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In Lewis & Clark, Nick Bertozzi relates the adventures of the renowned Lewis and Clark Expedition in graphic novel format, from Thomas Jefferson’s initial assignment to Meriwether Lewis in Washington, D.C. and the party’s final glimpse of white civilization in St. Louis, to the Pacific Ocean and back again two years later. Their journey, while at its core a scientific endeavor, would also prove invaluable in recording the locations, culture and social codes of the many Native American tribes they encountered and whose lands they traversed.
Lewis and Clark themselves are depicted as refreshingly human -- certainly not the rugged outdoorsmen or supermen one might assume the leaders of such an enterprise must be. Clark is more cautious and rational; Lewis is volatile, emotional and haunted by his own personal demons. The relative success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is kind of amazing seen through 21st-century eyes. Although they encountered their share of hostile situations and bad luck, and were at times low on provisions, it’s incredible that more men were not lost (in stark contrast to the Donner Party tragedy 42 years later). Then there is Sacagawea, the legendary Shoshone woman who served as a guide. It’s important to remember that, although revered today as a heroine and a symbol of female worth and independence, she was by no means a participant by choice. Her scenes are distressing in their likely accuracy. I’m curious now to read the expedition journals myself.
posted Jan 31, 2014 at 2:48PM
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