The cowboy, America´s most popular folk hero, appeals to millions of readers of novels, histories, biographies, and folk tales. Cowboys command a vast audience on country radio, television, and at the movies, but what exactly is a cowboy? Authors Joe B. Frantz and Julian Ernest Choate, Jr., reveal the real, dyed-in-the-wool cowboy as a heroic being from the American past, who richly deserves to be understood in terms of reality, instead of myth. Here, then, is the definitive portrait of the American cowboy - in frontier history and in literature - reexamined, revitalized, and set in the proper perspective. Many exciting accounts of cowboy life have been presented by such talented writers as J. Evetts Haley, J. Frank Dobie, Wayne Gard, Walter Prescott Webb, Edward Everett Dale, Helena Huntington Smith, Ramon F. Adams, and C. L. Sonnichsen. But Frantz and Choate see the cowboy in relation to the entire panorama of western history and as part of a continuing tradition: ´´The American cowboy has carved a niche - niche nothing, it´s a gorge - in American affection as a folk hero, and in this role we have surveyed him.´´ 1. Language: English. Narrator: Steve Toner. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/060300/bk_acx0_060300_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The McCarthy-era witch hunts marked the culmination of an anticommunist crusade launched after the First World War. With Bolshevism triumphant in Russia and public discontent shaking the United States, conservatives at every level of government and business created a network dedicated to sweeping away the ´´spider web´´ of radicalism they saw threatening the nation. In this groundbreaking study, Nick Fischer shines a light on right-wing activities during the interwar period. Conservatives, eager to dispel communism´s appeal to the working class, railed against a supposed Soviet-directed conspiracy composed of socialists, trade unions, peace and civil liberties groups, feminists, liberals, aliens, and Jews. Their rhetoric and power made for devastating weapons in their systematic war for control of the country against progressive causes. But, as Fischer shows, the term ´´spider web´´ far more accurately described the anticommunist movement than it did the makeup and operations of international communism. Fischer details how anticommunist myths and propaganda influenced mainstream politics in America, and how its ongoing efforts paved the way for the McCarthyite Fifties - and augured the conservative backlash that would one day transform American politics. The book is published by University of Illinois Press. 1. Language: English. Narrator: William Dupuy. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/087101/bk_acx0_087101_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
How George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams navigated the nation through four major crises and caused the first stirrings of American nationalism. Americans like to believe that the Constitution miraculously brought the United States into being, as though the framers established, in one stroke, the nation we know today. Yet when George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, he expressed worry about the challenges that lay ahead. He was right to be concerned: The existence of the new nation was anything but secure. Without the support of the American people, after all, the Constitution was only a piece of paper. In A Sovereign People, her brilliant new political history of the 1790s, the acclaimed historian Carol Berkin argues that the young nation would not have survived absent the interventions of the Federalists, above all Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. In power throughout the decade, they faced four successive crises of sovereignty. The Whiskey Rebellion was a domestic revolt over the right of the federal government to levy taxes. The Genet Affair saw a reckless French diplomat appeal directly to the American people, in opposition to Washington. The XYZ Affair involved foreign threats intended to draw the United States into a European war. The final crisis was self-inflicted, the result of the Federalists´ desire to silence their critics in the press, in the form of the Alien and Sedition Acts. In each instance the Federalists demonstrated the necessity of the federal government established by the Constitution, and by decade´s end the American people understood that without an ´´energetic government´´, there could be no United States. As Berkin ultimately reveals, while the Revolution freed the states and the Constitution linked them as never before, it was the Federalists who transformed them into an enduring nation. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Betsy Foldes Meiman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hach/003230/bk_hach_003230_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The working cowhand of old was a dusty laborer, but today´s rodeo performers can hone their skills before small-town crowds and be stars in urban coliseums. Historian Kristine Fredriksson follows the evolution of rodeo from the range to Buffalo Bill´s Wild West to the extravaganzas in modern times. How an ordinary, low-paying job became an entertainment that attracts thousands of spectators is a lesson in American culture and a story that will appeal to anyone who spells ´´western´´ with a capital W. The book is published by Texas A&M Press. ´´In this entertaining and informative work, Fredriksson has written the first detailed historical account of rodeo as organized entertainment in the United States.´´ (Library Journal) ´´Here is a well-written and thoroughly documented scholarly narrative of the rodeo´s evolution from its amateur origins to its present status as a professional Sport.´´ (American Studies) ´´As an up-to-date, carefully-researched, and clearly-written history of the development of professional rodeo into a national sport, the book makes a valuable and significant contribution to rodeo literature.´´ (New Mexico Historical Review) 1. Language: English. Narrator: Todd Curless. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/022608/bk_acx0_022608_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Just as the big trees of the Pacific Northwest inspired the legend of Paul Bunyan, so did the Palouse Hills of southeastern Washington--where fantastic fields of wheat were raised on incredibly steep slopes--spawn tall tales about farmers, steamboat men, and the ingenious methods they used to get their grain to market. Though thirty-three-mule hitches and headers (whose downhill wheels were three times larger than the uphill ones) solved the harvesting problems, transporting the sacked grain two thousand vertical feet down to the steamboat landings took sheer genius. The Greatest Inventor in the West tells the story of one Joseph Malone, who possessed just the kind of ingenuity necessary for such a feat and whose creations, though they might succeed later, often failed spectacularly the first time they were tried. When the handsome young inventor falls in love with the beautiful, mute Mary Burke, whose wealthy banker father is financing Malone´s new invention, he is forced to put all his talents to use--with rather surprising results.Based on local legends of the Walla Walla area of Washington, this lively, humorous tale will appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of the Pacific Northwest. Adept at reshaping tall tales, Bill Gulick has given us such stories as ´´Hallelujah Trail´´, which was adapted into the award-winning film critics call ´´the funniest Western ever made.´´ A longtime resident of the Northwest, Bill Gulick has written numerous books, both fiction and nonfiction, on the Northwest. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gene Engene. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/bimo/001212/bk_bimo_001212_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
