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Download The National Parks: America's Best Idea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The National Parks: Americas Best Idea Audiobook, by Ken Burns
4.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 54.33 out of 5 4.33 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Burns Narrator: Ken Burns Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN:
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The companion volume to the 12-hour PBS series from the acclaimed filmmaker behind The Civil War, Baseball, and The War.

America's national parks spring from an idea as radical as the Declaration of Independence: that the nation's most magnificent and sacred places should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. In this evocative and lavishly illustrated narrative, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan delve into the history of the park idea, from the first sighting by white men in 1851 of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world's first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, through the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.

The authors recount the adventures, mythmaking, and intense political battles behind the evolution of the park system, and the enduring ideals that fostered its growth. They capture the importance and splendors of the individual parks: from Haleakala in Hawaii to Acadia in Maine, from Denali in Alaska to the Everglades in Florida, from Glacier in Montana to Big Bend in Texas. And they introduce us to a diverse cast of compelling characters - both unsung heroes and famous figures such as John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ansel Adams - who have been transformed by these special places and committed themselves to saving them from destruction so that the rest of us could be transformed as well.

The National Parks is a glorious celebration of an essential expression of American democracy. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/9/2014

    " Great photos! The history was interesting, but the photos is what made it really worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bean Gepner | 2/8/2014

    " Newest bucket list addition: visit all the national parks! "

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

    " Enjoyed the history of the parks. Would recommend to all those that love the outdoors and the wonderful park system. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 1/28/2014

    " Incredibly unique and special book. From the description, it's hard to convey how riveting this kind of story is; since there's no unifying storyline, and since a history of the national parks needs to ramble a bit, it's hard to do the book justice. Like doing justice to visiting a national park, I suppose, you really just have to go there to appreciate it. Besides focusing on fascinating people and places, it's also easily the most patriotic book I've ever read: celebrating the fact that the national parks system did start here and how its underlying message of preserving special places for everyone to share, generation after generation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kearstin | 1/24/2014

    " pursuing my crush on J. Muir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary-Ellen | 1/22/2014

    " Breath of fresh air, literally! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jody | 1/20/2014

    " I've listened to this before and it was so good once again! You can't go wrong with National Parks! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charisse | 1/13/2014

    " Wonderful!!! I'll be buying this book for Sam's 4th grade teacher who is retiring this year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 1/13/2014

    " I have read a lot of this book. I have put it down to read other things for now...but felt this was definitely an interesting read!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alberta | 11/12/2013

    " A very interesting history of the National Parks in America. The sad part is that this history is steeped in politics, and the amazing part is so much land has been saved due to the people with foresight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 5/19/2013

    " Beautiful pictures and great story--amazing places and people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael Oswald | 9/22/2012

    " A very unique view of American politics and history from the perspective of the national parks. It's extremely well done and interesting, but don't expect a geology or ecology lesson from this book - it's primarily historical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 4/11/2012

    " Very interesting history of the parks with wonderful pictures. I can't wait to see the TV series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arun | 2/9/2012

    " The story of the National Parks is one of the greatest successes of the U.S. federal government and inspired people like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's good to see we value setting aside land in order to enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 11/18/2011

    " A fine thorough eloquent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Barrett | 11/16/2011

    " have visited many, can't wait to see more of them in our travels "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/1/2011

    " Beautiful book, but I am enjoying the series on PBS way more. I would give the 6 DVD set 5+ stars, but then again I am a National Park junkie...I even have a National Park passport so I can get stamps of each park visited. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy Esposito | 7/24/2011

    " Excellent book. Makes me want to go to a national park. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 6/25/2011

    " This was a good book to be listening to while cooking for July 4. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 4/10/2011

    " Fairly unremarkable collection of stories about the founding of our National Parks and the people who guided both the agency and the expansion of the park system. Probably better to just watch the documentary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy | 11/30/2010

    " Excellent book. Makes me want to go to a national park. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 H.s. | 10/30/2010

    " Wow, fascinating. Interesting to see just how much opposition the national parks has had through the years! Also interesting to see just how few people ended up creating the national parks! And now over 100 countries around the world have "national parks". We started it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alberta | 9/7/2010

    " A very interesting history of the National Parks in America. The sad part is that this history is steeped in politics, and the amazing part is so much land has been saved due to the people with foresight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 8/15/2010

    " Loved it. Amazing personal histories and unbelievable struggles to bring us the national parks. I didn't realize how much opposition each park had to overcome, and the huge influence that individual crusaders exerted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/24/2010

    " Beautiful book, but I am enjoying the series on PBS way more. I would give the 6 DVD set 5+ stars, but then again I am a National Park junkie...I even have a National Park passport so I can get stamps of each park visited. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 5/11/2010

    " A very unique view of American politics and history from the perspective of the national parks. It's extremely well done and interesting, but don't expect a geology or ecology lesson from this book - it's primarily historical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 5/9/2010

    " Beautiful pictures and great story--amazing places and people. "

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About the Author
Author Ken Burns

Ken Burns is an American director and producer of documentary films, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs. His documentaries have been nominated for two Academy Awards, and have won Emmy Awards, among other honors.