I am Granny.
This is an incredible true account of why there are any forests left in America at all. This account in a large part, reads like dramatic and fast-moving fiction and this reader, as always, is outstanding. If you care about our environment, this is a must read.
Story: Interesting historical review of the US Forestry Service against the background of the US Progressive Movement at the turn of the 20th Century. It is really the story of the USF founder, Gifford Pinochot. As always, take with a grain of salt about the facts.
Reader: Excellent, as always.
What an extraordinary cast of characters were assembled to battle one of the most horrific natural disasters in our nation's history! The cast includes the greediest millionaires, the most spiritual nature lovers, the strongest and the weakest leaders, the Buffalo soldiers in search of honor, and the townspeople caught in the cross-hairs. As the saying goes, "You just can't make this stuff up!" Egan's descriptions of the forest and the wall of fire are first rate. His vivid prose gives the listener all the special effects needed to make this book memorable. The narrator was good, not great. But I'm grateful that he didn't over dramatize the scenes that truly did not need embellishment.
I'm glad I listened to this after I watched the Ken Burns Roosevelt series on PBS. It rounds out Teddy Roosevelt's legacy and deepens my gratitude and admiration for his dedication to preserving our most precious wild places. I shudder to think what the American West would have become without him.
Egan's story of the 1910 Big Burn is an outstanding tale of a pivot in American History--the industrialization of American resources in the Gilded Age.
Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot were radical (Progressives) in their ideals and wanted a "reserve" and preservation of the West as well as the East (if it could be spared).
The Burn occurred when few took the fledgling Forrest Service (USFS) seriously, nor really wanted it, because it stood in the way of progress.
Egan gives a full account of the idealism and politics previous to the fire, and a full account of the fire--its mechanics, the heroes, the tragedies, and its hidden backstories.
Although he lingers with the injustice and lack of credit the US Government gave to Pulaski and others, at the end of the book, Egan does provide a balanced view between what the USFS became, and the role of wildfire as it is today ("fire is neither good nor bad, it just is").
Robertson Dean provides a worthy listen in his narrative, and he is worth listening to on any audio book!
Good background information about Roosevelt and the forestry service. Loaded with information about how the national parks were established-- Things that most of us just take for granted.
Gifford Pinchot managed to guide Roosevelt into the idea of public lands and conservation, even going so far as to get in the ring with the president to promote his ideas.This outstanding man is not mentioned in any history textbook in our schools today. So sad.
The heroism of the rangers during the blaze.
History is often too boring. Dates, places, and facts . . . perhaps a little skewed to favor a point of view.
I love the way Timothy Egan wrote this book through the experiences and recollections and stories of the people. Each person is a thread and each thread is masterfully woven together.
This is the most exciting non-fiction book I've ever read. Who would have thought that forestry, politics, north-western regional history, immigrants, drunks, whores, settlers, loggers, miners, millionaire industrialists, railroads, Buffalo soldiers, and the largest fire in American history could combine to make for a gripping yet informative tale.
Currently a local truck driver who has hours to listen to my audio books. I am hooked, some of my fellow drivers enjoy them also
It had many interesting facts about how misguided some efforts to help were
I don't know if my blood pressure would stand another read
I enjoy books that present little known facts that let the truth fall where it may
It took awhile for us to get to enlighted thinking on our forest
Mr Dean is a first class reader who does a great job of making the listener see how it was in difficult times
The great fire and its aftermath and the people who profitted from others loss
I look forward to reading more of Mr Egans works
Moves fast, not a word wasted. Though tragic and gruesome, the account of the fire is a thrill ride, tough to pause. The parts about corrupt politicians in the pockets of big business brings to mind the crony capitalism practiced to this day. As always, Robertson Dean delivers a flawless narration.
Pretty high, though I've listened to many good ones
Gifford Pinchot, one of the truly great men in U.S. history but about whom I knew nothing. Teddy Roosevelt, who this book made me realize was one of America's very best presidents.
Ed Pulaski, a hero whom the U.S. government treated with shameful shabbiness (as it did other forest rangers).
He was great (I don't say this often). You felt as if you were there at the great fire of 1900.
Yes. I was very moved by foresight and public spirit of Pinchot and Roosevelt, and equally disgusted by the likes of mean-minded Senator Weldon Heyburn and the rapacious William A. Clark.
This book vividly describes a very important episode in U.S. history whose significance is not often recognized.