Surprisingly, this is the first major biography of Virginia native William Clark—the man whose name (together with Meriwether Lewis's) is synonymous with the exploration of the American West. Although Lewis committed suicide three years after returning from their 1803-1806 expedition, Clark spent three more decades in government service, primarily supervising relations with Native Americans on the ever changing frontier around the Mississippi and its tributaries. (Following the notorious Indian Removal Act, he oversaw the forced migration of Native Americans from the East to unfamiliar lands in the West).
Jones (a former managing editor of PEOPLE) is well equipped to tell this sprawling story: In 2000 he published The Essential Lewis and Clark, featuring excerpts from their journals. Lively and authoritative, this book creates a vivid portrait of the complex, iron-willed explorer and politician who changed the face of America.