying the sun is warm. La Salle made his way from Eastern Canada to the Great Lakes. Then he traveled by canoe down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. This vast territory was dense unexplored wilderness, controlled by the fierce and powerful Iroquois. To make the merely daunting nearly impossible, La Salle was on his own. His King, Louis X1V, would provide neither protection, men nor money.
Through one setback after another, La Salle kept on going. His men deserted him; he walked a thousand miles, in the middle of the brutal Canadian winter, back to Montreal and organized a new expedition. The Iroquois threatened; he brought together rival tribes, and speaking in their own language, united them into an alliance against the Iroquois. La Salle's ship sunk with a fortune in furs meant to finance his expedition. Again, he walked back to Montreal and found new financial support.
Part adventure, part biography, Despite All Obstacles is the fascinating story of this obstinate and courageous man who had dreams as large as the continent and a will to match those dreams.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 10.25" Height: 10" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Oct 6, 2001
Publisher Mikaya Press
ISBN 1931414017 ISBN13 9781931414012
Availability 0 units.
More About Joan Elizabeth Goodman & Tom McNeely
Joan Elizabeth Goodman has written several novels of highly acclaimed historical fiction. She lives with her husband and their two children in New York City.
Joan Elizabeth Goodman currently resides in New York, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Despite All Obstacles: La Salle and the Conquest of the Mississippi (Great Explorers)?
Excellent Book for Children - a review of "Despite All Obstacles" Sep 28, 2007
I just finished reading this book and cannot recommend it highly enough. Goodman has written a concise and accessible history of the great explorer La Salle, and Tom McNeely has done an equally good job in complementing the text with his illustrations.
Beginning with his childhood, Goodman briefly explains La Salle's titles and education before going on to portray his great expeditions and troubles. Written with children in mind, the book lightly touches upon the topic of politics within the court of France, between the great powers of the day -France, Spain, and England-- and amongst the various American Indian tribes and confederations. However, the overall tone is not so academic and the book maintains a quick pacing and a definite sense of adventure and discovery.
Nicely enough, what the author does not do is whitewash peoples or individuals. For example, I particularly like the balance Ms. Goodman maintains between La Salle as 'hero' and La Salle as a 'flawed individual'. Her portrayal of him as a determined man that keeps plugging away, despite adversity, is admirable. So is her point that it was La Salle's natural aloofness and inability to understand the weaknesses of others that inevitably led to his death at the hands of his own men.
One other note -- I would be remiss if I did not point out that there are many facts and issues that Ms. Goodman leaves out and/or glosses over. She does not mention, for example, that some of La Salle's contemporaries thought him mentally ill during the time of his last expedition. Nor does she explain that the men hated La Salle's nephew because he punished them for sleeping with the Indian women. Topics perhaps best left to older children and adults.
Five Stars. Wonderful book. Excellent writing. Good Artwork. Goodman makes history live by touching upon details, such as cannibalism by the Seneca, that tend to engage younger readers. She makes La Salle very accessible by pointing out both his strengths and his weaknesses.