|Author||Stephen E. Ambrose|
|Cover artist||E.S. Paxson (Lewis and Clark at Three Forks, 1912)|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|1997 Hardback & 2003 Paperback|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||592 pp (paperback edition|
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West (ISBN 0684811073), written by Stephen Ambrose, is a 1996 biography of Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The book is based on journals and letters written by Lewis, Clark, Thomas Jefferson and many others. While most of the book is dedicated to the expedition, several chapters are also devoted to Lewis's early life as a Virginia planter and Jefferson's personal secretary, and his later life as governor of the Louisiana Territory before his untimely death. The book outlines the expedition in detail, including the route, interactions with Native Americans, scientific discoveries, wildlife and landscape. As a biography the book is focused entirely on Lewis, so Clark, Sacagawea and the others are addressed principally in their interactions with Lewis. The expedition, and Lewis's life as a whole, is placed within the broader context of Jefferson's presidency, the opening of the American west, and early Indian Policy. The text is supplemented by maps and illustrations, including some drawn by Lewis himself.
The book was a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
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