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Publisher's Summary

In 1903 there were only 150 miles of paved roads in the entire nation and most people had never seen a "horseless buggy" - but that did not stop Horatio Nelson Jackson, a 31-year-old Vermont doctor, who impulsively bet $50 that he could drive his 20-horsepower automobile from San Francisco to New York City. Here - in Jackson's own words - is a glorious account of that months-long, problem-beset, thrilling-to-the-rattled-bones trip with his mechanic, Sewall Crocker, and a bulldog named Bud. Jackson's previously unpublished letters to his wife, brimming with optimism against all odds, describe in vivid detail every detour, every flat tire, every adventure good and bad - in a country still settled mainly in small towns, where life moved no faster than the horse-drawn carriage and where the arrival of Jackson's open-air (roofless and windowless) Winton would cause delirious excitement. Jackson was possessed of a deep thirst for adventure, and his remarkable story chronicles the very beginning of the restless road trips that soon became a way of life in America. Horatio's Drive is the first chapter in our nation's great romance with the road.
(P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Randhom House Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Historian [Dayton] Duncan and documentary filmmaker [Ken] Burns read the bulk of this audio adaptation...with all the enthusiasm of a pair of travelers setting off on the open road." (Publishers Weekly)
"If any audiobook was ever destined to be heard on a car trip, this is the one.... The soft voice of Ken Burns mixes with those of Tom Hanks and others to produce a historical American drama never told before." (AudioFile
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 11-28-11

A good sandwich, but too much bread

This is my second time taking in the Dayton Duncan-Ken Burns audiobook about plucky doctor-turned-adventurer Horatio Jackson's historic first crossing of the U.S. continent by automobile. The challenges, the individual triumph, the unplanned three-way race make for a compelling, exciting American tale. Cameo narration by Tom Hanks and, at the NYC end, George Plimpton, and others make for a great, exciting, entertaining telling. However, Ken Burns' lengthy, self-indulgent introduction borders on narcissism and takes away from the initial energy, while Duncan's panoramic road trip paean and excessive Walt Whitman quotes take away from the already perfect conclusion: Horation finally making it home.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By C. Singer on 04-25-14

Fun & Short History Lesson

Would you listen to Horatio's Drive again? Why?

Absolutely I would listen again. There was so much information and it moved so quickly that I wouldn't mind listening again. The whole book was just over 3 hours. And such an interesting time in history.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the tenacity. Now a days, we pull over and call AAA if we have a flat tire. I was in disbelief that they traveled over animal paths with a block & tackle to pull their car out of every form of mishap. Boy are we wimps today.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved the bulldog they picked up along the way that was their mascot. Even bulldogs are wimpier today. This one was a trooper!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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