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Suggested Reading List

  • Allen, John L. Passage through the Garden: Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975; reprinted as Lewis and Clark and the Image of the American Northwest. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1991.

    --one of the first and best interpretive looks at the relationship of the Expedition to geography and large nineteenth-century cultural issues; contains valuable contextual information and concepts.

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Lewis and Clark, Voyage of Discovery. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1998.

    --primarily a picture book, with the narrative by Ambrose; photos carry the quality that one would expect from National Geographic; a useful high-school resource; fine integration of Indian stories.

  • Ambrose, Stephen E. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996; paperback, 1997.

    --despite some minor factual glitches, an ambitious, inspiring discussion of the relationship between Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the context of the Expedition; the work rekindled a latent national interest in the Expedition on the eve of its Bicentennial.

  • Appleman, Roy E. Lewis and Clark: Historic Places Associated with Their Transcontinental Exploration (1804-1806). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office for the U.S. National Park Service, 1975; reprinted, St. Louis: Jefferson National Expansion Historical Association, 1993.

    --the best of the "historic sites along the Trail" volumes that try to cover both entire routes; an effective mesh of geography and Expedition events; heavy in good NPS photos; a useful travel companion.

  • Betts, Robert. In Search of York. Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press, 2000.

    --an exploration of the life of York--before, during, and after the Expedition; places him in the slavery context of the times; dispels some York myths; well-documented; sound bibliography; the book on York.

  • Blumberg, Rhoda. The Incredible Journey of Lewis and Clark. New York: Harper Collins, 1987.

    --although aimed at the 5-12 grade levels, can be used by adults with benefit; describes the full reach of the Expedition; heavy in illustrations; recipient of several juvenile book awards.

  • Botkin, Daniel B. Our Natural History: the Lessons of Lewis and Clark. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1995; reprinted, New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.

    --an unconventional, eclectic discussion of the relationship between humans and nature--"environmentalism"--using examples from the expedition; some stylistic inconsistencies; suffers from careless and casual copy editing; nevertheless, a fine instance of putting Lewis and Clark to new uses.

  • Burns, Ken, and Dayton Duncan. Lewis and Clark--An Illustrated History. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1999.

    --companion printed volume to the Burns/Duncan PBS video and to the PBS website; solid scholarship; Indian perspectives wolven throughout; exceptional visuals; a quality bibliography of Lewis and Clak sources.

  • Burroughs, Raymond Darwin, ed. The Natural History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1995.

    --reprint of the 1961 edition; organizes the Journals' wildlife accounts by animal group, with pertinent science notes added; an important resource for teachers; the standard in the field.

  • Chuinard, Eldon G. Only One Man Died: the Medical Aspects of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Fairfield, Wash.: Ye Galleon Press, 1979; reprinted, Glendale, Calif.: Arthur H. Clark, 1980.

    --a physician's assessment of the state of medicine in early nineteenth-century America and the medical practices of Expedition members, particularly the two Captains; emphasis is as much on the preparation for the Expedition as on its accomplishment; excellent contextual notes, but some general repetition and sloppy copy editing.

  • Clarke, Charles G. The Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Biographical Roster of the Fifty-one Members and a Composite Diary of their Activities from all Known Sources. Glendale, Calif.: Arthur H. Clark, 1970.

    --for years, the standard biographical work on the Expedition; its biographical information has been superseded by the pertinent section in Moulton's volume 2, but the "composite diary" remains very valuable.

  • Clawson, Roger. Pompey's Pillar: Crossroads of the Frontier. Billings: The Prose Works, 1992.

    --a focused look at this important Expedition site through time; especially useful in providing context for the traveler.

  • Cutright, Paul Russell. A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976.

    --the basic work re. the behind-the-scenes intrigue of finding and exposing the various versions of the Expedition journals; needs to be supplemented with the discussion of the Journals in Moulton's volume 2; excellent bibliography.

