Undaunted Courage

  • by Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Narrated by Cotter Smith
  • 4 hrs and 35 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Captain Meriwether Lewis was hand-picked by President Thomas Jefferson to explore and acquire the American West. In 1803, Lewis and his partner William Clark led an expedition up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean and back. They endured incredible hardships and saw amazing sights. Stephen Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition, as seen through Lewis' eyes. Adventure, politics, suspense, drama, diplomacy, romance and personal tragedy combine to make this outstanding work of scholarship as engaging as any work of fiction.


What the Critics Say

"Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: a historian with true passion for his subject. Here he takes one of the great...stories in American history and breathes fresh life into it." (Ken Burns)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book was exhaustive enough to really get a feel for what happened on this incredible journey. Ambrose?s analysis was interesting and in areas where some conjecture was necessary he presented several of the leading ideas and comments, which I felt was very appropriate considering the sometimes incomplete history of the story. The only area that I was disappointed in was the last few chapters. Perhaps some of my disappointment was the fact the last few chapters dealt with the events after the expeditions conclusion and I wasn?t ready stop hearing about the fascinating stories of the Indians, bears, and other dangerous encounters. I gave it 4 stars and would highly recommend.
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- Robert

A life changing experience

I bought this for my son, but thought I would listen to "a bit" of it while I cleaned house. Four hours later I was listening to the ending, still spellbound. The listener has been through all sorts of travails with Lewis, from planning the trip and reaching the Pacific and the long return. At long last, Ambrose gave Lewis his due. It took almost 200 years, but we finally see him as the hero and genius that he was. I was heartbroken by his suicide. Ambrose himself reads the very ending of the book, and he sounds like Jefferson himself listing the amazing traits that Lewis possessed and that made the great expedition possible. Behind Ambrose's aging but poignant voice, you'll hear Dvorak's "New World Symphony." It is a tour de force! I live in Alaska on a hill overlooking the great sweep of the Tanana River, with miles of wilderness stretching before me. I went out on my deck as the sun was setting and listened to Jefferson's tribute and the beautiful music and sobbed as hard as I have ever sobbed in my life. But it wasn't sadness. I was just in awe of the book, the journey, the greatness of Lewis, and the beauty of wild nature. I have recommended it to friends and they also said that it was an unforgettable journey for them also. I will never forget this audiobook! Get it, set aside some time when you will be alone to savor every word, and try to get to a spot of wilderness to listen to the ending. You will cherish the memory.
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- Susan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-26-2001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio