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The Last Season Hardcover – April 4, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 860 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blehm (Agents of Change) offers a thorough if cumbersome account of the life of Randy Morgenson, a National Park Service ranger in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains whose zeal gave way to disillusionment before he disappeared on duty in 1996, after 28 summers on the job[...]. The book begins with the day Morgenson left his camp for a three-day patrol and then failed to make scheduled radio contact. From there, the narrative weaves the events of the ensuing search with descriptions of ranger life, tales of past incidents in the area and Morgenson's increasingly fraught personal history. Blehm's exhaustive research is impressive, although the author struggles to find the proper balance of background information and narrative pace, spending, for instance, an entire page on a peripheral reference to the California Conservation Corps when a sentence or two would have sufficed. He does, however, succeed in creating an empathetic portrayal of Morgenson and a revealing look at the taxing, underappreciated calling to which he dedicated himself. Readers are left with an intimate sense of an intelligent if flawed man whose love of the mountains ended up costing him his marriage, his ambitions and his life. 16-page b&w photo insert not seen by PW. (Apr. 7)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 1996, after nearly 30 seasons as a park ranger in the Sierra Nevadas, Randy Morgenson set off on a routine patrol and never came back. His body was found in July 2001, almost exactly five years after he disappeared. To this day, the circumstances of his death remain unclear. In this fascinating account, the product of several years' investigation, Blehm explores the many mysteries surrounding Morgenson. Why did the veteran ranger, a man whose knowledge of his territory was virtually encyclopedic, seem suddenly to be disillusioned with his life's work? Was his death an accident, foul play, or suicide? Did his single-minded quest to preserve the wilderness finally seem futile? Despite obvious comparisons to such best-sellers as Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild (1996), Blehm's book stands on its own just fine. A vibrant and ultimately tragic story of a man whose life was full of passion until the very end. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper; 7th Print edition (April 4, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060583002
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060583002
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.35 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.16 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 860 ratings

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Eric Blehm is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestsellers Fearless and The Only Thing Worth Dying For. His first book, The Last Season, was the winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and was named by Outside magazine as one of the “greatest adventure biographies ever written.” He has dedicated his life to telling the stories of those who serve."

In 1999, Blehm became the first journalist to accompany and keep pace with an elite Army Ranger unit on a training mission. His access into the Special Operations community and reportage set an important milestone for American war journalism two years before reporters began to gain widespread embedded status with the U.S. military in the War Against Terror. Blehm’s immersion with the Rangers is what led him to the previously untold story of an elite team of eleven Green Berets who operated in the hinterland of Taliban-held Afghanistan just weeks after 9/11 (The Only Thing Worth Dying For), as well as to Fearless (Waterbrook/Multnomah; Random House), the heartrending and inspiring story of Naval Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Adam Brown, who overcame tremendous odds in his rise to the top tier of the U.S. military: SEAL Team Six. FEARLESS is currently being adapted for film by Relativity Media.

Blehm’s current book, Legend (Crown Books, Penguin RandomHouse), tells the unforgettable story of the U.S. Army’s 240th Assault Helicopter Company and Green Beret Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez, who risked everything to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War. Major General John K. “Jack” Singlaub, U.S. Army (ret.), commented on Legend: “I fought beside and led U.S. Special Operations soldiers, sailors, and airmen during three wars—WWII, Korea, and Vietnam—including the men [of SOG] depicted in LEGEND. Never have I read a more powerfully honest, realistic, or moving account of the war in Southeast Asia. Eric Blehm masterfully encapsulates the hearts of the men, their impossible mission, and the quagmire of politics of the era and wraps it up in a single bloody battle that portrays the American fighting man at his best.”

Blehm lives in Southern California with his wife and children.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
860 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Damian Waters
4.0 out of 5 stars Both sad and life affirming
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Alexandre Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
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R. Fleming
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Philippe Lazure
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
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Andy
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
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