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Independent historians Danisi and Jackson offer a meticulously researched, if occasionally obsessive, account of Meriwether Lewis's life, focused primarily on the tragically short years after the famous Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806. The authors propose the novel but credible theory that Lewis's mysterious 1809 death, generally considered a suicide, was a result of unwitting self-poisoning with mercury treatments for his recurring, debilitating bouts of malaria. In the process, the authors also effectively debunk conspiracy theorists' suggestions that Lewis was murdered. After the expedition, Lewis served as governor of the Louisiana territory, was embroiled in the convoluted and harsh politics of the territory and worked sedulously on Indian affairs. Although Danisi and Jackson's choice to focus on Lewis's post-1806 life is understandable given the numerous expedition histories, Lewis's last years will be less compelling to many readers than his iconic journey across the American continent. In the end, regardless of how well researched and insightful, this work is likely to be appreciated almost exclusively by professional historians and Lewis and Clark enthusiasts. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.