Book Reviews 419 caught out in the open, too, grasping with my words and my accumulating sentences," we feel his pain--an experience in part redeemed by eight nicely reproduced color plates and a serviceable index (70). The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness. By Clay S. Jenkinson. Norman, OK: Dakota Institute Press, 2011. 457 pages, $19.95. Reviewed by J. Ryan Badger Utah State University, Logan Clay Jenkinson's recent work The Character of Meriwether Lewis enumerates the personal qualities that led Lewis to take his own life a mere three years after his return from the famed transcontinental expedition. Jenkinson relies on a close reading of the expedition's journals and Lewis's letters to reveal a character whose ambitions extended beyond his abilities and whose personal contradictions complicated his life to the point that social pressure and the threat of defamation by the War Department impelled him to commit suicide. Jenkinson identifies key moments throughout the journals that flesh out details regarding Lewis's character. Rather than make a chronological study of the expedition and the three years following its return, the author groups similar incidents from Lewis's life to reveal complexities of a man still not fully understood.
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Feb 20, 2013
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