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Caribbean & West Indies

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  1. 9.7 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    The first definitive account of this legendary fighting force and its extraordinary leader, Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Lee Gardner’s Rough Riders is narrative nonfiction at its most invigorating and compulsively readable. Its dramatic unfolding of a familiar, yet not-fully-known story will remind readers of James Swanson’s Manhunt. Two months after the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in February 1898, Congress authorized President McKinley to recruit a volunteer army to drive the Spaniards from Cuba. From this army emerged the legendary “Rough Riders,” a mounted regiment drawn from America’s western territories and led by the indomitable Theodore Roosevelt. Its ranks included not only cowboys and other westerners but several Ivy Leaguers and club men, many of them friends of “TR.” Roosevelt and his men quickly came to symbolize American ruggedness, daring, and individualism. He led them to victory in the famed Battle at San Juan Hill, which made TR a national hero and cemented the Rough Riders’ place in history. Now, Mark Lee Gardner synthesizes previously unknown primary accounts as well as period newspaper articles, letters, and diaries from public and private archives in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Boston, and Washington, DC, to produce this authoritative chronicle. He breathes fresh life into the Rough Riders and pays tribute to their daring feats and indomitable leader. Gardner also explores lesser-known aspects of the story, including their relationship with the African-American “Buffalo Soldiers, with whom they fought side by side at San Juan Hill. Rich with action, violence, camaraderie, and courage, Rough Riders sheds new light on the Theodore Roosevelt saga—and on one of the most thrilling chapters in American history.

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    Rough Riders by Mark Lee Gardner

    Rough Riders

    9.7 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    8.4 hrs • 6/16/2015 • Unabridged

    A thrilling new true adventure of deep-sea diving and danger, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of the New York Times bestseller Shadow Divers Two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are determined to find the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister, even though finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. During the golden age of piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister was more notorious than Blackbeard, more daring than Kidd, but his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down rivals hungry to defeat them, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they understand that they must learn to think and act like a pirate—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before them. Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an enthralling story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

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    Pirate Hunters

    8.4 hrs • 6/16/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  3. 2.2 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    After President Barack Obama’s announcement in December 2014, investors, business leaders, and entrepreneurs began asking questions: What will this historic change mean for economic relations between the United States and Cuba? What opportunities—and risks—should US companies consider as they explore the business potential of one of the largest markets in the Caribbean? The Road to Cuba: The Opportunities and Risks for US Business answers those questions and more. In this original in-depth audiobook, Knowledge@Wharton, the Wharton School’s online journal of business analysis, addressesquick-win opportunities: travel and tourism, telecoms, financial services, and food industries;longer-term prospects: construction and real estate, energy production and mining, manufacturing and retail, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and agriculture; andthe political and economic risks and hurdles: an analysis of what could speed up—or derail—progress in relations. The Road to Cuba is a comprehensive guide for business leaders in the United States who want to understand the opportunities the Cuban market holds. It is also a must-listen for business leaders in Cuba and around the world who want to understand the investment and competition that is on its way.

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    The Road to Cuba

    Foreword by Mauro F. Guillén, Faquiry Diaz Cala, and Gustavo Arnavat
    2.2 hrs • 5/1/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 18.8 hrs • 1/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Since 1959, conflict and aggression have dominated the story of United States-Cuban relations. From John F. Kennedy’s offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis to Henry Kissinger’s top-secret quest for normalization to Barack Obama’s promise of a “new approach,” William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh reveal a fifty-year record of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive, indicating a path toward better relations in the future. LeoGrande and Kornbluh have uncovered hundreds of formerly secret United States documents and conducted interviews with dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policy makers. The authors describe how, despite the political clamor surrounding any hint of better relations with Havana, serious negotiations have been conducted by every presidential administration since Eisenhower’s through secret, back-channel diplomacy.