  • --------, ---- -------. Lewis and Clark, Pioneering Naturalists. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1969; reprinted, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989.

    --for decades, the standard look at the natural-history aspects of the Expedition; a good place to start with any one of the Expedition's natural-history topics; includes repository designations for Expedition specimens.

  • DeVoto, Bernard. The Course of Empire. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1952; reprinted, Magnolia, Mass.: Peter Smith Publications, 1990.

    --provides solid, general national/international context for the Expedition; facile prose and straight-forward interpretation; the Expedition is summarized in the last two chapters.

  • ------, -------, ed. The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1953; many reprints.

    --the best of the one-volume abridgements of the Journals; incorporates passages from Biddle, from the Whitehouse, Ordway, and Floyd journals, and from a version of Gass' journal; the introduction and notes are excellent.

  • Discovery Writers, The [Jeanne O'Neill, Jean Clary, Pat Hastings, Diann Ladd, Katie White, Riga Winthrop]. Lewis and Clark in the Bitterroot. Stevensville: Stoneydale Press, 1998.

    --a somewhat uneven, but valuable look at aspects of the expedition's relationship to the Bitterroot Valley and the crossings of the Bitterroot Divide via the Lolo Trail; a useful area-orientation volume.

  • --------- -------, --- [------ -'-----, ---- -----, --- --------, ----- ----, ----- -----, ---- --------]. Lewis and Clark on the Upper Missouri. Stevensville: Stoneydale Press, 1999.

    --second in the series; emphasis is on that stretch of the westward journey between the Marias River and the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains; focused chapters explore important Expedition topics; numerous sidebars detract from the flow of the text.

  • --------- -------, --- [------ -'-----, ---- -----, --- --------, ----- ----, ----- -----, ---- --------]. We Called this Creek Traveller's Rest.... Stevensville: Stoneydale Press, 2003.

    --third in the series; a look at Travelers' Rest as a site in a regional context; a strong section includes ancillary topics.

  • Earle, A. Scott, and James L. Reveal. Lewis and Clark's Green World: the Expedition and the Plants. Helena: Farcountry Press, 2003.

    --a well-organized classroom volume that identifies and describes the plants included in the Journals; very useful color plates aid identification; information on plant locations is helpful.

  • Fanselow, Julie. Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail. Second edition. Helena: Falcon Press, 2000.

    --a volume in the Falcon Guide series; a sequential "follow the trail" companion, complete with travel directions, high points for the tourist, lodging and camping listings, maps, and photographs; covers the entire Trail, but emphasizes Montana.

  • Fifer, Barbara, and Vicky Soderberg. Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark. Helena: Montana Magazine, 1998.

    --the best of the recent "along the Trail" guides to historical sites, pertinent Journal passages, organized activities, and travel accommodations; absolutely superb maps; formatted for on-the-road use.

  • Furtwangler, Albert. Acts of Discovery: Visions of America in the Lewis and Clark Journals. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

    --a ground-breaking approach that explores both the physical landscape and the cultural context of the Expedition; uses individual vignettes/"snapshots" to address a wide array of Expedition topics; eclectic, visionary, extraordinary, insightful.

  • Gilman, Carolyn. Lewis and Clark: Across the Divide. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Books and Missouri Historical Society Press, 2003.

    --the official companion to the touring National Bicentennial Exhibition developed by the Missouri Historical Society.

  • Graetz, Rick and Susie. Lewis and Clark's Montana Trail. #8 in the Montana Series. Helena: Northern Rockies Publishing, 2001.

    --the bulk of the book follows the Expedition west in 1805, with chapters handling segments of the Trail; less time is spent with the 1806 return. Heavy in absolutely stunning color photographs, including some useful aerial shots by Larry Mayer. A compelling, readable text that integrates highlights fom the Journals. Overall, a solid, pleasant introduction to Lewis and Clark in Montana.

