I enjoyed all the ways this book worked: the rage of an American west wildfire, a graphic description of fighting fire amidst the politics and technology of the times. I was grateful for the bits of personal and family drama that Egan wove into the story. Such touches make History come to life. The only reason that I didn’t give this book 5 stars across the board was that once in a while I felt that there were too many dreary political bits. Lapses like those long lectures we’ve all endured. I wanted much more on Teddy R’s adventures because there is no doubt that he was the ‘Big Burn’ of his time.
My reading and listening tastes are eclectic.
I listened to this while hiking at Big Bend National Park. This book made me want to find me a Polanski and become a National Forest Ranger. It is a great book and amazingly well read. It is a gripping story, and you will find yourself doing stuff to keep from turning it off. Like laying in your tent in the dark, knowing you need to go to sleep, but not doing it so you can listen some more. I actually came back and bought a couple of books that weren't on tape about this subject so I could learn more. Awesome! Even if you are not particularly into National Parks, history, or the Forestry Service, this is a good listen with suspense, fear, intrigue, political machinations, shenanigans, fire, and salvation.
The story of the fire and the beginnings of the Forest Service were interesting. The biased political portrayals could have been written by the DNC with assistance from the Sierra Club.
It should have been a much more objective history.
I never thought I would want to learn about Theodore Roosevelt's policies towards natural resource management.
Timothy Egan changed that.
Egan does a great job of blending together dry facts with personal details and stories. I quickly became invested in the people he described and found myself rooting for them, impatiently waiting for the next section of the book.
It did not overshadow the story, but conveyed it without drama.
The political issues of 100 hundred years ago are still with us today, as so wonderfully told in The Big Burn. Sad to see how little progress has been made by society on environmental issues.
This was such an interesting era of the creation of National forests and Gifford Pinchot and a massive fire. Very captivating.
I rank this among the top 3-5 audiobooks I've listened to for content and delivery.
I enjoyed the personal accounts of individual's efforts in the "Big Burn" set in the context of the bigger historical event - the politics, clash of environmental and business interests. I found the Ed Polaski and Pinky Adair accounts most memorable.
Engaging reader; easy to listen to.
I was particularly moved by the role that African-American soldiers played in fighting the fire and that their bravery and courage was a factor in overcoming some of the racist attitudes toward them.
The relevance to all the recent fires in the big-burn country makes it worth to read about the dramatic events of a century ago. Not to mention the federal services and people we sacrifice to the inevitable process.
The book helps you get a feel for the times that the story took place.
The book takes a little more than one sitting.
I am very grateful for the factual and historical setting presented and the story itself.
pleasant and informative
not captivating, but a good reader and interesting peak into a part of American history I hand't heard about before