Undaunted Courage

Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
Narrated by: Cotter Smith
Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (351 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Captain Meriwether Lewis was hand-picked by President Thomas Jefferson to explore and acquire the American West. In 1803, Lewis and his partner William Clark led an expedition up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean and back. They endured incredible hardships and saw amazing sights. Stephen Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition, as seen through Lewis' eyes. Adventure, politics, suspense, drama, diplomacy, romance and personal tragedy combine to make this outstanding work of scholarship as engaging as any work of fiction.
©1996 Stephen E. Ambrose, All Rights Reserved (P)1996 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: a historian with true passion for his subject. Here he takes one of the great...stories in American history and breathes fresh life into it." (Ken Burns)

What listeners say about Undaunted Courage

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book was exhaustive enough to really get a feel for what happened on this incredible journey. Ambrose?s analysis was interesting and in areas where some conjecture was necessary he presented several of the leading ideas and comments, which I felt was very appropriate considering the sometimes incomplete history of the story. The only area that I was disappointed in was the last few chapters. Perhaps some of my disappointment was the fact the last few chapters dealt with the events after the expeditions conclusion and I wasn?t ready stop hearing about the fascinating stories of the Indians, bears, and other dangerous encounters. I gave it 4 stars and would highly recommend.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A life changing experience

I bought this for my son, but thought I would listen to "a bit" of it while I cleaned house. Four hours later I was listening to the ending, still spellbound. The listener has been through all sorts of travails with Lewis, from planning the trip and reaching the Pacific and the long return. At long last, Ambrose gave Lewis his due. It took almost 200 years, but we finally see him as the hero and genius that he was. I was heartbroken by his suicide. Ambrose himself reads the very ending of the book, and he sounds like Jefferson himself listing the amazing traits that Lewis possessed and that made the great expedition possible. Behind Ambrose's aging but poignant voice, you'll hear Dvorak's "New World Symphony." It is a tour de force! I live in Alaska on a hill overlooking the great sweep of the Tanana River, with miles of wilderness stretching before me. I went out on my deck as the sun was setting and listened to Jefferson's tribute and the beautiful music and sobbed as hard as I have ever sobbed in my life. But it wasn't sadness. I was just in awe of the book, the journey, the greatness of Lewis, and the beauty of wild nature. I have recommended it to friends and they also said that it was an unforgettable journey for them also. I will never forget this audiobook! Get it, set aside some time when you will be alone to savor every word, and try to get to a spot of wilderness to listen to the ending. You will cherish the memory.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

When purchasing, there was no mention that this reading is abridged. For the full story, buy the book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A good book but unfortunately a highly abridged narration.

This book was fascinating. The narrator was good. The prologue and epilogue were interesting. Unfortunately when o bought this one I didn't realize it was an abridged version. Wish I had bought the full version. Other than that I was very happy with it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Could not read the book but enjoyed the audio

I purchased this book and realized after 40 pages that I would never be able to finish it. So the audio gave me a second chance, and I really enjoyed it. There is so much to learn. The writing is not the best, but the narrator is doing a good job of inflating a bit of life in this long book.
I highly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Misleading. This was an abridged version.

I expected a complete version. Feel ripped off. Got half a book for full price.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great documentation

Solid documentation of the journey. I was expecting more of a human story and it felt a Bit rigid. I have a much greater respect for Lewis and Clark.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding book

Highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a historic encounter of a true story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent.

enjoyed every minute of this well written book and the history of the brave men who conquered the west

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well presented

Highly detailed, mostly agrees with other accounts. Narration is professional and flawless. I recommend this book.