Beaver trappers by occupation, the hardy mountain men were ironically destroyed by the whims of an English dandy called Beau Brummel. Hats made of silk, not beaver, came into vogue and the trappers' services were no longer as essential. Here in some half dozen biographical sketches, the flavor of life on the trails of uncivilized America takes on substance. John Colter, the first mountain man left the Lewis and Clark expedition to trap and escape the ravages of Blackfeet capture. Jed Smith was able to endure the injuries incurred by a grizzly, but was finally killed by Comanches. Old Bill Williams with his uncanny sense of trouble, Kit Carson with his extraordinary physical prowess, Old Bill Bent, the last of the mountain men, demonstrate the stamina and courage of this rare breed. Their exploits rather than any long range achievements make this exciting reading.