Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose, is a book that has been out for a while, but I hadn’t heard of it until I moved to this area. I first checked this book out on cd from our local library to listen to on a long drive, but I ended up returning it unfinished. The person reading the book had a slightly nasal voice, and I just couldn’t keep listening. I finished it in paperback.
The book begins by discussing Meriwether Lewis’ early life and education, his time as Thomas Jefferson’s personal secretary, and then gets into the expedition of the Corps of Discovery. From planning and finding the members of the Corps, to crossing the mountains, and journeying back home, this book covers as much as was known about the expedition at the time of writing.
It took me a few chapters to really get into this book. I was ready for the expedition to start right away, but I did find the discussion of Lewis’ early life interesting. I hadn’t realized how much preparation went into their journey, or that there were several failed attempts by others in the decades before their trip. The book could be a little dry at times, and there were parts where I wanted to know more information, but it was a fascinating read overall. Ambrose obviously loves this story, and that comes through in his writing, and made me love the story, too. It’s not a small book, by any means, but it is well worth the read.