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The Essential Lewis and Clark Selections

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  217 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark remain the single most important document in the history of American exploration. Through these tales of adventure, edited by American Book Award nominee Landon Jones, we see the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and western rivers the way Lewis and Clark first observed them -- majestic, pristine, uncharted, and awe-inspi ...more
Audio, 0 pages
Published June 3rd 2003 by HarperAudio (first published July 1999)
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Jun 03, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been interested in how Native Americans lived before Europeans came to America and never could find a good book. I was surprised on how much detail Lewis & Clark described the tribes they encountered. They were the first outside group (whites and one black slave) that many Native Americans ever encountered. Really interesting stuff. It would be a great book for a high school or college level history class. In my opinion, students would learn more from this book than the standard ...more
Nathan Albright
Sep 28, 2016 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge
What makes these edited Lewis and Clark diary entries of their epic and fateful journey of scientific exploration from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River and back essential? For one, it helps to get some idea of the scope of what is included and what is omitted. Roughly half of the material within the Lews and Clark diaries is included here, and the book presents itself as offering the highlights, which is an accurate judgment. If you like reading about travels and about the exploratio ...more
Jen Fen
I love reading about Lewis and Clark! Underrepresented heroes of history, this book chronicles their journey across the United States from both perspectives. The book would greatly be enhanced if a map of their journey were included. It would be quite interesting to see the names Lewis and Clark gave places and what they may be named today.
Feb 21, 2017 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edited to retain only the essentials
Gail Pool
Apr 14, 2016 Gail Pool rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Long before Huck lit out for the territory, Lewis and Clark…defined the territory,” writes Landon Y. Jones in the introduction to his selection from the explorers’ journals. “During their journey, and in their journals, Lewis and Clark created an epic,” he observes, “one whose effect on our collective imagination has made it, over time, the unofficial Odyssey of American history.”

The two Captains and their band, the Corps of Discovery, set out in 1804 with instructions from President Jefferson
Josh Miller
Jul 28, 2014 Josh Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have not read many books that are compiled in a "diary-like" nature. However, this book was fascinating as one could really imagine all of the scenarios playing out while Lewis & Clark made their famous trek across the Wild, Wild, West and Northwest to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean. This voyage was commissioned on behalf of the President Thomas Jefferson and the United States government shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Throughout school, I had briefly studied this expedit
Peter Galamaga
Mar 21, 2012 Peter Galamaga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this audio book 7 years ago - I think as a result of an intriguing interview on the radio. So when it finally got to the top of my " pile" I wasn't sure what to expect. Mostly - I was expecting to be bored. Man - was I surprised.
This is an abridged/edited version of the diaries of Lewis and Clark as they crossed the country and reached the Pacific ocean. It's read by two narrators - one for each explorer and one of them is Tom Wopat (Luke Duke for you 70s TV fans) and they re
Aug 09, 2016 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid, unadorned overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition as related by abridged excerpts from their journals. "Essential" may be going too far, however, since it leaves many questions unanswered. The excerpts are sparsely annotated and explanatory notes are few. Perhaps this bare bones format is meant to whet the reader's appetite for more detailed accounts of the voyage, but it feels lacking. Yet if you want a quick introduction to L&C's greatest hits—grizzly bear encounters; eating do ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Just fantastic. What was most striking about Lewis and Clark was that in many ways they were not only pioneers but also role models. Brave, yes, but also model friends, attentive captains, and generally fair and scrupulous diplomats with the many Indian tribes they met. This edited version of their journals, its entries selected with keen historical and dramatic sensibility, is a real page-turner, reading like a well-paced novel and grabbing you like a Hollywood blockbuster. Would rec ...more
Standardized spelling (and spell check) is a blessing! This book is a selection of Lewis and Clark's most relevant journal entries from their trip to the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon coast, and back to civilization. It was written before dictionaries became widely used, and boy can that make the reading confusing at times. It was interesting to see how many ways Clark could spell Charbonneau. I think that there were about 7 or 8 different spellings.

