"The Erie Canal rubbed Aladdin's lamp. America awoke, catching for the first time the wondrous vision of its own dimensions and power."-Francis Kimball, American architectThe technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn't just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history. Zealots invented new religions and new modes of living. The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face-to-face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity.Heaven's Ditch illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this "psychic highway," from its opening in 1825 through 1844. "Wage slave" Sam Patch became America's first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Farm boy Joseph Smith gave birth to Mormonism, a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, one encounters America's very first "crime of the century," a treasure hunt, searing acts of violence, a visionary cross-dresser, and a panoply of fanatics, mystics, and hoaxers. A page-turning narrative, Heaven's Ditch offers an excitingly fresh look at a heady, foundational moment in American history.
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by Jack London
by Evan S. Connell
by Kevin Brooks
by David Ezra Stein
by Jodi Detjen, Michelle A. Waters, Kelly Watson
by William S. Burroughs
by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg
by Ben Marcus
by Thomas Watson
by Jack Kelly
by Patricia Daniels
by Neil Kagan, Stephen G. Hyslop
"The Erie Canal was built during the Second Great Awakening in American religion, when New York State was a hotbed of religious fervor. These are the twin focuses of this audiobook. Andrew Reilly offers a solid, engaging narration that captures the excitement of the period. He varies his pace nicely to keep the text flowing for the listener. But his narration can't overcome structural problems with the text itself. The author jumps from topic to topic so often that it's hard for listeners to follow, and the multitude of personalities makes it hard to keep people straight. This is really two histories--one of the canal and one of religious fervor. Because of Reilly's reading, diligent listeners will learn a lot about both. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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