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  1. 11.7 hrs • 9/28/2016 • Unabridged

    In the waning days of Venice’s glory in the mid-1700s, Andrea Memmo was scion to one the city’s oldest patrician families. At the age of twenty-four he fell passionately in love with sixteen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, the beautiful, illegitimate daughter of a Venetian mother and British father. Because of their dramatically different positions in society, they could not marry. And Giustiniana’s mother, afraid that an affair would ruin her daughter’s chances to form a more suitable union, forbade them to see each other. Her prohibition only fueled their desire and so began their torrid, secret seven-year-affair, enlisting the aid of a few intimates and servants (willing to risk their own positions) to shuttle love letters back and forth and to help facilitate their clandestine meetings. Eventually, Giustiniana found herself pregnant and she turned for help to the infamous Casanova-himself infatuated with her. Two and half centuries later, the unbelievable story of this star-crossed couple is told in a breathtaking narrative, re-created in part from the passionate, clandestine letters Andrea and Giustiniana wrote to each other.

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    A Venetian Affair

    11.7 hrs • 9/28/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 13.8 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok—a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women’s lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life—now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next thirty years, until Eleanor’s death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: they were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends. They couldn’t have been more different. Eleanor had been raised in one of the nation’s most powerful political families and was introduced to society as a debutante before marrying her distant cousin, Franklin. Hick, as she was known, had grown up poor in rural South Dakota and worked as a servant girl after she escaped an abusive home, eventually becoming one of the most respected reporters at the AP. Her admiration drew the buttoned-up Eleanor out of her shell, and the two quickly fell in love. For the next thirteen years, Hick had her own room at the White House, next door to the First Lady. These fiercely compassionate women inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. During the Depression, Hick reported from the nation’s poorest areas for the WPA, and Eleanor used these reports to lobby her husband for New Deal programs. Hick encouraged Eleanor to turn their frequent letters into her popular and long-lasting syndicated column “My Day,” and to befriend the female journalists who became her champions. When Eleanor’s tenure as First Lady ended with FDR’s death, Hick pushed her to continue to use her popularity for good—advice Eleanor took by leading the UN’s postwar Human Rights Commission. At every turn, the bond these women shared was grounded in their determination to better their troubled world. Deeply researched and told with warmth and charm, Eleanor and Hick is at once a tender, moving portrait of love and a surprising new look at some of the most consequential years in American history.

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    Eleanor and Hick

    13.8 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 14.4 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    The year is 1997, Michael Soussan, a fresh-faced young graduate takes up a new job at the UN’s Oil-for-Food Program, the largest humanitarian operation in the organization’s history. His mission is to help Iraqi civilians survive the devastating impact of economic sanctions that were imposed following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. As a gaffe-prone novice in a world of sensitive taboos, Soussan struggles to negotiate the increasing paranoia of his incomprehensible boss and the inner workings of one of the world’s notoriously complex bureaucracies. But as he learns more about the vast sums of money flowing through the program, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Soussan becomes aware that Saddam Hussein is extracting illegal kickbacks, a discovery that sets him on a collision course with the organizations leadership. On March 8, 2004, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Soussan becomes the first insider to call for an independent investigation of the UN’s dealings with Saddam Hussein. One week later, a humiliated Kofi Annan appointed Paul Volcker to lead a team of sixty international investigators, whose findings resulted in hundreds of prosecutions in multiple countries, many of which are still ongoing. Backstabbing for Beginners is at once a witty tale of one man s political coming of age, and a stinging indictment of the hypocrisy that prevailed at the heart of one of the world’s most idealistic institutions.

