Exploring Lewis and Clark by Thomas P. Slaughter
Reflections on Men and Wilderness (Lewis & Clark Expedition)

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Synopsis

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 discovers new heroes and brings old ones into historical focus.

Thomas P. Slaughter interrogates the explorers’ dreams, how they wrote and what they aimed to possess, their interactions with animals, Indians, and each other, 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Thomas P. Slaughter

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Thomas P. Slaughter is the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the award-winning author of three previous books—most recently, The Natures of John and William Bartram—and is the editor of three others, including the Library of America edition of William Bartram: Travels and Other Writings. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and two children.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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In chapters that stand alone as essays and follow themes not found in more sober works of history (“Dreams,” “Writing First,” “Why Snakes?,” etc.), Slaughter (History/Notre Dame) examines questions that some celebrants of the Lewis and Clark bicentenary may not want to see raised.

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Publishers Weekly

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In this interesting but overwrought reconsideration of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Slaughter (The Natures of John and William Bartram) performs adeep reading of the travelers' journals and exa

Jan 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Exploring Lewis and Clark: Re...

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The expedition was a clash of civilizations, pitting the Indian's holistic worldview, in which"" the past and the present, nature and human are one,"" and""the white men's distinction between waking and dreaming makes no sense,"" against Lewis and Clark's rational, secular mindset, which was stuc...

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