Download Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen Audiobook

Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen Audiobook, by Bob Greene Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Bob Greene, Bob Greene Narrator: Fritz Weaver Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2006 ISBN: 9780061172311
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During World War II, American soldiers from every city and walk of life rolled through North Platte, Nebraska on troop trains, en route to Europe and the Pacific. The tiny town transformed its modest railroad depot into the North Platte Canteen -- a place where soldiers could enjoy coffee, music, home-cooked food, magazines, and friendly conversation during a stopover that lasted only a few minutes. It provided homesick military personnel with the encouragement they needed to help them through the difficult times ahead. Every day of the war, the Canteen -- staffed and funded entirely by local volunteers from the community of twelve thousand -- was open from 5 a.m. until the last troop train of the day pulled away after midnight. By war's end they provided welcoming words, friendship, and baskets of food to more than six million GIs.

Based on interviews with North Platte residents and the GIs who once passed through, Bob Greene unearths and reveals a classic, lost-in-the-mists-of-time American story of a grateful country honoring its brave and dedicated sons.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Greene’s writing reminds me of the wartime reporting by Ernie Pyle, who seldom wrote about generals or big shots but preferred to dignify the enlisted men in his columns and books…I salute the author for preserving this story of another time in another America.”

    Chicago Tribune Book Review

  • “The quintessential American story. A small town opens its arms to young soldiers on their way to fight WWII.”

    Aaron Brown, CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown

  • “Meticulous research and storytelling…History that documents the selflessness and brotherhood that sometimes seems gone with the distant past.”

    Associated Press

  • “Poignant and heartfelt.”

    Lincoln Journal Star

  • “A tale of small-town generosity in a time of war.”

    Omaha World-Herald

  • “Greene’s sketches of change tap a universal feeling: the bittersweet melancholy involved in recalling times past, the poignant ache—more than mere nostalgia—that accompanies our awareness that we are all creatures of time who ‘can’t go home again’…Standing at the intersection of history and memory, [Greene] tells us about it beautifully.”

    Providence Journal

  • “A lovely book—one that may make your eyes glisten. What an astonishing achievement the Canteen was.”

    Hartford Courant

  • “We can thank Bob Greene and the folks who, long years ago, gave freely and cheerfully of what they had—a smile, a dance, an egg salad sandwich. They did it not for medals but because it was something they could do.”

    North Platte Telegraph

  • “Moving…Greene’s skill makes this homage not just a time capsule but a work that will strike a resonating chord in those seeking to remember the generosity and selflessness of many when faced with adversity and peril.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A lively, affectionate look at small-town America…In a literature overflowing with melodramatic, and often overblown, accounts by the likes of Brokaw and Ambrose, this pleasingly modest and meaningful account of life on the homefront deserves the widest audience.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times bestseller

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About the Author

Bob Greene is an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer specializing in fitness, metabolism, and weight loss. He is the bestselling author of The Best Life Diet, The Total Body Makeover, Get With the Program!, and the coauthor of Make the Connection. He is also a contributing writer and editor for O, The Oprah Magazine and writes articles on health and fitness for