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    Backstabbing for Beginners

    14.4 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.0 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    An entertaining look at the life and wisdom of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who mastered the arts of war, wealth, wit, and women, long before becoming the subject of the runaway Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical.    Two centuries after his death, Alexander Hamilton is shining once more under America's spotlight—and we need him now more than ever. Orphaned as a kid, this young, scrappy, and hungry self-starter came from nothing, and then helped win the Revolutionary War, create the country’s financial system, seduce New York's most eligible ladies, ratify the Constitution, and land his face on our $10 bill. (In his spare time he also formed the Coast Guard, the US Mint, and West Point.) He is the ultimate underdog, blending a renegade spirit with a much-needed dose of sunny American optimism. In Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life, Jeff Wilser distills Hamilton's life and writings into lessons for anyone who wants a job, has a job, wants more money, is looking for love, or is preparing for a duel. Along the way, chapters ranging from "Self Improvement" and "Career Advancement" to "Money" and "Romance" reveal the ultimate dos (and don'ts) for sparking a revolution in your own life. Approachable, informative, and fun, this blend of advice, humor, and history will be the perfect gift for pop-culture and history lovers alike

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    Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life

    7.0 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 22.4 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling author of Stalin and The Last Tsar comes The Rasputin File, a remarkable biography of the mystical monk and bizarre philanderer whose role in the demise of the Romanovs and the start of the revolution can only now be fully known.For almost a century, historians could only speculate about the role Grigory Rasputin played in the downfall of tsarist Russia. But in 1995 a lost file from the State Archives turned up, a file that contained the complete interrogations of Rasputin’s inner circle. With this extensive and explicit amplification of the historical record, Edvard Radzinsky has written a definitive biography, reconstructing in full the fascinating life of an improbable holy man who changed the course of Russian history.Translated from the Russian by Judson Rosengrant.

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    The Rasputin File

    Translated by Judson Rosengrant
    22.4 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 15.2 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    From the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, an intimate and hugely insightful account of Roosevelt’s final months of life, when, despite a dire medical prognosis, he was determined to be re-elected, deal with Stalin, and bring the war to a successful conclusion. Franklin D. Roosevelt is often ranked among the greatest of American presidents, but his legacy has never been considered like this: through the lens of his final sixteen months. This little-examined period encompasses the D-Day invasion, the Manhattan Project, the Yalta conference—and the discovery that he was suffering from severe hypertension and congestive heart failure. With precision and compassion, Joseph Lelyveld examines the choices Roosevelt made in this period, illuminating his state of mind, his preoccupations, and his motives, both as a wartime leader and in his personal life. Confronting his own mortality, Roosevelt operated under the belief that he had a duty to see the war through to the end—while simultaneously pressured by the demands of family, health, and volatile enemies. Lelyveld delivers an incisive portrait of this famously inscrutable man, full of contradictions but a consummate leader to the very last.

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    His Final Battle

    15.2 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 9.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    This astonishing real-life spy thriller, filled with danger, misplaced loyalties, betrayal, treachery, and pure evil, with a plot twist worthy of John le Carré, is relevant today as a tale of fanaticism and the lengths it takes us to.True Believer reveals the life of Noel Field, an American who betrayed his country and crushed his family. Field, once a well-meaning and privileged American, spied for Stalin during the 1930s and '40s. Then, a pawn in Stalin’s sinister master strategy, Field was kidnapped and tortured by the KGB and forced to testify against his own Communist comrades. How does an Ivy League-educated, US State Department employee, deeply rooted in American culture and history, become a hardcore Stalinist? The 1930s, when Noel Field joined the secret underground of the International Communist Movement, were a time of national collapse: ten million Americans unemployed, rampant racism, retreat from the world just as fascism was gaining ground, and Washington—pre FDR—parched of fresh ideas. Communism promised the righting of social and political wrongs and many in Field’s generation were seduced by its siren song. Few, however, went as far as Noel Field in betraying their own country. With a reporter’s eye for detail, and a historian’s grasp of the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century, Kati Marton captures Field’s riveting quest for a life of meaning that went horribly wrong. True Believer is supported by unprecedented access to Field family correspondence, Soviet Secret Police records, and reporting on key players from Alger Hiss, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and World War II spy master, “Wild Bill” Donovan—to the most sinister of all: Josef Stalin. A story of another time, this is a tale relevant for all times.

