The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 310
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
it possible for one treatment to tell all. Happenings that embody the es-
sence of origin, genesis, prelude, search, mystery, adventure, courage,
and horizon, are particularly inviting, and the expedition of Meriwether
Lewis and William Clark meets the criteria on all counts. Bernard A.
De Voto, who looked at it in the context of other territorial quests in
The Course of Empire (1952) and dealt with the accounts of the prin-
cipals in The Journals of Lewis and Clark (1953), saw the expedition
as "unequaled in American history and hardly surpassed in the history
of exploration anywhere" (The Journals, xliv). Ingvard Henry Eide has
added a new dimension to the body of literature through this photo-
graphic record of the expedition's route matched with narrative selec-
tions from the original journals.
Eide spent two years and traveled 57,000 miles to identify Lewis and
Clark sites for his film odyssey and to duplicate the seasonal conditions
of their journey. He used a Linhof Technika camera with 4x5 and
5x7 film to achieve clarity and depth. The union of his beautiful photo-
graphs with discriminating quotations from Lewis, Clark, and several
other members of the expedition, creates a sense of enchantment and an
atmosphere of immediacy about the expedition.
In his introduction to the book, the noted novelist of frontier themes,
A. B. Guthrie, Jr., reminds us that the transmutations of time and the
encroachments of civilization upon the Lewis and Clark trail have not
been absolute: "There are meadows yet and mountains, hollows and
headlands, passes and pines not yet devoured, landforms and foaming
creeks-all identifiable, all remindful of America's greatest journey"
That is a welcome reassurance for citizens who might wish to follow
Lewis and Clark along their historic route. For those who do, this first
soft-cover edition of American Odyssey (which follows the hard-cover
format by a decade) would make a useful travel guide. The book is
equally adaptable for those who are reduced in these energy-conscious
and inflated times to savoring the experience vicariously.
Although the author provides an illustration whereabouts list at the
back of the book, readers may perhaps find the lack of a graphic map de-
lineating the principal expedition sites in relation to present-day loca-
tions the book's major shortcoming-a surprising one in light of the
fact that the publisher is one of the leading map-makers of the day.
Yet it's a minor omission in a unique and accomplished work.
U.S. Army Center of Military History
WILLIAM GARDNER BELL
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/354/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.