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Undaunted Courage | [Stephen E. Ambrose]

Undaunted Courage

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 the 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.
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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

4.3 (1327 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Tenbrook Aspen, CO USA 07-24-12
    J. Tenbrook Aspen, CO USA 07-24-12

    glacierlily

    ratings
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    2
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    "Undaunted by this book"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think the character development in this book was excellant. Clark came out as being my favorite among the crew. His constant stability, leadership and friendship to Lewis raised my respect for him as a histroical figure. I plan to get a biography on him next.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Barrett Whitener?

    Yes, but perhaps something not quite as long. I found him to be a bit dry at times.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Mostly thoughtful and amazed. As it was a histroy I knew what to expect for Lewis in the end. But the book certainly filled in a life and time very well.


    Any additional comments?

    My husband and I read this on a trip from Colorado to Wisconsin. The early part of the book was dedicated to the life of Lewis and truly this was more of a biography on Lewis with much about the journey of the Lewis and Clark. We enjoyed the book, but wish we had maps (other than the road Atlas) to follow along with. We also found lack of clarification on some of the medical conditions( which I am sure exist in other books) a bit frustrating. The author also has the tendency to repeat himself. There are several conclusions drawn in the book which he draws on multiple occasions for each Native group they met along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lane MORGAN HILL, CA, United States 07-18-12
    Lane MORGAN HILL, CA, United States 07-18-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Sad it's over"
    If you could sum up Undaunted Courage in three words, what would they be?

    New found hero


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lewis - he was the the main character


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Leaving St. Louis for the western frontier


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Found out things in the end that were new and surprising to me

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Robertson PA, United States 07-17-12
    Gene Robertson PA, United States 07-17-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
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    "Far too long."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    About half of this book could easily have been eliminated. There is far too much detail for the average listener to endure. I have "The Wild Blue" by Ambrose which is similar. Perhaps the abridged version would have been more tolerable but a day by day account is dull and boring. Finally I just gave up. Pity because I would have liked to understand more about the post journey period as well. The narration does not help. It is very dry and dull. Pity as I was really interested in the subject.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen E. Ambrose again?

    Probably not.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Narration was dull.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 05-26-12
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 05-26-12 Member Since 2014

    54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A 5 STAR EXTRAVEGANZA"

    I'm sure there are many great reviews on this book, after all it was the great reviews that convinced me to get this in the first place.

    When something is so highly rated it is often detrimental to your experience because you start out with very high expectations. When a book still blows you away after starting it with such high expectations, that's a true 5 star read!

    The premise for a true adventure story doesn't get much better. A large finely picked group of men headed by 2 great men picked by the president to intensively explore the great unknown, with dangers severe enough to doubt their survival.- It was kind of like the moon shot of its time.

    There are an awful lot of history writers but only a handful of great ones. Stephen Ambrose's performance with this book put him in the highest eshilon of historical writing excellence.

    HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION-- GREAT NARRATION- NOT TO BE MISSED



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 09-08-11
    Todd 09-08-11
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    "Great Choice"

    This is a very good book to read and is pretty good to listen to. Ambrose often uses similar terms over again and this breaks the flow of the story when you are listening to it. I did not notice this when I read the book. Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery are truly heroic and this is a story everyone should read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Albert Sinyor 07-31-11
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    "A boring and uninteresting travelogue"

    Too much uninteresting detail....too long...requires editing
    Could not get into this story and do not understand why anyone would be interested in this topic ....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phyllis Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Spain 03-06-11
    Phyllis Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Spain 03-06-11 Member Since 2015
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    "A Must Read/Listen for Lovers of History!"

    As a lover of American history, I kept hearing about this book but never got around to reading it. When I noticed that it was offered here at Audible and Unabridged - I figured it was about time to check it out. It's an absolutely marvelous book of highly researched and delightfully entertaining history. It is also narrated very well by Barrett Whitener. I was captivated from the very beginning to the very end. And I learned so very much about our country's early, pioneering years. I really enjoyed listening to this book and will probably do so several more times. Another favorite in my ever growing Audible library. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Durango, CO, United States 01-21-11
    Shane Durango, CO, United States 01-21-11 Member Since 2015
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    "A story this epic should have a better narrator"

    This story is fantastic, and wonderfully written. Through most of the book I felt as if I was traveling with Lewis and Clark, expiring every triumph and hardship. Wonderful tale, the downside is the narrator. It sounds almost like a machine is talking to you. I would still recommend, but definitely check out the sample though....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 12-24-10
    Tim United States 12-24-10 Member Since 2011

    I don't write book reports.

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    "The Great Land"

    I feel very lucky for our forefathers thinking so advance at the time, letting Lewis and Clark explore our great lands.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ugo Oak Park, CA, United States 11-16-10
    Ugo Oak Park, CA, United States 11-16-10
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    "Undaunted Courage"

    This book lets you discover the West all the way to the Pacific, with precious insights on the characters, knoledge and discipline of men that claimed freedom and equal rights, and practicing them, well befor the French Revolution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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