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Revolutionary

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  1. 18.9 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the ideal framework for a democratic, prosperous nation. Alan Taylor, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history of the nation’s founding. Rising out of the continental rivalries of European empires and their native allies, Taylor’s Revolution builds like a ground fire overspreading Britain’s mainland colonies, fueled by local conditions, destructive, hard to quell. Conflict ignited on the frontier, where settlers clamored to push west into Indian lands against British restrictions, and in the seaboard cities, where commercial elites mobilized riots and boycotts to resist British tax policies. When war erupted, Patriot crowds harassed Loyalists and nonpartisans into compliance with their cause. Brutal guerrilla violence flared all along the frontier from New York to the Carolinas, fed by internal divisions as well as the clash with Britain. Taylor skillfully draws France, Spain, and native powers into a comprehensive narrative of the war that delivers the major battles, generals, and common soldiers with insight and power. With discord smoldering in the fragile new nation through the 1780s, nationalist leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton sought to restrain unruly state democracies and consolidate power in a Federal Constitution. Assuming the mantle of “We the People,” the advocates of national power ratified the new frame of government. But their opponents prevailed in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, whose vision of a western “empire of liberty” aligned with the long-standing, expansive ambitions of frontier settlers. White settlement and black slavery spread west, setting the stage for a civil war that nearly destroyed the union created by the founders.

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    American Revolutions

    18.9 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 22.0 hrs • 8/2/2016 • Unabridged

    An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran’s glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late shah’s widow, Empress Farah In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most complicated personalities, author Andrew Scott Cooper traces Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He highlights the turbulence of the postwar era, during which the shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world’s top five powers. Listeners get the story of the shah’s political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right; the beloved family they created; and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper’s investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries, President Jimmy Carter and White House officials, US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran, American families caught up in the drama, and even Empress Farah herself, along with the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. At once intimate and sweeping, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world’s most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

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    The Fall of Heaven by Andrew Scott Cooper

    The Fall of Heaven

    22.0 hrs • 8/2/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.2 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets comes a short, lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta came to be. The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document that dwells on tax relief and greater fishing rights, and how did it gain legendary status? Dan Jones takes us back to 1215, the turbulent year when the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty between England’s King John and a group of self-interested, violent barons who were tired of his high taxes and endless foreign wars. The treaty would fail within two months of its confirmation. But this important document marked the first time a king was forced to obey his own laws. Jones’ Magna Carta follows the story of the Magna Carta’s creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England and is book that will appeal to fans of microhistories of pivotal years like 1066, 1491, and especially 1776—when American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king.

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    Magna Carta

    Read by Dan Jones
    7.2 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    8.4 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    The prizewinning author of Founding Brothers and American Sphinx now gives us the brilliantly told unexpected story of why the thirteen colonies, having just fought off the imposition of a distant centralized governing power, would decide to subordinate themselves anew. The triumph of the American Revolution was neither an ideological nor political guarantee that the colonies would relinquish their independence and accept the creation of a federal government with power over their individual autonomy. The Quartet is the story of this second American founding and of the men responsible—some familiar, such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, and some less so, such as Robert Morris and Governeur Morris. It was these men who shaped the contours of American history by diagnosing the systemic dysfunctions created by the Articles of Confederation, manipulating the political process to force a calling of the Constitutional Convention, conspiring to set the agenda in Philadelphia, orchestrating the debate in the state ratifying conventions, and, finally, drafting the Bill of Rights to assure state compliance with the constitutional settlement.

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    The Quartet

    8.4 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 16.5 hrs • 2/17/2015 • Unabridged

    The Age of Acquiescence is a groundbreaking investigation of how and why, from the eighteenth century to the present day, American resistance to our ruling elites has vanished. From the American revolution through the civil rights movement, Americans have long mobilized against political, social, and economic privilege. Hierarchies based on inheritance, wealth, and political preferment were treated as obnoxious and a threat to democracy. Mass movements envisioned a new world supplanting dog-eat-dog capitalism. But over the last half-century that political will and cultural imagination have vanished—but why? The Age of Acquiescence seeks to solve that mystery. Steve Fraser’s account of national transformation brilliantly examines the rise of American capitalism, the visionary attempts to protect the democratic commonwealth, and the great surrender to today’s delusional fables of freedom and the politics of fear. Effervescent and razor sharp, The Age of Acquiescence will be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

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    The Age of Acquiescence

    16.5 hrs • 2/17/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.4 hrs • 7/8/2014 • Unabridged

    Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants—and their eventual uprising—Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait. History doesn’t get more interesting than the story of the Romanovs.

