Author Rinker Buck to discuss 'Oregon Trail'


MANCHESTER — On Friday, Dec. 4, Rinker Buck will discuss his newest book, "The Oregon Trail" and present a slide show of photographs that were taken along the way.

Spanning two thousand miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific coast, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America. In the 15 years before the Civil War, when 400,000 pioneers used the trail to emigrate West—scholars still regard this as the largest land migration in history — it united the coasts, doubled the size of the country, and laid the groundwork for the railroads. Today, amazingly, the trail is all but forgotten.

In 2011, writer Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set off to make an authentic covered wagon crossing of the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. They knew that their chances of failure were high.

But the Bucks persevered, becoming the first wagon travelers in more than a century to complete a crossing of the trail. Rinker tells the story of their epic adventure in The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey," a "romantic" (Library Journal), "astonishing" (Kirkus Reviews) and "masterful" (Publishers Weekly) book that illuminates the rich history of the great pioneer road, the people who made the migration, and the colorful state of the trail today.

Rinker Buck began his career in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle and was a longtime staff writer for the Hartford Courant. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his stories have won the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of The Oregon Trail as well as the acclaimed memoirs Flight of Passage and First Job.


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