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  1. 7.2 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. Many black residents were poor sharecroppers, but others owned their own farms and the land on which they’d founded the county’s thriving black churches. But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. In the wake of the expulsions, whites harvested the crops and took over the livestock of their former neighbors, and quietly laid claim to “abandoned” land. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten. National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s. Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale that spans the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth’s racial cleansing. With bold storytelling and lyrical prose, Phillips breaks a century-long silence and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century.

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    Blood at the Root

    7.2 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 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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  3. 13.6 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Love them or hate them, what the New England Patriots have been able to do over the past fifteen years is nothing short of remarkable. In addition to their four Super Bowl championships, the Patriots have the best coach in the league, a smart and savvy front office, and a future Hall of Fame quarterback who is internationally recognized as the face of the NFL. The longer the Patriots continue to dominate on the field as well as in the media and the American pop culture landscape, the harder it becomes for anyone to remember them as something other than a model franchise and the ultimate paradigm of success and accomplishment. Anyone, that is, except for Jerry Thornton. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for the Patriots; in fact, for the bulk of their existence, it was exactly the opposite. Though difficult to fathom now, the New England Patriots of old weren’t just bad—they were laughably bad. Not so long ago, the Pats were the laughingstock of not only the NFL but also the entire sporting world. From Darkness to Dynasty tells the unlikely history of the New England Patriots as it has never been told before. From their humble beginnings as a team bought with rainy-day money by a man who had no idea what he was doing to the fateful season that saw them win their first Super Bowl, Jerry Thornton shares the wild, humiliating, unbelievable, and wonderful stories that comprised the first forty years of what would ultimately become the most dominant franchise in NFL history. Witty, hilarious, and brutally honest, From Darkness to Dynasty returns to the thrilling, perilous days of yesteryear—a welcome corrective for those who hate the Patriots and a useful reminder for those who love them that all glory is fleeting.

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    From Darkness to Dynasty by Jerry Thornton

    From Darkness to Dynasty

    Foreword by Michael Holley
    13.6 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.8 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Discover the stories of twelve women who heard the call to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey. As a slave, Clara watched as her husband and children were sold, only to be reunited with her youngest daughter, as a free woman, six decades later. As a young girl, Charlotte hid her gender to escape a life of poverty and became the greatest stagecoach driver that ever lived. As a Native American, Gertrude fought to give her people a voice and to educate leaders about the ways and importance of her culture. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. Many were crusaders for social justice and women’s rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world. The author ties the stories of these pioneer women to the experiences of women today with the hope that they will be inspired to live boldly and bravely and to fill their own lives with vision, faith, and fortitude. To live with grit.

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    Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson

    Frontier Grit

    5.8 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    At midday on May 4, 1970, after three days of protests, several thousand students and the Ohio National Guard faced off at opposite ends of the grassy campus commons at Kent State University. At noon, the Guard moved out. Twenty-four minutes later, Guardsmen launched a thirteen-second, sixty-seven-shot barrage that left four students dead and nine wounded, one paralyzed for life. The story doesn’t end there, though. A horror of far greater proportions was narrowly averted minutes later when the Guard and students reassembled on the commons. The Kent State shootings were both unavoidable and preventable: unavoidable in that all the discordant forces of a turbulent decade flowed together on May 4, 1970, on one Ohio campus; preventable in that every party to the tragedy made the wrong choices at the wrong time in the wrong place. Using the university’s recently available oral-history collection supplemented by extensive new interviewing, Means tells the story of this iconic American moment through the eyes and memories of those who were there, and skillfully situates it in the context of a tumultuous era.

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    67 Shots by Howard Means

    67 Shots

    10.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 19.2 hrs • 8/3/2016 • Unabridged

    A sixth-generation North Carolinian, highly-acclaimed author John Ehle grew up on former Cherokee hunting grounds. His experience as an accomplished novelist, combined with his extensive, meticulous research, culminates in this moving tragedy rich with historical detail. The Cherokee are a proud, ancient civilization. For hundreds of years they believed themselves to be the “Principle People” residing at the center of the earth. But by the 18th century some of their leaders believed it was necessary to adapt to European ways in order to survive. Those chiefs sealed the fate of their tribes in 1875 when they signed a treaty relinquishing their land east of the Mississippi in return for promises of wealth and better land. The U.S. government used the treaty to justify the eviction of the Cherokee nation in an exodus that the Cherokee will forever remember as the “trail where they cried.” John McDonough narrates with thoughtful gravity. The heroism and nobility of the Cherokee shine through this intricate story of American politics, ambition, and greed.

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    Trail of Tears

    19.2 hrs • 8/3/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 16.3 hrs • 8/2/2016 • Unabridged

    Without his New York supporters, it’s highly unlikely Abraham Lincoln would have made it to the White House. Yet the majority of New Yorkers never voted for him and were openly hostile to him and his politics. New Yorkers reacted to Lincoln’s wartime policies with the deadliest rioting in American history. Here, a gallery of fascinating New Yorkers comes to life, the likes of Horace Greeley, Walt Whitman, Julia Ward Howe, Boss Tweed, Thomas Nast, Matthew Brady and Herman Melville. City of Sedition follows the fortunes of these figures and chronicles how many New Yorkers seized the opportunities the conflict presented to amass capital, create new industries and expand their markets, laying the foundation for the city’s—and the nation’s—growth.

