Undaunted Courage

Cover
Premier Digital Publishing, 2011
In this sweeping adventure story, Stephen E. Ambrose, the bestselling author of D-Day, presents the definitive account of one of the most momentous journeys in American history. Ambrose follows the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Thomas Jefferson's hope of finding a waterway to the Pacific, through the heart-stopping moments of the actual trip, to Lewis' lonely demise on the Natchez Trace. Along the way, Ambrose shows us the American West as Lewis saw it -- wild, awsome, and pristinely beautiful. Undaunted Courage is a stunningly told action tale that will delight readers for generations. 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 a book 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-Lewis discovered there was no such passage. Jefferson hoped the Louisiana Purchase would provide endless land to support farming-but Lewis discovered that the Great Plains were too dry. Jefferson hoped there was a river flowing from Canada into the Missouri-but Lewis reported there was no such river, and thus no U.S. claim to the Canadian prairie. Lewis discovered the Plains Indians were hostile and would block settlement and trade up the Missouri. Lewis took to drink, engaged in land speculation, piled up debts he could not pay, made jealous political enemies, and suffered severe depression. 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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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - Jared_Runck - LibraryThing

It has been over a decade since I’ve read Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, which still resides in my “Top 5 Books Ever Read” list. This book has been on my to-read list for almost as long, partly because I ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - ffifield - LibraryThing

It seems as much a biography of Merriwether Lewis as it was a story of the expedition. Some parts are in great detail and other parts of the trip seem to be glossed over. Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

INTRODUCTION
The Presidents Secretary18011802 6 The Origins of the Expedition17501802 7 Preparing for the Expedition JanuaryJune 1803
Up the Mississippi to Winter Camp November 1803March 1804
Up the Missouri MayJuly 1804
Encounter with the Sioux September 1804
Winter at Fort Mandan December 21 1804March 21 1805
From Fort Mandan to Marias River April 7June 2 1805
From Marias River to the Great Falls June 3June 20 1805
The Clatsops and the Chinooks
Return to the Nez Percé March 23June 9 1806
The Lolo Trail June 10July 2 1806
The Last Leg July 29September 22 1806
Washington JanuaryMarch 1807
Philadelphia AprilJuly 1807
St Louis MarchDecember 1808
Last Voyage September 3October 11 1809

Looking for the Shoshones July 15August 12 1805
Over the Continental Divide August 13August 31 1805
The Shoshones
Down the Columbia October 8December 7 1805

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Über den Autor (2011)

Historian Stephen E. Ambrose grew up in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Louisiana. Ambrose is considered to be one of the foremost historical scholars of recent times and has been a professor for over three decades. He is also the founder and president of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. His works include D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II, Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945, Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest and Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West. Abrose served historical consultant on the motion picture Saving Private Ryan.

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