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Download Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble, by Marilyn Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marilyn Johnson Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The author of The Dead Beat and This Book Is Overdue! turns her piercing eye and charming wit to the real-life avatars of Indiana Jones—the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps, ancient landfills, volcanic islands, and other dirty places to reclaim history for us all.

Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenon—the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance and mystery. The news is full of archaeology: treasures found—“Richard III, infamous English king, found under parking lot”—and treasures lost—looters, bulldozers, natural disaster, and war. Archaeological research tantalizes us with possibilities:Are modern humans really part Neandertal? Where are the archaeologists behind these stories? What kind of work do they actually do, and why does it matter?

Marilyn Johnson’s Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Johnson digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu, and excavates their lives. Her subjects share stories we rarely read in history books, about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, children of the first century, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, mummies.

What drives these archaeologists is not the money (meager) or the jobs (scarce) or the working conditions (dangerous), but their passion for the stories that would otherwise be buried and lost.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Johnson finds that the line between inspirationally nutty and actually crazy is measured in the joy of the work.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “[A] gem of hands-on reportage.”

    Nature

  • “Johnson writes in a charming and thoughtful manner, weaving in her personal observations, insightful quotes from her subjects, and a wide-eyed fascination with her subjects.”

    Seattle Times

  • “[A] lively love letter to archaeologists…Many archaeologists credit Indiana Jones with sparking their passion, and Johnson may well inspire a new generation to take up this calling.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Johnson’s wonderful and engaging work peels back the superficial glamour surrounding archaeology and archaeologists, offering an account that is a step above the typical book on the subject…Without glitz, the author has created a very enjoyable work that will be appreciated by experts in the field and casual readers alike.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “The author, who makes a habit of looking into atypical subjects and then writing about them with brio and dash, takes on the discipline of archaeology…An engrossing examination of how archaeologists re-create much of human history, piece by painstaking piece.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “With warmth and humor, Huber introduces an intriguing collection of specialists and provides just a hint of characterization, allowing the listener to envision each archaeologist’s unique obsession. Huber truly shines in narrating the voice of author Marilyn Johnson as she journeys to world-renowned archaeological sites (the stunning vista of Machu Picchu) and less glamorous field-training locales. Huber’s classy narration gives credence to Johnson’s assertion that archaeology is vastly more valuable than digging up bones and pottery. It’s a science that allows us to better understand our own humanity.”

    AudioFile

  • A November 2014 LibraryReads Pick
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About the Author
Author Marilyn Johnson

Marilyn Johnson is the author of the books This Book Is Overdue!, which is about librarians and archivists in the digital age, and The Dead Beat, which is about the art of obituaries and obituary writers. The Dead Beat was chosen for the Borders Original Voice program and was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Johnson is a former editor at Esquire and Outside magazines and a former staff writer for Life. She and her family live in New York’s Hudson Valley.