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    Back Channel to Cuba

    18.8 hrs • 1/20/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.8 hrs • 9/2/2014 • Unabridged

    Drama on the high seas as the world holds its breath It was the most spectacular display of brinkmanship in the Cold War era. In October 1962, President Kennedy risked inciting a nuclear war to prevent the Soviet Union from establishing missile bases in Cuba. The risk, however, was far greater than Kennedy realized. October Fury uncovers startling new information about the Cuban missile crisis and the potentially calamitous confrontation between US Navy destroyers and Soviet submarines in the Atlantic. Peter Huchthausen, who served as a junior ensign aboard one of the destroyers, reveals that a single shot fired by any US warship could have led to an immediate nuclear response from the Soviet submarines. This riveting account re-creates those desperate days of confrontation from both the American and Russian points of view and discloses detailed information about Soviet operational plans and the secret orders given to submarine commanders. It provides an engrossing, behind-the-scenes look at the technical and tactical functions of two great navies along with stunning portraits of the officers and sailors on both sides who were determined to do their duty even in the most extreme circumstances. As absorbing and detailed as a Tom Clancy novel, this real-life suspense thriller is destined to become a classic of naval literature.

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    October Fury by Peter A. Huchthausen

    October Fury

    10.8 hrs • 9/2/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 14.9 hrs • 3/25/2013 • Unabridged

    In the late 1630s, lured by the promise of the New World, Andrea Stuart’s earliest known maternal ancestor, George Ashby, set sail from England to settle in Barbados. He fell into the life of a sugar plantation owner by mere chance, but by the time he harvested his first crop, a revolution was fully under way: the farming of sugar cane, and the swiftly increasing demands for sugar worldwide, would not only lift George Ashby from abject poverty and shape the lives of his descendants, but it would also bind together ambitious white entrepreneurs and enslaved black workers in a strangling embrace. Stuart uses her own family story—from the seventeenth century to the present—as the pivot for this epic tale of migration, settlement, survival, slavery, and the making of the Americas. As it grew, the sugar trade enriched Europe as never before, financing the Industrial Revolution and fuelling the Enlightenment. It also became the basis of many economies in South America, played an important part in the evolution of the United States as a world power, and transformed the Caribbean into an archipelago of riches. But this sweet and hugely profitable trade—“white gold,” as it was known—had profoundly less palatable consequences in its precipitation of the enslavement of Africans to work the fields on the islands and, ultimately, throughout the American continents. Interspersing the tectonic shifts of colonial history with her family’s experience, Stuart explores the interconnected themes of settlement, sugar, and slavery with extraordinary subtlety and sensitivity. In examining how these forces shaped her own family—its genealogy, intimate relationships, circumstances of birth, varying hues of skin—she illuminates how her family, among millions of others like it, in turn transformed the society in which they lived and how that interchange continues to this day. Shifting between personal and global history, Stuart gives us a deepened understanding of the connections between continents, between black and white, between men and women, between the free and the enslaved. It is a story brought to life with riveting and unparalleled immediacy, a story of fundamental importance to the making of our world.

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    Sugar in the Blood

    14.9 hrs • 3/25/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 5.5 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Abridged

    The people of Cuba struggled against immense odds to emerge victorious from years of brutal dictatorship and poverty in 1959. This is Che Guevara's classic eyewitness account of the transformation of a country and also the transformation of Che himself - from a troop doctor to a revolutionary leader, who would become one of the greatest icons of the 20th century. Following the phenomenally successful film adaptation of The Motorcycle Diaries, two of Che Guevara's later and most insightful diaries were brought to the big screen in 2008. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro, Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War and The Bolivian Diary were released as Guerilla and The Argentine.

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  8. 17.6 hrs • 4/5/2011 • Unabridged

    A REMARKABLY GRIPPING ACCOUNT OF AMERICA’S BAY OF PIGS CRISIS, DRAWING ON LONG-HIDDEN CIA DOCUMENTS AND DELIVERING, AS NEVER BEFORE, THE VIVID TRUTH—AND CONSEQUENCES—OF FIVE PIVOTAL DAYS IN APRIL 1961 The U.S.-backed military invasion of Cuba in 1961 remains one of the most ill-fated blunders in American history, with echoes of the event reverberating even today. Despite the Kennedy administration’s initial public insistence that the United States had nothing to do with the invasion, it soon became clear that the complex operation had been planned and approved by the best and brightest minds at the highest reaches of Washington, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President John F. Kennedy himself. The Cuban-born invaders were trained by CIA officers, supplied with American matériel, and shadowed by the U.S. Navy. Landing by sea with fighter-plane support, they hoped to establish a military beachhead and spark a counterrevolution against Fidel Castro’s regime. The gambit was a stupendous failure, resulting in the death or imprisonment of more than a thousand men. In its wake, the United States appeared inept, reckless, and corrupt. Now, journalist Jim Rasenberger takes a closer look at this darkly fascinating incident in American history. At the heart of the crisis stood President Kennedy, and Rasenberger traces what Kennedy knew, thought, and said as events unfolded. He examines whether Kennedy was manipulated by the CIA into approving a plan that would ultimately involve the American military. He also draws compelling portraits of the other figures who played key roles in the drama: Castro, who shortly after achieving power visited New York City and was cheered by thousands (just months before the United States began plotting his demise); Dwight Eisenhower, who originally ordered the secret program, then later disavowed it; Allen Dulles, the CIA director who may have told Kennedy about the plan before he was elected president (or so Richard Nixon suspected); and Richard Bissell, the famously brilliant “deus ex machina” who ran the operation for the CIA—and took the blame when it failed. Beyond the short-term fallout, Rasenberger demonstrates, the Bay of Pigs gave rise to further and greater woes, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and even, possibly, the assassination of John Kennedy. Written with elegant clarity and narrative verve, The Brilliant Disaster is the most complete account of this event to date, providing not only a fast-paced chronicle of the disaster but an analysis of how it occurred—a question as relevant today as then—and how it profoundly altered the course of modern American history.

