Synopses & Reviews
This provocative work challenges traditional accounts of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s expedition across the continent and back again. Uncovering deeper meanings in the explorers’ journals and lives, Exploring Lewis and Clark exposes their self-perceptions and deceptions, and how they interacted with those who traveled with them, the people they discovered along the way, the animals they hunted, and the land they walked across. The book discovers new heroes and brings old ones into historical focus.
Thomas P. Slaughter interrogates the explorers’ dreams, how they wrote and what they aimed to possess, their interactions with animals, Indians, and each other, their sense of themselves as leaders and men, and why they feared that they had failed their nation and President. Slaughter’s Lewis and Clark are more confused, frightened, courageous, and flawed than in previous accounts. They are more human, their expedition more dramatic, and thus their story is more revealing about our own relationships to history and myth.
About the Author
Thomas P. Slaughter is the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the award-winning author of three previous books—most recently, The Natures of John and William Bartram—and is the editor of three others, including the Library of America edition of William Bartram: Travels and Other Writings. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and two children.