John Charles Fremont: Character as Destiny

Andrew Rolle, Author University of Oklahoma Press $29.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2380-6
Renowned explorer, Civil War general, political leader and hero of California's liberation from Mexico in 1846-1847, Fremont (1813-1890) nevertheless remains an enigmatic and controversial figure in U.S. history. Highly intelligent and charismatic, he married Jessie Benton, daughter of powerful senator Thomas Hart Benton, and attained national prominence by the time he was 31. Fremont's early expeditions into the uncharted West inspired mass immigration to this ``Promised Land.'' Yet as Rolle ( The Immigrant Upraised ) points out in this psychologically probing, unflattering biography, character flaws such as womanizing undermined Fremont's achievements. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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