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Presidents & Heads of State

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  1. 18.6 hrs • 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    A veteran political journalist takes listeners inside the fascinating post-presidential exploits of Bill Clinton, which are as colorful, controversial, and significant as ever. The extraordinary post-presidency of William Jefferson Clinton is unlike the second career of any other president. “Bill Clinton” is a global brand, ascending from the dark days of his White House departure to become perhaps the most popular name in the world. Joe Conason explains how that happened, examining Clinton’s achievements, his failures, and his motivations and why his outlook on the world continues to inspire and infuriate on a grand scale. Having known Clinton for over twenty years, Conason interviewed him many times for this book and gained access to dozens of the former president’s colleagues, friends, aides, supporters, and family members, including Hillary and Chelsea. He has traveled with Clinton to Africa, Haiti, Israel, and across America for the Clinton Foundation. Clinton has earned millions himself and raised billions for philanthropy, much of it from foreign sources, prompting questions about transparency and probity—even allegations of corruption—as Hillary entered the Democratic presidential primary. Conason examines the substance of those accusations and the financial backing from other countries and wealthy individuals and assesses the real achievements of the foundation. As ever, Clinton’s private life draws conjecture, and he is often in the gossip columns along with fellow celebrities and statesmen. He is friendly with both of the former presidents Bush. He golfs with President Obama. But how might the first First Gentleman fare in a Hillary Clinton White House? Conason knows the Clinton world as well as any reporter writing today. He is the coauthor of The Hunting of the President, a New York Times bestseller. Now he tells an irresistible adventure story about a man who is still seeking to do good in the world—starring the one and only Bill Clinton.

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    Man of the World by Joe Conason

    Man of the World

    18.6 hrs • 9/13/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 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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  3. 8.7 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The first biography of arguably the most influential member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand, FDR’s de facto chief of staff, who has been misrepresented, mischaracterized, and overlooked throughout history … until now. Widely considered the first female presidential chief of staff, Marguerite “Missy” LeHand was the right-hand woman to Franklin Delano Roosevelt—both personally and professionally—for more than twenty years. Although her official title as personal secretary was relatively humble, her power and influence were unparalleled. Everyone in the White House knew one truth: if you wanted access to Franklin, you had to get through Missy. She was one of his most trusted advisors, affording her a unique perspective on the president that no one else could claim, and she was deeply admired and respected by Eleanor and the Roosevelt children. With unprecedented access to Missy’s family and original source materials, journalist Kathryn Smith tells the captivating and forgotten story of the intelligent, loyal, and clever woman who had a front-row seat to history in the making. The Gatekeeper is a thoughtful, revealing unsung-hero story about a woman ahead of her time, the true weight of her responsibility, and the tumultuous era in which she lived; a long overdue tribute to one of the most important female figures in American history.

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    The Gatekeeper by Kathryn Smith

    The Gatekeeper

    8.7 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 11.2 hrs • 8/15/2016 • Unabridged

    Told from multiple points of view—including James and Dolley Madison and a British admiral—this is the true story of the burning of the White House in 1814. It’s unimaginable today, even for a generation that saw the Twin Towers fall and the Pentagon attacked. It’s unimaginable because in 1814, enemies didn’t fly overhead; they marched through the streets, and for twenty-six hours in August, the British enemy marched through Washington, DC, and set fire to government buildings, including the US Capitol and the White House. Relying on firsthand accounts, historian Jane Hampton Cook weaves together several different narratives to create a vivid, multidimensional account of the burning of Washington, including the escalation that led to it and the immediate aftermath. From James and Dolley Madison to the British admiral who ordered the White House set aflame, historical figures are brought to life through their experience of this unprecedented attack. The Burning of the White House is the story of a city invaded, a presidential family displaced, a nation humbled, and an American spirit that somehow remained unbroken.

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    The Burning of the White House by Jane Hampton Cook

    The Burning of the White House

    11.2 hrs • 8/15/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 4.3 hrs • 7/11/2016 • Unabridged

    This new gift edition spin-off of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt looks at the favorite beers, liquors, and cocktail recipes of Democratic presidents and their first ladies. This election year, celebrate the Democratic Party by drinking like a Democrat! Organized by president, this fun audiobook is full of cocktail recipes, bar tips, and hysterical drinking anecdotes from all Democratic White House administrations. Which Southern man drank Snakebites? How did Jackie O. like her daiquiris? Drinking with the Democrats is the bar guide with a twist that all political buffs will enjoy.

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    Drinking with the Democrats by Mark Will-Weber

    Drinking with the Democrats

    4.3 hrs • 7/11/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.2 hrs • 7/11/2016 • Unabridged

    This election year, celebrate the Republican Party by drinking like a Republican! Organized by president, this fun audiobook is full of cocktail recipes, bar tips, and hysterical drinking anecdotes from all Republican White House administrations. Which president liked to mix whiskey, vodka, and orange juice? Who had a trick for hiding the labels of cheap wine? Drinking with the Republicans is the bar guide with a twist that all political buffs will enjoy!

