William Clark and the Shaping of the West


William Clark and the Shaping of the West

Landon Y. Jones

424 pages
30 images, 3 maps


October 2009


$22.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Between 1803 and 1806, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark cocaptained the most famous expedition in American history. But while Lewis ended his life just three years after the expedition, 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, bestselling author Landon Y. Jones vividly depicts Clark’s life and the dark and bloody ground of America’s early West, capturing the qualities of character and courage that made Clark an unequaled leader in America’s grander enterprise: the shaping of the West.

Author Bio

Landon Y. Jones was the managing editor of People magazine for eight years and wrote and edited for Life, Time, Money, and People for thirty-seven years. His books include Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation and The Essential Lewis and Clark. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and Bozeman, Montana


“William Clark’s remarkable life story is told with color, panache and authority.”—Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Jones’ masterful biography brings to life the gritty and brutal existence of life on the American frontier.”—Kevin J. Hamilton, Seattle Times

“It was Clark, not Lewis, who nursed Sacagawea when she was ill and who later paid for her son’s education. It was Clark who wrote the misspelled entry—‘Ocian in view! O! The Joy!’—that so charmingly evokes the moment when their party finally sighted the Pacific. And it was Clark who enjoyed the more interesting life, as Landon Y. Jones makes clear.”—Mark Lewis, Washington Post

William Clark and the Shaping of the West is engrossing history, the kind of book that is hard to set down.”—Peter Sleeth, Oregonian

“A deeply researched, splendidly written biography.”—Owen Edwards, Smithsonian Magazine

“[A] sweeping, battle-strewn bio.”—Men’s Journal

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Dark and Bloody Ground
ONE: America's First West: 1722-1772
TWO: General George Rogers Clark: 1772-1789
THREE: Lieutenant Billy Clark: 1789-1795
FOUR: Soldier and Citizen: 1795-1803
FIVE: "Ocian in view! O! the joy!": 1803-1806
SIX: This Wild Country: 1806-1809
SEVEN: Life without Lewis: 1809-1813
EIGHT: Territorial Governor: 1813-1820
NINE: "The Red-headed Chief": 1820-1829
TEN: Resistance and Removal: 1829-1838

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