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    The Family Romanov

    9.4 hrs • 7/8/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 13.7 hrs • 5/6/2014 • Unabridged

    From the author of the bestseller The Admirals comes a new look at the American Revolution’s first weeks. When we look back on our nation’s history, the American Revolution can feel almost like a foregone conclusion. In reality, the first weeks of the war were much more tenuous, and a fractured and ragtag group of colonial militias had to coalesce to have even the slimmest chance of toppling the mighty British Army. American Spring follows a fledgling nation from Paul Revere’s little-known ride of December 1774 and the first shots fired on Lexington Green, through the catastrophic Battle of Bunker Hill, culminating with a Virginian named George Washington taking command of colonial forces on July 3, 1775. Focusing on the colorful heroes John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Benjamin Franklin, and Patrick Henry, and the ordinary Americans caught up in the revolution, Walter Borneman tells the story of how a decade of discontent erupted into an armed rebellion that forged our nation.

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    American Spring

    13.7 hrs • 5/6/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 17.9 hrs • 4/30/2013 • Unabridged

    Few moments in history have seen as many seismic transformations as 1979. That one year marked the emergence of revolutionary Islam as a political force on the world stage, the beginning of market revolutions in China and Britain that would fuel globalization and radically alter the international economy, and the first stirrings of the resistance movements in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than any other year in the latter half of the twentieth century, 1979 heralded the economic, political, and religious realities that define the twenty-first. In Strange Rebels, veteran journalist Christian Caryl shows how the world we live in today—and the problems that plague it—began to take shape in this pivotal year. 1979 saw a series of counterrevolutions against the progressive consensus that had dominated the postwar era. The year’s epic upheavals embodied a startling conservative challenge to communist and socialist systems around the globe, fundamentally transforming politics and economics worldwide. In China, 1979 marked the start of sweeping market-oriented reforms that have made the country the economic powerhouse it is today. 1979 was also the year that Pope John Paul II traveled to Poland, confronting communism in Eastern Europe by reigniting its people’s suppressed Catholic faith. In Iran, meanwhile, the Islamic Revolution transformed the nation into a theocracy almost overnight, overthrowing the shah’s modernizing monarchy. Farther west, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Britain, returning it to a purer form of free-market capitalism and opening the way for Ronald Reagan to do the same in the United States. And in Afghanistan, a Soviet invasion fueled an Islamic holy war with global consequences; the Afghan mujahedin presaged the rise of al-Qaeda and served as a key factor in the fall of communism. Weaving the story of each of these counterrevolutions into a brisk, gripping narrative, Strange Rebels is a groundbreaking account of how these far-flung events and disparate actors and movements gave birth to our modern age.

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    Strange Rebels by Christian Caryl

    Strange Rebels

    17.9 hrs • 4/30/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.1 hrs • 11/13/2012 • Unabridged

    It is 1781, and Washington and his army have spent three years in a bitter stalemate, engaging in near constant skirmishing against the British.  The enemy position in New York is far too strong, and all approaches covered by the Royal Navy.  At last two crucial reports reach Washington.  The first is that the French have briefly committed a fleet to the American coast to engage the British.  The second is that British General Cornwallis, driven to distraction by the protracted warfare in the Carolinas, has decided to withdraw into Yorktown to establish a new base. Washington decides to embark on one of the most audacious moves in American military history.  He will take nearly his entire army out of New Jersey and New York, and force march it more than three hundred miles in complete secrecy.  He must pray that the French navy is successful in blockading Chesapeake Bay, so that he can fall upon Cornwallis, lay siege to him, and capture his entire force.  It is a campaign ladened with “Ifs” but the stalemate must be broken, otherwise the American spirit, after six long years of war, will crumble.Sergeant Peter Wellsley is tasked with “paving the way” for the rapid movement of the army, and above all else neutralizing any loyalists who might slip off to provide warning. The entire operation is predicated on complete, total surprise, a near-impossible task for an army moving through areas that harbor strong loyalists.  On the other side, Allen Van Dorn, still mourning the loss of his friend Major Andre, receives bits and pieces of reports from civilians that something is afoot across New Jersey and is tasked to find out what.  When one of the former friends is captured, both must decide where their true loyalties lie during the heat of the Battle of Yorktown as Washington’s professional army, once a “rabble in arms,” executes the war’s most decisive contest.

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  10. 11.9 hrs • 12/27/2011 • Unabridged

    The revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 were unlike any the world had ever seen. Brutal regimes that had been in power for many decades were suddenly swarmed by unstoppable mobs of freedom seekers. Now, one of the key figures behind the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.  Wael Ghonim was a little-known thirty-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of an Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s followers expanded quickly and moved from online protests to nonconfrontational public gatherings. Then, on January 14, 2011, they made history when they announced a revolution. Over 350,000 friends clamored to join. On January 25, as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation—and when he emerged and gave a speech on national television, the protests grew even more intense. Four days later, Mubarak was gone.  The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us: Forget the past. Don’t plan ahead. Let the crowd make its own decisions. Welcome to Revolution 2.0.

