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Southwest

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  1. 15.1 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    S.C. Gwynne’s New York Times bestselling historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West is now available from Encore for the first time and at a great low price.Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although listeners may be more familiar with the names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.

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    Empire of the Summer Moon

    15.1 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.6 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    From the front lines of the fracking debate, a “field philosopher” explores one of our most divisive technologies. When philosophy professor Adam Briggle moved to Denton, Texas, he had never heard of fracking. Only five years later he would successfully lead a citizens’ initiative to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton, the first Texas town to challenge the oil and gas industry. On his journey to learn about fracking and its effects, he leaped from the ivory tower into the fray. In beautifully narrated chapters, Briggle brings us to town hall debates and neighborhood meetings where citizens wrestle with issues few fully understand. Is fracking safe? How does it affect the local economy? Why are bakeries prohibited in neighborhoods while gas wells are permitted next to playgrounds? In his quest for answers Briggle meets people like Cathy McMullen. Her neighbors’ cows asphyxiated after drinking fracking fluids, and her orchard was razed to make way for a pipeline. Cathy did not consent to drilling, but those who profited lived far out of harm’s way. Briggle’s first instinct was to think about fracking, deeply. Drawing on philosophers from Socrates to Kant, but also on conversations with engineers, legislators, and industry representatives, he develops a simple theory to evaluate fracking: we should give those at risk to harm a stake in the decisions we make, and we should monitor for and correct any problems that arise. Finding this regulatory process short-circuited, and with government and industry alike turning a blind eye to symptoms like earthquakes and nosebleeds, Briggle decides to take action. Though our field philosopher is initially out of his element, joining fierce activists like “Texas Sharon,” once called the “worst enemy” of the oil and gas industry, his story culminates in an underdog victory for Denton, now nationally recognized as a beacon for citizens’ rights at the epicenter of the fracking revolution.

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    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking by Adam Briggle

    A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking

    10.6 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.1 hrs • 9/14/2015 • Unabridged

    A provocative and eye-opening look at the most explosive and controversial state in America, where everything is bigger, bolder―and shaping our nation’s future in surprising ways To most Americans, Texas has been that love-it-or-hate it slice of the country that has sparked controversy, bred presidents, and fomented turmoil from the American Civil War to George W. Bush. But that Texas is changing―and it will change America itself. Richard Parker takes the reader on a tour across today’s booming Texas, an evolving landscape that is densely urban, overwhelmingly Hispanic, exceedingly powerful in the global economy, and increasingly liberal. This Texas will have to ensure upward mobility, reinvigorate democratic rights, and confront climate change―just to continue its historic economic boom. This is not the Texas of George W. Bush or Rick Perry. Instead, this is a Texas that will remake the American experience in the twenty-first century―as California did in the twentieth―with surprising economic, political, and social consequences. Along the way, Parker analyzes the powerful, interviews the insightful, and tells the story of everyday people because, after all, one in ten Americans in this century will call Texas something else: Home.

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    Lone Star Nation

    8.1 hrs • 9/14/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.1 hrs • 8/11/2015 • Unabridged

    In this gripping narrative history, the beloved NBC weather personality vividly brings to life the Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history. On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, two-hundred-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the prosperous and growing port city on Texas’ Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, when the storm had passed, the city that existed just hours before was gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: eight thousand corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while intensive winds had upended girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. In less than twenty-four hours, one storm destroyed a major American metropolis—and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature. The Story of the Century brings this legendary disaster and its aftermath into brilliant focus. No other natural disaster has ever matched the havoc caused by the awesome mix of winds, rains, and flooding that devastated this bustling metropolis and shocked a young, optimistic nation on the cusp of modernity. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation’s confidence—the pain and trauma of the loss and the determination of the response—Al Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century, and of nature itself.

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    The Storm of the Century

    Read by Byron Wagner
    8.1 hrs • 8/11/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 11.3 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    The official nonfiction companion to the Memorial Day 2015 History Channel dramatic series Texas Rising: a thrilling new narrative history of the Texas Revolution and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers who patrolled the violent western frontier In 1836, if west of the Mississippi was considered the Wild West, then Texas was hell on earth—a hot bed of conflict. Who would win the war over Texas? Crushed from the outside by Mexican armadas and attacked from within by ferocious Comanche tribes, no one was safe. But this was a time of bravery, a time to die for what you believed in, and a time to stand tall against the cruel rule of the Mexican general Santa Anna and his forces. The Texas Rangers, a ragtag crew of men fighting on horseback, were often outnumbered by as many as fifty to one. Yet under renowned general Sam Houston, they achieved victory against nearly impossible odds, earning a legendary place in American history. Acclaimed Texas historian Stephen L. Moore’s Texas Rising, the official companion to the epic History series of the same name, brings to life the violent Texas frontier and the Rangers’ heroic deeds during the Texas Revolution. Published with the full support and backing of History, Texas Rising is an unforgettable history of this iconic band of fighters.

