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TO NOVEMBER 22
A few years ago, I wrote a piece on America’s continuing fascination with the Lewis & Clark expedition. Shortly after arriving in Bozeman, Mt., I called the publisher of Stephen E. Ambrose’s just-published book on Lewis & Clark , Undaunted Courage, to request a review copy. The publicist went one better and suggested that I seek out Ambrose himself (pictured). “When are you coming to Helena?” the gravelly voiced historian barked over the phone moments later. “Tomorrow,” I said. “Good,” he answered. “Meet me at noon at the Windbag Saloon in Last Chance Gulch.” There, over root beers, Ambrose provided me with one of my favorite interviews of all time: knowledgeable, quotable and to-the-point. This month, Ambrose released a follow-up book: Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery (National Geographic Society). This time he weaves into the story of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark the tale of his own efforts to retrace their remarkably well-preserved path. Unlike Undaunted Courage, the new volume also features a wealth of images: artifacts from the expedition, jottings from the men’s journals, maps of their journey and—not least—the striking photographs of National Geographic magazine contributor Sam Abell. See Abell’s photographs from the book—sorry, root beers not included—on exhibit to Nov. 22, at the National Geographic Society’s Explorers Hall, 17th & M Sts. NW. Free. (202) 857-7588. (Louis Jacobson)