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  1. 11.1 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    With a Foreword by Bill O’Reilly, here is the incredible memoir of a former Marine who returns to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan three decades after leaving the Corps. Terry McGowan had been a beat cop, a Marine captain, and a special agent for the FBI before retiring at the age of fifty. But when tragedy struck the United States on September 11, 2001, Terry felt an undiminished sense of duty to protect and serve his country. Six years later, he was in Iraq as a member of a team of high-ranking retired and active-duty military working for the highest level of Marine military intelligence. His success in Iraq led to a position as a Law Enforcement Professional with the Marines in Afghanistan. There he found himself the oldest member of a platoon on the front line; a platoon that was under strength and under fire. While an eighteen-year-old Marine can’t look at a crowd of Afghans and pick out the guilty party, with his years of experience in law enforcement, Terry had developed an eye for the “felony look.” His training as a Marine officer combined with his experience as an FBI agent made him a unique asset as he struggled to keep up with young Marines while they humped over the mountains. In The Silence of War, Terry recounts the many trials of his life of service, providing an intimate glimpse into the horrible realities of modern military conflict.

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    The Silence of War

    Foreword by Bill O’Reilly
    Read by Pete Larkin
    11.1 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 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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  3. 13.1 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    The first serious book to examine what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased. Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today, military personnel don’t just “kill people and break stuff.” Instead, they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. You name it, the military does it. Rosa Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective—that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two anti-war protesters and a human rights activist married to an Army Green Beret. Her experiences lead her to an urgent warning: When the boundaries around war disappear, we risk destroying America’s founding values and the laws and institutions we’ve built—and undermining the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding towards chaos. If Russia and China have recently grown bolder in their foreign adventures, it’s no accident; US precedents have paved the way for the increasingly unconstrained use of military power by states around the globe. Meanwhile, we continue to pile new tasks onto the military, making it increasingly ill-prepared for the threats America will face in the years to come. By turns a memoir, a work of journalism, a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology and law, and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything transforms the familiar into the alien, showing us that the culture we inhabit is reshaping us in ways we may suspect, but don’t really understand. It’s the kind of book that will leave you moved, astonished, and profoundly disturbed, for the world around us is quietly changing beyond recognition—and time is running out to make things right.

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  4. 14.6 hrs • 6/14/2016 • Unabridged

    A sweeping, in-depth history of NSA, whose famous “cult of silence” has left the agency shrouded in mystery for decades The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, NSA played a vital, often fraught and controversial role in the major events of the Cold War, from the Korean War to the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam and beyond. In Code Warriors, Stephen Budiansky—a longtime expert in cryptology—tells the fascinating story of how NSA came to be, from its roots in World War II through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Along the way, he guides us through the fascinating challenges faced by cryptanalysts, and how they broke some of the most complicated codes of the twentieth century. With access to new documents, Budiansky shows where the agency succeeded and failed during the Cold War, but his account also offers crucial perspective for assessing NSA today in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. Budiansky shows how NSA’s obsession with recording every bit of data and decoding every signal is far from a new development; throughout its history the depth and breadth of the agency’s reach has resulted in both remarkable successes and destructive failures. Featuring a series of appendices that explain the technical details of Soviet codes and how they were broken, this is a rich and riveting history of the underbelly of the Cold War, and an essential and timely read for all who seek to understand the origins of the modern NSA.

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    Code Warriors

    14.6 hrs • 6/14/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.9 hrs • 6/7/2016 • Unabridged

    Bestselling author Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war. Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the US Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of US Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.

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    Grunt

    8.9 hrs • 6/7/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    28.6 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    On December 16, 1944, the vanguard of three German armies, totaling half a million men, attacked US forces in the Ardennes region of Belgium and Luxembourg, achieving what had been considered impossible—total surprise. In the most abysmal failure of battlefield intelligence in the history of the US Army, 600,000 American soldiers found themselves facing Hitler’s last desperate effort of the war. The brutal confrontation that ensued became known as the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest battle ever fought by the US Army—a triumph of American ingenuity and dedication over an egregious failure in strategic intelligence. A Time for Trumpets is the definitive account of this dramatic victory, told by one of America’s most respected military historians, who was also an eyewitness: MacDonald commanded a rifle company in the Battle of the Bulge. His account of this unique battle is exhaustively researched, honestly recounted, and movingly authentic in its depiction of hand-to-hand combat. Mingling firsthand experience with the insights of a distinguished historian, MacDonald places this profound human drama unforgettably on the landscape of history.