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    The Brilliant Disaster

    17.6 hrs • 4/5/11 • Unabridged
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  9. 0.5 hrs • 4/23/2010 • Unabridged

    This is a rare recording of a December 16, 1964, interview of Che Guevara by journalists at the Cuban Mission headquarters in New York City. Recording obtained and published by Rick Sheridan.

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    A Rare Recording of Che Guevara

    Featuring Che Guevara
    Translated by Chris Couch
    0.5 hrs • 4/23/10 • Unabridged
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  10. 23.8 hrs • 2/16/2009 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking new reporting of the historical drama linking the Kennedys and the Castros that sheds new light on the JFK assassination. Using breakthrough reporting and interviews with long-silent sources, Russo and coauthor Stephen Molton have crafted a dramatic retelling of the time before, during, and after the Kennedy killing. The book centers on the two opposed sets of brothers—the Kennedys and the Castros—who collectively authored one of modern history’s most dangerous, and tragically ironic, chapters. Bobby Kennedy pushed for the murder of Fidel Castro and instead got the death of his beloved brother, a psychic blow from which he himself never recovered. Lee Harvey Oswald killed an admired president and traumatized a nation, but in so doing may have prevented a third world war. Built on thirty years of intense research—including discoveries so significant that they have rekindled CIA and State Department interest in the Kennedy assassination—Brothers in Arms is a vivid, character-driven, almost cinematic narration of a singularly fascinating time. For neophytes, it is the most accessible and informed single volume on the assassination. For the many readers fascinated by this story, it provides extraordinary new facts that will force a reconsideration of how and why the Kennedy murder came to pass.

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    Brothers in Arms

    23.8 hrs • 2/16/09 • Unabridged
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  11. 13.3 hrs • 8/11/2008 • Unabridged

    In Havana Nocturne, T. J. English offers a riveting, multifaceted true tale of organized crime, political corruption, roaring nightlife, revolution, and international conflict that interweaves the dual stories of the mob in Havana and the event that would overshadow it: the Cuban Revolution. Bringing together long-buried historical information and English’s own research in Havana—including interviews with the era’s key survivors—Havana Nocturne takes readers back to Cuba in the years when it was a veritable devil’s playground for mob leaders Meyer Lansky and Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Thanks to strong ties with the island’s brutal dictator, President Batista, the mob soon owned the biggest luxury hotels and casinos and launched an unprecedented tourist boom. But their dreams collided with those of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and others who would lead the country’s disenfranchised to overthrow their corrupt government and its foreign partners—an epic cultural battle that English captures in all its sexy, decadent, ugly glory.

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    Havana Nocturne

    13.3 hrs • 8/11/08 • Unabridged
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  12. 16.4 hrs • 6/3/2008 • Unabridged

