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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 19.6 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    No Barriers is about my journey since coming down from Everest fifteen years ago, and the path to where I am today. It is the story of my own life—the ups and downs both personal and professional but also the many people I’ve encountered who possess what I call a “No Barriers” mindset, who live a No Barriers life. It’s about people who give those around them the courage to do great things. People who have risked failure, transcended their personal barriers, and shown others a way forward: scientists and innovators and technologists and artists and musicians and activists and soldiers. No Barriers is a way of living, and it lives in all of us. I think there is something inside all of us, a kind of light. But sometimes—through injury, disease, tragedy, mental illness, and trauma—people get shoved into a dark place, and that light is almost extinguished. A lot of times, making hard choices is what feeds that light, and becomes the energy we need to propel us forward. This book is about making the hard choices to fuel that light flickering in all of us, so that we can ignite with purpose and become our very best selves.

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    No Barriers

    Foreword by Bob Woodruff
    19.6 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.8 hrs • 1/17/2017 • Recorded Seminar

    Professor of English at Indiana State University and the author of the literary biography Mark Twain: Man in White, Michael Shelden is the perfect candidate to lead this series of lectures on one of the most important - and most influential - of all American authors. From Twain’s early history through his landmark achievements and the defining moments of his extraordinary life, Shelden imparts a learned understanding of both the man and his astounding body of work.

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    The Life and Times of Mark Twain

    7.8 hrs • 1/17/17 • Recorded Seminar
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  3. 43.2 hrs • 12/28/2016 • Unabridged

    Noted biographer Jean Strouse has won the Bancroft Prize and received fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowments for the Humanities and Arts. Her work has appeared in major magazines including The New Yorker and Newsweek. In Morgan, she creates the first complete portrait of a man who defined American commerce and banking. Contemporaries described J. Pierpoint Morgan as “the financial Moses of the New World.” He was also called “a beefy, red-faced, thick-necked financial bully, drunk with wealth and power ." To separate the legend from the man, Jean Strouse uses a wealth of uncataloged biographical documents from the Pierpoint Morgan Library. She shows J. Pierpoint Morgan in the full context of his childhood and health, travels and tastes, personal affairs and business relationships. Through Nelson Runger’s thoughtful narration, this accessible biography becomes a fascinating audio production. Morgan sheds light on the life of a remarkable man, but it also helps us better understand today’s international finance.

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    Morgan

    43.2 hrs • 12/28/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 21.3 hrs • 12/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The award-winning author presents a provocative, thoroughly modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and most influential families—the Roosevelts—exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair. Drawing on previously hidden historical documents and interviews with the long-silent “illegitimate” branch of the family, William J. Mann paints an elegant, meticulously researched, and groundbreaking group portrait of this legendary family. Mann argues that the Roosevelts’ rise to power and prestige was actually driven by a series of intense personal contest that at times devolved into blood sport. His compelling and eye-opening masterwork is the story of a family at war with itself, of social Darwinism at its most ruthless—in which the strong devoured the weak and repudiated the inconvenient. Mann focuses on Eleanor Roosevelt, who, he argues, experienced this brutality firsthand, witnessing her uncle Theodore cruelly destroy her father, Elliott—his brother and bitter rival—for political expediency. Mann presents a fascinating alternate picture of Eleanor, contending that this “worshipful niece” in fact bore a grudge against Theodore Rooselvelt for the rest of her life and dares to tell the truth about her intimate relationships without obfuscations, explanations, or labels. Mann also brings into focus Eleanor’s cousins, Teddy’s children, whose stories propelled the family rivalry but have never before been fully chronicled, as well as her illegitimate half-brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann, who inherited his family’s ambition and skill without their name and privilege. Growing up in poverty just miles from his wealthy relatives, Elliott Mann embodied the American Dream, rising to middle-class prosperity and enjoying one of the very few happy, long-term marriages in the Roosevelt saga. For the first time, The Wars of the Roosevelts also includes the stories of Elliott’s daughter and grandchildren. Deeply psychological and finely rendered, The Wars of the Roosevelts illuminates not only the enviable strengths but also the profound shame of this remarkable and influential family.

