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Extended Audio Sample The Most They Ever Had Audiobook, by Rick Bragg Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 54.17 out of 5 4.17 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rick Bragg Narrator: Rick Bragg Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781455195527
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In the spring of 2001, a community of people in the Appalachian foothills had come to the edge of all they had ever been. Now they stood looking down, bitter, angry, afraid. Across the South, padlocks and logging chains bound the doors of silent mills, and it seemed a miracle to blue-collar people in Jacksonville, Alabama, that their mill still bit, shook, and roared. The century-old hardwood floors still trembled under whirling steel, and people worked on, in a mist of white air. The mill had become almost a living thing, rewarding the hardworking and careful with the best payday they ever had but punishing the careless and clumsy, taking a finger, a hand, or more.

The mill was here before the automobile, before the flying machine, and they served it even as it filled their lungs with lint and shortened their lives. In return, it let them live in stiff-necked dignity in the hills of their fathers. So when death did come, no one had to ship a body home on a train. This is a mill story—not of bricks, steel, and cotton—but of the people who suffered in it to live.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stories worth hearing and knowing…[Bragg] grew up among the mill hands he writes about and, while he doesn’t distinguish the different characters as an actor would and doesn’t always make clear where quotations begin and end, he does bring them lovingly to life.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 5/20/2011

    " The best book I have ever read, period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 5/17/2011

    " One of my favorites. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cary | 5/8/2011

    " I liked the book but the author's reporter style made it seem something less than what I was looking for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 5/6/2011

    " Great read, especially the beginning. At times the tone slips into sounding a bit too preachy and proud, but overall, very entertaining and endearing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyann | 4/27/2011

    " I enjoyed this memoir.

    The writing style was slightly repetitive, but it didn't bother me.


    I'm a sucker for a good underdog story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toni | 4/16/2011

    " I'm glad I read Rick Bragg's "Ava's Man" before this, because I might never have gone on to read that had I read this first. This was good, but not nearly as compelling as "Ava's Man." Where that was hopeful, this was much more a downer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 4/12/2011

    " A difficult book to read, due to subject matter, but engaging and very well-written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/11/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, having grown up in Bath, ME and having a summer home on Southport. Don't know if it would be of interest to those not from the area. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 4/4/2011

    " A bit depressing but still good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 4/1/2011

    " I read this a while ago. I remember really enjoying the author's style of writing. Just thought I'd add it to my list! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 3/31/2011

    " See review of The Prince of Frogtown. These books were loaned by a friend who knew I have family in the part of the world where these memoirs are set. That being the poor south. I loved them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 3/30/2011

    " Loved it. Anyone who loves being Southern, who knows what it means to work for damn everything will know this book. It's so good it hurts. "

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About the Author
Author Rick Bragg

Rick Bragg is the author of three bestselling books, Ava’s Man, All Over but the Shoutin’, and The Prince of Frogtown. As a feature writer for the New York Times, he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his “elegantly written stories about contemporary America.” He divides his time between New Orleans and his native Alabama.