• Neither Snow nor Rain

  • A History of the United States Postal Service
  • By: Devin Leonard
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Neither Snow nor Rain  By  cover art

Neither Snow nor Rain

By: Devin Leonard
Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
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Publisher's Summary

Few institutions are as loved, as loathed, and as historically important as the United States Postal Service, the subject of this landmark century-spanning social, political, and economic history.

The United States Postal Service is a wondrous American creation. Seven days a week, its army of 300,000 letter carriers delivers 513 million pieces of mail, 40 percent of the world's volume. It is far more efficient than any other mail service - more than twice as efficient as the Japanese and easily outpacing the Germans and British. And the USPS has a storied history.

Founded by Benjamin Franklin, it was the information network that bound far-flung Americans together, fostered a common culture, and helped American business to prosper. A first class stamp remains one of the greatest bargains of all time, and yet the USPS is slowly vanishing. Critics say it is slow and archaic. Mail volume is down. The workforce is shrinking. Post offices are closing.

In Neither Snow nor Rain, journalist Devin Leonard tackles the fascinating, centuries-long history of the USPS, from the first letter carriers through Franklin's days, when postmasters worked out of their homes and post roads cut new paths through the wilderness. Under Andrew Jackson, the post office was molded into a vast patronage machine, and by the 1870s, over 70 percent of federal employees were postal workers. As the country boomed, USPS aggressively developed new technology, from mobile post offices on railroads and air mail service to mechanical sorting machines and optical character readers.

Neither Snow nor Rain is a rich, multifaceted history full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS' monopoly on mail to the renegade union members who brought the system - and the country - to a halt in the 1970s. An exciting and engrossing listen, Neither Snow nor Rain is the first major history of the USPS in over 50 years.

©2016 Devin Leonard (P)2016 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Neither Snow nor Rain

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Woa!, the post office's history is America

The history of the US Post Office is a fun summary of American history. Seriously! Its founding, it struggles during depressions, it was impacted by politics of the time, it delt with race and segregation issues, unions, and privatisation. All that, and the history goes on. The first two chapters didn't really pull me in. I found myself staying up late and listening more once it started getting into cultural things that i'm aware of. Stuff you know of today that i had no idea had any origin within or competing with the Post Office. Wells Fargo, Wolsworth, DHL, FexEx, and Amazon all mentioned and are in this book.

It's worth checking out! If anything just to be able to spout off some nice triva to impress no one. lol

7 people found this helpful

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Didn't learn anything but a chronology of events

Struggled to finish, you learn nothing about the postal service operation, more it's administrative chronology

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating Tale of an American Institution

This book is pretty straight forward. Its a run down of the post offices history. It starts with Benjamin Franklin and ends with the current state of the postal service. The post office and letters are an old concept and seeing it develop in this concise book was eye opening. It shows the good and the bad of the post office. From its rocky beginnings, to the golden age, and these uncertain times.

If you find this subject interesting this book is recommended, heck I recommend it to anyone just so they can know the history of this institution that meant so much to the development of the nation. That and so you can see how Congress or the postal rate commission completely shot down all the post offices ideas. I'll give you a little tease, in 1982 the USPS wanted to test this crazy idea out where a person can send an electronic letter from one post office to another, it would be printed then delivered at that second post office saving delivery time. Find out how the failure came to be by reading the book.

While it does contain some riveting tales its still a history book of sorts so some parts will be a little slower. Points off for narration because there was no attempt at a Nixon impression, or any president for that matter. His Oprah was okay.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

2 people found this helpful

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Very Interesting!

This was very well done, and well researched. I enjoyed it immensely. I never knew the post office had such a stormy past!

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Great listening

The history was so interesting! Also narration was easy to listen to. Love d it

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awesome narration and fun facts

loved it! so many fun facts about the post offices long two hundred year history!

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Fascinating Look at the USPS


This is a fascinating look at the history of the United States Postal Service. Full of interesting facts, figures, larger than life people and politics to screw it all up. I knew some things about the Post Office, but this book told so much more in such an entertaining manner. It was hard to put down. From the innovations of Ben Franklin, to the growth of serving the growing country, the constant hamstrings of Congress (the Post Office was formerly a Presidential Cabinet department), interlopers who Instituted ideas that the Post Office would later adopt, its all here. What can be found inside these pages? Rival businesses began adding drop boxes and using stamps before the Post Office began using them. Wells Fargo used to deliver mail and some packages in areas the Post Office didn't serve. Mail handlers used to sort mail in rail cars. My personal favorite, customers used to ship their children via parcel post! Yes, you read that right and there is a photo included. I showed this to the clerks at my local Post Office and they didn't know about this part of their history. The Post Office also ran the largest bank in the US for many years. Many of the problems and solutions are not new and have happened before. A wonderful, intriguing book and audio book that I highly recommend. Narration on the audio book was good, though there were many long pauses for breath which newer books don't have. With the terrible events that happened this year to the Post Office, I add Save the USPS!

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  • JC
  • 03-27-18

A Journey through the Postal System

A great history of the USPS as well as a good summary of its current problems.