James MacGregor Burns’s stunning trilogy of American history, spanning the birth of the Constitution to the final days of the Cold War. In these three volumes, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner James MacGregor Burns chronicles with depth and narrative panache the most significant cultural, economic, and political events of American history. In The Vineyard of Liberty, he combines the color and texture of early American life with meticulous scholarship. Focusing on the tensions leading up to the Civil War, Burns brilliantly shows how Americans became divided over the meaning of Liberty. In The Workshop of Democracy, Burns explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as a new global power. And in The Crosswinds of Freedom, Burns offers an articulate and incisive examination of the US during its rise to become the world’s sole superpower - through the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the rapid pace of technological change that gave rise to the ´´American Century.” 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Ashby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/017311/bk_adbl_017311_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Throughout his long and influential career, Michael Fellman has explored the tragic side of American history. Best known for his path-breaking work on the American Civil War and for an interdisciplinary methodology that utilizes social psychology, cultural anthropology, and comparative history, Fellman has delved into issues of domination, exploitation, political violence, racism, terrorism, and the experiences of war. Incorporating essays written over the past thirty years - two of them previously unpublished, and the others not widely available - Views from the Dark Side of American History reveals some of the major personal and scholarly concerns of his career and illuminates his approach to history, research, applied theory, and analysis. Each essay includes a thought-provoking preface and afterword that situate it in its time and explore its intellectual and political contexts. Fellman also grapples with the personal elements of developing as a historian - the people with whom he argued or agreed with, the settings in which he gave or published the papers, and the subjective as well as historical issues that he addressed. The collection encourages history students, historians, and general readers of history to think through the layers of their historical engagement and to connect their personal experiences and social commitments to their explorations. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bill Fisher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/001685/bk_acx0_001685_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1550-51, Bartolomé de las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, in the Valladolid Debate, attempted to settle the issue of whether or not Native Americans should have been enslaved, given sanction by the Pope. Both carefully argued their sides, las Casas stating emphatically, through his ´´Apología´´, that Native Americans were not all uncivilized and that only Canaanite tribes could be enslaved. What ensued was a heated, good-versus-evil argument that settled nothing and still allowed the Catholic Church and the Spanish government to condone and support the continued enslavement of native peoples. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dennis Logan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/039554/bk_acx0_039554_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer and sometime treasure hunter named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and known informally as the Mormons). One of the nascent faith’s early initiates was a 23-year-old Ohio farmer named Parley Pratt, the distant grandfather of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In The Mormon People, religious historian Matthew Bowman peels back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of 21st century, and ably sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this ´´all-American” faith is perceived by the wider American public - and internationally. Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved - and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in ´´magic underwear”. Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mo... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Deakins. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/002875/bk_rand_002875_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A social history of alcoholism in the United States, from the 17th century to the present day. Today, millions of Americans are struggling with alcoholism, but millions are also in long-term recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous and a growing number of recovery organizations are providing support for alcoholics who will face the danger of relapse for the rest of their lives. We have finally come to understand alcoholism as a treatable illness rather than a moral failure. Today´s advocates can draw inspiration from the victories of sober drunks throughout American history. Christopher Finan recounts the nation´s history with alcohol and its search for sobriety, which began among Native Americans in the colonial period, when liquor was used to cheat them of their property. He introduces us to the first of a colorful cast of characters, a remarkable Iroquois leader named Handsome Lake, who dedicated his life to helping his people renounce hard liquor. And we meet Carrie Nation, the wife of an alcoholic who destroyed bars with an ax in her anger over what alcohol had done to her family, as well as the idealistic and energetic Washingtonians, reformed drunks who led the first national movement to save men like themselves. Finan also tells the dramatic story of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the two drunks who helped each other stay sober and then created AA, which survived its tumultuous early years and has made it possible for millions of men and women to quit drinking. This is narrative history at its best: entertaining and authoritative, an important portrait of one of America´s great liberation movements. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/010049/bk_blak_010049_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.