  • Hickman, Gene. Manual for Interpreting Lewis and Clark: A Guide for Individuals, Groups, Historic Sites and Re-Enactments.

    --250-plus pages filled with the best historical information, sketches, drill procedures, and step-by-step instructions for making gear, obtaining patterns, or other sources of "ready-made" gear. Contains a 12-page resource guide and bibliography. Color plates show the uniforms for all military members and charts and "planning matrixes" are also included.

  • Howard, Ella Mae. Lewis and Clark's Exploration of Central Montana. Great Falls: Lewis and Clark Interpretive Association, 1993.

    --some background context and a solid area-orientation to the Expedition in this portion of Montana: from the mouth of the Marias River to the Gates of the Mountains.

  • Jackson, Donald. Among the Sleeping Giants: Occasional Pieces on Lewis and Clark. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

    --a spirited compilation of Jackson's research into furtive aspects of the Expedition; includes the controversial piece on "Seaman's" name change and a chapter on "Lewis and Clark Place-Names in Montana."

  • -------, ------. Thomas Jefferson and the Stony Mountains: Exploring the West from Monticello. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981; reprinted, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993.

    --an imaginative approach to the Expedition that sees it as an extension of Jefferson's interests, imagination, and expertise; "an excellent account of Jefferson's heroic, bookish exploration of the West."

  • -------, ------, ed. Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with Related Documents, 1783-1854, 2 vols. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962; second edition, 1978.

    --for years, one of the standard background volumes; vital to an understanding of the Expedition; pertinent correspondence, important government documents, public reports, financial and logistical arrangements; the annotations, bibliography, and index are superb.

  • Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation. We Proceeded On. Great Falls: Foundation, 1974-present.

    --the most important single publication (quarterly) devoted to the history of the Expedition; contains articles on virtually all aspects of the Expedition; index lists and copies available; see also the Foundation's WPO Supplementary Publications list.

  • MacGregor, Carol Lynn, ed. The Journals of Patrick Gass. Missoula: Mountain Press, 1997.

    --a solid edition that contains all of Gass' writings on the Expedition; Gass adds a lot of human interest to the daily events; supplements the basic set of Journals nicely.

  • Montana Historical Society. Montana: the Magazine of Western History. Helena: Society, 1951-present.

    --Montana Historical Society's quarterly; loaded with Expedition articles and a 1955 special issue; list of Lewis and Clark articles available upon request.

  • Moulton, Gary E., ed. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 13 vols. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2000.

    --the definitive edition of the Journals; replaces Thwaites (1904-1905); exhaustive footnotes, solid index, and valuable contextual comments; full versions of the supplemental journals; set provides the basis for any look at, or discussion of, the Expedition.

  • Nell, Donald F., and John E. Taylor. Lewis and Clark in the Three Rivers Valleys, Montana, 1805-1806. Bozeman: Headwaters Chapter, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc., 1996).

    --an excellent piece of area-specific Expedition study, covering the stretch from the mouth of the Dearborn River to Lehmi Pass; solid history; provides in-depth information and context for this crucial area, including both westward and eastward treks.

  • Peck, David J., D. O. Or Perish in the Attempt: Wilderness Medicine and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Helena: Farcountry Press, 2002.

    --the modern successor to Chuinard's look at medicine on the cross-country journey; places the injuries and illnesses of the Expedition in the context of early nineteenth century medical practices; an excellent work."

  • Phillips, H. Wayne. Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Missoula: Mountain Press, 2003.

    --a useful field manual of the plants encountered and described on the Expedition; lots of color plates aid in identification; the glossary and appendix lists are a plus."

  • Ronda, James P. Finding the West: Explorations with Lewis and Clark. Albuquereue: University of New Mexico Press, 2001.

    --the writing of a leading Lewis and Clark authority; a well-documented, scholarly look at the philosophical ideas basic to the Expedition and to the natives encountered; places incidents on the Expedition in solid context; the work of an accomplished story-teller."

