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Download The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book That Changed America: How Darwins Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation Audiobook, by Randall Fuller 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: Randall Fuller Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781524708368
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A compelling portrait of a unique moment in American history when the ideas of Charles Darwin reshaped American notions about nature, religion, science and race

Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn.

Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition. Darwin’s depiction of constant struggle and endless competition described America on the brink of civil war. But some had difficulty aligning the new theory to their religious convictions and their faith in a higher power. Thoreau, perhaps the most profoundly affected all, absorbed Darwin’s views into his mysterious final work on species migration and the interconnectedness of all living things.

Creating a rich tableau of nineteenth-century American intellectual culture, as well as providing a fascinating biography of perhaps the single most important idea of that time, The Book That Changed America is also an account of issues and concerns still with us today, including racism and the enduring conflict between science and religion. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A lively and informative history.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A stimulating chronicle of a group of New England thinkers who responded to the Origin of Species in the years following the book’s first appearance…Fuller can be commended for illuminating Darwin’s early effect on America in ways that lead us to think about later repercussions, including today’s debates over creationism and science-denial.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Fuller’s book offers us a vivid portrait of how On the Origin of Species debuted in America’s intellectual culture during a watershed moment in the nation’s history.”

    Science

  • “Listeners hear the story of Darwin’s book and its influence on American thinking. Narrator Stefan Rudnicki’s deep voice delivers the factual information with an emphasis on the passions of the principals, including notables such as Asa Gray, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. The author explains the science of natural selection and re-creates the emotions of a nation on the brink of war. Listeners will be riveted as they learn more about a key period in American history.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author

Randall Fuller is the author of From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature, which won the Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award for best literary criticism, and Emerson’s Ghosts: Literature, Politics, and the Making of Americanists. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the Chapman Professor of English at the University of Tulsa.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.