Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose

Into the Wild

Read Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier Online Free - From Stephen Ambrose comes a book on the most momentous expedition in American history & one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 Pres. Th Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Cpt. Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri R. to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia R. to the Pacific Ocean & back. Lewis was a perfect choice. He endured great hardships & saw incredible sights, including vast herds of buffalo & Indian tribes with no previous contact with whites. He & his partner, Cpt. Wm Clark, made the 1st map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided scientific data on the flora & fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, & established the American claim to Oregon, Washington & Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together new information about weather, terrain & medical knowledge at the time to provide a colorfully realistic backdrop for the expedition. Lewis saw the N. American continent before any other white. Ambrose details native peoples, weather, landscape, science, everything the expedition encountered, thru Lewis' eyes. Lewis is supported by a host of colorful characters, 1st of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring & acquiring the American West went back 30 years. Next comes Clark, a frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, & Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French & Spanish fur traders of St Louis, John Quincy Adams & other leading political, scientific & military figures of the turn of the century. This is a book about a hero, about national unity. It's 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 no such passage. Jefferson hoped the Louisiana Purchase would provide endless farm land. Lewis discovered that the Great Plains were too dry. Jefferson hoped there was a river flowing from Canada into the Missouri. Lewis reported no such river, thus no claim to the Canadian prairie. Lewis discovered the Plains Indians were hostile & would block settlement & trade up the Missouri. Lewis took to drink, engaged in land speculation, piled up debts he couldn't pay, made political enemies & suffered depression. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama & diplomacy combine with romance & tragedy to make this work of scholarship as readable as a novel.

Title : Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 074347788X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 592 pages


Michael rated it ★★★★★

November 18, 2015

This is an expansion of my past micro-review reflecting on a read from 2008: Very satisfying read about the Lewis and Clark expedition, with a focus on Lewis and his relationship to Jefferson. To me it's great because of Ambrose's ability to render a great story while marshalling his skills in mak...

Karen rated it ★★★★★

April 23, 2008

The oddest little historical fact that has stayed with me from reading this book is the squirrel migration. At the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were apparently so many squirrels in this country, that the squirrels migrated seasonally like birds. Lewis and Clark witnessed them in...

Graham rated it ★★★★★

February 05, 2008

Lewis and Clark... the actual story. This is the ultimate adventure. A bunch of dudes, in totally uncharted territory, trying to to make it there and back alive. What I loved: -it shows Indians both good and bad. Some Indians were incredibly gracious to the party. Others complete manipulative jerks...

Bob rated it ★★★☆☆

June 01, 2014

Perhaps I'm tainted by revelations about the author's techniques that were revealed late in his life. But also, understanding what really happened on this journey, makes me think that without the Native Americans, Lewis & Clark would have never made it over the mountains, never mind making it...

Chrissie rated it ★★★★☆

July 16, 2014

First I want to thank Michael for suggesting I read this book. I really did like it. A definite four star read. Who doesn't know about the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806, and of Sacajawea?! Years ago I had read Sacajawea, which I loved! Yeah, it is a door-stopper, but you don't want it t...

SJ rated it ★★★★☆

January 15, 2012

To do list - Defend “pop history,” talk about America I was on the phone with a history major friend of mine and I told him I had just finished Undaunted Courage. He chuckled and told me Stephen Ambrose is a “pop historian” who isn’t really worth reading. Well I asked him, when was the last time...

Susan rated it ★★★★☆

March 17, 2008

I have really enjoyed reading the notes made by Merriweather Lewis, and his relationship with his partner, William Clark. These were two men who really had "undaunted courage" and faced new challenges unknown to all others as they daily across this vast continent and to the Pacific Ocean and back...

Mike rated it ★★★★★

June 01, 2012

Undaunted Courage gets 4.5 Stars. Stephen Ambrose brings a special passion to this tale of exploration. Ambrose relates in the foreword, his lifelong fascination and exploration of the Lewis and Clark adventure. I like how he brings all the characters, Lewis, Clark, Jefferson, various Indian chie...

Barnabas rated it ★★★★☆

August 07, 2017

Ambrose is as clear a historical writer as there is. The account of Lewis & Clark's preparation and then journey is outstanding. The lengthy description of what happened after was less so, but mainly because I was not interested in their publishing disputes and the like. Over all, this is a w...

David rated it ★★★★☆

July 25, 2007

I'm almost done with the book. Great. New insights. Learned about who Sakajewea (sp?) was and actually think she is a bit over rated. But that is beside the point. I learned a lot about Thomas Jefferson, the politics of the time, the trip to the Pacific and back (naturally), and the way this coun...

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