Review by Booklist Review
The last word in Lewis and Clark histories, Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage [BKL Ja 1 & 15 96], was a top-10 best-seller for more than a year. Perhaps that's a sign of the popularity likely to greet this spin-off book of a new Ken Burns film, slated for broadcast next November. Burns generously gives lead credit for the book to Duncan, who matches the profusion of images (about 150) with excerpts from Lewis and Clark's famous journals; Duncan's own text links these two elements. Aside from displaying Clark's creative orthography ("Ocian in view!" to quote the journals' crowning moment), Duncan's method allows readers to experience all the crises and landmarks of the odyssey by letting them imagine they're members of the Corps of Discovery, being tormented by mosquitoes, attacked by grizzles, befriended by Mandans, astounded by the Great Falls of the Missouri (now dry, silenced by a dam), and starved in the Bitterroots. To enhance the re-creation of that period, the authors conjure up its legendary figures in various ways, such as poet Erica Funkhouser's evocative essay concerning the legendary Sacagawea's inner life. (Ambrose and William Least Heat-Moon contribute essays, too.) Such prose is boosted by the rich visuals Duncan and Burns use: drawings from the journals; paintings by Catlin, Bodmer, Bingham, and Russell; and landscape photos and Indian portraits taken in the late nineteenth century. These illustrations alone (and the film) ensure immediate interest that the text commendably builds upon, so prepare for a torrent of requests. --Gilbert Taylor
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
In this companion to a PBS film by Burns (part of the team that brought you The Civil War), novelist Duncan (Out West, Doubleday, 1996) follows Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their famous jaunt. A 100,000-copy first printing. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Duncan's second book on the Lewis and Clark expedition (Out West, 1987) is the companion volume to the newest documentary by Burns, scheduled to air on public television stations in early November. The details of one of the most remarkable official journeys in American history have been the subject of many narratives, first and most prominently Lewis and Clark's own record of the trip. Duncan provides a useful if brief overview of the expedition conceived by Thomas Jefferson, offering frequent comparisons between the largely untouched West that the expedition traversed and the same landscapes today, as well as some lively asides on later incidents along the Lewis and Clark trail. One hundred color and fifty black-and-white illustrations, including period drawings and paintings as well as modern photographs, considerably enliven the narrative. A charming if terse summary of the journey; readers wanting a detailed history should look elsewhere. (First printing of 100,000; Literary Guild main selection)
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