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Exploring Lewis and Clark
Reflections on Men and Wilderness
Thomas P. Slaughter
"Scintillating...Delves deep and asks questions that will forvever change [our] reading of these men." - Newsday
“Adds new and fascinating dimensions to our appreciation of the Corps of Discovery and their brave trek through the American West.” – The Times-Picayune
This provocative work challenges traditional accounts of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s expedition across the continent and back again. Uncovering deeper meanings in the explorers’ journals and lives, Exploring Lewis and Clark exposes their self-perceptions and deceptions, and how they interacted with those who traveled with them, the people they discovered along the way, the animals they hunted, and the land they walked across. The book reveals new heroes and brings old ones into historical focus.
Thomas P. Slaughter interrogates the explorer’s dreams; how they wrote and what they aimed to possess; their sense of themselves as leaders and men; and why they feared that they had failed their nation and president. Slaughter’s Lewis and Clark are more confused, frightened, courageous, and flawed than in previous accounts. They are more human, their expedition more dramatic, and thus their story is more revealing about our own relationships to history and myth.
“A rueful reading of the historical record that delights in considering the thorniest questions within it.” –The Washington Post
“Slaughter successfully achieves his goal of delving beneath the surface of the journals….Raise[s] interesting questions about Lewis and Clark, and shows that we shouldn’t take everything we read in the journals as truth.: - The Seattle Times