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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.

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
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Best book ever!

I have read(listened) to this work several times. Each time I learn a fit more. Each time I am impressed a bit more deeply with the group who planned, funded and took the journey. Thank you for such a wonderful work. Thank you Jefferson, Lewis, Clark and company for your dedication to furthering our country and knowledge.

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  • MD United States
  • 04-25-16

couldn't put it down, learned so much. a must read

couldn't put it down, learned so much. a must read for every person interested in learning about the American West.

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Lewis and Sherlock Holmes

The parallel between Holmes and Lewis are amazing. Both manic depressives and drug abusers. It's astonishing that Lewis was able to accomplish what he did and that he was so revered by both Jefferson and Clark with emotional issues he had. It was a great story!

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Hero.

Well written. Informative. Entertaining. Recommended to all my friends. Verbosity required for review to be accepted.

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Impressive story, boring delivery

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book did so much to inform me about what the Louisiana Purchase really did for the development of the USA, and the exploration by Lewis and Clark is just incredible. The author did a fine job, but it is a SHAME that the reading of it was so boring that I thought it was a mechanical voice, and thus gave up and just read it on Kindle.

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

The meticulous way that Lewis catalogued everything he did and collected, getting samples of the flora and fauna to take back, and that in between just trying to blaze a trail, avoid conflicts with Indians, climb mountains, and feed his band of fellow adventurers. Sacajawea can never get enough praise for her role in helping these men, all with a newborn baby on her back.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was so monotone and mechanical, I could have sworn it was not even a human voice.

Could you see Undaunted Courage being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Yes, a mini series.

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Great Story...terrible presentation

Would you try another book from Stephen E. Ambrose and/or Barrett Whitener?

NOOOOOOO

Would you be willing to try another one of Barrett Whitener’s performances?

Absolutely not

Did Undaunted Courage inspire you to do anything?

Loved the story...LOVE history.

Any additional comments?

The reader made this book a lot harder to get through than it should have been.

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Ambrose is an American treasure

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The book is a must-read for any American history buff, and Ambrose tells the story in an engaging and compelling manner.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Barrett Whitener?

The narrator's voice is easy enough on the ear, but a few mispronunciations of well-known historical words made me cringe a bit. He pronounces Thomas Jefferson's home as "mon-ti-SELL-o" rather than the well documented "mon-ti-CHELL-o" . The Native American tribe Arikara is mispronounced as "ARR-ee-KAR-uh" rather than the well-documented "a-RIK-car-rah", and the tribe "MAN-DAN" (with equal emphasis on each syllable) is mispronounced as "MAN-dun." Minor, yes, but for one with a strong history background, it was a bit grating. If you can get past that, the narration is fine.

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I wish I had "read" it before now

it's more than the story of discovery; it's a very human story. Hats off to the explorers and the author.

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Interesting story, full of detail

The narration was easy to understand and follow, in an easy-to-listen-to voice. The book,itself, is full of detail and places you next to Lewis in his journey across the West. The reader sees the Indians and the burgeoning towns along the Mississippi as Lewis viewed them. I would recommend this audiobook to any fan of history, particularly those interested in exploration, Indian-American relations, American history, even military history.

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Remarkable

Both Ambrose and Whitener do a very fine job. Worth every penny and every minute.