The Awakening of the Desert

  • by Julius C. Birge
  • Narrated by Barbara Birge
  • 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Vivid, lyrical and often humorous, this respected, first-hand account of a journey across the Great American Desert now comes to life as an audiobook. Written in 1912 by Julius Birge, the memoir describes an 1866 wagon train trip taken during "the bloody years on the plains."
Recounting the risks of traveling the Oregon Trail, the author faithfully depicts the virgin environment, Native American people and abundant wildlife in words that now seem more timely than ever. From Red Cloud going on the warpath, to Mormon services where Brigham Young preached, to the legendary Buffalo Bill, Birge happened upon events, places and people whose significance was revealed with time. Late in his life, understanding the importance of what he had witnessed, he wrote The Awakening of the Desert.
Lovers of nature, students of history, listeners fascinated by the early West, and especially those traveling through its landscape today, will appreciate this recollection, abridged and narrated by the author's great-granddaughter 100 years after its first publication.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

First hand account of wagon train era

Written by a western pioneer just following the civil war, we travel to and through the west, hearing first-hand accounts of cowboys, Native Americans, Mormons, boom towns and best of all gain a true sense of the authentic flavor.
The writer avoids some of the hard-to-access arcane language of the era and makes some wonderful phrasing and word choices.
The tale of discovery and adventure read by the actual great-granddaughter of the author. At first it felt a bit curious for a female voice to depict such a masculine story but over time it felt just right, especially when Julius is painting wonderful word pictures of the real west.
A great listen for history fans who want to get an authentic sense of what is often an over- (or under-) romanticized era.
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- Charles E. Elberson

Interesting writing. Monotonous narration.

While I understand the sentimentality of using the writer's great grand daughter to narrate the book, I'm afraid her reading is very monotonous. I kept drifting away and rewinding constantly.

This is unfortunate, as the story is very interesting and the added production of sound and music is well done.
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- WK "W."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-18-2013
  • Publisher: Barbara Birge, PLLC