In 1804 Lewis and Clark set off to explore the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase. They were acting as the eyes and ears of President Thomas Jefferson, who had an insatiable curiosity about what lay between the Mississippi and the Pacific. One contingency for which they were not prepared was the awesome geography of the Rocky Mountains. Including excerpts from Lewis and Clark's journals and putting their scientific achievements in context, David Hawke presents a riveting story of this dramatic journey.
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(208mm x 140mm x 20mm)
WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A brief, competent, diligently researched account of the landmark Lewis and Clark expedition - without, however, much color or drama. Hawke (American History, Lehman College, CUNY) begins, as other historians have, by emphasizing Jefferson's role in instigating and - by his instructions - guiding the "Voyage of Discovery." We see the explorers prepare for the trip - studying the diaries of previous travelers, buying gifts for the Indians - and we get a feel for their routine en route. We're on hand as they chart hitherto unknown plant and animal life, hunt whatever's around for food, deal with surprisingly friendly Indians (aided, now, by Sacagawea), make constant repairs to the canoes and wagons - all the while vainly searching for an all-water route to the Pacific. Occasional excerpts from the explorers' journals are beneficially interspersed, and Hawke concludes with a swipe at one Dr. Barton, who promised to edit them and, in failing to, cost Lewis and Clark some credit for their discoveries. Anyone with more than a cursory interest will want to proceed forthwith to the Bernard DeVoto condensation of the journals - or the National Park Service's vividly detailed Lewis & Clark (1975). (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - David Freeman Hawke
David Freeman Hawke is also the author of Paine.