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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas…
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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of… (original 1996; udgave 1997)

af Steven Ambrose

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6,171681,189 (4.1)125
Though primarily a biography of Meriwether Lewis, this book also provides fascinating sketches of Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, Sacagawea, & other contemporaries. From the bestselling author of the definitive book on D-Day comes the definitive book on the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. 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.… (mere)
Medlem:jotbe
Titel:Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West
Forfattere:Steven Ambrose
Info:Simon & Schuster Inc (1997), Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:History

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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West af Stephen E. Ambrose (1996)

Nyligt tilføjet afgrizzlymtdude1, privat bibliotek, JoyShawn, ProfessorEX, BookQuest107, midwifejen
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» Se også 125 omtaler

Engelsk (66)  Tysk (2)  Alle sprog (68)
Viser 1-5 af 68 (næste | vis alle)
After 4 long months I have finished this spectacular book!

I had taken a course in college in the introduction of U.S. History and the Lewis & Clark Expedition was mentioned briefly. It piqued my interest. I had heard about the famous trek since my early years in school but much of the journey itself was glossed over. After searching and reading multiple reviews on Goodreads, I chose Stephen Ambrose's impressive tome.

Ambrose goes into great detail about Meriweather Lewis's early life, detailing his curiosity as a young boy for the wilderness and his honing of the skills needed for survival. He was an avid hunter and was comfortable camping in parts unknown. He was also a captain in the military and was considered an intelligent and astute leader. It's no wonder President Jefferson chose him to lead the group of men all the way to the Pacific.

What the Corp of Discovery viewed on their excursion was nothing short of amazing and inspiring. The group (which totaled about 33 men, 1 young lady named Sacajawea and her new born son, and one dog!) witnessed immense herds of buffalo and elk roaming the open plains. They saw coyotes, packs of wolves, prairie dogs, birds of every description and slew of other animals. At one point, they saw a migration of squirrels! Their diet consisted of buffalo, elk, fish, roots, miscellaneous fruits they discovered and other...um...types of meat that I don't want to give reveal! I can only wonder how many pounds of meat the men ate during their trip (spoiler: A LOT).

I found the reading to be engaging and kept my interest all the way through. The reading isn't dry at all and Ambrose does a great job in keeping the narrative flowing. For me, this was a page-turner and I always wanted to continue onto the next chapter. The book offers several drawings of Lewis and Clark and detailed maps are sprinkled throughout the book that show you their progress along the country. I enjoyed these immensely because it felt like you were part of the Corp, holding the map and trying to figure out which direction to take next, whether traveling by river or land was the best route to take, and which Indian tribe you would possibly confront next.

Lewis, Clark, and some of the enlisted men kept detailed journals of their day by day discoveries. Lewis wrote down and scrutinized every minute detail of the local flora and fauna. Geographical assessments are so specific that they paint a portrait of the beautiful open plains of Montana, the ominous, snow-capped peaks of the Bitterroot Mountains (which was one of the hardest and treacherous parts of the journey) and the ginormous and ancient trees of the Redwood Forest.

The detailed descriptions written in the journals of the Indian tribes encountered are considered the most accurate depiction of the lives and cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America. Their confrontation with the Sioux was hair-raising. Lewis's account's on the different tribes are entertaining and are window into a time long gone.

If you are seeking a comprehensive illustration about an exciting and daring trip into a strange and mysterious wilderness where no American had gone before, where there were Indian tribes that were unknown to be friendly or hostile, frightening confrontations with fierce grizzly bears, overcoming raging white-water rivers, braving relentless rains and unforgiving snow storms, and traveling through daunting mountain ranges, then this is the book for you! Highly recommended! ( )
  ProfessorEX | Apr 15, 2021 |
One of the best written histories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I knew the basics of the Lewis and Clark expedition from elementary school - but this book dived so deeply and so fully into the history, politics, personal relationships, and everything else that surrounded the adventure that I find myself wanting to know more and more. Lewis lived a tragic life, filled with such highs but dragged down by the lows of substance abuse and bipolar depression. It is engaging throughout, and the narrative never is put on the back burner at the expense of information. My only issue is my own unfamiliarity with the lands they traveled through - some more descriptions about the prairies of the Great Plains and Big Sky country would’ve been appreciated. But that in no way took away from my enjoyment of this truly wonderful book. ( )
1 stem nova_mjohnson | Mar 17, 2021 |
I have to admit that I scarcely knew anything about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) before reading this fine book. Wow! What a loss! While reading one book on the subject does not make one an expert, by any means, this book is an excellent starting point.

Stephen E. Ambrose was a seasoned, gifted writer, who knew how to separate fact from fiction to construct a captivating narrative, which sums up this important work.

The author drew upon the contributions of dozens of fine writers as well as well as primary sources in describing the background of and preparation for the expedition, the expedition itself, and brief period thereafter. Book chapters (there are 40) are largely a detailed chronology of events, and persons and places associated.

In addition to Lewis Meriwether (the main figure) and William Clark, much space is devoted to the role of Thomas Jefferson in the Expedition. But roles and influences of dozens of men and women (including Sacajawea) are included in the work.

The book is enhanced by a number of illustrations and maps, which I found to be very helpful. There is also an extensive bibliography and an excellent index.

Persons interested in the history of the United States of America may wish to put this book on their reading list.

Note: I finished reading the book on October 11, 2020, which strangely happened to be the 211th anniversary of the death of Meriwether Lewis. ( )
  SCRH | Oct 22, 2020 |
“That evening, the first Americans ever to enter Montana, the first ever to see the Yellowstone, the Milk, the Marias, and the Great Falls, the first Americans ever to kill a grizzly, celebrated their nation’s twenty-ninth birthday.”
  taurus27 | May 10, 2020 |
Very good narative of Lewis and Clark expedition with lead-up to it and follow up until Lewis' suicide. Includes good exposure to historical and political backdrop as well as some sociological exploration of slave/white and white/native interaction.
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 68 (næste | vis alle)
- conveyed with passionate enthusiasm by Mr. Ambrose and sprinkled liberally with some of the most famous and vivid passages from the travelers' journals.
 

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Ambrose, Stephen E.primær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Whitener, BarrettFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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"Of courage undaunted, possessing a firmness & perseverance of purpose which nothing but impossibilities could divert from it's [sic] direction, careful as a father of those committed to his charge, yet steady in the maintenance of order & discipline, intimate with the Indian character, customs & principles, habituated to the hunting life, guarded by exact observation of the vegetables & animals of his own country, against losing tine in the description of objects already possessed, honest, disinterested, liberal, of sound understanding and a fidelity to truth so scrupulous that whatever he should report would be as certain as if seen by ourselves, with all these qualifications as if selected and implanted by nature in one body, for this express purpose, I could have no hesitation in confiding the enterprise to him."

    
—Thomas Jefferson

      
on Meriwether Lewis
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From the west-facing window of the room in which Meriwether Lewis was born on August 8, 1774, one could look out at Rockfish Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an opening to the West that invited exploration.
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ISBNs 0671574434 and 0743508084: abridged audiobook read by Cotter Smith. Do not combine the abridged audiobook with the book since they are not the same work.
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Though primarily a biography of Meriwether Lewis, this book also provides fascinating sketches of Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, Sacagawea, & other contemporaries. From the bestselling author of the definitive book on D-Day comes the definitive book on the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. 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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