Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Review: Undaunted Courage

Undaunted Courage

by Stephen Ambrose

My Synopsis

A biography about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

My Thoughts

An amazing, well-researched book that was informative but not so technical that it was difficult to read. Surprisingly, I got into this book! Ambrose wrote in a way that I felt I was with these courageous explorers as they encountered Indians - some friendly, some not - dealt with illness, mosquitoes, and bears, how they hunted for food, built canoes, rode rapids and walked miles in the snow. He was extremely thorough in his research; he spent months traveling the same trails and viewing the same sights mentioned in their journals. He does a great job of detailing the relationship between Meriwether Lewis and President Thomas Jefferson and at the end of the book included Lewis's mental illness and suicide. After the expedition, Lewis's mental illness prevented him from publishing his journals and sadly he died before doing so. Because of this, Lewis and Clark never got credit for most of their discoveries. A man named Nicholas Biddle published a book called The History of the Expedition Under the Commands of Captains Lewis and Clark, which was a narrative and paraphrase of the journals.

Awesome, awesome book. Everyone should read this. It's one of those books where you need to set time aside since it's not an easy read, but when you do put the time into it, it's really worth it.
Stephen Ambrose wrote another book called D-Day and I plan on reading that as well.

Thanks to Amos for recommending this book!

My Rating

5/5 but not because I couldn't put it down, as my rating system says, but because it was both interesting to read and I learned so much.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Wow. This would normally be a book I would pass on... just not my type of read, but your review makes me think again...

Lynne said...

Sheila, I agree, not my typical read. That's why I like getting recommendations from others (in this case my step-sister, who is a teacher). Gotta step outside the box every so often. I'm glad I did.

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

This book is on my shelf, but I've never delved into it. Thank you for inspiring me to do so.

Lynne said...

Laughing Stars, you really have to be in the mood for a book like this, but you should read it. You'll feel so SMART! I go back and forth between the kinds of books I read. I'll read a fluffy, easy book, then I'll read a memoir, then I might read a self-help. I like to mix it up :)


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