Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:4 (Fall 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Kit Carson fulfills its authors' hope of providing a readable and reliable biography of its subject. It has helpful maps and illustrations; for the most part it reads well, although the Fremont expedition narrative was the only series of chapters conveying any excitement or enthusiasm. It should appeal to Carson buffs and to history buffs interested in the American Southwest. If it had been more venturesome in speculating at key points on the man's motivations and intentions, and if it had offered intelligent insights on the sociocultural milieu which accorded this unlikely man fame, the biography perhaps would have even appealed to the kind of general audience which is making Evan Connell's superior book about Custer, Son of the Morning Star, a popular success.