History HiJinks Book Club: LaSalle - Explorer of the North American Frontier

Monday, February 1, 2016

7:00 PM-8:15 PM

Cost: Free and Open to All

Providence Public Library
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

Trustee's Room (3rd Floor)

Mon, 2016-02-01 19:00 - 20:15

LaSalle:  Explorer of the Northern Frontier by Anka

The first biography of the great French explorer in twenty-five years focuses on his resolve, curiosity, and courage, on his actual explorations from Quebec to Louisiana, and his role in the overall exploration of North America.

 Robert Chevalier de la Salle, the French historian Anka Muhlstein writes, stands indisputably among Europe's most accomplished explorers. In the 1670s and '80s he crossed over most of what is now French Canada and the middle United States and charted the length of the Mississippi River--almost always traveling on foot, almost always under dangerous circumstances. Thanks to his pioneering travels, in the next century "America seemed destined to be French, until the Seven Years' War in Europe resulted in a reordering of the New World." La Salle would not live to see this turnabout. Murdered by two of his servants for reasons that are still unclear, La Salle drifted into history's cluttered attic, and his deeds have been nearly forgotten. France has yet to erect a memorial to him while in the United States his name lives on as an old car make, an unfitting tribute to that indefatigable walker. Thanks to Muhlstein's fine study, he may one day earn his due.

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