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  1. 5.8 hrs • 2/3/2015 • Unabridged

    International human rights activist Lisa Shannon spent many afternoons at the kitchen table having tea with her friend Francisca Thelin, who often spoke of her childhood in Congo. Thelin would conjure vivid images of lush flower gardens, fish the size of small children, and of children running barefoot through her family’s coffee plantation, gorging themselves on fruit from the robust and plentiful mango trees. She urged Shannon to visit her family in Dungu to get a taste of real Congo, peaceful Congo, a place so different from the conflict-ravaged lands Shannon knew from her work as an activist. But then the nightly phone calls from Congo began: hasty, static-filled reports from Francisca’s mother of gunmen from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which had infested Dungu and began launching attacks. Night after night for a year, “Mama Koko” delivered the devastating news of Francisca’s cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors, who had been killed, abducted, burned alive on Christmas Day. In an unlikely journey, Shannon and Thelin decided to travel from Portland, Oregon, to Dungu to witness firsthand the devastation unfolding at Kony’s hands. Masquerading as Francisca’s American sister-in-law, Shannon tucked herself into Mama Koko’s raw cement living room and listened to the stories of Mama Koko and her husband, Papa Alexander, as well as those from dozens of other friends and neighbors—“Mama Koko’s War Tribunal”—who lined up outside the house and waited for hours, eager to offer their testimony. In Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen, Shannon weaves together the family’s tragic stories of LRA encounters with tales from the family’s history: Mama Koko’s early life as a gap-toothed beauty plotting to escape her inevitable fate of wife and motherhood; Papa Alexander’s empire of wives he married because they cooked and cleaned and made good coffee; and Francisca’s childhood at the family “castle” and coffee plantation. These lively stories transport Shannon from the chaos of the violence around her and bring to life Francisca’s kitchen-table stories of the peaceful Congo. But as the LRA camp out on the edge of town grew, tensions inside the house reached a fever pitch, and Shannon and Thelin’s friendship was fiercely tested. Shannon was forced to confront her limitations as an activist and reconcile her vision of what it means to effect meaningful change in the lives of others. Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen is at once an illuminating piece of storytelling and an exploration of what it means to truly make a difference. It is an exquisite testimony to the beauty of human connection and the strength of the human spirit in times of unimaginable tragedy.

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    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen by Lisa J. Shannon

    Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen

    5.8 hrs • 2/3/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.6 hrs • 3/12/2013 • Unabridged

    The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin’s theory of evolution In 1856 Paul du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he’d experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man.  Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines du Chaillu’s personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.

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    Between Man and Beast

    10.6 hrs • 3/12/13 • Unabridged
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  3. 15.9 hrs • 9/1/2012 • Unabridged

    This riveting history is a firsthand account of the long and arduous search for one of the greatest explorers of the nineteenth century. Journalist and adventurer Henry M. Stanley was known for his search for the legendary David Livingstone, and their eventual meeting led to the popular quotation “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” A real-life adventure story, How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa tells of the incredible hardships—disease, hostile natives, tribal warfare, impenetrable jungles, and other obstacles—faced by a daring explorer. This must-have account also includes a wealth of information on various African peoples.

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    How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa by Henry M. Stanley

    How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa

    15.9 hrs • 9/1/12 • Unabridged
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  4. 15.0 hrs • 12/26/2011 • Unabridged

    Nothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the planet’s most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others. Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the fierce competition. Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped “Dark Continent,” its jungle deprivations, and the courage—as well as malicious tactics—of the explorers. On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Jeal weaves the story with authentic new detail and examines the tragic unintended legacy of the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of Uganda and Sudan.

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    Explorers of the Nile

    15.0 hrs • 12/26/11 • Unabridged
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  5. 12.2 hrs • 7/13/2010 • Unabridged

    In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million, all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold’s Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold’s Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo, too long forgotten, onto the conscience of the West.

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    King Leopold’s Ghost

    Read by Ralph Cosham
    12.2 hrs • 7/13/10 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.1 hrs • 11/17/2009 • Unabridged

    Inspired by the award-winning film of the same name If you were told that a murderer was to be released into your neighborhood, how would you feel? But what if it weren’t only one, but thousands? Could there be a common roadmap to reconciliation? Could there be a shared future after unthinkable evil? If forgiveness is possible after the slaughter of nearly a million in a hundred days in Rwanda, then today, more than ever, we owe it to humanity to explore how one country is addressing perceptual, social-psychological, and spiritual dimensions to achieve a more lasting peace. If forgiveness is possible after genocide, then perhaps there is hope for the comparably smaller rifts that plague our relationships, our communities, and our nation.  Based on personal interviews and thorough research, As We Forgive returns to the boundary lines of genocide’s wounds and traces the route of reconciliation in the lives of Rwandans—victims, widows, orphans, and perpetrators—whose past and future intersect. We find in these stories how suffering, memory, and identity set up roadblocks to forgiveness, while mediation, truth-telling, restitution, and interdependence create bridges to healing. As We Forgive explores the pain, the mystery, and the hope through seven compelling stories of those who have made this journey toward reconciliation. The result is a narrative that breathes with humanity and is as haunting as it is hopeful.

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    As We Forgive

    9.1 hrs • 11/17/09 • Unabridged
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  7. 12.6 hrs • 7/21/2008 • Unabridged

    Paul Kagame grew up as a wretched refugee. He and a group of comrades, determined to force their way back home after a generation of exile, designed one of the most audacious covert operations in the history of clandestine war. Then, after taking power, they amazed the world by stabilizing and reviving their devastated country. Now, as President Kagame, he’s obsessed with a single outlandish dream: to make Rwanda the first middle-income country in Africa, and to do it in the space of a single generation. A Thousand Hills tells Kagame’s tumultuous life story, including his early fascination with Che Guevara and James Bond, his years as an intelligence agent, his training in Cuba and the United States, the dazzlingly original way he built his secret rebel army, his bloody rebellion, and his outsized ambitions for Rwanda. It is the adventure-filled tale of a visionary who won a war, stopped a genocide, and then set out to turn his country into the star of Africa. Like Ishmael Beah’s bestselling A Long Way Gone and Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, this book recounts the thrilling and uplifting tale of a man who defied the odds to lift himself and his country out of misery toward a more promising future.

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    A Thousand Hills

    12.6 hrs • 7/21/08 • Unabridged
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  8. 11.3 hrs • 9/1/2007 • Unabridged

    In April of 1994, the government of Rwanda called on everyone in the Hutu majority to kill everyone in the Tutsi minority. Over the next three months, 800,000 Tutsis were murdered in the most unambiguous case of genocide since Hitler’s war against the Jews. Philip Gourevitch’s haunting work is an anatomy of the killings in Rwanda, a vivid history of the genocide’s background, and an unforgettable account of what it means to survive in its aftermath.

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    We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch
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