This Vast Land: A Young Man's Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

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9780786261390: This Vast Land: A Young Man's Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
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A New York Times Bestselling Author

In a story muscled with truth and imagination, Stephen E. Ambrose (1936-2002) recounts the epoch-making 1803 expedition of Lewis and Clark through the words of a young man. Finding foes and friends among Natives, surviving sickness and hunger, choosing between a woman and the life he left behind, George Shannon grows up as the corps forges a way west.

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Review:

Renowned historian Stephen Ambrose vividly brings to life Lewis and Clark’s famous westward expedition (1803-1806) through the fictionalized diary of George Shannon--the youngest member of the famous explorers’ team. This Vast Land is filled with colorful examples of life on the trail, (baiting grizzly bears for sport, chasing after stolen horses, etc.), and Ambrose creates a credible teenage character in George Shannon. Shannon starts out as a complete "greenhorn" who must beg and plead with Captain Lewis to take him along. He learns quickly and develops into an accomplished hunter and tracker, but when tempers flare and he gets into a fistfight, he becomes worried: "I fear...I am becoming as wild as this river...this is not right." Shannon matures on the journey, taking an Indian wife, fathering a son, even learning that he is capable of taking human life. At the end of his life, Shannon finds himself offering advice to a young cadet named Robert E. Lee: I learned...never to give up, even when you are lost without your balls." Rifle balls, that is.

This Vast Land was Ambrose’s last book, edited and published by family after his death in 2002. Full of expertly wrought historical detail and earthy humor, the novel is a lively addition to the award-winning writer’s significant body of work . (Ages 13 and older)--Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his New York Times best-sellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage.

He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words:

As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next.

Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board.

His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.

He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.

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9780689864483: This Vast Land: A Young Man's Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

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ISBN 10:  0689864485 ISBN 13:  9780689864483
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children&#x..., 2003
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