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Download Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Horatios Drive: Americas First Road Trip Audiobook, by Dayton Duncan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (107 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns Narrator: Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns, Tom Hanks Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2003 ISBN: 9780739306369
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The companion volume to the PBS documentary film about the first—and perhaps most astonishing—automobile trip across the United States.

In 1903 there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire nation and most people had never seen a “horseless buggy”—but that did not stop Horatio Nelson Jackson, a thirty-one-year-old Vermont doctor, who impulsively bet fifty dollars that he could drive his twenty-horsepower automobile from San Francisco to New York City. Here—in Jackson’s own words and photographs—is a glorious account of that months-long, problem-beset, thrilling-to-the-rattled-bones trip with his mechanic, Sewall Crocker, and a bulldog named Bud. Jackson’s previously unpublished letters to his wife, brimming with optimism against all odds, describe in vivid detail every detour, every flat tire, every adventure good and bad. And his nearly one hundred photographs show a country still settled mainly in small towns, where life moved no faster than the horse-drawn carriage and where the arrival of Jackson’s open-air (roofless and windowless) Winton would cause delirious excitement.

Jackson was possessed of a deep thirst for adventure, and his remarkable story chronicles the very beginning of the restless road trips that soon became a way of life in America. Horatio’s Drive is the first chapter in our nation’s great romance with the road.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stevenj | 1/16/2014

    " Enjoyed this audio version narrated by Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns, and Tom Hanks. Now I want the (paper) book for photos and maps! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nate Hendrix | 1/10/2014

    " This is the great rue story of the first guy to drive a car across the US. This book is a companion to a documentary by Ken Burns. I was half way through the first chapter when I realized that I had seen the documentary. Amazing story, I've drive across the US twice and it is hard to imagine what these guys went through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting story, but not a riveting account nor one of the most momentous events in American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 1/9/2014

    " Ken Burns collected a pretty good story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Horatio was a true adventurer, though one wouldn't think of a car trip as an adventure in the same way today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 1/6/2014

    " This was a book I picked up hurriedly from the library, and loved! It is the story of the first man to drive from coast to coast in the United States. It allowed me to picture life at the turn of the century in a way I had never thought of before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shenek | 9/30/2013

    " Really fun to know that I am truly American in my enjoyment of a road trip. Horatio Jackson's indomitable and wholly optimistic attitude was impressive. Even more fun for me...I get to go see his car (on display at the Smithsonian) soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Damian Kinsella | 8/28/2013

    " i haven't seen the documentary yet, but the book was really good. an interesting story of the first cross country drive. it was amazing to read of Horatio's progress despite how ill-prepared he was, and how well prepared his competitors were. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 7/3/2013

    " First Road trip EVER across America. H. N. Jackson does it in about 2 months. Few roads, lots of breakdowns, lots of guts. Very interesting account. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wildwomble | 2/5/2013

    " I listened this as we drove across the country - possibly the world's best book on CD for travelers! Informative, witty and filled with road trip misadventures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/26/2012

    " Very interesting telling of a story I previously knew nothing about. A quick read or listen that highlights the first cross-country road trip. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlene | 7/18/2012

    " Enjoyed reading about what roads were like even for horse and buggy to use it is hard to imagine taking a trip alone or even as a family. Compared to today folks had so little support - we are spoiled compared to their lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 7/6/2012

    " I think I watched the documentary based on this book and this journey awhile ago. Still a great read of a fanciful real life tale. I can't think of a better subject matter in that it really captures the spirit of the highway even before highways. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 5/16/2012

    " Great "road trip" book... the original, first ever, road trip across the US in 1903, done on a lark and a $50 bet. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve Lane | 3/13/2012

    " The audio book was entertaining and a good listen to and from work. Easy to follow for those that listen to audio-books during their daily commute. Total of 3 c.d.s and well produced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lena | 8/30/2011

    " Very enjoyable, and I hope to find the film the authors made. This was very well researched, and the photos added texture to the writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 6/26/2011

    " Road trip across America in 1903, long before any hint of highway or McDonald's. All in response to a $50 bet. Determination and pluck are never to be underestimated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 5/11/2011

    " Ken Burns collected a pretty good story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Horatio was a true adventurer, though one wouldn't think of a car trip as an adventure in the same way today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 12/17/2010

    " Fascinating account of America’s first transcontinental road trip. The pictures add a great deal to the text, as does the mere idea of a bespectacled bulldog going along for the ride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lena | 11/9/2010

    " Very enjoyable, and I hope to find the film the authors made. This was very well researched, and the photos added texture to the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 1/13/2010

    " Interesting story, but not a riveting account nor one of the most momentous events in American history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlene | 9/27/2009

    " Enjoyed reading about what roads were like even for horse and buggy to use it is hard to imagine taking a trip alone or even as a family. Compared to today folks had so little support - we are spoiled compared to their lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 7/2/2009

    " Road trip across America in 1903, long before any hint of highway or McDonald's. All in response to a $50 bet. Determination and pluck are never to be underestimated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 11/23/2008

    " This was a book I picked up hurriedly from the library, and loved! It is the story of the first man to drive from coast to coast in the United States. It allowed me to picture life at the turn of the century in a way I had never thought of before. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 2/11/2008

    " First Road trip EVER across America. H. N. Jackson does it in about 2 months. Few roads, lots of breakdowns, lots of guts. Very interesting account. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Damian | 11/8/2007

    " i haven't seen the documentary yet, but the book was really good. an interesting story of the first cross country drive. it was amazing to read of Horatio's progress despite how ill-prepared he was, and how well prepared his competitors were. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stevenj | 8/9/2007

    " Enjoyed this audio version narrated by Dayton Duncan, Ken Burns, and Tom Hanks. Now I want the (paper) book for photos and maps! "

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About the Author
Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of Horatio’s Drive, is the author of seven other books about American history, including Out West: A Journey Through Lewis and Clark’s America, in which he retraced the route of the expedition. He has been involved with Ken Burns’s documentaries for more than a decade. He and Burns are now collaborating on a major documentary series about our national parks. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.
About the Narrator
Ken Burns, producer and director of the film series The War, founded his own documentary company, Florentine Films, in 1976. His films include Jazz, Baseball, and The Civil War, which was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television. His work has won numerous prizes, including the Emmy® and Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award® nominations. He lives in Aloe, New Hampshire.