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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

What members say

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  • bogardfury
  • philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 12-06-16

Woa!, the post office's history is American

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great listening

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

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    4 out of 5 stars

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”

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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

0 of 2 people found this review helpful