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Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
By Jay Buckley, Matthew Harris. University of Oklahoma Press. 256 pp. Index. $29.95.
Seven historians reassess Zebulon Montgomery Pike's contributions to western exploration,examining his additions to knowledge and science, evaluating his controversial career in comparison with other Jeffersonian-era explorers, and analyzing his role in the schemes of Aaron Burr and James Wilkinson to carve out an empire in the American Southwest. Their measured assessments go a long way toward achieving Harris's objective of presenting Pike as "a capable explorer . . . [whose] two expeditions mapping and exploring the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase marked the beginning of a long chain of commercial and political events that helped the United States secure the border with New Spain." []

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