William Clark and the Shaping of the West by Landon Y. Jones

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Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark co-captained the most famous expedition in American history. But while Lewis ended his life just three years later, Clark, as the highest-ranking Federal official in the West, spent three decades overseeing its consequences: Indian removal and the destruction of Native America. In a rare combination of storytelling and scholarship, best-selling author Landon Y. Jones presents for the first time Clark's remarkable life and influential career in their full complexity.

Like every colonial family living on Virginia's violent frontier, the Clarks killed Indians and acquired land; acting on behalf of the United States, William would prove successful at both. Clark's life was spent fighting in America's fifty-year running war with the Indians (and their European allies) over the Western borderlands. The struggle began with his famed brother George Roger's western campaigns during the American Revolution, continued through the vicious battles of the War of 1812, and ended with the Black Hawk War in the 1830s. In vividly depicting Clark's life, Jones memorably captures not only the dark and bloody ground of America's early West, but also the qualities of character and courage that made him an unequalled leader in America's grander enterprise: the shaping of the West. No one played a larger part in that accomplishment than William Clark.

William Clark and the Shaping of the West is an unforgettable human story that encompasses in a single life the sweep of American history from colonial Virginia to the conquest of the West.


About Landon Y. Jones

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Landon Jones was managing editor at People magazine for eight years and wrote and edited for Life, Time, Money, and People for thirty-seven years; and is currently vice president of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. His books include Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom and The Essential Lewis and Clark. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
Published October 12, 2005 by Hill and Wang. 408 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Famous for his exploits as part of the fabled Lewis and Clark expedition, but long overshadowed by the ill-fated Lewis, William Clark (1770–1838) spent the better part of his life playing a key role in America's expansion into the territory he had eagerly scouted.

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Surprisingly, this is the first major biography of Virginia native William Clark—the man whose name (together with Meriwether Lewis's) is synonymous with the exploration of the American West.

Jun 21 2004 | Read Full Review of William Clark and the Shaping...

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