A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's gripping portrait of one western family struggling to hold on to age-old American ways New York Times reporter and bestselling author John Branch takes listeners to the magnificent red soil and rocky arroyos of southern Utah, where the Wright family of Smith Mesa have for generations raised cattle and world-champion saddle-bronc riders-some call them the most successful rodeo family in history. Filled with vivid scenes of cattle ranching and the high drama of rodeo, The Last Cowboys follows three generations of Wrights through the seasons as they are battered by drought, the falling price of beef, battles over land-use and federal regulation, and rodeo's ever-present risks of serious injury. This is an epic but intimate story of real-life cowboys squeezed by social change in the twenty-first century, their soiled boots planted firmly in the past while they optimistically build a future.
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"This compelling audiobook grabs the listener's attention and holds it. Narrator John Pruden pivots skillfully from the megawatt excitement of saddle bronc riding to the lonely drudgery of driving long distances between rodeos. His engaged style fits the eight-second adrenaline-soaked life of the rodeo/ranching Wright family from southern Utah. Their cattle business and ranch life are threatened by government grazing allotments, environmental conflicts over land use, and the recent rise of the militia. The Wright family represents an iconic image of the West. Taciturn rodeo champions, they each have enough metal in their bodies to set off a TSA alarm; they spend much time away from family; they brand, herd, and birth cattle. Trying to maintain the old ways seems almost like historic preservation. A.D.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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