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    True Believer

    9.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 34.8 hrs • 9/1/2016 • Unabridged

    A major new biography-an extraordinary, penetrating study of the man who has become the personification of evil. For all the literature about Adolf Hitler there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself. Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler's childhood to his failures as a young man in Vienna to his experiences during the First World War to his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview. Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression, but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer. Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase.

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    Hitler

    Translated by Jefferson Chase
    Read by Don Hagen
    34.8 hrs • 9/1/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 7.9 hrs • 8/24/2016 • Unabridged

    One of the most influential books ever published in America, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is an eloquent collection of fourteen essays that describe the life, the ambitions, the struggles, and the passions of African Americans at the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. The first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Du Bois was a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation’s history from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement. In The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, Du Bois argued against the conciliatory position taken by Booker T. Washington, at the time the most influential black leader in America, and called for a more radical form of aggressive protest—a strategy that would anticipate and inspire much of the activism of the 1960s. Du Bois’s essays were the first to articulate many of Black America’s thoughts and feelings, including the dilemma posed by the black psyche’s “double consciousness,” which Du Bois described as “this twoness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings . . . in one dark body.” Every essay in The Souls of Black Folk is a jewel of intellectual prowess, eloquent language, and groundbreaking insight. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the struggle for Civil Rights in America.

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    The Souls of Black Folk

    7.9 hrs • 8/24/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 3.5 hrs • 8/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The author and Napoleon become boyhood friends when they are eight years old in Corsica. They separate when Napoleon is transferred from the Military College of Brienne to another college in Paris in 1784. Napoleon has a stern or disdainful personality. He looks down on the French, who have taken over Corsica. At age 16 Napoleon finds fault with the military education, sending his recommendations to the Minister of War. Because of this speaking out, he is speedily graduated and sent to a regiment of artillery. After diplomatic travel, the author again meets Napoleon in Paris at a time when both are in dire financial straits. After witnessing an angry-mob scene, the author goes to Stuttgart as Secretary of Legation while Napoleon returns to Corsica. In 1799 the two return to Paris. The French government wants to send Napoleon to a new location as brigadier-general of infantry. he rejects the offer and is thus struck off the list of general officers. Eventually Napoleon gets command of Paris. In 1796 Napoleon marries Josephine. His attentions to her alternate between violent outrages resulting in infidelity and the other other extreme of repentant gentleness. During the Napoleonic wars Napoleon’s troops progress through Europe—first Italy, then Austria.

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  11. 6.3 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    From award-winning journalist David Kushner, a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other premier magazines, Alligator Candy is a reported memoir about family, survival, and the unwavering power of love. David Kushner grew up in the early 1970s in the Florida suburbs. It was when kids still ran free, riding bikes and disappearing into the nearby woods for hours at a time. One morning in 1973, however, everything changed. David’s older brother Jon biked through the forest to the convenience store for candy, and never returned. Every life has a defining moment, a single act that charts the course we take and determines who we become. For Kushner, it was Jon’s disappearance—a tragedy that shocked his family and the community at large. Decades later, now a grown man with kids of his own, Kushner found himself unsatisfied with his own memories and decided to revisit the episode a different way: through the eyes of a reporter. His investigation brought him back to the places and people he once knew and slowly made him realize just how much his past had affected his present. After sifting through hundreds of documents and reports, conducting dozens of interviews, and poring over numerous firsthand accounts, he has produced a powerful and inspiring story of loss, perseverance, and memory. Alligator Candy is searing and unforgettable.

