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Download My River Chronicles: Rediscovering America on the Hudson Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample My River Chronicles: Rediscovering America on the Hudson Audiobook, by Jessica DuLong Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (43 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jessica DuLong Narrator: Jessica DuLong Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781400184132
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In 2001, journalist Jessica DuLong ditched her dot-com desk job for the diesel engines of a rusty antique fireboat, the John J. Harvey, and the storied waters of the Hudson. My River Chronicles: Rediscovering America on the Hudson tells the story of this mechanic's daughter and Stanford graduate who had left her blue-collar upbringing behind until the fireboat drew her back, offering a chance to become an engineer and a taste of home she hadn't realized she was missing. The more time DuLong spent toiling in the engine room, running the boat's finely crafted machinery, the more she wondered what America is losing in our shift away from hands-on work. These questions crystallized in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks, when the FDNY called the retired fireboat back into service, and DuLong and the rest of the boat's civilian crew pumped water to fight blazes at Ground Zero. As blue-collar workers clambered on the pile, DuLong was struck by the dignity of physical labor and the honor of having joined the world of skilled labor whose talents were useful at the site. DuLong brings her two worlds vibrantly to life in this beautifully written memoir that evokes the vitality of New York City's bygone working waterfront and the Hudson River, a birthplace of American industry. Blending four centuries of Hudson River history with unforgettable present-day characters and events, DuLong offers a porthole-view narrative of the river and its social tapestry as a microcosm of postindustrial America. As she tracks changes along the shoreline, where industrial sites give way to recreational respites, a celebration of American labor and craftsmanship emerges. While searching along the river's edge for the meaning of work in America, DuLong pays homage to our industrial past and raises important questions about the future at this pivotal moment in our national story. My River Chronicles is a journey with an extraordinary guide, a woman who bridges blue-collar and white-collar worlds and turns a phrase as deftly as she does a wrench. Soulful and illuminating, My River Chronicles is a deeply personal story of a unique woman's discovery of her own roots-and America's-as she runs the fireboat's diesels on the ever-changing river that flows both ways. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “She details her often exhilarating experiences in her very fine and gutsy book. Ms. DuLong is a confident and sensual writer, as perceptive about small matters on a boat as was Anthony Bourdain, in Kitchen Confidential, about everyday events in a professional kitchen…Readers will feel their own little yelps of glee all over My River Chronicles."

    New York Times

  • An unexpected portrayal of America in the decline of industry, delivered from the unique vantage point of the Hudson River..... Powerful. Kirkus Starred Review
  • “An unexpected portrayal of America in the decline of industry, delivered from the unique vantage point of the Hudson River…[A]n eye-opening picture of what America has been…and what it is becoming…Powerful.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellyn | 7/15/2013

    " Interesting story of a woman who left her computer job to become a fireboat engineer. That story is blended with the history of the Hudson River and the industry that grew up along it's banks. Fascinating! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Coley | 12/1/2012

    " AN interesting book about the Hudson River and the boats that work on the river. Probably not everyone's cup of tea. It was especially interesting after reading Being George Washington. The Chronicles told about the foundry at West Point as did George. "

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About the Author
Author Jessica DuLong

Jessica DuLong, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Merchant Marine Officer, is one of the world’s only female fireboat engineers. She’s also a journalist whose work has appeared in Newsweek International, Rolling Stone, Psychology Today, CosmoGIRL!, Parenting, Today’s Machining World, and Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, and other publications.