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    City of Sedition

    16.3 hrs • 8/2/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.9 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The incredible story of Brownie Wise, the Southern single mother—and postwar #Girlboss—who built, and lost, a Tupperware home-party empire Before Mary Kay, Martha Stewart, and Joy Mangano, there was Brownie Wise, the charismatic Tupperware executive who converted postwar optimism into a record-breaking sales engine powered by American housewives. In Life of the Party, Bob Kealing offers the definitive portrait of Wise, a plucky businesswoman who divorced her alcoholic husband, started her own successful business, and eventually caught the eye of Tupperware inventor, Earl Tupper, whose plastic containers were collecting dust on store shelves. The Tupperware Party that Wise popularized, a master-class in the soft sell, drove Tupperware’s sales to soaring heights. It also gave minimally educated and economically invisible postwar women, including some African-American women, an acceptable outlet for making their own money for their families—and for being rewarded for their efforts. With the people skills of Dale Carnegie, the looks of Doris Day, and the magnetism of Eva Peron, Wise was as popular among her many devoted followers as she was among the press, and she become the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week in 1954. Then, at the height of her success, Wise’s ascent ended as quickly as it began. Earl Tupper fired her under mysterious circumstances, wrote her out of Tupperware’s success story, and left her with a pittance. He walked away with a fortune and she disappeared—until now. Originally published as Tupperware Unsealed by the University Press of Florida in 2008—and optioned by Sony Pictures, with Sandra Bullock attached to star—this revised and updated edition is perfectly timed to take advantage of renewed interest in this long-overlooked American business icon.

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    Life of the Party

    8.9 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 22.1 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded the Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a “Modern Moses,” becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for the Defender’s support. Along the way, its pages were filled with columns by legends like Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, and Martin Luther King Jr. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs.

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    The Defender by Ethan Michaeli

    The Defender

    22.1 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.9 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    “The Erie Canal rubbed Aladdin’s lamp. America awoke, catching for the first time the wondrous vision of its own dimensions and power.”—Francis Kimball, American architect The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn’t just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history. Zealots invented new religions and new modes of living. The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face-to-face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity. Heaven’s Ditch illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this “psychic highway,” from its opening in 1825 through 1844. “Wage slave” Sam Patch became America’s first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Farm boy Joseph Smith gave birth to Mormonism, a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, one encounters America’s very first “crime of the century,” a treasure hunt, searing acts of violence, a visionary cross-dresser, and a panoply of fanatics, mystics, and hoaxers. A page-turning narrative, Heaven’s Ditch offers an excitingly fresh look at a heady, foundational moment in American history.

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    Heaven’s Ditch by Jack Kelly

    Heaven’s Ditch

    10.9 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 10.3 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    The New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Women chronicles the powerful and spellbinding true story of a brutal race-based killing in 1981 and subsequent trials that undid one of the most pernicious organizations in American history—the Ku Klux Klan. On a Friday night in March 1981, Henry Hays and James Knowles scoured the streets of Mobile in their car, hunting for a black man. The young men were members of Klavern 900 of the United Klans of America. They were seeking to retaliate after a largely black jury could not reach a verdict in a trial involving a black man accused of the murder of a white man. The two Klansmen found nineteen-year-old Michael Donald walking home alone. Hays and Knowles abducted him, beat him, cut his throat, and left his body hanging from a tree branch in a racially mixed residential neighborhood. Arrested, charged, and convicted, Hays was sentenced to death—the first time in more than half a century that the state of Alabama sentenced a white man to death for killing a black man. On behalf of Michael’s grieving mother, Morris Dees, the legendary civil rights lawyer and cofounder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a civil suit against the members of the local Klan unit involved and the UKA, the largest Klan organization. Charging them with conspiracy, Dees put the Klan on trial, resulting in a verdict that would level a deadly blow to its organization. Based on numerous interviews and extensive archival research, The Lynching brings to life two dramatic trials, during which the Alabama Klan’s motives and philosophy were exposed for the evil they represent. In addition to telling a gripping and consequential story, Laurence Leamer chronicles the KKK and its activities in the second half the twentieth century, and illuminates its lingering effect on race relations in America today. The Lynching includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs.

