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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West (Lewis & Clark Expedition)

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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West (Lewis & Clark Expedition) Cover

 

Staff Pick

At the heart of the immense and growing interest in Lewis and Clark in recent years stands this book. WWII historian Stephen Ambrose had long harbored a private obsession for the Expedition of the Corps of Discovery, and in Undaunted Courage he was able to capture this passion, successfully conveying it to countless readers across the country. Though Ambrose lends Lewis and Clark's story a sense of historical immediacy by quoting the original journals freely throughout, what makes this book so successful is Ambrose's readable, jargon-free writing style and his thriller-writer's talent for shaping a compelling story. Whatever the reason for its success, Undaunted Courage not only topped every national bestseller list, it also inspired a Ken Burns PBS documentary about Lewis and Clark, a second, beautifully produced Lewis and Clark book in conjunction with National Geographic (Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery), as well as our current national fascination with the most famous and historically significant expedition in our history.
Recommended by Michael P, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis was the perfect choice. He endured incredible hardships and saw incredible sights, including vast herds of buffalo and Indian tribes that had had no previous contact with white men. He and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition. Lewis saw the North American continent before any other white man; Ambrose describes in detail native peoples, weather, landscape, science, everything the expedition encountered along the way, through Lewis's eyes. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century. This is a book about a hero. This is abook about national unity. But it is also a tragedy. When Lewis returned to Washington in the fall of 1806, he was a national hero. But for Lewis, the expedition was a failure. Jefferson had hoped to find an all-water route to the Pacific with a short hop over the Rockies - Le

Review:

"Ambrose, his wife and five children have followed the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition for 20 summers, in the course of which the explorer has become a friend of the Ambrose family; the author's affection shines through this narrative." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: a historian with true passion for his subject. Here he takes one of the great, but also one of the most superficially considered, stories in American history and breathes fresh life into it. Lewis comes alive as we've never known him." Ken Burns

Review:

"Specialists will appreciate this biography, but general readers will also be enthralled by Ambrose's well-written account." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of andlt;I andgt;Band of Brothersandlt;/Iandgt; and andlt;I andgt;D-Dayandlt;/Iandgt;, the definitive book on Lewis and Clarkand#8217;s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.andlt;brandgt;andlt;brandgt;In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jeffersonand#8217;s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 493-496) and index.

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller D-Day and multi-volume biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and President of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He lives in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and Helena, Montana.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

crochetstory, September 13, 2006 (view all comments by crochetstory)
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose is an accessible book about American exploration. I had the chance to learn about the Missouri Valley and the Columbia River while the Osage, Sioux, Blackfoot Indians lived along the waters and the plains. There is much to know about Sacagawea and her family. York, Clark's servant, is written about too giving the reader a view of American slavery. Then, there is so much to know about Lewis and Clark and President Jefferson. Last but not least, the beauty of America is magnificently described.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(12 of 26 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684811079
Author:
Ambrose, Stephen E.
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
United States - 19th Century/Old West
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
Europe - General
Subject:
Explorers
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Jefferson, thomas, 1743-1826
Subject:
Clark, william, 1770-1838
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Explorers -- United States -- Biography.
Subject:
Expeditions & Discoveries
Subject:
Clark, William
Subject:
Lewis, Meriwether
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Subject:
Lewis and Clark Expedition, Meriwether Lewis, Louisian
Subject:
a Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, American West, explorers, American frontier, Natchez, Sacagawea, Shoshone, indians, wilderness, native americans
Subject:
Lewis and Clark Expedition, Meriwether Lewis, Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, American West, explorers, American frontier, Natchez, Sacagawea, Shoshone, indians, wilderness, native americans
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series:
Lewis & Clark Expedition
Series Volume:
no. 10
Publication Date:
February 1996
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
EMM?-Bandamp;W DRAWINGS-MAPS
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.12 in 24.99 oz

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Lewis and Clark
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West (Lewis & Clark Expedition) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$32.50 In Stock
Product details 512 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780684811079 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

At the heart of the immense and growing interest in Lewis and Clark in recent years stands this book. WWII historian Stephen Ambrose had long harbored a private obsession for the Expedition of the Corps of Discovery, and in Undaunted Courage he was able to capture this passion, successfully conveying it to countless readers across the country. Though Ambrose lends Lewis and Clark's story a sense of historical immediacy by quoting the original journals freely throughout, what makes this book so successful is Ambrose's readable, jargon-free writing style and his thriller-writer's talent for shaping a compelling story. Whatever the reason for its success, Undaunted Courage not only topped every national bestseller list, it also inspired a Ken Burns PBS documentary about Lewis and Clark, a second, beautifully produced Lewis and Clark book in conjunction with National Geographic (Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery), as well as our current national fascination with the most famous and historically significant expedition in our history.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ambrose, his wife and five children have followed the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition for 20 summers, in the course of which the explorer has become a friend of the Ambrose family; the author's affection shines through this narrative." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: a historian with true passion for his subject. Here he takes one of the great, but also one of the most superficially considered, stories in American history and breathes fresh life into it. Lewis comes alive as we've never known him."
"Review" by , "Specialists will appreciate this biography, but general readers will also be enthralled by Ambrose's well-written account."
"Synopsis" by , From the bestselling author of andlt;I andgt;Band of Brothersandlt;/Iandgt; and andlt;I andgt;D-Dayandlt;/Iandgt;, the definitive book on Lewis and Clarkand#8217;s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.andlt;brandgt;andlt;brandgt;In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a vivid backdrop for the expedition. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jeffersonand#8217;s. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.
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