The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West Audiobook, by John Branch Play Audiobook Sample

The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West Audiobook

The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West Audiobook, by John Branch Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: John Pruden Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: May 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781538541067

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

40:12 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

07:23 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

24:26 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by John Branch: > View All...

Publisher Description

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s gripping portrait of one western family struggling to hold on to age-old American ways

New York Times reporter and bestselling author John Branch takes listeners to the magnificent red soil and rocky arroyos of southern Utah, where the Wright family of Smith Mesa have for generations raised cattle and world-champion saddle-bronc riders—some call them the most successful rodeo family in history.

Filled with vivid scenes of cattle ranching and the high drama of rodeo, The Last Cowboys follows three generations of Wrights through the seasons as they are battered by drought, the falling price of beef, battles over land-use and federal regulation, and rodeo’s ever-present risks of serious injury.

This is an epic but intimate story of real-life cowboys squeezed by social change in the twenty-first century, their soiled boots planted firmly in the past while they optimistically build a future.

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“This compelling audiobook grabs the listener’s attention and holds it. Narrator John Pruden pivots skillfully from the megawatt excitement of saddle bronc riding to the lonely drudgery of driving long distances between rodeos. His engaged style fits the eight-second adrenaline-soaked life of the rodeo/ranching Wright family from southern Utah…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

— AudioFile 


  • “A beautiful book, threading deep reporting into a gorgeously written narrative. It is American portraiture at its best.”

    — Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Remarkable….It’s a story not just of rodeo but of the contemporary West…Branch avoids the sentimentalism that can seep into such a tale. He also does an impressive job of making the rodeo life come off the page.

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “Compelling…The Last Cowboys is an excellent, compassionate book.”

    — Minneapolis StarTribune
  • “What Branch focuses on so beautifully is how one remarkable American family navigates the situation of wanting to do dangerous, peculia,r and deeply impressive kinds of work.”

    — Los Angeles Times
  • “An excellent, compassionate book.”

    — Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • “Avoid[s] country clichés and reveal[s] not only why rural Americans must adapt, but also the reasons they might want to.”

    — Outside magazine
  • “A real-life story that’s not only compelling, but oddly reassuring.”

    — Los Angeles Review of Books
  • “A tribute to the things that matter.”

    — Deseret News
  • “The Last Cowboys isn’t just about winning saddle bronc titles…It’s about the Old West becoming new.”

    — Associated Press
  • “Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter Branch records in utterly enthralling detail the efforts of a multigenerational Utah ranching family, the Wrights, to survive a shifting American West.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “A dramatic and personal account of the Wright family and how they developed a second business in the modern rodeo circuit to support their family ranch at Smith Mesa. Recommended for understanding twenty-first-century American cowboy culture.”

    — Library Journal
  • “Branch’s fly-on-the-wall reporting and evocative prose renders this a memorable tale of family and the American West in a state of flux.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Packed with fascinating information, lively writing, and a certain pleasant nostalgia.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Branch has composed a wonderful ballad of intrepid Old West men bucking a modern world that’s going dry fast.”

    — Nicholas Dawidoff, author of The Fly Swatter


  • An Audible Pick of Most Anticipated Listens for Spring
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick in Biographies and Memoirs
  • An bestseller
  • A New York Times Pick of Best Sports Summer Reads
  • An iBooks Pick of the Best Books of 2018 (So Far)
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About John Branch

John Branch is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the New York Times. His first book, Boy on Ice, was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting. He lives near San Francisco.

About John Pruden

John Pruden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life provides a deep creative well from which he draws his narrative and vocal characterizations. His narration of The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers was chosen by the Washington Post as a Best Audiobook of 2010.