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    Alligator Candy: A Memoir

    6.3 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.0 hrs • 8/3/2016 • Unabridged

    Wit, diplomat, scientist, philosopher, businessman, inventor, and bon vivant, Benjamin Franklin was in every respect America’s first Renaissance man. From penniless runaway to highly successful printer, from ardently loyal subject of Britain to architect of an alliance with France that ensured America’s independence, Franklin went from obscurity to become one of the world’s most admired figures, whose circle included the likes of Voltaire, Hume, Burke, and Kant. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and a host of other sources, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands has written a thoroughly engaging biography of the eighteenth-century genius. A much needed reminder of Franklin’s greatness and humanity, The First American is a work of meticulous scholarship that provides a magnificent tour of a legendary historical figure, a vital era in American life, and the countless arenas in which the protean Franklin left his legacy.

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    The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

    8.0 hrs • 8/3/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 7.9 hrs • 8/1/2016

    SpeechWorks presents this collection of the greatest speeches of great women. Represented here are some of the most famous women of recent history, including athletes, politicians, businesswomen, diplomats, heads of state, activists, philanthropists, and more. You will hear the actual voices of these women, recorded at public functions at which they were the featured speaker. Included are the following:Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneerClare Boothe Luce, American author, politician and diplomatEleanor Roosevelt, American polician, diplomat, and activistGolda Meir, a teacher, politician, stateswoman, and prime minister of IsraelMother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun and missionaryKatharine Hepburn, Academy Award–winning actressBenazir Bhutto, former prime minister of PakistanNancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of RepresentativesQueen Noor of Jordan, widow of King Hussein of JordanAyaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch American activist, author, and politicianBillie Jean King, American tennis championGloria Steinem, American journalist and activistNadia Comaneci, Romanian champion gymnastMelinda Gates, American businesswoman and philanthropistHillary Clinton, American politicianOprah Winfrey, American actress, talk-show host, and media proprietorCondoleezza Rice, American political scientistMalala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize laureateCarly Fiorina, American businesswoman

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    The Greatest Speeches of Great Women by SpeechWorks
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  14. 10.8 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    Raw, vivid, and emotional—the nineteenth century first-person account of one woman’s struggles and triumphs taming the Mississippi Delta.Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866–c.1936) was encouraged to record her experience as a female pioneer. The result is the only known first-hand account of a woman thrust into the center of taming the American South—surviving floods, tornadoes, and fires; facing bears, panthers, and snakes; all while caring for her children, several of whom didn’t survive despite her efforts. The extreme hard work and tragedy she faced are eclipsed only by her strength and faith in her husband, a mysterious Englishman, and by her sense of adventure. Written in frank and expressive prose, and withheld for almost a lifetime, Trials of the Earth speaks to the heart of our ability to endure and will resonate with listeners of history and fiction alike.

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    Trials of the Earth

    10.8 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.2 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    Part of the acclaimed Eminent Lives series, Machiavelli is a superb portrait of the brilliant and revolutionary political philosopher—history’s most famous theorist of “warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed”—and the age he embodied. Ross King, the New York Times bestselling author of Brunelleschi’s Dome, argues that the author of The Prince was a far more complex and sympathetic character than is often portrayed.

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    Machiavelli

    7.2 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 4.4 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    In 1942, when she is seven, Inge Auerbacher and her family are torn from their comfortable home in Germany and sent to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. In 1945, they are freed from the camp and emigrate to America. Their survival seems like a miracle. But once they settle in New York, Inge, who is now eleven, is imprisoned again. This time, instead of Nazi storm troopers, the enemy is within her own body. She is confined to a hospital ward for children with tuberculosis-a disease that was rampant in the camps. Beyond the Yellow Star to America is a story of rare courage, determination, and love. Told in her own words, it follows Inge’s journey as she fights to survive a debilitating disease, earns a degree from Queens College, and dedicates her life to scientific research and writing. Inge Auerbacher has been featured in documentaries on the Holocaust and spends much of her time lecturing in schools as a witness to the dark period of history that branded her childhood.

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    Beyond the Yellow Star to America

    4.4 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
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