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    A Time for Trumpets by Charles B. MacDonald

    A Time for Trumpets

    28.6 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  7. 13.3 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    From the New York Times bestselling author of In The Heart of the Sea comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within. Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

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    Valiant Ambition

    13.3 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 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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  9. 19.5 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    The definitive account of General Douglas MacArthur’s rise during World War II, from the author of the bestseller The Admirals. World War II changed the course of history. Douglas MacArthur changed the course of World War II. MacArthur at War will go deeper into this transformative period of his life than previous biographies, drilling into the military strategy that Walter R. Borneman is so skilled at conveying, and exploring how personality and ego translate into military successes and failures. Architect of stunning triumphs and inexplicable defeats, General MacArthur is the most intriguing military leader of the twentieth century. There was never any middle ground with MacArthur. This in-depth study of the most critical period of his career shows how MacArthur’s influence spread far beyond the war-torn Pacific.

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    MacArthur at War

    19.5 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.9 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    A vivid, thrilling, and impeccably researched account of America’s bloodiest battle ever—World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive—and the 100-year-old cover-up at its heart. The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, a rocky butte in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, trenches, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of unsuccessful attacks, the French deem Montfaucon impregnable and dub it the Little Gibraltar of the Western Front. Capturing it is a key to success for AEF Commander-in-Chief John J. Pershing’s 1.2 million troops. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. Now William T. Walker tells the full story in his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar. In the assault on Montfaucon, American forces become bogged down, a delay that cost untold lives as the Germans defended their lofty positions without mercy. Years of archival research demonstrate that the actual cause of the delay was the disobedience of a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who subverted orders to assist the US 79th Division. The result was unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys and preclusion of plans to end the war early. Although several officers learned of the circumstances, Pershing protected Bullard—an old friend and fellow West Point graduate—by covering up the story. The true account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time. Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells the vivid human stories of the soldiers who fought to capture the giant fortress and push the American advance. Using unpublished first-person accounts, Walker describes the horrors of World War I combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to pierce the cover-up and solve the mystery of Montfaucon. Like Stephen Ambrose and S. C. Gwynne, Walker writes compelling popular history.

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    Betrayal at Little Gibraltar by William Walker

    Betrayal at Little Gibraltar

    11.9 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.7 hrs • 4/18/2016 • Unabridged

    Between 1819 and 1845, as veterans of the Revolutionary War were filing applications to receive pensions for their service, the government was surprised to learn that many of the soldiers were not men but boys, many of whom were under the age of sixteen and some even as young as nine. In Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution, Caroline Cox reconstructs the lives and stories of this young subset of early American soldiers, focusing on how these boys came to join the army and what they actually did in service. Giving us a rich and unique glimpse into colonial childhood, Cox traces the evolution of youth in American culture in the late eighteenth century, as the accepted age for children to participate meaningfully in society—not only in the military—was rising dramatically. Drawing creatively on sources such as diaries, letters, and memoirs, Caroline Cox offers a vivid account of what life was like for these boys both on and off the battlefield, telling the story of a generation of soldiers caught between old and new notions of boyhood.

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    Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution by Caroline Cox

