Download West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express Audiobook

West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express Audiobook, by Jim DeFelice Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jim DeFelice Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780062681454
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The thrilling narrative history of one of the most enduring icons of the American West, the Pony Express, from the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper—an exciting tale of daring young men pushing limits to the extremes across the vast, rugged, and unsettled American West.

In the spring of 1860 on the eve of a civil war that threatened to tear the country apart, two Americans conceived of an audacious plan for linking the nation’s two coasts, thereby joining its present with its future. All that stood in the way was a 1,900 miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by hostile Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and rugged, unsettled frontier wilderness where civilized" men where outnumbered a million to one by grizzlies, mountain lions, wolves, bison, rattlesnakes, and more. Many deemed their revolutionary scheme impossible. Run by the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, the Pony Express as it came to be known, would use a relay system of daring horseback riders to ferry mail and small packages halfway across a continent in just ten days.

The challenges they faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering tens of thousands of letters at record speed. The service would quickly become the most direct means of communication between the Eastern United States and its Western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union. West Like Lightning traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world in the mid-nineteenth century—1,500 miles west to Sacramento. Jim DeFelice—who traveled the Express’s route in his research—plumbs the legends, myths, and true facts of the service, viewing it within the context of the American story and exploring its lasting relevance today. Though the Pony Express was eclipsed by the telegraph in less than two years, it remains today an enduring symbol of American values: rugged individualism, perseverance, and speed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Conceived in 1860 as a means of getting mail across America despite the 1,500 miles of searing deserts, snow-glazed mountains, and understandably angry Indians, the Pony Express quickly became a part of America’s mythology. It lasted barely two years (the telegraph took over), but it was a glorious demonstration of American vitality.”

    Library Journal

  • “One can hear horse hooves pounding across the prairie and sense the fear and courage and excitement.”

    Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City

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About the Author

Jim DeFelice is the co-author of the five-million-copy #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper and the New York Times bestsellers American Wife and Code Name: Johnny Walker. He is the author of Omar Bradley: General at War, and writes a number of acclaimed military thrillers, including the Rogue Warrior series from Richard Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6, and the novels in the Dreamland series with Dale Brown.

About the Narrator

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.