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Undaunted Courage Audiobook
Undaunted Courage
Written by: 
Stephen E. Ambrose
Narrated by: 
Barrett Whitener
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Undaunted Courage Audiobook

Undaunted Courage

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Publisher's Summary

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and - by way of the Snake and Columbia rivers - down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West. When they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.

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.

What the Critics Say

"... 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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1691 )
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Performance
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  •  
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 09-08-13
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 09-08-13 Member Since 2012

    Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lessons in Leadership"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 06-23-13
    John 06-23-13
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    "Good Read, Kept my attention"
    Where does Undaunted Courage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-22-13
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-22-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Great historical story"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 03-13-13
    Christopher 03-13-13

    history, science, et al.

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    "Informative, entertaining, slow at times"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 03-11-13
    Sam 03-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Very Interesting bio of M. Lewis"
    What did you love best about Undaunted Courage?

    The author gives a nice portrayal of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and offers great commentary when appropriate.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Undaunted Courage?

    I enjoyed the depiction of the expedition's time with the indians in the mountains.


    What about Barrett Whitener’s performance did you like?

    Good performance. Very easy listening.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It is very disappointing that M. Lewis lived such a troubled life after the expedition.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane DUNEDIN, New Zealand 02-04-13
    shane DUNEDIN, New Zealand 02-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "walking through History"
    What did you love best about Undaunted Courage?

    their guts and determination to see it through to the end come what may !


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Undaunted Courage?

    when one of the grizzly bears were charging and they were trying to bring it down before it got to them !


    What does Barrett Whitener bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    he brings the story to life and makes you feel like you were part of the expedition !


    Any additional comments?

    i thought this was a great way to live through a fantastic story with out it being overly complicated

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Cincinnati, Oh 12-06-12
    Andrew Cincinnati, Oh 12-06-12
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    "Narrator's voice is a challenge"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert OTISCO, IN, United States 12-05-12
    Robert OTISCO, IN, United States 12-05-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Very interesting book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Seattle, Washington, United States 11-28-12
    Tyler Seattle, Washington, United States 11-28-12
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    "Pompous Tone takes away from Great Story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Columbia, MD, United States 11-15-12
    Sean Columbia, MD, United States 11-15-12
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    "The abridged or not?"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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