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Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose
From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, 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 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 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 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.
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.
History Book Club 2020 Book List
January- The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes
February- Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter
March- The First World War by John Keegan
April- The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer
May- The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
June- On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides
July- The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson
August- Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose
September- Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
October- The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
November- Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of WWII by Liza Mundy