May 10, 2013
"In Full View: The True Story of Lewis and Clark"
- Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer
- Historian, Author, Photographer, Cinematographer
- Natural Born Storyteller
Rex Ziak has a unique claim to fame: he uncovered a missing chapter of early American history that has resulted in the founding of America's newest National Park.
Lewis and Clark's arrival at the Pacific Ocean confused historians for nearly two centuries — some overlooked what took place while others misinterpreted the events. Rex accidentally stumbled upon this gap in our history and became intrigued.
He dug into the Lewis and Clark journals, closely examining every word, studying their maps and repeatedly retracing sections of their route on foot. He spent years analyzing this moment of history and even calculated the tides and phases of the moon to better understand the exact conditions Lewis and Clark endured back in November of 1805.
Finally, after more than six years of research, Rex published his findings. The story he revealed had never been told by any previous historians, but it was solidly based on the explorers' hand-written journals.
At first, Lewis and Clark scholars challenged Rex's new interpretation, but after further investigation and re-examination of the journals, they acknowledged Rex's breakthrough findings.
State historical societies and then elected officials in state and national government became convinced that this newly discovered history deserved to be widely known.
The ultimate compliment to Rex's ground-breaking research came when the federal government purchased the sites he had identified and created the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
For the first time in the two hundred years since Lewis and Clark led their expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific, we hear the other side of the story—as we listen to nine descendants of the Indians whose homelands were traversed. Among those who speak: Newspaper editor Mark Trahant writes of his childhood belief that he was descended from Clark and what his own research uncovers. Award-winning essayist and fiction writer Debra Magpie Earling describes the tribal ways that helped her nineteenth-century Salish ancestors survive, and that still work their magic today. Montana political figure Bill Yellowtail tells of the efficiency of Indian trade networks. Umatilla tribal leader Roberta Conner compares Lewis and Clark's journal entries about her people with what was actually going on. Writer and artist N. Scott Momaday ends the book with a moving tribute to the "most
A searching look at the historian's craft, as well as a strong argument for why a historical consciousness should matter to us today. Gaddis points out that while the historical method is more sophisticated than most historians realize, it doesn't require unintelligible prose to explain. Like cartographers mapping landscapes, historians represent what they can never replicate. In doing so, they combine the techniques of artists, geologists, paleontologists, and evolutionary biologists. Their approaches parallel, in intriguing ways, the new sciences of chaos, complexity, and criticality. They don't much resemble what happens in the social sciences, where the pursuit of independent variables functioning with static systems seems increasingly divorced from the world as we know it. So who's really being scientific and who isn't? This question too is one Gaddis explores, in ways that are certain to spark interdisciplinary controversy (Syndetic Solutions).