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    Drinking with the Republicans by Mark Will-Weber

    Drinking with the Republicans

    5.2 hrs • 7/11/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.1 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    The 20th-century American Presidency is something of a mystery. Some Presidents performed exceptionally well in office, displaying strong leadership and winning the respect of the American people as well as the rest of the world. Others fell short of expectations and are remembered at best as marginal chief executives. What was it that allowed some to rise to greatness while others failed? What elusive mix of character traits, circumstance, and determination combine to mold the shape of a Presidential Administration? This course explores the tenures of the men who held our nation’s highest office during the 20th-century. The lectures look at each President and examine their strengths and weaknesses as well as the times in which they served. Through this analysis listeners will develop a better understanding not only of this supreme office and how it has taken shape, but also how it has shaped America and, indeed, the modern world.

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    The American Presidency

    8.1 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 2.6 hrs • 7/3/2016 • Unabridged

    Lives of the Presidents Told in Words of One Syllable is a halting account of presidential history—quite literally. From Washington to Jackson to Cleveland to McKinley, Jean S. Remy details the lives of the presidents in as few syllables as possible.

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  9. 7.9 hrs • 6/28/2016 • Unabridged

    Political analyst and Democratic campaign veteran Mark Hannah and renowned New Yorker illustrator Bob Staake give Barack Obama the victory lap he deserves in this compendium that takes the president’s critics head-on and celebrates the president’s many underappreciated triumphs. Barack Obama’s election in 2008 was a watershed moment in American history that inspired supporters on the Left—and fired up enemies on the Right. Elected in the midst of multiple crises—a Wall Street meltdown that imperiled the global economy and American troops entangled in two foreign wars—Barack Obama’s presidency promised, from the start, to be one of the most consequential presidencies in modern American history. Although he stabilized the economy and restored America’s prestige on the global stage, President Obama has been denied the credit he deserves, receiving instead acidic commentary from political opponents such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who declared that Obama was “the worst president in [his] lifetime”—an accusation that reflects the politics of resentment and recrimination that has come to characterize the president’s critics. In The “Best Worst” President, Mark Hannah and New Yorker illustrator Bob Staake swiftly and systematically debunk conservative lies and disinformation meant to negate the president’s accomplishments and damage his reputation—baseless charges too often left unchallenged by the national media. The “Best Worst” President is a whip-smart takedown of these half-truths and hypocrisies, each refuted in a smart, witty, fact-based style. Hannah and Staake not only defend the president but showcase his administration’s most surprising and underappreciated triumphs—making clear he truly is the best “worst president” our nation has ever known.

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    The Best Worst President

    7.9 hrs • 6/28/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.1 hrs • 5/31/2016

    From the time he arrived on the political scene in 1964, throughout his presidency and beyond, Ronald Reagan used his speeches to inspire and reinvigorate America. When he spoke, Reagan said he was “preaching a sermon.” The American people saw his vision of America and his dreams for the future and they overwhelmingly responded; he was re-elected in 1984 by the largest number of electoral votes in the nation’s history. Here in this collection of twenty-eight speeches spanning the Reagan era, listeners can find inspiration in Reagan’s “sermons.” Ronald Regan’s words show a profound belief in God, freedom, individualism, limited government, and his great love for his country.

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    The Last Best Hope

    8.1 hrs • 5/31/16
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  11. 13.1 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    A look into American history and the fathering styles of presidents, from critically acclaimed biographer Joshua Kendall. Every president has had some experience as a parent. Of the forty-three men who have served in the nation’s highest office, thirty-eight have fathered biological children and the other five adopted children. Each president’s parenting style reveals much about his beliefs as well as his psychological make-up. James Garfield enjoyed jumping on the bed with his kids. FDR’s children, on the other hand, had to make appointments to talk to him. In a lively narrative, based on research in archives around the country, Kendall shows presidential character in action. Listeners will learn which type of parent might be best suited to leading the American people and finally, how the fathering experiences of our presidents have forever changed the course of American history.

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    First Dads

    13.1 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.8 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    A scholarly, absorbing narrative of Stalin’s last days and the turbulent wake of his dictatorship. Joshua Rubenstein’s riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952, when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected US president Dwight Eisenhower with armed force and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalin’s sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the twentieth century. The Last Days of Stalin is an engaging, briskly told account of the dictator’s final active months, the vigil at his deathbed, and the unfolding of Soviet and international events in the months after his death. Rubenstein throws fresh light on the devious plotting of Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, and other “comrades-in-arms” who well understood the significance of the dictator’s impending death; the witness-documented events of his death as compared to official published versions; Stalin’s rumored plans to forcibly exile Soviet Jews; the responses of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to the Kremlin’s conciliatory gestures after Stalin’s death; and the momentous repercussions when Stalin’s regime of terror was cut short.

