Regular price: $35.93

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

"... 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,465
  • 4 Stars
    720
  • 3 Stars
    201
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
    26

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    914
  • 4 Stars
    496
  • 3 Stars
    198
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    29

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,172
  • 4 Stars
    374
  • 3 Stars
    102
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Why don't they tell it like this in high school??

Fascinating story on so many levels. I initially thought I might drop it, the beginning was a bit monotonous. But once the journey began, I was hooked. I liked how it gives you a glimpse into the complex nature of native america before too much european influence, i.e that young men out on hunting parties, acting like young men (stealing gear, challenging Lewis) could impact the american's view of all of native america - some tribes poor and non-confrontational, others, aggressive, and how british and french trading tilted the balance of power for native americans. It's also an amazing tale of men who were really ignorant of the geography, climate, natives, and medical conditions/treatments, managed to blunder through all this and succeed by sheer will and determination.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • MG
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 08-30-12

Neil Armstrong versus Meriwether Lewis? and Clark?

I was listening to the last three hours of this book when the news of Neil Armstrong's death was in the news. I have yet to be able to compare the similarities and differences in their discoveries. The most courageous explorer? The most heroic? The best leader? Who will be remembered 200, 2000, 20,000 years from now? Undaunted Courage is a wonderful book. I enjoyed every minute. EVERY time I grab a bite to eat, I'm going to remember what the Corps of Discovery went through for every meal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Profound Education

Any additional comments?

I grew up in Idaho, very near the sites of some of the Expedition's travels. I learned about Sacajawea who, my teachers told us, was one of only two women in all the history of North American who was to be respected by Americans as a brave hero because she helped the explorers. I also learned that "Lewis-n-Clark" (one word) were great men who made it possible for me to live in an English-speaking Idaho rather than a French or Spanish-speaking land. And I learned that because of Lewis-n-Clark, we westerners can laugh condescendingly at fellow Americans from the East who call their little bumpy hills back there "mountains."

In subsequent years I learned from my historian-father about a few of the differences between the myriad Native Tribes scattered across the West, and how many, many of them should be remembered as heroes, for a variety of valid reasons, not all of which were helpful to early American squatters. He showed me the glorious Camas flower flowing over the high deserts near our home, and explained that if not for Sacajawea's introduction to the edible bulb, many in the Expedition may have starved.

My point here is that patient, truthful exploration of the realities of history is an evolving activity. I am so impressed with the rigor and insight that Steven Ambrose brings to this study. The impeccable validity of his research and documentation is stunning, and his summations and analyses of what might, in a lesser work, come across as merely tiresome details are presented in such a way that I never found my attention wandering or the focus of the narrative to wander.

I highly recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in the birth--and growing-up-years of our nation. To view itfro a across ridge as a long-ago story whos outcome we already know is far different from practically experiencing its adventures first hand, and Undaunted Courage allows us to do just that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant. Not a wasted word.

Rare is the book that could not use even a little abridging. This is just such a book. From start to finish, the narrative was relentlessly enthralling. How did I spend so many years believing this was a dry topic? Ambrose has succeeded where my history teachers failed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • andrew
  • Bountiful, UT, United States
  • 11-03-10

Very Good Survey of Lewis and Clarke

Ambrose seems to be very concise, enjoyable, and educational. I learned about exactly as much as I wanted to, without the book ever dragging or feeling tedious. This book was a good survey of Lewis and Clarke's trip; not the only book out there or the most detailed, but written for everybody. If you find yourself wanting a bit more detail, try the 4 CD Biddle version of the diaries of Lewis and Clarke. I have been listening to those now and feel they are of some added benefit to flesh out the characters and providing some Native legends and myths.

I felt the narration was adequate. The actor did not distract me or take away from the book, though he also did not wow me or steal the show. Characters have a little individuality though he mostly reads things "straight" or flat or whatever word you prefer. I think that is as things should be. The author is very witty and provides his own tone and flavor. There is a little repetition near the end after the journey where Ambrose makes conclusions, but that is nitpicking. Great read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A must read

This is an excellent account of a major part of the history of our country. Everyone should know about the effort, vision and wisdom it took to for us to gain the north west. The detail that Ambrose goes into is wonderful. We could be a different country today if Lewis and Clark had not taken on this expidition and Jefferson had not had the vision to empower them to do so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good book - would have been great if shorter.

I agree with the others that liked the book but thought it should have been shorter. It is very interesting and covers a lot of general US history from the time besides just the expedition. While I wish it was more like 15 hours than 20 it was still very worth the time to listen to it.

The narration was the worst I have every heard. The guy was downright annoying. I'm glad I listened to this book but I might skip a lesser book if read by the same person.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • West Newton, MA, USA
  • 12-25-05

Great Story

I enjoy Ambrose as an author and this is another great book. While the book is much more about Lewis than Clark, it's a very detailed listen about this historic trek. When it got a bit slow in the beginning, the narrator does a nice job - as he does throughout. i highly recommend this listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Try the abridged version of this one.

I found this book rewarding not so much for the narrative as for the "bottom line" historical facts it filled in for me. I generally prefer unabridged versions, but I am inclined to think the abridged version would have sufficed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Undaunted Courage

I've read the book, I've listended to the audio and I'll do both again and again. I've recommended the book to people who have not read history since college and they all have the same conculsion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful