Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness / Edition 1by Thomas P. Slaughter
Pub. Date: 02/10/2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Most Americans know that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led our nation’s first trans-continental exploratory expedition, which was sent west by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. Their journey is one of the most celebrated events in American history and one of the most written about. But most of us do not know any more than what the explorers told us, or what they wanted readers of their voluminous journals to know, or anything other than what they understood about themselves and their wilderness experiences.
Exploring Lewis and Clark probes beneath the traditional narrative of the journey, looking beyond the perspectives of the explorers themselves to those of the woman and the men who accompanied them, as well as of the Indians who met them along the way.
It reexamines the journals and what they suggest about Lewis’s and Clark’s misinterpretations of the worlds they passed through and the people in them. Thomas Slaughter portrays Lewis and Clark not as heroes but as men—brave, bound by cultural prejudices and blindly hell-bent on achieving their goal.
He searches for the woman Sacajawea rather than the icon that she has become. He seeks the historical rather than the legendary York, Clark’s slave. He discovers what the various tribes made of the expedition, including the notion that this multiracial, multiethnic group was embarked on a search for spiritual meaning.
Thomas Slaughter shines an entirely new light on an event basic to our understanding of ourselves. He has given us an important work of investigative history.
Author Biography: Thomas P. Slaughter is the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.
He is the award-winning author of three previous books—most recently, The Natures of John and William Bartram—and is the editor of three others, including the Library of America edition of William Bartram: Travels and Other Writings. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and two children.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This book is terrible. It's another of those liberal revisionist history books that paints all things Western/European as inherently and one-dimensionally corrupt, negative, and unenlightened. It makes no attempt at objectivity what-so-ever. The author draws all manner of negative conclusions and inferrences while citing little or no evidence to back up those claims. It is atrociously biased and opinionated; the author often dropping all mention of the subject to rant on for pages about the perceived negatives of western society and history. This book should be avoided at all costs. Save your money for something else.
Good reading, amazing story of the Expedition and their hardships during and after the expedition.
Crossing over and along the Lewis and Clark Trail, I?ve always searched for a narrative book on the adventure. I bought the cheaper books and never found the ideal narrative. I tried this book without the preview option and was pleasantly surprised. Fair warning: this is not a narrative but an in-depth psychological analysis of what was and was not written in multiple journals. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a different perspective of a well-known discovery adventure.