Undaunted Courage

  • by Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Narrated by Barrett Whitener
  • 21 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and - by way of the Snake and Columbia rivers - down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West. When they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead. Undaunted Courage is supported by a variety of colorful characters: Jefferson and his vision of the West; Clark, the artist and mapmaker; and Lewis, the enigma, who led brilliantly but considered the mission a failure. After suffering several periods of depression - and despite his status as national hero - Lewis died mysteriously, apparently by his own hand.


What the Critics Say

"... a swiftly moving, full-dress treatment of the expedition." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Ambrose's epic, a combination of rhapsody and reality, feels like a final glimpse at a pristine Eden before the crowd of trappers and settlers altered it forever." ( Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great detail about this historical event...

Undaunted Courage brought alive many details about the Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery". I gained a better understanding of the political mind of Jefferson and political thought of the time; specifically from the colonists' perspective but with plenty of opportunity to see things from the natives' perspective. I also gained a better understanding of the logistics involved and what the expedition encountered.

I was taken in by the story and even looked forward to my commute.
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- Christopher

Narration kills a great book

I read this great book many years ago when it was first published and found it facinating. Ambrose's skill really broadened my reading experience and I have read many many historical books since because of it. I purchaed the audio version because I was planning to drive to Montana from Florida and I thought this book would be a fantastic counterpoint to my lengthy journey. Sad to say that the flat, droning, expressionless, uninspired (I could go on) narration ruined the book for me. Mr. Whitener is a reader from the very early days of "books-on-tape" and maybe I have been spoiled by the performances of Jim Dale, but I just couldn't listen to this book. Please try the sample before you buy this audiobook and know that what you hear is what you get - the same nasal tone and lack of emphasis throughout. If a better performer was to do this book over, I would buy it in a minute. I gave this one star because the book is really really great.
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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-12-2001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio