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Download The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes Audiobook, by Bryan Burrough Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (568 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bryan Burrough, James Jenner Narrator: James Jenner, Bryan Burrough Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781440742958
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Bestselling author Bryan Burrough reveals how four Texas oil tycoons transformed America. Rising from humble beginnings through hard work and shrewd dealings, they shifted the balance of power in American politics. While hobnobbing with movie stars and presidents, the Big Rich also created the legend of the swaggering Texas oilman with island hideaways and sprawling ranches.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Capitalism at its most colorful oozes across the pages of this engrossing study…This is a portrait of capitalism as white-knuckle risk taking, yielding fruitful discoveries for the fathers, but only sterile speculation for the sons—a story that resonates with today’s economic upheaval.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Burrough…invokes a tale of bitter competition, family feuds, booms, and bankruptcies that more than lives up to the legends.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An entertaining look at the larger-than-life histories of the incomprehensibly rich and powerful. While it’s an extensively researched synthesis of a time and a place, it avoids a dry, academic tone through the natural drama of these miniature empires and the truly bizarre characters that inhabit them.”

    Library Journal

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise Mcdonald | 2/17/2014

    " This is a great book. Truly fascinating account of the Big Four. Just shows to go you, money can't buy happiness. In fact, in the hands of some it only enhances craziness and the ability to bounce from one absurdity to the next. Although all four characters are covered well, the focus is on H.L. Now I want to read more about the Basses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 2/13/2014

    " Intriguing stories about the men (unfortunately mainly men) that I grew up hearing about in Texas. These are the backgrounds of the men who made Texas famous for oil and big money. Really enjoyed the gossipy but true life adventures. Sadly,many of these families have devolved into the right-wing politicians and now have brought shame onto Texas. (Actually they were doing this for decades but not as openly.) Very detailed and researched. Now I know who owned some of those houses I used to walk my dogs by while living in Dallas. I know this sounds shallow but I would have liked a few more photos of people and events. "

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

    " A book that 'native Texans' must read! It's all about the oil. From Spindletop in Beaumont Tx to across the globe. It's about the BIG 4, Roy Cullen, H.L. Hunt, Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson, their kids, their families, their hopes and desires, their tragedies, their rise from dirt poor to multi-millionaires. A great book about Texas Oil! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 1/27/2014

    " An exciting tale, if at times told in obsessive detail of the 20th Century rise and fall of Texas oil gazillionaires "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy Pierce | 1/26/2014

    " This book was rich with history about the Texas oil barons. It chronicles the discovery of oil in Texas in the early 1900's to when the four major oil families lost their fortunes in the 1980's. It's an interesting read and has tidbits about these interesting families that have not been told before. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley | 1/25/2014

    " Unbelievable but true - how some uneducated TX wildcatters won and lost BILLIONS of dollars - and how they impacted the entire nation with their insular views. Highly entertaining and a bit frightening. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Self | 1/21/2014

    " the Big Rich is a Big Book and i got Bored 1/4 way through. learned some interesting things about texas in the early to mid 1900's and learned more about oil than i previously knew. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorothy Champion | 1/20/2014

    " Most Texans are already famiiar with the names of the men who started the Texas oil business. This very interesting read fleshes out their personalities and details their legacies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robynn | 1/20/2014

    " Recommended by my brother-in-law. So I read the intro and bounced through the book. Found it a fascinating look at the early oil business in Texas. Then I lost interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 1/4/2014

    " I wish I had bought this on CD rather than hardback. It's well written and many of these families are still a force in Texas politics today, but it's something I'd rather listen to in the car than page through in bed or at the pool. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keds | 12/17/2013

    " So far to good! A must read for anyone in the oil business!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kitty | 12/17/2013

    " OK, I read all of it I could take. More of a history book on the drilling of oil than anything else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beau Smith | 12/3/2013

    " Highly recommend this one. Great characters of Texas and it even mentions Tom Slick! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 11/28/2013

    " An excellent piece of research and writing. The reader is given a strong sense what life was like for the characters described in this well written book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela Sikorski | 11/8/2013

    " Good reading informative "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louis C Smith | 10/17/2013

    " Roots of the tea party. Describes the major buyout of Congress "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wayne | 7/25/2013

    " I've heard a lot about Texas oil and the oil men over the years but never really had a clear picture of who they were. The book presented a good background and also pointed out the influence their political contributions had on American government. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob Hoffman | 4/7/2013

    " Boring. I didn't care about any of the people in this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita Kay | 3/24/2013

    " Having grown up in Fort Worth with friends on the fringe of the oil business during this era, I found this book both fascinating and entertaining. These men had great imagination and daring and certainly didn't let "being broke or even bankrupt" interrupt their plans and dreams. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 George | 1/21/2013

    " Very uneven book. I was most fascinated about the early years of the discovery of oil in Texas and entrepreneurial spirit that drove the early wildcatters. The later years which covered the excesses of wealth and political influence of the rich through the generations was just far less interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Becky Elliott | 8/23/2012

    " I am learning a lot about Texas Oil history, but the book is hard to read. It isn't orginized very well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/8/2011

    " That just happened... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha Hanna | 8/14/2011

    " This book shocked me! I've lived in Texas all my life and even teach Texas history. Some of the things I learned about Texas from this book still suprise me! Great story. Interesting characters. I just can't believe some of the things that went on! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April Howie | 6/19/2011

    " Scandal: In a BIG way ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mom | 6/13/2011

    " Great history of the early independant oil man drilling in Texas and Louisiana. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clif | 5/9/2011

    " Good book if you grew up in the oilfield culture of 5o's Texas as I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dorothy | 4/4/2011

    " Most Texans are already famiiar with the names of the men who started the Texas oil business. This very interesting read fleshes out their personalities and details their legacies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 11/30/2010

    " non-fiction but reads like a soap opera at times. read this to learn more about the oil industry for work. pretty entertaining at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beau | 9/7/2010

    " Highly recommend this one. Great characters of Texas and it even mentions Tom Slick! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 9/2/2010

    " I really liked this - I'm not typically into nonfiction, but even though this book is pretty long and detailed, I never got bored of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 8/11/2010

    " interesting to know the history of texas oil "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 7/6/2010

    " Not sure if I should be impressed or disgusted with the rise and fall of Texas money. Regardless, a compelling read with added perspective on who we are as a country (and state, for all those Texans). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joey | 7/4/2010

    " started this one but couldn't get through it....not so fascinating "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley | 6/21/2010

    " Unbelievable but true - how some uneducated TX wildcatters won and lost BILLIONS of dollars - and how they impacted the entire nation with their insular views. Highly entertaining and a bit frightening. "

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About the Narrator

James Jenner is an actor known for Very Good Girls, Enemy Territory, and Third Watch.