State historical society issues new book on Lewis and Clark Much has been written about the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Northwest, but there is still much more to explore.
The latest book from the South Dakota State Historical Society Press, Finding Lewis and Clark: Old Trails, New Directions, offers a variety of perspectives on the expedition through essays by leading experts.
Nationally known Lewis and Clark scholar James P. Ronda edits Finding Lewis and Clark, along with Nancy Tystad Koupal. In his introduction Ronda identifies four compelling questions about the expedition: What is the story really about? Who are all the characters? What was the journey actually like? And, what are the consequences of the expedition?
The chapters include a review of tribal relations before the arrival of Lewis and Clark by anthropologist W. Raymond Wood. Robert McCracken Peck analyzes the scientific contributions of the expedition, while art historian Joni Kinsey presents the artistic legacy. Historian William Foley searches for the historical William Clark, and Joseph Mussulman takes the journey onto the World Wide Web.
Other authors review the Louisiana Purchase, the novels that have been written about the expedition, and the future of Lewis and Clark studies. The book also includes photographs by Greg Mac Gregor of modern sites along the route.
"Lewis and Clark are an important part of our state's history," said Jay D. Vogt, South Dakota State Historical Society director. "Reading this book will teach people more about our culture and help meet the state's 2010 Initiative goal of enhancing history as a tool for cultural tourism."
Ronda holds the H. G. Barnard Chair in Western American History at the University of Tulsa. Finding Lewis and Clark co-editor Tystad Koupal is director of Research and Publishing at the South Dakota State Historical Society and is northern plains editor of the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains.
Finding Lewis and Clark was funded, in part, by the National Park Service, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.