I was struck once again how arduous the explorat
Oct 14, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of "distilled" journals from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1803-1806. Since it's extracted, it's very abbreviated and, supposedly, the boring parts are left out. I discovered a few things about the expedition that I did not know: the Missouri country was also populated with white people (trappers), venereal disease existed among the Indians, Clark was never commissioned a "Captain" by Congress, Lewis got shot on the way back...just to name a few. Good reference if you don't want ...more
Oct 08, 2014 Hyrum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I assume that a large portion of their journals has been cut out since the expedition was out for three years and there were only like 8 CDs. But that means that they left in only the exciting parts. Since it is history and not a novel it doesn't follow the traditional build up to a climax but that doesn't mean it wasn't very interesting. The part I found most interesting was the descriptions of the various Indians. Lewis and Clark met many different tribes while they were on their journey and t ...more
Gus Breymann
The book consists entirely of excerpts from the actual journal writings of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during their journey across the plains and mountains to the Oregon coast, 1804-1806, and return. Of particular note to me was their descriptions of encounters with a wide variety of Indian peoples between St. Louis and Fort Clatsop. If you seek excellent prose, analysis and interpretation of the Lewis and Clark expedition, this is not the book for you. If you want the two explorers' chro ...more
Jun 04, 2009 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean
I actually didn't finish this book. I only got about halfway through and decided to start another book that was on hold for me at the library. What Lewis and Clark went through was amazing, but I had a hard time with the format of the book. Since it is just excerpts from their journal entries, it jumps around and doesn't flow very well. The frequent misspelling is also very distracting for me, so I had a hard time focusing on the book. Maybe I'll pick it up again later and finish it someday.
Don Weidinger
Aug 25, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it
2quarts whiskey June04 St Louis, small pox deaths, elk on sandbar, Bad Humor, high cheek bones, whip, trade squaw, April05 Yellowstone River, 3 forks, west of Dillon 8/05 merry people in extreme poverty, ate dogs, May06 when do we start back, Sept cut horses sweat lodge tree fire for good journey bad mosquitoes bears 10Kbuffalo, August party disperse and first liquor in year, Sept 21 St Charles 3500 miles including 340 over land 3 bear species.
Jon Box
Jan 24, 2016 Jon Box rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
Good, edited accounts of the Lewis and Clark journey up the Missouri, down the Snake/Colombia, to the Pacific, and back from the horses' mouths. Learned some things I hadn't heard in "Undaunted Courage", but after awhile it got somewhat repetitive (bears, Indians, lack of foods). There was much less mention of the other flora and fauna ... Still a fair read.
Nov 17, 2011 Cyndi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Journal entries of Lewis and Clark's expedition. I had heard most of the stories before so that is why the low rating. The material is not really presented in an interesting manner and without a background or knowledge of the era, your understanding could be diminished of what a truly great undertaking this was and the value of what was gleaned. Left me wanting more.
Oct 15, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Via audiobook, my husband & I listened to this on a recent road trip. Extremely interesting to learn how these 2 19th century explorers made it to the the Pacific Ocean from St. Louis. Well read by the 2 actors. Full of information concerning the various Indian tribes from Missouri to California.
Collection of journal entries by Lewis and Clark. Interesting... worked fairly well as an audio book and kept me interested. The best parts involved Sharbono and his constant screw-ups.

-Sharbono lost my axe and gun
-Sharbono almost capsized the boat today.
-Sharbono nearly shot me.
Mike Dunn
May 26, 2014 Mike Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Terrifically edited primary source on the Lewis & Clark journey. Don't expect any substantial analysis, or really any author opinion. Know that it's merely a seriously edited version of their journals. Nicely put together with clear edits, and a clear author goal.
Jun 06, 2010 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting but I would have gotten into it more if it was written like a novel instead of like a diary. The entries, of course, didn't flow because they were written different days so sometimes I had a difficult time paying attention.
I guess technically I haven't read this book, since I couldn't drag myself further than the fifth or sixth chapter. I'm sure it's rich with information, but it is, um well. . . boring. Sorry. Maybe you loved it.
Dec 04, 2010 Marni marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I flipped through and read portions of this. Something I would like to get back to. The journal excerpts are fun to read! You get to read their actual experiences instead of commentary and summary.
Karen Hood
Mar 11, 2014 Karen Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Great historical book to read!The Essential Lewis and Clark
Mark Selby
Dec 22, 2012 Mark Selby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every American should be acquainted with the journals of Lewis and Clark. I listened to the audio book of this excerpt. The narration greatly enhanced the experience and enjoyment.
Mar 14, 2009 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well edited and fun to hear Lewis and Clark's letters read. Unfortunately, there isn't much explanation of what is going on.
Matt Anderson
Very interesting accounts to read of the journey. However it would have been far more interesting if there were contextual or background descriptions for the journal notes.
It would be such a great adventure to travel the country as Lewis and Clark did. This was an interesting read with journal detailing the difficulties and the customs of the people they met.
Jan 16, 2014 Ed rated it liked it
I enjoyed the audiobook, with distinct voice actors performing Lewis and Clark. They were surprisingly descriptive regarding flora, fauna, landscapes, and cultures they encountered.
Nov 03, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was hoping for a narrative of the journey, was a little disappointed that it is mostly diary/journal entries from the journey. Still good though.
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