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An indispensable guide to our nation’s epic adventure
The years 2003–2006 mark the bicentennial of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s famous transcontinental journey between the Missouri and the Columbia River systems. They never did find the fabled Northwest Passage, but over twenty-eight months, the Corps of Discovery traveled more than eight thousand miles through eleven future states, named scores of places and rivers, met with many Native American tribes, and wrote the first descriptions of heretofore unknown plants and animals. By the end of their trip, Lewis and Clark had navigated and named two thirds of the American continent.
They may have had undaunted courage, but the sheer volume of information related to their expedition can be more than a little daunting to the armchair historian. Written by two highly regarded Lewis and Clark experts, this book contains over five hundred lively and fascinating entries on everything from the members of the expedition and the places they went to the weapons and tools, trade goods, and medicines they carried, along with the food and amusements that sustained them. Highly readable and informative, it’s the perfect introduction for the Lewis and Clark novice, and the comprehensive guide no buff will want to be without.
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Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs is a veteran traveler on the Lewis and Clark trail and was an assistant researcher on her father’s three-volume biography of Nixon. She writes about Montana history and serves on the Lewis and Clark Interpretative Center’s Foundation board. She lives in Helena, Montana.
Clay Straus Jenkinson is a nationally respected Jefferson scholar whose previous books include The Paradox of Thomas Jefferson and Message on the Wind. He is scholar in residence at Lewis and Clark College and a senior fellow of the Center for Digital Government. He lives in Reno, Nevada.
This alphabetical primer on all things Lewis and Clark is comprehensive but not exhaustive. Both novices and scholars will benefit from the cogent entries, intended "to synthesize the mass of the existing knowledge about the Lewis and Clark expedition into a single unified volume." The authors intend their book to be consulted by Lewis and Clark students who are reading the explorers' journals, which explains why there are such entries as "dog" (193 of which were purchased for consumption on the expedition) and "gill," the daily ration of whiskey allotted to the corps of men on the journey. Tubbs, who was an assistant researcher on her historian father's biography of Nixon and serves on the foundation board of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and Jenkinson, a Thomas Jefferson scholar, have concentrated on synthesis rather than original research; the steadily mounting accretion of Lewis and Clark scholarship has necessitated such a guide, which touches on everything from what the voyagers ate to the places they explored and the people they encountered. This handy volume, timed for publication as the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition opens, has the virtue of teaching the student while helpfully reminding the scholar. 16 b&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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