• The Burning

  • Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921
  • By: Tim Madigan
  • Narrated by: Bill Andrew Quinn
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (266 ratings)

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The Burning

By: Tim Madigan
Narrated by: Bill Andrew Quinn
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Publisher's Summary

On the morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob numbering in the thousands marched across the railroad tracks dividing black from white in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and obliterated a black community then celebrated as one of America's most prosperous. Thirty-four square blocks of Tulsa's Greenwood community were reduced to smoldering rubble.

And now, 80 years later, the death toll of what is known as the Tulsa Race Riot is more difficult to pinpoint. Conservative estimates put the number of dead at about 100 (75 percent of the victims are believed to have been black), but the actual number of casualties could be triple that. The Tulsa Race Riot Commission, formed two years ago to determine exactly what happened, has recommended that restitution to the historic Greenwood Community would be good public policy and do much to repair the emotional as well as physical scars of this most terrible incident in our shared past.

With chilling details, humanity, and the narrative thrust of compelling fiction, The Burning will recreate the town of Greenwood at the height of its prosperity, explore the currents of hatred, racism, and mistrust between its black residents and neighboring Tulsa's white population, narrate events leading up to and including Greenwood's annihilation, and document the subsequent silence that surrounded the tragedy.

©2001 Tim Madigan (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Featured Article: Audiobooks and Podcasts About the Tulsa Race Massacre


The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 was one of the most despicable moments in US history, and it remained obscured for decades. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, learning the truth about what happened is more important than ever. The following audiobooks and podcasts aim to give listeners a fuller understanding of the Tulsa Race Massacre while honoring the victims whose stories deserve to be remembered.

What listeners say about The Burning

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Hard to listen to, but should be.

A friend of mine mentioned this forgotten chapter of American history to me and I was shocked that in all my years I had never heard anything -not a word- about it. Unreal how even some of the personalities mentioned in the book had no idea of the occurrence. Again, difficult to listen to, hard to say you will enjoy the book, but important to hear and process.

10 people found this helpful

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Hard to listen to, but a must read.

This book was incredibly eye opening and heart wrenching. I definitely cried while listening to this book. Only by understanding the past can we hope to make a better future, I believe that this book is an important part of understanding the past.

9 people found this helpful

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Great Narrative On America’s 1st African American Wall Street!

A hard to swallow pill, but absolutely excellent and necessary introduction to this period of American history post WWI, which is inextricably African American history in this country in its truthfulness! Would highly recommend to every American, it’s important we know our history, embrace it, learn from it, & dump the tragedy of fraudulent revisionist tactics in teaching American history.

9 people found this helpful

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Listen to the true story of a national metaphor

Screenwriters and novelists use the 1921 destruction of Greenwood as a metaphor for America's racist hate. A metaphor doesn't explain the actual event. This book, based on an unusual collection of journalistic research and previously unpublished interviews, does. The author portrays how unrelated actions, by heroes and villains, contributed to the event. The author's well-organized tale starts in the 19th century and ends in the 21st. Bill Andrew Quinn does a great job of narrating, using subtle acting skills to portray black and white voices. A must listen!

4 people found this helpful

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History corrected

Excellent excellent recounting of what actually happened in Tulsa in June 1921! This story will make you think about the accurate recording of real racial history.

3 people found this helpful

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Powerful Book

I’m glad I came across this great, it’s a wonderful account of black history and American history.

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So informative!

This is a must read about such an important time in our state and national history.

2 people found this helpful

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Missing in History

I had no idea about the event. This should be taught in schools and studied. This is still being seen around our country.

2 people found this helpful

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A piece of history we should all know about

This is an incredible story, and one that I wish I had been told as I learned about U.S. History in high school. More and more, I'm realizing how white-washed my education was, particularly with regard to black and Native American history. This is a story we should all be familiar with, and one that will make you realize more than ever that slavery did not end on a single day in June of 1865.

Recognizing atrocities like this is not unpatriotic, but attempts to cover them up certainly is. Sweeping them under the rug does not erase them from our existence as a nation.

My only issue with the audiobook was the narrator, which is why I didn't give it 5 stars overall. I found him to be very mechanical sounding, almost inhuman. Clarity and enunciation is important, but so is the human element. I nearly gave up and bought the hardcover, but the story held my interest well enough to stick with the audiobook.

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One of the many historical secrets of America

This is a great read! This book came alive for me when I visited the Greenwood area in Tulsa, Ok.

1 person found this helpful