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Download The National Parks: America's Best Idea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The National Parks: Americas Best Idea, by Ken Burns
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (248 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ken Burns Narrator: Ken Burns Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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