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    The Last Days of Stalin by John Rubenstein

    The Last Days of Stalin

    8.8 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 21.2 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    The first of a multi-volume history of Lincoln as a political genius—from his obscure beginnings to his presidency, assassination, and the overthrow of his post-Civil War dreams of Reconstruction. This first volume traces Lincoln from his painful youth, describing himself as “a slave,” to his emergence as the man we recognize as Abraham Lincoln.From his youth as a “newsboy,” a voracious newspaper reader, Lincoln became a free thinker, reading Tom Paine, as well as Shakespeare and the Bible, and studying Euclid to sharpen his arguments as a lawyer. Lincoln’s anti-slavery thinking began in his childhood amidst the Primitive Baptist antislavery dissidents in backwoods Kentucky and Indiana, the roots of his repudiation of Southern Christian pro-slavery theology. Intensely ambitious, he held political aspirations from his earliest years. Obsessed with Stephen Douglas, his political rival, he battled him for decades. Successful as a circuit lawyer, Lincoln built his team of loyalists. Blumenthal reveals how Douglas and Jefferson Davis acting together made possible Lincoln’s rise. Blumenthal describes a socially awkward suitor who had a nervous breakdown over his inability to deal with the opposite sex. His marriage to the upper class Mary Todd was crucial to his social aspirations and his political career. Blumenthal portrays Mary as an asset to her husband, a rare woman of her day with strong political opinions. He discloses the impact on Lincoln’s anti-slavery convictions when handling his wife’s legal case to recover her father’s fortune in which he discovered her cousin was a slave. Blumenthal’s robust portrayal is based on prodigious research of Lincoln’s record and of the period and its main players. It reflects both Lincoln’s time and the struggle that consumes our own political debate.

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    A Self-Made Man

    21.2 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.9 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    The surprising story of our “naturalist president” Theodore Roosevelt and how his lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America’s wildlife conservation movement No United States president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt—prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and ardent conservationist. We think of him as a larger-than-life original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde has located Roosevelt in the proud tradition of museum naturalism. From his earliest days, Roosevelt actively modeled himself on the men who pioneered a key branch of biology through the collection of animal specimens and by developing a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence they would have on Roosevelt shaped not only his audacious personality but his career, informing his work as a statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness. Drawing on Roosevelt’s diaries and expedition journals and pulling from his own experience as a leading figure in today’s museum naturalism, Lunde constructs a thoughtfully researched, singularly insightful history that tracks Roosevelt’s maturation from exuberant boyhood hunter to vital champion of serious scientific inquiry

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    The Naturalist

    9.9 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.4 hrs • 4/12/2016 • Unabridged

    What made Ronald Reagan tick? What was the secret to his greatness, the source of his influence, the key to his character, the strength behind his leadership? And why does it matter to the nation today? Just the mention of his name still evokes deep admiration and affection among Americans of every stripe, on both sides of the aisle. Many have previously sought to capture the essence of this very public figure often called “mysterious and unknowable.” But now, as James Rosebush tells Reagan’s story from first-hand experience in True Reagan, we come closer to understanding the heart of this great American. In his roles as the longest-serving Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan and Deputy Assistant to President Reagan (his point man on philanthropy and public/private partnerships), James Rosebush had unrivaled one-on-one access to Reagan, observing his personality, his decision-making, his guarded nature. Rosebush’s revelations are moving and meant to inspire us to look to our 40th President for guidance now as we face the global challenges of a complicated 21st century. Better understanding the essence of this inspiring and principled leader is critical to our future. Journey back with Rosebush through the innumerable examples he recounts from first-hand observation and marvel once again at True Reagan.

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    True Reagan

    9.4 hrs • 4/12/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 7.7 hrs • 4/1/2016

    From the White House, Senate chambers, campaign stops, and press conferences, The Kennedys features over seven hours of original speeches from members of the nation’s most famous political family. Listen as President John F. Kennedy delivers his famous inauguration speech in 1961 as well as speeches on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Berlin crisis, space exploration, civil rights, “Ich Bin Ein Berliner,” and more. Also featured are twelve speeches from Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, including his address to the DNC following his brother’s assassination, remarks on Vietnam, campaign speeches, the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and his “Victory Speech” in Los Angeles moments before his assassination. Among other speeches are Senator Edward Kennedy’s eulogy for his brother Robert, his famous address to the DNC in 1980, heated debate on the Senate floor, and his final public speech in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.

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    The Kennedys by SpeechWorks

    The Kennedys

    7.7 hrs • 4/1/16
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