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Those Tremendous Mountains: The Story of the…

Those Tremendous Mountains: The Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

by David Freeman Hawke

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A very well put together tale. The author uses the original diaries of the men on the expedition to put together a gripping account of the journey up the Big Muddy. The language is lively and interesting, even in the places where long selections of diaries are quoted - the author went to some trouble to make the quotes as seamless as possible with the the rest of the text. My only complaint is the layout of the book - I would have liked to see more maps and fewer copies of contemporaneous drawings and etchings. ( )
  benfulton | Aug 22, 2011 |
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). ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Aug 23, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393317749, Paperback)

Reissued for the 200th anniversary: "High and heroic adventure.... An exhilarating story of bravery, self-discipline, and firm resolve, and Mr. Hawke tells it uncommonly well."—The New Yorker

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. 43 period illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:48 -0400)

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Includes excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark, first published in 1904-5 under title: Original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, 1804-1806.

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