Oliver Otis Howard thought he was a man of destiny. Chosen to lead the Freedmen's Bureau after the Civil War, the Union Army general was entrusted with the era's most crucial task: helping millions of former slaves claim the rights of citizens. He was energized by the belief that abolition and Reconstruction, the country's great struggles for liberty and equality, were God's plan for himself and the nation.
But as the nation's politics curdled in the 1870s, General Howard exiled himself from Washington, D.C., rejoined the army, and was sent across the continent to command forces in the Pacific Northwest. Shattered by Reconstruction's collapse, he assumed a new mission: forcing Native Americans to become Christian farmers on government reservations.
Howard's plans for redemption in the West ran headlong into the resistance of Chief Joseph, a young Nez Perce leader in northeastern Oregon who refused to leave his ancestral land. Claiming equal rights for Native Americans, Joseph was determined to find his way to the center of American power and convince the government to acknowledge his people's humanity and capacity for citizenship.
Joe Barrett began his acting career at the age of five in the basement of his family's home in upstate New York. He has gone on to play many stage roles, both on and off-Broadway, and in regional theaters from Los Angeles, Houston, and St. Louis to Washington DC, San Francisco, and Portland, Maine. He has appeared in films and television, both prime time and late night, and in hundreds of television and radio commercials. Joe has narrated over two hundred audiobooks. He has been an Audie Award finalist eight times, and his narration of Gun Church by Reed Farrel Coleman won the 2013 Audie Award for Original Work. AudioFile magazine has granted Joe fourteen Earphones Awards, including for James Salter's All That Is and Donald Katz's Home Fires. Regarding Joe's narration of John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany, AudioFile said, "This moving book comes across like a concerto . . . with a soloist-Owen's voice-rising from the background of an orchestral narration." Joe is married to actor Andrea Wright, and together they have four very grown children.