In 1804 Lewis and Clark set off to explore the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase. They were acting as the eyes and ears of President Thomas Jefferson, who had an insatiable curiosity about what lay between the Mississippi and the Pacific. One contingency for which they were not prepared was the awesome geography of the Rocky Mountains. Including excerpts from Lewis and Clark's journals and putting their scientific achievements in context, David Hawke presents a riveting story of this dramatic journey.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Those Tremendous Mountains based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Hawke blends the diaries, notes and sketches of Captains Meriweather Lewis and William Clark with his own narrative to create a lively and creative account of the famous duo's expedition. It is not a dry retelling of the trials and tribulations of traversing daunting mountain ranges. It is a portrait of desire, courage, friendship and loyalty. Thanks to a very specific and detailed charge by Thomas Jefferson to count every tree, flower, river, animal, and weather condition along the journey and both Lewis and Clark's insatiable desire and curiosity to discover the world around them they documented thousands of species never seen before, making their expedition that much more famous than those gone who had before them. Their curiosity for every new plant and animal they encountered gave them a wealth of information to send back to the President. Hawke also carefully portrays Lewis and Clark as humanitarians with a keen sense of diplomacy when dealing with the Native American tribes they encountered. Knowing they would need help crossing the Rockies Lewis and Clark made sure to have plenty of gifts for the natives. Bartering for the things they needed came easier with a show a respect rather than force. Probably my favorite parts in the book were the displays of friendship between Lewis and Clark. While President Jefferson continuously called it Lewis' expedition, Lewis insisted Clark was his equal and it was their expedition. Even after Jefferson downgraded Clark's rank from captain to second lieutenant Lewis the men on the expedition "never learned of his true rank and always called him Captain" (p 51). Probably my favorite lines comes at the end: "By then the trust between them was complete and remained so to the end" (p 248).