    Boy Soldiers of the American Revolution

    Foreword by Robert Middlekauff
    Read by Traber Burns
    7.7 hrs • 4/18/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 15.4 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Retired army colonel and New York Times bestselling author Andrew J. Bacevich provides a searing reassessment of US military policy in the Middle East over the past four decades. From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed in action while serving in the Greater Middle East. Since 1990, virtually no American soldiers have been killed in action anywhere else. What caused this shift? Andrew J. Bacevich, one of the country’s most respected voices on foreign affairs, offers an incisive critical history of this ongoing military enterprise—now more than thirty years old and with no end in sight. During the 1980s, Bacevich argues, a great transition occurred. As the Cold War wound down, the United States initiated a new conflict—a War for the Greater Middle East—that continues to the present day. The long twilight struggle with the Soviet Union had involved only occasional and sporadic fighting. But as this new war unfolded, hostilities became persistent. From the Balkans and East Africa to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, US forces embarked upon a seemingly endless series of campaigns across the Islamic world. Few achieved anything remotely like conclusive success. Instead, actions undertaken with expectations of promoting peace and stability produced just the opposite. As a consequence, phrases like “permanent war” and “open-ended war” have become part of everyday discourse. Connecting the dots in a way no other historian has done before, Bacevich weaves a compelling narrative out of episodes as varied as the Beirut bombing of 1983, the Mogadishu firefight of 1993, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the rise of ISIS in the present decade. Understanding what America’s costly military exertions have wrought requires seeing these seemingly discrete events as parts of a single war. It also requires identifying the errors of judgment made by political leaders in both parties and by senior military officers who share responsibility for what has become a monumental march to folly. This Bacevich unflinchingly does. A twenty-year army veteran who served in Vietnam, Andrew J. Bacevich brings the full weight of his expertise to this vitally important subject. America’s War for the Greater Middle East is a bracing after-action report from the front lines of history. It will fundamentally change the way we view America’s engagement in the world’s most volatile region.

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    America’s War for the Greater Middle East

    By Andrew J. Bacevich
    15.4 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 4.6 hrs • 4/5/2016 • Unabridged

    On the heels of the enormous success of his masterwork The Grapes of Wrath and at the height of the American war effort John Steinbeck, one of the most prolific and influential literary figures of his generation, wrote Bombs Away, a nonfiction account of his experiences with US Army Air Force bomber crews during World War II. Now, for the first time since its original publication in 1942, this audiobook presents an intimate look into Steinbeck’s introduction to the then-nascent US Army Air Force and its bomber crew—the essential core unit behind American air power that Steinbeck described as “the greatest team in the world.”

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    Bombs Away

    Introduction by James H. Meredith
    4.6 hrs • 4/5/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 13.5 hrs • 3/1/2016 • Unabridged

    In August 1776, a little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn, and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men, and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day. Today, only a modest, rusted, and scarred metal sign near a dilapidated auto garage marks the mass grave where the bodies of the “Maryland Heroes” lie—256 men “who fell in the Battle of Brooklyn.” In Washington’s Immortals, bestselling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of this remarkable band of brothers. Known as “gentlemen of honor, family, and fortune,” they fought not just in Brooklyn but also in key battles, including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war. Drawing on extensive original sources, from letters to diaries to pension applications, O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these brave men—their friendships, loves, defeats, and triumphs. He explores their arms and tactics, their struggles with hostile loyalists and shortages of clothing and food, their development into an elite unit, and their dogged opponents, including British general Lord Cornwallis. And through the prism of this one group, O’Donnell tells the larger story of the Revolutionary War. Washington’s Immortals is gripping and inspiring boots-on-the-ground history, sure to appeal to a wide audience.

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    Washington’s Immortals by Patrick K. O’Donnell

    Washington’s Immortals

    13.5 hrs • 3/1/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 9.0 hrs • 1/15/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating new angle on presidential history, assessing the performances of all forty-four presidents in their freshman year of the toughest job in the world Grouped by the issues the new presidents confronted in their first year in office, The President’s First Year takes listeners into the history, thought processes, and results on a case-by-case basis, including how the presidents’ subsequent actions prove that they learned—or didn’t learn—from their mistakes. From George Washington to Barack Obama, The President’s First Year details the challenging first twelve months of all our presidents’ tenures.

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    The President’s First Year by Douglas Alan Cohn

    The President’s First Year

    9.0 hrs • 1/15/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 20.6 hrs • 12/29/2015 • Unabridged

    Eisenhower’s Armies is the story of two very different armies learning to live, work, and fight together even in the face of serious strategic disagreements. The Anglo-American relationship from 1941–1945 proved to be the most effective military alliance in history. Yet there were also constant tensions and disagreements that threatened to pull the alliance apart. This book highlights why the unprecedented level of cooperation between the very different American and British forces eventually led to victory but also emphasizes the tensions and controversies, which inevitably arose. Based on considerable archival research on both sides of the Atlantic. The book also looks back and demonstrates how the legacy of previous experience shaped the decisions of the war.

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    Eisenhower’s Armies

    20.6 hrs • 12/29/15 • Unabridged
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