Michael Patrick Brady


Meriwether Lewis | Thomas Danisi and John Jackson

June 9, 2009

Meriwether Lewis

My review of Meriwether Lewis by Thomas Danisi and John Jackson ran today at PopMatters.

The book might be more accurately titled Meriwether Lewis: The Boring Years as it completely avoids the story of his famous, fascinating expedition into Louisiana Territory with William Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Instead, it covers his youth as a protege of Thomas Jefferson and his later years as a government bureaucrat, ending with his contentious suicide. Danisi and Jackson are reverent of Lewis, and their research is meticulous, but they had an uphill battle ahead of them thanks to their selective scope and did little to make the story as entertaining, readable, or complete as it could have been.

I’d definitely suggest checking out Ken Burns’ documentary, Lewis & Clark – The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, which is an excellent chronicle of the adventure.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Thomas Danisi  |  December 18th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    My review of Michael Patrick Brady’s review of a small segment of the Meriwether Lewis biography. As you might know, the L&C expedition lasted twenty-eight months if you use the starting date when they left St. Louis in May 1804 or thirty-four months when L&C met in November 1803. The trip ended when they arrived in St. Louis on September 26, 1806. This book that John Jackson and I wrote is a biography. It covers 420 months of his life, not 34. This is a biography not a documentary of phony characters and phony music. This is what you are saying to your reader, “replace the real with the phony.”