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Saturday, May 22, 2004

Undaunted Courage

I let yesterday, the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery's departure from St. Charles, Missouri, get away without blogging about Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. I'm sure many of you have read the book since it was published in 1997 but I listened to it on a drive up to Des Moines and back last week for the first time.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ambrose's straightforward style and didn't realize how personal the trek of Lewis and Clark is to Ambrose whose family has retraced the trail many times. Ambrose himself reads the introduction and epilogue on the tapes and does a fine job relating his initial interest in the journals of Lewis and Clark as well as the sad and inexplicable end that Lewis came to. A couple of things in the book that stuck out for me were the degree to which the Corps of Discovery were depdendant on Indians (and not just Sacagawea) for food and horses without which they would have surely perished in the Bitter Root mountains and the courage and determination of both Lewis and Clark. Listening to the book has certainly ignited an interest in reading the journals. If you haven't read or listened to this book, you should.

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