BRC Book Group Discussion, January 20
The next Bellevue Rotary Book Group discussion will be Wednesday, January 20, from 7‑9PM, and will be hosted by Steve McConnell. The book is “Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival,” by Peter Stark.
If you have an even numbered birth year please bring a bottle of wine to share.
If you (your partner) plan on participating, please RSVP to Margaret Doman.
In 1810, two years after the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the American continent, wealthy fur merchant John Jacob Astor financed an overland and overseas expedition to build the equivalent of a Jamestown settlement on the Pacific Coast. Over a three-year period, separate groups, comprising a hodgepodge of Americans, French, and Scottish Canadians, set out for the coast. The Tonquin sailed for six months from Boston to the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest to create an outpost from which to circumnavigate between China, the eastern U.S., and Europe, to take advantage of the rage for otter pelts.
At the same time, 140 adventurers and investors set off in two parties, one crossing the treacherous Rockies; nearly half of them died. Stark, author of Last Breath (2001) and The Last Empty Spaces (2010), offers a thrilling true-adventure tale filled with unforgettable characters, clashes of culture, ambition, and physical hardships from starvation to Indian attacks to cruel weather.
A breathtaking account of an expedition that changed the geography of a young nation and its place in global commerce and politics. — Vanessa Bush