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"An impressive, seamless blend of fact and fiction, No Place for a Hero is a unique and compelling glance at the history of California and one of America's unforgettable characters."
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John Charles Fremont (January 21, 1813-July 13, 1890) — military officer, explorer, and politician — has long stumped historians. Some scholars regard him as a military hero, while others view him as a failure who was so volatile and complex that he repeatedly defeated his own aspirations. It's not surprising that this accomplished and controversial individual was the choice of Niven Busch for this Bicentennial novel written for the San Jose Mercury News in 1976.
No Place for a Hero opens as cocky, impudent John Fremont, Lieutenant Colonel of the Mounted Rifles, is about to be tried for a sensational list of military blunders. As family and friends await a verdict, the reader learns more about the life of John Fremont through the flashbacks and memories of Juan Harrigan — the only character not based on an historical figure and a rogue in his own right. As Harrigan recounts meeting Fremont and examines the events that led up to his court martial, a colorful canvas gradually emerge — the clash with General Jose Castro that almost caused the slaughter of his troops; illicit affairs; Fremont's relationship with his friend and guide, Kit Carson; vengeance on a Klamath Indian village; contempt for authority. In Juan Harrigan's words, John Fremont was "easy to follow, hard to like, impossible to pity". A man for whom, " the unmapped land which lured him on, that desperate emergency through which he must hurry to no discernible goal was he, he himself."
An impressive, seamless blend of fact and fiction, No Place for a Hero is a unique and compelling glance at the history of California and one of America's unforgettable characters.