    In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union appeared to be sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs has pored over previously untapped American, Soviet, and Cuban sources to produce the most authoritative book yet on the Cuban missile crisis. In his hour-by-hour chronicle of those near-fatal days, Dobbs reveals some startling new incidents that illustrate how close we came to Armageddon.Here, for the first time, are gripping accounts of Khrushchev’s plan to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo; the accidental overflight of the Soviet Union by an American spy plane; the movement of Soviet nuclear warheads around Cuba during the tensest days of the crisis; the activities of CIA agents inside Cuba; and the crash landing of an American F-106 jet with a live nuclear weapon on board.Dobbs takes us inside the White House and the Kremlin as Kennedy and Khrushchev—rational, intelligent men separated by an ocean of ideological suspicion—agonize over the possibility of war. He shows how these two leaders recognized the terrifying realities of the nuclear age while Castro—never swayed by conventional political considerations—demonstrated the messianic ambition of a man selected by history for a unique mission. As the story unfolds, Dobbs brings us onto the decks of American ships patrolling Cuba; inside sweltering Soviet submarines and missile units as they ready their warheads; and onto the streets of Miami, where anti-Castro exiles plot the dictator’s overthrow.Based on exhaustive new research and told in breathtaking prose, here is a riveting account of history’s most dangerous hours, full of lessons for our time.

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    One Minute to Midnight

    16.4 hrs • 6/3/08 • Unabridged
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  13. 26.2 hrs • 2/15/2008 • Unabridged

    Numerous attempts have been made to get Fidel Castro to tell his own story. But it was only as he stepped down after five decades in power, that the Cuban leader finally decided to set out the detail of his life for the world to read. In these pages, he presents a compelling chronicle that spans the harshness of his school teachers; the early failures of the revolution; his comradeship with Che Guevara and their astonishing, against-all-odds victory over the dictator Batista; the Cuban perspective on the Bay of Pigs and the ensuing missile crisis; the active role of Cuba in African independence movements; his dealings with no fewer than ten successive American presidents, from Eisenhower to George W. Bush; and a number of thorny issues, including human rights, the treatment of homosexuals, and the use of the death penalty in Cuba. Along the way he shares intimacies about more personal matters: the benevolent strictness of his father, his successful attempt to give up cigars, his love of Ernest Hemingway’s novels, and his calculation that by not shaving he saves up to ten working days each year. Drawing on more than one hundred hours of interviews, this spoken autobiography will stand as the definitive record of an extraordinary life lived in turbulent times.

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    Fidel Castro: My Life

    26.2 hrs • 2/15/08 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.2 hrs • 8/28/2007 • Unabridged

    In this groundbreaking work, leading historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto tells the story of our hemisphere as a whole, showing why it is impossible to understand North, Central, and South America in isolation without turning to the intertwining forces that shape the region. With imagination, thematic breadth, and his trademark wit, Fernandez-Armesto covers a range of cultural, political, and social subjects, taking us from the dawn of human migration to North America to the colonial and independence periods to the “American century” and beyond. Fernandez-Armesto does nothing less than revise the conventional wisdom about cross-cultural exchange, conflict, and interaction, making and supporting some brilliantly provocative conclusions about the Americas’ past and where we are headed.

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    Amerigo

    9.2 hrs • 8/28/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 1 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (1)
    13.4 hrs • 5/1/2007 • Unabridged

    The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this “Flying Gang” established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires. And for a brief, glorious period, the Republic was a success.

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    The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard

    The Republic of Pirates

    13.4 hrs • 5/1/07 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (1)
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  16. 6.5 hrs • 4/24/2007 • Abridged

    He challenged the greatest empire on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades—and brought it to its knees. Empire of Blue Water is the real story of the pirates of the Caribbean.Henry Morgan, a twenty-year-old Welshman, crossed the Atlantic in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legendary. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and at sea determined the fates of kings and queens, and his victories helped shape the destiny of the New World.Morgan gathered disaffected European sailors and soldiers, hard-bitten adventurers, runaway slaves, and vicious cutthroats, and turned them into the most feared army in the Western Hemisphere. Sailing out from the English stronghold of Port Royal, Jamaica, “the wickedest city in the New World,” Morgan and his men terrorized Spanish merchant ships and devastated the cities where great riches in silver, gold, and gems lay waiting. His last raid, a daring assault on the fabled city of Panama, helped break Spain’s hold on the Americas forever. Awash with bloody battles, political intrigues, natural disaster, and a cast of characters more compelling, bizarre, and memorable than any found in a Hollywood swashbuckler—including the notorious pirate L’Ollonais, the soul-tortured King Philip IV of Spain, and Thomas Modyford, the crafty English governor of Jamaica—Empire of Blue Water brilliantly re-creates the passions and the violence of the age of exploration and empire.

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    Empire of Blue Water

    6.5 hrs • 4/24/07 • Abridged
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