Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World’s Smartest Horse Audiobook, by Mim Eichler Rivas Play Audiobook Sample

Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World’s Smartest Horse Audiobook

Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World’s Smartest Horse Audiobook, by Mim Eichler Rivas Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Mim Eichler Rivas Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781665042932

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

68:52 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

09:30 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

46:13 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Mim Eichler Rivas: > View All...

Publisher Description

The horse Jim was known as Beautiful Jim Key from the moment he stepped into the American spotlight in 1897 at age eight until his death in 1912. This horse was beloved for his remarkable intelligence, cultivated by human kindness and patience. Proclaimed a genius, a leader of his species, the smartest horse who ever lived, with an IQ the equivalent of a twelve-year-old human, Jim Key appeared to read, write, spell, do mathematics, tell time, sort mail, use a cash register and a telephone, cite bible passages by chapter and verse, and engage in political debate. Jim Key and his owner travelled the country performing these tricks, and whether true or not, the public believed it was so.

No less extraordinary was the man who trained Jim, Dr. William Key of Shelbyville, Tennessee, a former slave who in his life had seen horrific cruelty toward humans and animals. Bill Key was a self-schooled veterinarian and Black entrepreneur who refused to use force in any guise while breaking and training horses. It was thanks to this rare and intimate relationship between horse and man, championed by a second man named Albert R. Rogers—inventor, philanthropist, and founding member of the American Humane Society—that the animal rights movement was legitimized and born into the twentieth century.

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“Rivas shows how the intimate bond between horse and man prompted hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to pledge ‘always to be kind to animals’ and propelled the growth of animal-rights and anti-cruelty groups.”

— Publishers Weekly (starred review) 


  • “Chronicles the adventures of a great horse and the men who loved him…Rivas’s engaging story is filled with eyebrow-raising details”

    — Entertainment Weekly
  • “Compelling…provides a vivid slice of Americana.”

    — Parade
  • “If Beautiful Jim Key were alive today, he’d have a movie deal.”

    — People
  • “Jim Key, in his own beautiful way, whispered to Americans’ hearts and awakened their soul.” 

    — Los Angeles Times
  • “Rivas performs an important service by bringing this story to light and reminding us how it was almost lost.”

    — Knoxville News-Sentinel
  • “Seabiscuit had nothing on Beautiful Jim Key.”

    — Sacramento Bee
  • “A wonderful slice of American life at the turn of the last century.”

    — Contra Costa Times
  • “Just might be the bottled lightning that was Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Beautiful Jim Key represents a rediscovered treasure that has lain hidden for almost a century.”

    — Bob Womack, author of The Echo of Hoof Beats


  • A Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice

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About Mim Eichler Rivas

Mim Eichler Rivas is a bestselling author/collaborator of more than thirty acclaimed books including Chris Gardner’s Pursuit of Happyness and Antwone Fisher’s Finding Fish. Mim, raised in Tennessee, now lives in California, and has worked professionally as an actress, spokesperson, and voiceover artist.