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Download America, 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Modern Nation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample America, 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Modern Nation, by Jim Rasenberger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (162 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Rasenberger Narrator: James Jenner Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A captivating look at a bygone era through the lens of a single, surprisingly momentous American year one century ago. 1908 was the year Henry Ford launched the Model T, the Wright Brothers proved to the world that they had mastered the art of flight, Teddy Roosevelt decided to send American naval warships around the globe, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (a feat they have never yet repeated), and six automobiles set out on an incredible 20,000 mile race from New York City to Paris via the frozen Bering Strait.

A charming and knowledgeable guide, Rasenberger takes readers back to a time of almost limitless optimism, even in the face of enormous inequality, an era when the majority of Americans believed that the future was bound to be better than the past, that the world’s worst problems would eventually be solved, and that nothing at all was impossible. As Thomas Edison succinctly said that year, “Anything, everything is possible.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jim Rasenberg has found the perfect aperture through which to view the explosion of modernity. 1908 was indeed a big bang of a year, a year full of hope and promise but also one which presented our world with a Pandora’s box of unforeseen perils. Reader will love—and historians will envy—the graceful simplicity of Rasenberger’s singular prism. America, 1908 effortlessly transports us back to the future, to a distant time and place that seems oddly familiar.” Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author
  • “What a difference a century makes, and how easy the confidence of 1908 looks by contrast with today…Rasenberger renders 1908 as a series of snapshots, and his camera never blinks.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator James Jenner transforms the odyssey of events from every aspect of American life into a coherent history that’s informative and diverting. His avuncular voice and restrained pace give his sandy delivery a nostalgic charm unusual for nonfiction.”

    AudioFile

  • “Through Rasenberger’s skill, the year 1908 seems…a cohesive body of events all linked to make something bigger, something grander. He portrays a year in the life of a changing America; whether it is American automobiles and ships prancing around the world or Americans adopting new technologies, it was certain that this country was changing.”

    Booklist

  • “Rasenberger’s talent lies in his ability to synchronously thread it all together, as the year unfolds, with random happenstances…An effective reach across time that is both poignant and entertaining.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This is a wonderful surprise of a book—a time machine back to the year when the American Century got going full tilt. Jim Rasenberger writes in a voice as winning as Theodore Roosevelt’s smile and pilots his machine with a sure-handedness that would have impressed the Wright brothers. When you finish America, 1908, you will swear you were there.”

    Patricia O’Toole, author of When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House

  • “An exhilarating panorama of the United States as it was a century ago. The cast of characters here, from Teddy Roosevelt to Fred Merkle (the luckless batter who mistake lost the New York Giants a still-legendary pennant race), is unforgettable. And the America that shows itself in this masterful narrative constantly reveals links to America today.”

    Mark Caldwell, author of New York Night: The Mystique and Its History

  • America, 1908 is an intricate time machine with moving parts that mesh like a fine old gold watch, transporting the reader to a time extraordinarily like and yet unlike our own. Rasenberger, a master of detail, gives us a superb rendition of an important and fascinating American moment.”

    James Tobin, author of To Conquer the Air: The Wright Brothers and the Great Race for Flight

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christina Dudley | 2/16/2014

    " A fascinating year's eye view, in which I was enthralled by certain parts (polar exploration, public scandals, cars) and bored by certain parts (mostly to do with the poor Wright brothers). Rasenberger ranges far and wide. Since I was reading Maud Hart Lovelace's BETSY-TACY series concurrently, this book shed light on the era, but I realized most momentous events glance off the everyday lives of those not involved, no matter which era you live in. Finally put it down because I hit yet another flying section, and just couldn't bring myself to do it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christopher | 2/11/2014

    " An entertaining and at times fascinating account of events in American history - political, cultural, scientific and more - during the year 1908. The book's only downfall is in the author's insistence at telling the stories in chronological order. The result is too jarring to make for captivating reading. For example, in one chapter the author relates the details of a baseball game. I was not very interested in this story at first, but soon found myself lost in the game, pulling the book closer to my face, as if that would help me get the words in faster. Then, at the story's climax the author switches gears and begins tellings us about the invention of the Model T Ford. Typically I would have been more interested in the Model T story, but found it an irritating inclusion that kept me from my baseball story. We return to the baseball story in the next chapter, at its chronologically correct position, but I have lost interest by then, and the baseball story is now an irritant keeping me from the story it has just interrupted. That said, I would recommend this book to those who enjoy non-fiction. Just be prepared to read it as a month-by-month narrative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Alexandrea | 2/1/2014

    " This book sticks mostly to the events listed in its title, sprinkled with some other interesting anecdotes in between. It was not entirely captivating to me, and seemed to drag towards the end. That said, I am not particularly taken with stories of historical baseball games or arguments over who reached the North Pole first. One fun part about the book is being able to compare America from approximately a hundred years ago to the America today: in some aspects, America has come a long way. In many others, it's uncanny how much the issues haven't changed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Humkeb | 1/29/2014

    " I love to read anything about America! "

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