Jim Bridger: Trailblazer of the American West

Editorial Reviews


Jim Bridger has tapped sources uncovered since the publication of earlier biographies. It is an engrossing story of the life of one of the greatest “Mountain Men”, when all is considered – and the most able scout and guide. It is full of details, excitement, and the history of the period: the fur trade, the army and Indian conflicts, the places [Bridger] discovered, including Utah’s Great Salt Lak, the new trails found in this new age of exploration and so on…Jerry Enzler’s book provides the minutiae and vast range of Bridger’s life and if there is at some places a eulogistic element then this is very much in harmony with a sincere appreciation of the man.”—English Westerners Society

“Jim Bridger’s story is as big as the West he called his home, and now we have a biography that captures all the nooks and crannies, nuances and tales of Bridger. Just as Bridger left no area unexplored, biographer Jerry Enzler has left no stone unturned in writing Bridger’s life story. This is a remarkable book about a remarkable man.”—Candy Moulton, author of The Mormon Handcart Migration: “Tounge nor pen can never tell the sorrow”

“Jim Bridger’s is an exciting and significant story, and Jerry Enzler tells it in exceptionally well documented detail and readable prose. Enzler sets forth new dimensions of Bridger, never before published. This is lasting biography at its best.”—Robert M. Utley, author of After Lewis and Clark: Mountain Men and the Paths to the Pacific

“In the most reliable, best-researched, and most comprehensive biography of this western trailblazer, mountain man, army guide, and fort operator, Enzler offers readers a valuable reinterpretation of Bridger’s remarkable life.”—Jay H. Buckley, author of William Clark: Indian Diplomat

“..it is biographies like Jim Bridger by Iowa historian Enzler that we need more of on our shelves and in the university catalogues…For scholars, researchers and buffs of the history of the mountain men who helped shape the West, Enzler’s Jim Bridger is one of best biographies published in recent years. His literary style is highly readable, he provides a clear and detailed path to understanding his research and conclusions through his annotated endnotes and a thorough bibliography…Will this be Enzler’s only foray into mountain man history? Let’s hope not. He is an excellent biographer and historian, and we would all benefit from more books from the Iowa author.”—True West Magazine

“This volume is now the most extensive of Bridger biographies. It reads easily, provides new information on Bridger as trapper and guide, and reveals a good deal about his ambition, energy, and memory. Altogether a delightful read.”—Oregon Historical Quarterly

“Enzler leaves the reader with an appreciation of just how remarkable Bridger’s life was in the development of the American West.”—Overland Journal

About the Author

Jerry Enzler served as founding director of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium for thirty-seven years. He has written and curated national exhibitions and films and has published historical articles on Jim Bridger, river history, and other topics.

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