Monday, January 30, 2017

Highly Recommended Book

Thinking back over all the books I've read (and I'm confident I've forgotten most of them), this one book stands out as perhaps my all-time favorite because it contains just about everything that makes an epic. "Undaunted Courage," by Stephen Ambrose.

It was the title that grabbed me.
"Undaunted" -- not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment.
"Courage" -- ability to "do" in the face of danger; strength in the face of pain or grief.

Ambrose is my favorite historian, for he writes like a novelist (I've already shared one of his books in a previous blog). My understanding is that when he was still teaching, Ambrose took one of his college classes along portions of the Lewis and Clarke trail, so he knows what he is talking about. Perhaps you've not read Ambrose, but most are familiar with his work as he served as consultant for the movie, "Saving Private Ryan."

Another factor that contributed to my intrigue is that my first exposure to this work was via Dick Estell's "Radio Reader" on NPR. Every weekday, I arrived early enough at work to get lost somewhere in the warehouse for a half hour as Dick read. I was spellbound.

I appreciate the work Ambrose put into this work, for he gives us a close look at Meriwether Lewis from the expedition that opened the American West to the personal life of the man at home. Ambrose paints a detailed portrait of a man who, once he had his heart set on a prize, accomplished his missions with bravery, tenacity and diplomacy.

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