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Download Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West Audiobook, by Wallace Stegner Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,035 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wallace Stegner Narrator: Mark Bramhall Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2010 ISBN: 9781455197392
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Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner recounts the remarkable career of Major John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of the Southwest Indian tribes. This classic work is a penetrating and insightful study of Powell’s career, from the beginning of the Powell Survey, in which Powell and his men famously became the first to descend the Colorado River, to his eventual ouster from the Geological Survey. In masterful prose, Stegner details the expedition, as well as the philosophies and ideas that drove Powell.

A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West—and he spent a good deal of his life battling Washington politics to get his message across. Only now may we recognize just how accurate a prophet he was.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stegner’s most exciting work.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The surrender of self-righteousness would be an enormous boon to the environmental cause. Acknowledging the unedited, complicated, utilitarian John Wesley Powell as an ideological parent would be a big step in that laudable direction, and it is this step that Worster’s thorough and empathetic biography makes possible.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “No library of western/southwestern materials can be without this book.”

    Books of the Southwest

  • “This book goes far beyond biography, into the nature and soul of the American West. It is Stegner at his best, assaying an entire era of our history, packing his pages with insights as shrewd as his prose.”

    Ivan Doig, American novelist

  • “Narrator Mark Bramhall, like the great river, starts a little slow but becomes more and more animated as the huge rapids and steep canyon walls begin to conquer the men and the boats. Bramhall’s sonorous and sandy voice varies in volume and speed to match the mood of the oarsmen as they face starvation and uncertainty about how much more danger lies ahead.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/14/2014

    " I got tired of this and returned it to the library before I finished it. I think the subject matter would probably be interesting in a different setting, but even during the exciting bits I couldn't get much beyond 'meh' with this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben | 2/5/2014

    " This book is a really informative book. The first half of the book deals with the exploration of river canyons in North Eastern Utah. The second half the book deals with politics but both parts are great in a different ways. After reading the explorations part of this book all I could thank about for days was joining a rafting adventure down the Greene and Grande Rivers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin | 1/30/2014

    " A wonderful story told in an agonizingly boring way. Skimmed the last half only to find out about the jobs he held during his career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/25/2014

    " Currently reading - and it's great! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 1/24/2014

    " One of my all-time favorites, and a must-read about water and the west. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 1/21/2014

    " One of those histories that made me think some people are just crazy. But wow, the things they get done. Written by a great American writer too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 LeeAnn Heringer | 1/19/2014

    " I'd read Major Powell's own account of his Grand Canyon explorations earlier this year and thought I'd covered the subject, but this book introduced me to the bigger impact of John Wesley Powell. His contribution to the creation of the US Geological Survey, his time as the second director of it, his enormous vision on how the west should have been organized. Any long term inhabitant of the west knows that one of the biggest issues to this day is water rights and corporate land speculation and Powell threw himself into the heart of that (and lost). To me, it was a lost historical chapter on what could have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Hill | 1/19/2014

    " Very interesting account of John Wesley Powell's discoveries through the great Mountain West. Justin and I became interested in learning more about him when we visited the Grand Canyon last month, and this book is quenching my thirst. The day to day account of Powell and his team rafting through the Grand Canyon is amazing. Cool to hear mention of Powell interacting with Brigham Young and Jacob Hamblin (as in THEE Jacob Lake). It's a bit factual in the beginning, but starts flowing better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 1/11/2014

    " A very well-written, thorough book on a major figure - and largely, and era - of American history that has seemingly largely been excluded from textbooks. Stegner manages to make something that sounds outwardly dull intriguing and informing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 1/7/2014

    " Fifty nine years after the original publication date, Stegner's story of the American West and Powell's continuing influence still holds true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Thomas | 11/12/2013

    " Drier but interesting. Powell was a good subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 10/12/2013

    " Pretty dry, but interesting enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon Sorenson | 10/9/2013

    " Powell was fifty years ahead of his time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 9/2/2013

    " Good account of exploration of the western U.S. What an amazing man! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik Stieve | 1/3/2013

    " A great book about the great American west "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 10/1/2012

    " Masterful American writer penning a biography about a visionary American who knew the west better than most. Good combination. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 9/25/2012

    " While I had to read this for a class, it is a fascinating story of Powell and his trip down the Colorado and I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alix | 6/21/2012

    " I enjoyed reading this book, although it was slow-going at times. The first 1/3rd of the book was more engaging and exciting as Stegner described Powell's first Colorado River running; the last 2/3rds of the book were a bit slower, but still interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/8/2011

    " Does it count if I have to read this for school? I'm going with "yes," because if I can't count what I'm reading for school then I'll hardly be able to add anything for the next four months! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mowena Glunch | 10/24/2011

    " A great writer tackles a great man "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/8/2011

    " I listened to this book on CD. I have to say it was boring, although I was interested to learn of the impact Powell had on recording both geographic and ethnological information on the West and on Native Americans. Powell never became alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik | 9/7/2011

    " A bit slow, but very cool. Powell was on of the great American explorers of the West, with not only a profound understanding of western landscapes, but a profound vision of how they should be lived upon. A vision one wishes were given more credence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mubabe | 9/6/2011

    " i learned that i i can do anything, even with a short arm "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Recanzone | 8/26/2011

    " Wallace Stegner has an amazing grasp on the American West. I read this account of Powell, his trip down the Colorado, and his shaping of public policy as a case study in my public administration classes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 5/9/2011

    " a book you could read each decade and understand differently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 5/1/2011

    " Wallace Stegner is my favorite author and this is my favorite book. Crossing to Safety is a close second. I would like to read every word he has ever written. It is a joy to read his prose and contemplate the themes and people and relationships he writes about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 4/15/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all time.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 E. R. | 4/13/2011

    " Wallace is one of the twentieth century's best authors in my opinion. His books are engrossing and memorable. I loved it. His descriptive writing is unparalleled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 4/13/2011

    " Read this years ago, but I remember it being amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 4/12/2011

    " I am apparently the only woman ever who hated this book. He just seemed so judgmental of his female characters. "

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About the Author
Author Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner (1909–1993) wrote many books of fiction and nonfiction, including Crossing to Safety and the National Book Award–winning The Spectator BirdAngle of Repose won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972. An American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, Stegner was often called the “dean of Western writers” and has left a lasting legacy in the literary community.

About the Narrator

Mark Bramhall has won thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Audiobook Publishers Association’s prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has been named by Publishers Weekly and AudioFile magazine among their “Best Voices of the Year” in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also an award-winning actor whose acting credits include off-Broadway, regional, and many Los Angeles venues as well as television, animation, and feature films. He has taught and directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Art.