8 Best Books About Lewis And Clark Update 05/2022

The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness By Clay S. Jenkinson

I think this 442-page, thought-provoking essay by humanities scholar Clay S. Jenkinson is the best book about Lewis and Clark that I’ve ever read. People from Lewis to Lennon and McCartney are mentioned by Clay in the next few pages. He starts with a quote from Hamlet, and then talks about everyone from Lewis to John Donne and Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. This is a highly personal, highly readable, and free-ranging book that gives new and interesting information about both Lewis and Clark and their journey west. I think it’s great.

William Clark and the Shaping of the West By Landon Y. Jones

The versatile Landon Jones is a former editor of People magazine and the author of Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation, but it is his biography of Clark that really thrills me. This book is based on solid research and written in a way that is always fun to read. Before, during, and after the trip, you get to know William Clark, who is both interesting and mysterious.

The Lewis and Clark Journals: An American Epic of Discovery By Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Members of the Corps of Discovery

Gary E. Moulton is a history professor who spent 20 years editing the 13-volume journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which were written by the captains and four of their men. They describe in great detail the three years and one month that they spent together in the journals. Besides transcribed these stories, Moulton and his team also added informative footnotes that explain everything, from the Indians they encountered to the plants and animals they saw while they were on their way to the mountains and rivers they passed through on their journey. There is no surprise that Moulton is the Expedition’s best person. We Lewis and Clark fans own and love all 13 volumes. This single volume is perfect for anyone who wants to read and understand what the men themselves went through.

In Search of York: The Slave Who Went to the Pacific with Lewis and Clark By Robert B. Betts

There were many sad things that happened during the Expedition. The early death of Meriwether Lewis is one that stands out. But no story is more poignant than that of York, William Clark’s slave, who was one of twenty-eight men who made the whole trip from St. Louis to the Pacific coast and back again. In many ways, this book tells the story of slavery itself. It talks about York’s good service on the Expedition, his childhood as a slave to the Clark family, his marriage, his breakup with Clark, his demotion from body servant to hired-out slave, his forced separation from his wife, his freedom, and his understandable failure in the freight business. There was a sad legacy to this Expedition, just like there was a sad legacy to the United States.

Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West By Stephen E. Ambrose

This book, written by historian Stephen Ambrose, was a big help to Ken Burns when he made his 1997 documentary on Lewis and Clark. It’s the most popular book about the expedition ever written, and it’s the perfect companion to Moulton’s abridged volume of the Lewis and Clark journals (number 3 above). When Lewis died three years after the expedition, he took his own life. This book is both a biography of him and a history of the expedition, and it both. Don’t be afraid if you don’t know much about Lewis and Clark. This book is a great place for the general reader to start. As he wrote and researched his work and died in 2002, Ambrose said it was a labor of love. This is shown in every line.

Across the Continent: Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and the Making of America

This collection of essays looks at the global politics of the time, how Jefferson justified the mission in the first place, how it impacted Native Americans, and how it has changed the way we think about the world.

The Lewis and Clark expedition started out as a small thing in its own time, but it has become a legend in the United States. “Across the Continent” doesn’t try to debunk myths about the explorers. Instead, it looks at the world they lived in and how it connects to our own. It comes at a time when the country is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the expedition.

Why Sacagawea Deserves the Day Off and Other Lessons from the Lewis and Clark Trail

These short stories from the trail are meant to show how the people in the Corps of Discovery came to be. Stephen Ambrose’s daughter, Stephenie Tubbs, has a lot of good ideas about what it was like to be on the trail with Lewis and Clark. That Sacagawea had to deal with being a national icon, and Lewis had high-functioning autism.

When Thomas Jefferson sent his agents to find new things, what really made him do it? What “mutinous expressions” did they say? In what way did the dog die? Why did Meriwether Lewis end his own life, and what was the reason? Tubbs tells how she went on the trip by foot, in a Volkswagen bus, and in a canoe. At every turn, she revives the American experience written down by Lewis and Clark.

Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

You can correctly call this work an encyclopedia because it’s an alphabetized list of every single thing that happened on the Lewis and Clark trip. The book even includes plants and animals that Lewis and Clark came across on their trip across the country. It also includes people and places that they came across.

More than 360 informative A-to-Z entries, a chronology with mileage markers, an introductory essay, lists of sources for more information after each entry, a bibliography, a subject index, a general index, 20 maps, and 116 black-and-white photographs make this a must-have reference. It also includes 20 maps and 116 black-and-white photographs.

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