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Download Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson And The Opening Of The American West Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson And The Opening Of The American West Audiobook, by Stephen E. Ambrose Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (16,625 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen E. Ambrose Narrator: Cotter Smith Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 1996 ISBN: 9780743518765
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In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River, across the forbidding Rockies, and -- by way of the Snake and mighty Columbia -- down to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and witnessed astounding sights. With great perseverance, they worked their way into an unexplored West and when they returned two years later, they had long since been given up for dead.
Lewis is supported by a variety of colorful characters: Jefferson and his vision of the West; Clark, the artist and map-maker; and Lewis -- the enigma, who let brilliantly but considered the mission a failure After suffering several periods of depression -- and despite his status as a national hero -- Lewis died mysteriously, apparently by his own hand. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ambrose takes us into the interior of an adventure filled with high romance and personal tragedy involving the greatest expedition ever undertaken in the history of this country.” 

    Paul Theroux, author of The Great Railway Bazaar

  • Ken Burns Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: a historian with true passion for his subject. Here he takes one of the great, but also one of the most superficially considered, stories in American history and breathes fresh life into it. Lewis comes alive as we've never known him.
  • “A swiftly moving, full-dress treatment of the expedition…A lively retelling of the journey of the two captains conveyed with passionate enthusiasm by Mr. Ambrose.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • Undaunted Courage is a work of love: rhapsodic and heroic.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A fine and important book, intelligently conceived and splendidly written.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[Ambrose] not only captures the romance of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in Undaunted Courage…he also superbly delineates the cultural and political context out of which it arose…Ambrose brilliantly reconstructs the expedition from Lewis’ point of view.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison Spencer | 2/18/2014

    " Well, get your tissue handy......actually, you might not enjoy this book as I did, seeing that I am a complete and total Lewis and Clark/Sacajawea GEEK and Obsessor. What amazing men...(and woman) what a task...before them...It never ceases to amaze me how exciting and predestined this adventure was, and how the people chosen to lead it were absolutely meant for this leadership in every way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle | 2/17/2014

    " Very well written and readable account of the adventures of thee two great explores. Very enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Scott | 2/12/2014

    " One of the best books I have every read. Once I got started I could not wait to get back to it. I love history and it was full of history facts "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 2/9/2014

    " Loved this book. Wonderful. The expedition's 2 favorite foods: buffalo tongue & dog meat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 1/19/2014

    " I learned an awful lot from this book. I like Ambrose's style and have read a number of his WWII histories. I wanted to read this in advance of visiting Fort Clatsop this weekend. There were of course many details that I was not aware of, but also some larger facts I learned. I was most struck by Lewis' relationship with Jefferson, I had no idea how much of a lifelong mentor that Jefferson was to Lewis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Del Simmons | 1/17/2014

    " An interesting look at the Lewis and Clark expedition.. Great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Anderson | 1/15/2014

    " While there is a lot of detail that I didn't feel necessary in this book, it definitely gave me a whole new outlook on Lewis & Clark. I learned some things I didn't know and it really put things into prespective for me. These men traveled across the country carrying with them everything needed for several years and made it back to tell about it--AMAZING! I'd have turned around after the first hour. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 1/15/2014

    " Amazing the hardships they had to endure! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shauna Hayrynen | 1/7/2014

    " Somewhat difficult to read in parts, but overall a very interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allie | 12/29/2013

    " I didn't know my history - didn't know how Lewis died. Kind of hit me hard. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 11/16/2013

    " Very, very thorough and insightful, but too detailed. I was not able to finish because of the immense about of details and lack of flow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Benitez | 10/17/2013

    " Hands down my favorite book of all-time. What an adventure. To think that just 200 years ago much of this country was unexplored (by non native Americans of course) seems crazy. To travel the Lewis & Clark trail is another bucket list item. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leann | 7/22/2013

    " This is a must-read history of the grueling and inspirational history of the exploration of the Western U.S. Not for the faint of heart---amazing individuals with more courage than anyone alive today.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James Shearer | 7/17/2013

    " A well written account of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific. Very pictorial as to the people and lands they travled through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 7/2/2013

    " I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. What a fantastic read to learn more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition that took place in 1804. Very well written and moved a long with a steady pace. One of the best historical books I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaymie | 3/9/2013

    " Very detailed book. Good for any history buff and especially those who love Lewis and Clark or Thomas Jefferson. I have actually read it more than once. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dante | 1/26/2013

    " I had no idea how this story ended. I also had no idea of the beginning, or the middle. Gave me more respect of Jefferson who had far more ability in long term thinking than his detractors. Petty politics was alive and well 200 years ago too! It also seemed that most people had syphilis back then. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 5/31/2012

    " The story of Lewis and Clark comes alive through original sources of journals and in depth research. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Davidmschroeder Schroeder | 5/5/2012

    " One of the finest pieces of narrative history I've read. This is one of those books that gave me a greater love of history. Thank you Stephen Ambrose, may you rest in peace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack Rogers | 4/29/2012

    " Great book about the Merriweather Lewis and his adventures and life. Amazing descriptions about the American Indian tribes he encountered. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn B. | 3/31/2012

    " It took me a long time to get through this book, but I loved it. An epic journey... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob Metcalf | 3/26/2012

    " Incredible real-life adventure story and a remarkable study in leadership. Well-written and insightful look at life beyond the frontier in early 19th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 2/2/2012

    " A slow read for me, but very interesting. Read in increments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Le Anna | 12/20/2011

    " Reading this book has been a great refresher course on the exploration of the NW. It's good timing having just moved back to the banks of the Columbia River. A courageous voyage; a sad ending to a brave man's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy Aiello | 11/19/2011

    " As research for my next book, I'm learning all I can about Lewis and Clark. This is a folksy read and very appealing in audio book format. It is read by Tom Wopat (aka Luke Duke), who has a very appealing voice (and on whom I had a wicked crush in the 6th grade). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 10/3/2011

    " The story of Lewis and Clark and Sacejawea. Sometimes got too bogged down in mundane details (as Ambrose sometimes does) but a great true story in our nations initlal move to westward expansion. Shows the true ambition, entrepreneurship, and courage of our founders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reloucks | 5/22/2011

    " I really enjoyed this. Being from North Dakota, I know the terrain very well, and I know what 30 below feels like. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 5/14/2011

    " 3.5 stars
    Unfortunately, the writing is too academic to pass for a mainstream biography, yet too informal to pass as academic. Otherwise, an interesting look at the life of Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis & Clark expedition.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chuck | 4/26/2011

    " A narrative of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1803. The history of the trip itself is fascinating but Ambrose' style, i.e. rambling, repeating himself and the use of the character's direct quotes in the early 1800s vernacular make the going pretty slow in places.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 4/25/2011

    " An in depth look at Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, and the Opening of the American West (their trip to the Pacific and back). Great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brianaustin | 4/22/2011

    " This is one of the best books of all time. If I was stranded on a desert island and could take only two books with me, this would be one of them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 4/16/2011

    " An amazing piece of storytelling by historian Stephen Ambrose. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936–2002) was the author of Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. He also founded the Eisenhower Center and was president of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. His book, Band of Brothers, was the basis for the HBO miniseries.

About the Narrator

Cotter Smith is an American actor of stage, film, and television. As an audiobook narrator, he has won two Earphones Awards and was a finalist in 1997 for the prestigious Audie Award.