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    Revolution 2.0 by Wael Ghonim

    Revolution 2.0

    11.9 hrs • 12/27/11 • Unabridged
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  11. 12.2 hrs • 3/24/2010 • Unabridged

    In October 1934, the Chinese Communist Army found itself facing annihilation, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Nationalist soldiers. Rather than surrender, 86,000 Communists embarked on an epic flight to safety. Only thirty were women. Their trek would eventually cover 4,000 miles over 370 days. Under enemy fire they crossed highland swamps, climbed Tibetan peaks, scrambled over chain bridges, and trudged through the sands of the western deserts. Fewer than 10,000 of them would survive, but remarkably all of the women would live to tell the tale. Unbound is an amazing story of love, friendship, and survival written by a new master of adventure narrative.

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    Unbound

    12.2 hrs • 3/24/10 • Unabridged
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  12. 15.1 hrs • 10/28/2008 • Unabridged

    When Sir William Temple (1628–99) and Dorothy Osborne (1627–95) began their passionate love affair, civil war was raging in Britain, and their families—parliamentarians and royalists, respectively—did everything to keep them apart. Yet the couple went on to enjoy a marriage and a sophisticated partnership unique in its times. Surviving the political chaos of the era, the Black Plague, the Great Fire of London, and the deaths of all their nine children, William and Dorothy made a life together for more than forty years. Drawing upon extensive research and the Temples’ own extraordinary writings—including Dorothy’s dazzling letters, hailed by Virginia Woolf as one of the glories of English literature—Jane Dunn gives us an utterly captivating dual biography, the first to examine Dorothy’s life as an intellectual equal to her diplomat husband. While she has been known to posterity as the very symbol of upper-class seventeenth-century domestic English life, Dunn makes clear that Dorothy was a woman of great complexity, of passion and brilliance, noteworthy far beyond her role as a wife and mother. The remarkable story of William and Dorothy’s life together—illuminated here by the author’s insight and her vivid sense of place and time—offers a rare glimpse into the heart and spirit of one of the most turbulent and intriguing eras in British history.

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    Read My Heart

    15.1 hrs • 10/28/08 • Unabridged
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  13. 21.4 hrs • 10/29/2007 • Unabridged

    On April 18, 1775, a riot over the price of flour broke out in the French city of Dijon. That night, across the Atlantic, Paul Revere mounted the fastest horse he could find and kicked it into a gallop. So began what have been called the “sister revolutions” of France and America. In a single, thrilling narrative, this book tells the story of those revolutions and shows just how deeply intertwined they actually were. Their leaders, George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette, were often seen as father and son, but their relationship, while close, was every bit as complex as the long, fraught history of the French-American alliance. Vain, tough, ambitious, they strove to shape their characters and records into the form they wanted history to remember. James R. Gaines provides fascinating insights into these personal transformations and is equally brilliant at showing the extraordinary effect of the two “freedom fighters” on subsequent history. 

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    For Liberty and Glory

    21.4 hrs • 10/29/07 • Unabridged
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  14. 10.1 hrs • 7/6/2007 • Unabridged

    The ideals of freedom and individual rights that inspired America’s Founding Fathers did not spring from a vacuum. Along with many other defining principles of our national character, they can be traced directly back to one of the most pivotal events in British history—the late-seventeenth-century uprising known as the Glorious Revolution. In a work of popular history that stands with recent favorites such as David McCullough’s 1776 and Joseph J. Ellis’s Founding Brothers, Michael Barone brings the story of this unlikely and largely bloodless revolt to American readers and reveals that, without the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution may never have happened. Unfolding in 1688–1689, Britain’s Glorious Revolution resulted in the hallmarks of representative government, guaranteed liberties, the foundations of global capitalism, and a foreign policy of opposing aggressive foreign powers. But as Barone shows, there was nothing inevitable about the Glorious Revolution. It sprang from the character of the English people and depended on the talents, audacity, and good luck of two men: William of Orange (later William III of England), who launched history’ s last successful cross-channel invasion, and John Churchill, an ancestor of Winston, who commanded the forces of the deposed James II but crossed over to support William one fateful November night. The story of the Glorious Revolution is a rich and riveting saga of palace intrigue, loyalty and shocking betrayal, and bold political and military strategizing. With narrative drive, a sure command of historical events, and unforgettable portraits of kings, queens, soldiers, parliamentarians, and a large cast of full-blooded characters, Barone takes an episode that has fallen into unjustified obscurity and restores it to the prominence it deserves. Especially now as we face enemies who wish to rid the world of the lasting legacies of the Glorious Revolution—democracy, individual rights, and capitalism among them—it is vitally important that we understand the origins of these blessings.

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    Our First Revolution

    10.1 hrs • 7/6/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.3 hrs • 2/1/2004 • Unabridged

    This book tells the story—for the first time—of the United States government’s response to Guevara’s ill-starred insurgency in Bolivia in 1967. Henry Butterfield Ryan argues that Guevara’s life must be reevaluated in light of secret documents only recently released by the CIA, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council. Ryan’s dramatic account of the last days of Che Guevara is sure to appeal to scholars and students of United States foreign policy, Latin American history, military history, and to all others interested in this modern revolutionary’s remarkable life.

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    The Fall of Che Guevara

    7.3 hrs • 2/1/04 • Unabridged
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