Undaunted Courage is supported by a variety of colorful characters: Jefferson and his vision of the West; Clark, the artist and mapmaker; and Lewis, the enigma, who led brilliantly but considered the mission a failure. After suffering several periods of depression - and despite his status as national hero - Lewis died mysteriously, apparently by his own hand.
©1996 Ambrose-Tubbs Inc. (P)1996 Books on Tape Inc., All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.
"... a swiftly moving, full-dress treatment of the expedition." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Ambrose's epic, a combination of rhapsody and reality, feels like a final glimpse at a pristine Eden before the crowd of trappers and settlers altered it forever." ( Booklist)
Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.
Until recently, a long ago but decidedly substandard curriculum I'd had to study American history, with its deadly dull textbooks, relegated Lewis and Clark to little more than historical cardboard cut-outs. Stephen Ambrose brought the great explorers and their journey to life. Ambrose emphasizes the complete loyalty between the captains - Lewis refused to consider his fellow explorer anything else but a captain, despite a lowered army rank and official snub of Clark - and how they motivated, inspired and controlled the Corps of Discovery through thousands of miles of wilderness. With few exceptions, Lewis and Clark knew when to push forward, and when to turn back. They knew when to discipline and when to allow the men "a dram." The contributions of Sacajawea, and the Mandan and Nez Perce Indians were far braver and more critical to expedition’s success than the history books describe. Best of all is how Ambrose's vivid description of events, large and small, that make the listener feel as if they are watching the party from the other side of the riverbank. Grizzly bears die hard hours after multiple gunshots; Lewis shoots Class 5 rapids on the Columbia river in a dugout canoe; the medicines and careful treatments dispensed by the leaders, who had no physician along; and the agonizingly slow and laborious process of pulling three fully loaded boats upstream the shallow Missouri River. At the end of the story, you wonder, along with Ambrose, what Lewis was looking Westward for in those last moments of despair along the Natchez Trace. Capably narrated by Barrett Whitener, this ranks as one of the best audiobooks I have listened to from among dozens. I also recommend the National Geographic Documentary on Lewis and Clark, as well as Bernard DeVoto's "The Journals of Lewis and Clark" for the reader who wants to further immerse themself in one of the greatest explorations of American history.
This was an average audiobook.
I'm a history buff so the story was of great interest to me. However, the average person might find it a bit off the beaten track. Ambrose does a nice job of making the story interesting by dramatizing interactions among the men.
Especially written for the historical layperson. Ambrose includes enough detail and historical references to give you all the context and color you need without turning it into a stuffy textbook. Everyone should know the history of Lewis and Clark; they are the American equivalents of Columbus, Magellan, Cook, etc. Excellent audiobook!
history, science, et al.
Traces the biography of Meriwether Lewis, with emphasis on the Corps of Discovery expedition. Builds mostly from primary texts with many quotes, but gives due respect to previous scholars and their discoveries and theories. Occasionally slow, but overall entertaining and readable. Narrator is monotone but clear.
The author gives a nice portrayal of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and offers great commentary when appropriate.
I enjoyed the depiction of the expedition's time with the indians in the mountains.
Good performance. Very easy listening.
It is very disappointing that M. Lewis lived such a troubled life after the expedition.
their guts and determination to see it through to the end come what may !
when one of the grizzly bears were charging and they were trying to bring it down before it got to them !
he brings the story to life and makes you feel like you were part of the expedition !
i thought this was a great way to live through a fantastic story with out it being overly complicated
The content is very interesting and even surprising to hear, however the narrator sounds almost exactly like the text-to-speech function on my computer.
I enjoyed the book very much. There were many details about Lewis and Thomas Jefferson that I never knew.
Barrett Whitener made the book come alive.
Ambrose provides a thorough and extremely interesting account of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The information and historical evidence is extraordinary. Unfortunately, the narrator takes away from the story, and is quite hard to listen to at times. His voice is nasally and his tone almost sounds arrogant. The one thing that I did not like about the author's writing is that he makes some completely subjective conclusions about the thoughts and feelings of Lewis, Clark, and the other characters at times throughout the expedition that there is no way to ever know without coming coming directly from the source. And coming from the narrator, these statements sound presumptuous and egotistic. Luckily, Lewis and Clark wrote extensive journals and Ambrose is not afraid to refer to the writings, but there is no need for the author to extend beyond these first-hand accounts and make his own conclusions. Nevertheless, this is a worthy listen if you have an interest in exploration, adventure, and American history of the early west.
My reaction wasn't extreme compared to others I've had. Although I did feel very deeply for the people described in the book and what they went through. The descriptions were clear and detailed enough for the listener to get a good sense for what the Lewis, Clark, and their men went through. Particularly for me because I've had expedition experiences out West. From that perspective I'd say descriptions were realistic of what such journeys are like. I certainly felt the heartbreak experienced in the sad moments and the abounding joy Lewis and the others felt at times.
I struggled for a while on wether to buy the abridged audio version of this book or the unabridged. The unabridged is what I ended up with and I am very pleased with the choice. Many of the details of daily life one the Westward trek as well as the background surrounding the expedition were valuable to hear. They provided perspective on why things happened the way they did and gave context to the larger historical events of the day. Unless someone is only looking for the big points of the Lewis and Clark undertaking I recommend the unabridged version for this audiobook.
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