Chosen for Discover Great New Writers by Barnes & Noble

The true story of the last epic adventure on American soil, an expedition into the heart of the Grand Canyon.

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"This stirring tale of John Wesley Powell's 1869 ten-man expedition by boat 1,000 miles down the unmapped Colorado River through the uncharted mile-high Grand Canyon is as dramatic as the adversities Conan Doyle dreamed up for Professor Challenger in The Lost World . . . Dolnick keeps his narrative flowing like a strong current, pioneering in prose with much of one-armed Powell's own self-confidence."

The Times (London)


"Down the Great Unknown brushes against perfection. This is history written as it should be — and too rarely is: enthusiastic, rigorous, painterly, gloriously free of both pedantry and hyperbole."

Amazon.com editorial review


"A formidable reminder of America's forgotten bravery. Dolnick spins an epic tale of ambition, curiosity, ingenuity, and hard-earned survival as magnificent as the Grand Canyon itself. Terrific — an incredible adventure story — gripping."

Tony Hillerman