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    Texas Rising

    11.3 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.6 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    The dark-eyed woman in the long black gown was first seen in the 1970s standing near a fireplace. She was sad and translucent, present and absent at once. Strange things began to happen in the Santa Fe hotel where she was seen. Gas fireplaces turned off and on without anyone touching a switch. Glasses flew off shelves. And in one second-floor suite with a canopy bed and arched windows looking out to the mountains, guests reported alarming events: blankets ripped off while they slept, the room temperature plummeting, disembodied breathing, and dancing balls of light. La Posada—“place of rest”—had been a grand Santa Fe home before it was converted to a hotel. The room with the canopy bed had belonged to Julia Schuster Staab, the wife of the home’s original owner. She died in 1896, nearly a century before the hauntings were first reported. In American Ghost, Hannah Nordhaus traces the life, death, and unsettled afterlife of her great-great-grandmother, Julia, from her childhood in Germany to her years in the American West with her Jewish merchant husband. As she traces the strands of Julia’s life, Nordhaus uncovers a larger tale of how a true-life story becomes a ghost story and how difficult it can sometimes be to separate history and myth.

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    American Ghost

    8.6 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
    17.4 hrs • 10/20/2014 • Unabridged

    From one of Outside magazine’s “Literary All-Stars” comes the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983. In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named the Emerald Mile at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd but downright suicidal. The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.

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    The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

    The Emerald Mile

    17.4 hrs • 10/20/14 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5 (1)
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  8. 8.2 hrs • 4/23/2013 • Unabridged

    Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude, and yet, according to journalist, and Texan, Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas. In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Grieder assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bona fide Texas miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America’s underrated powerhouse.

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    Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right by Erica Grieder

    Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right

    8.2 hrs • 4/23/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.1 hrs • 5/15/2012 • Unabridged

    The gripping and definitive chronicle of the iconic battle that inspired a nation—a sweeping saga of two hundred brave Americans who stood tall against an overwhelmingly superior Mexican force. On February 23, 1836, a Mexican army thousands of soldiers strong attacked a group of roughly two hundred Americans holed up in an abandoned mission just east of San Antonio, Texas. For nearly two weeks, the massive force laid siege to the makeshift fort, spraying its occupants with unremitting waves of musket and cannon fire. Then, on March 6, at 5:30 a.m., the Mexican troops unleashed a final devastating assault: divided into four columns, they rushed into the Alamo and commenced a deadly hand-to-hand fight. The Americans, despite being hugely outnumbered, fought valiantly—for themselves and for a division of an independent Texas. In the end, they were all slaughtered. Drawing upon newly available primary sources, The Blood of Heroes is the definitive account of this epic battle. Populated by larger-than-life characters—including Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis—it is a dynamic story of courage, sacrifice, and redemption.

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    The Blood of Heroes

    12.1 hrs • 5/15/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.7 hrs • 12/19/2011 • Unabridged

    The great unknown of the southwest is conquered by a one-armed man and his crew of adventurers, placing the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon on the map of the American continent. It is a journey no human being had ever made before. Dangerous rapids, narrow canyon walls offering no escape, terrifying river waterfalls, capsized boats, near drowning, lost equipment, and disillusioned men are dramatically described by John Wesley Powell, leader of this adventurous party. John Wesley Powell lost his arm at Shiloh in the Civil War but continued his rugged outdoor life with a series of explorations of the Rocky Mountains. Travel with Powell on his greatest adventure of all—the exploration of the unknown and dangerous Colorado River.

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  11. 10.2 hrs • 12/9/2011 • Unabridged

    A riveting account of the state of Arizona, seen through the lens of the Tucson shootings On January 8, 2011, twenty-two-year-old Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a Tucson meet and greet held by US representative Gabrielle Giffords. The incident left six people dead and thirteen injured, including Giffords, whom he shot in the head. Award-winning author and fifth-generation Arizonan Tom Zoellner, a longtime friend of Giffords’ and a field organizer on her congressional campaign, uses the tragedy as a jumping-off point to expose the fault lines in Arizona’s political and socioeconomic landscape that allowed this to happen: the harmful political rhetoric, the inept state government, the lingering effects of the housing market’s boom and bust, the proliferation and accessibility of guns, the lack of established communities, and the hysteria surrounding issues of race and immigration. Zoellner offers a revealing portrait of the southwestern state at a critical moment in history—and as a symbol of the nation’s discontents and uncertainties. Ultimately, it is his rallying cry for a saner, more civil way of life.

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    A Safeway in Arizona by Tom Zoellner

    A Safeway in Arizona

    10.2 hrs • 12/9/11 • Unabridged
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  12. 6.0 hrs • 5/3/2005 • Abridged

    They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe—the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the United States government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer’s by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author’s grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer’s past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.

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    109 East Palace

    6.0 hrs • 5/3/05 • Abridged
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