Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 26:1 (Winter 2006) Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


David Dary's The Oregon Trail is a pleasant excursion on a well-traveled road. His hook is not a trail-blazing work of the stature of such classics as Francis Parkman's The California and Oregon Trail (1849) and Bernard De Voto's The Year of Decision, 1846 (1943), nor is it as erudite as John D. Unruh's The Plains Across (1979) nor as encyclopedic as Merrill J. Matte's Platte River Road Narratives (1988); however, it remains a useful introduction to the subject.