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    The Lynching by Laurence Leamer

    The Lynching

    10.3 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 15.4 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    Ten years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana, journalist Gary Rivlin traces the storm’s immediate damage, the city of New Orleans’ efforts to rebuild itself, and the storm’s lasting effects not just on the city’s geography and infrastructure—but on the psychic, racial, and social fabric of one of this nation’s great cities. Much of New Orleans still sat under water the first time Gary Rivlin glimpsed the city after Hurricane Katrina. Then a staff reporter for the New York Times, he was heading into the city to survey the damage. The Interstate was eerily empty. Soldiers in uniform and armed with assault rifles stopped him. Water reached the eaves of houses for as far as the eye could see. Four out of every five houses—eighty percent of the city’s housing stock—had been flooded. Around that same proportion of schools and businesses were wrecked. The weight of all that water on the streets cracked gas and water and sewer pipes all around town, and the deluge had drowned almost every power substation and rendered unusable most of the city’s water and sewer system. People living in flooded areas of the city could not be expected to pay their property taxes for the foreseeable future. Nor would all those boarded-up businesses—21,000 of the city’s 22,000 businesses were still shuttered six months after the storm—be contributing their share of sales taxes and other fees to the city’s coffers. Six weeks after the storm, the city laid off half its workforce—precisely when so many people were turning to its government for help. Meanwhile, cynics both in and out of the Beltway were questioning the use of taxpayer dollars to rebuild a city that sat mostly below sea level. How could the city possibly come back? This book traces the stories of New Orleanians of all stripes—politicians and business owners, teachers and bus drivers, poor and wealthy, black and white—as they confront the aftermath of one of the great tragedies of our age and reconstruct, change, and in some cases abandon a city that’s the soul of this nation.

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    Katrina by Gary Rivlin

    Katrina

    15.4 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.3 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    One of North America’s most destructive fires, and the amazing true story of how its survivors escaped to change a nation. On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over 2,000 people. Daniel J. Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in the first and only book to chronicle the dramatic story that unfolded. Whereas Oregon’s famous “Biscuit” fire in 2002 burned 350,000 acres in one week, the Hinckley fire did the same damage in five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, “fire whirls,” or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire to knock down buildings and carry flaming debris into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit—the melting point of steel. As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Two trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. The heroic young African American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back his locomotive out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than four hundred people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today. Author Daniel Brown has woven together numerous survivors’ stories, historical sources, and interviews with forest fire experts in a gripping narrative that tells the fascinating story of one of North America’s most devastating fires and how it changed the nation.

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    Under a Flaming Sky

    8.3 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 12.4 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    One of the last unheralded heroic stories of World War II: the U-boat assault off the American coast against the men of the US Merchant Marine who were supplying the European war, and one community’s monumental contribution to that effort. Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery—but it sent one of the largest concentrations of sea captains and US merchant mariners of any community in America to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), all US merchant mariners, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food, and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets. And they were easy targets—the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. Hitler was determined that his U-boats should sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore. As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Through their experiences we have eyewitnesses to every danger zone, in every kind of ship. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys—only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they’d returned to safety. The Mathews Men shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields—often the US merchant mariners’ life-and-death struggles took place just off the US coast—but also takes us to the landing beaches at D-Day and to the Pacific. “When final victory is ours,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, “there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.” Here, finally, is the heroic story of those merchant seamen, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews.

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    The Mathews Men

    12.4 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.3 hrs • 3/29/2016 • Unabridged

    The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Revenant--basis for the award-winning motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio--tells the remarkable story of the worst hard-rock mining disaster in American history. The worst hard-rock mining disaster in American history began a half hour before midnight on June 8, 1917, when fire broke out in the North Butte Mining Company's Granite Mountain shaft. Sparked more than two thousand feet below ground, the fire spewed flames, smoke, and poisonous gas through a labyrinth of underground tunnels. Within an hour, more than four hundred men would be locked in a battle to survive. Within three days, one hundred and sixty-four of them would be dead.Fire and Brimstone recounts the remarkable stories of both the men below ground and their families above, focusing on two groups of miners who made the incredible decision to entomb themselves to escape the gas. While the disaster is compelling in its own right, Fire and Brimstone also tells a far broader story striking in its contemporary relevance. Butte, Montana, on the eve of the North Butte disaster, was a volatile jumble of antiwar protest, an abusive corporate master, seething labor unrest, divisive ethnic tension, and radicalism both left and right. It was a powder keg lacking only a spark, and the mine fire would ignite strikes, murder, ethnic and political witch hunts, occupation by federal troops, and ultimately a battle over presidential power.

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    Fire and Brimstone

    9.3 hrs • 3/29/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.4 hrs • 3/29/2016 • Unabridged

    In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, an American buffalo herd once numbering 30 million animals was reduced to twenty-three. It was the era of Manifest Destiny, a gilded age that viewed the West as nothing more than a treasure chest of resources to be dug up or shot down. Supporting hide hunters was the U.S. Army, which considered the eradication of the buffalo essential to victory in its ongoing war on Native Americans.   Into that maelstrom rode young George Bird Grinnell. A scientist and a journalist, a hunter and a conservationist, Grinnell would lead the battle to save the buffalo from extinction. Fighting in the pages of magazines, in Washington’s halls of power, and in the frozen valleys of Yellowstone, Grinnell and his allies sought to preserve an icon. Grinnell shared his adventures with some of the greatest and most infamous characters of the American West—from John James Audubon and Buffalo Bill to George Armstrong Custer and Theodore Roosevelt. Last Stand is a strikingly contemporary story: the saga of Grinnell and the buffalo was the first national battle over the environment. Grinnell’s legacy includes the birth of the conservation movement as a potent political force.

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    Last Stand

    9.4 hrs • 3/29/16 • Unabridged
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