  • -----, ----- -.,ed. Lewis and Clark among the Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.

    --a superb, timely, even-handed look at one of the most significant aspects of the Expedition--one carrying long-term implications for both Indians and whites; cited by some Expedition scholars as "the most important book ever written about Lewis and Clark."

  • -----, ----- -., ed. Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1998.

    --a valuable compilation that meshes pertinent critical essays on a wide spectrum of Expedition topics with copies of furtive documents; many hard-to-find pieces finally under one cover.

  • Schmidt, Thomas and Jeremy. The Saga of Lewis and Clark: Into the Uncharted West.. New York: DK Publishing, 1999.

    --an undistinguished text depicts the Corps' journey, but short-changes the 1806 legs; otherwise, an absolutely stunning compilation of color artwork, vivid illustrations, and vintage photography; dazzling color photography by Kalispell photographer Wayne Mumford; excellent perspective maps complement the illustrations; useful plant and animal listings, by date, in the appendix.

  • Slaughter, Thomas P. Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness. New York: Knopf, 2003.

    --an ambitious examination of the human-nature aspects of the Expedition; places the members of the Expedition in the context of complex interactions; an interpretive extrapolation, based on the journals.

  • Tubbs, Stephenie Ambrose, with Clay Straus Jenkinson. The Lewis and Clark Companion: an Encyclopedic Guide to the Voyage of Discovery. New York: Henry Holt, 2003.

    --from "Air Gun" to "York"--myriad entries to provide quick-reference background for the reader of the Moulton volumes; especially useful for ancillary characters, both Indian and non-Indian; an absolute "must buy" for both the casual reader and the expert; indispensable information, easily accessible.

  • The Watercourse and Project WET. Lewis and Clark Educator's Resource Guide: A Review of Lewis and Clark Materials. Bozeman; The Watercourse, 2001.

    --a panel of classroom teachers does a superb review of Lewis and Clark materials available to the teacher; printed volumes are categorized by class level; also evaluates curriculum guides, trunks, videos, websites, and miscellaneous materials; a dynamite resource.


  • Burns, Ken, and Dayton Duncan. "Lewis and Clark: the Journey of the Corps of Discovery," PBS Home Video, 2-cassette set, 1997. $29.98.

    --ran first on PBS on November 4-5, 1997; a breath-taking visual documentation of the Expedition; solid, if selective history; a separate, extensive edition is designed for teachers and classroom use, using a fine printed volume.

  • Film Ideas, Inc. "The Lewis and Clark Expedition, A Uniquely American Story," Film Ideas, Inc., 2-cassette set, 2001. 22 mins. per cassette/$195 per cassette; $375 for both.

    --overview of the Expedition combines historical and contemporary images; excellent maps; materials presented in a logical order.

  • History Channel. "Biography: Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the New Frontier," A&E Television Network Productions, 2001. 50 min./$14.95.

    --a combination of Journal quotes, visual images, and interviews with experts; excellent overview of the Expedition; tribal encounters are well covered; solid scholarship; one of the best videos available.

  • History Channel. "In Search of History: Who Killed Meriwether Lewis?" A&E Television Network Productions, 2000. 50 min./$19.95.

    --focuses specifically on the controversy over Lewis's death three years after the Expedition returned; supplemental to the Expedition story itself; quality production.

  • Kaw Valley Films. "'We Proceeded On...:' The Expedition of Lewis and Clark," Kaw Valley Films, 1991. 32 mins./$49.95.

    --effectively meshes live footage with paintings and photographs; a strong dose of period music; logical sequence to presentation; a quality effort.

  • Williams, Robin D. "'The Trail:' the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1803-1806," Robin D. Williams Productions, 1996. $29.95.

    --a visually compelling retracing of the Expedition route from Monticello to Fort Clatsop and the return to St. Louis; useful introduction to the Trail sites, especially prior to making the trip yourself.




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