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    The Wars of the Roosevelts by William J. Mann

    The Wars of the Roosevelts

    21.3 hrs • 12/6/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5
    35.4 hrs • 11/15/2016 • Unabridged

    Bankers, philanthropists, scholars, socialites, artists, and politicians, the Warburgs stood at the pinnacle of German (and, later, of German-American) Jewry. They forged economic dynasties, built mansions and estates, assembled libraries, endowed charities, and advised a German kaiser and two American presidents. But their very success made the Warburgs lightning rods for anti-Semitism, and their sense of patriotism became increasingly dangerous in a Germany that had declared Jews the enemy.Ron Chernow's hugely fascinating history is a group portrait of a clan whose members were renowned for their brilliance, culture, and personal energy yet tragically vulnerable to the dark and irrational currents of the twentieth century.

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    The Warburgs

    35.4 hrs • 11/15/16 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5
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  6. 6.4 hrs • 11/15/2016 • Unabridged

    Simone Biles’ entrance into the world of gymnastics may have started on a daycare field trip in her hometown of Spring, Texas, but her God-given talent, passion, and perseverance have made her one of the top gymnasts in the world, as well as a four-time winner of Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. But there is more to Simone than the nineteen medals—fourteen of them gold—and the Olympic successes. Through years of hard work and determination, she has relied on her faith and family to stay focused and positive, while having fun competing at the highest level and doing what she loves. Here, in her own words, Simone takes you through the events, challenges, and trials that carried her from an early childhood in foster care to a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team. Along the way, Simone shares the details of her inspiring personal story—one filled with the kinds of daily acts of courage that led her, and can lead you, to even the most unlikely of dreams.

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    Courage to Soar

    By Simone Biles with Michelle Burford
    Read by Imani Parks
    6.4 hrs • 11/15/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 26.4 hrs • 11/1/2016 • Unabridged

    The final volume in the definitive biography of America’s greatest first lady. Historians, politicians, critics, and readers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt as the essential portrait of a woman who towers over the twentieth century. The third and final volume takes us through World War II, FDR’s death, the founding of the UN, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s death in 1962. It follows the arc of war and the evolution of a marriage, as the first lady realized the cost of maintaining her principles even as the country and her husband were not prepared to adopt them. Eleanor Roosevelt continued to struggle for her core issues—economic security, New Deal reforms, racial equality, and rescue—when they were sidelined by FDR while he marshaled the country through war. The chasm between Eleanor and Franklin grew, and the strains on their relationship were as political as they were personal. She also had to negotiate the fractures in the close circle of influential women around her at Val-Kill, but through it she gained confidence in her own vision, even when forced to amend her agenda when her beliefs clashed with government policies on such issues as neutrality, refugees, and eventually the threat of communism. These years—the war years—made Eleanor Roosevelt the woman she became: leader, visionary, guiding light. FDR’s death in 1945 changed her world, but she was far from finished, returning to the spotlight as a crucial player in the founding of the United Nations. This is a sympathetic but unblinking portrait of a marriage and of a woman whose passion and commitment has inspired generations of Americans to seek a decent future for all people. Modest and self-deprecating, a moral force in a turbulent world, Eleanor Roosevelt was unique.

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    Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3

    26.4 hrs • 11/1/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 12.0 hrs • 10/18/2016 • Unabridged

    One of the greatest sports figures of all time salutes his heroes and takes us inside the game as few others can. From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzy rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed “The Great One,” he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has—but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw. For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him, and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid, the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the locker rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; and shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history. Warm, direct, revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.

    Available Formats: CD
    99: Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky

    99: Stories of the Game

    By Wayne Gretzky, with Kirstie McLellan Day
    12.0 hrs • 10/18/16 • Unabridged
    CD
  9. 11.0 hrs • 10/4/2016 • Unabridged

    The enchanting story of Julia Child’s years as TV personality and beloved cookbook author—a sequel in spirit to My Life in France—by her great-nephew Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, ultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

    Available Formats: CD
    The French Chef in America by Alex Prud'homme, Alex Prud’homme

    The French Chef in America

    11.0 hrs • 10/4/16 • Unabridged
    CD
  10. 42.1 hrs • 10/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Duc de Louis de Rouvroy Saint-Simon (1675-1755) was a French soldier, diplomat and noted diarist. A French courtier during the 18th century, today he's best known for the comprehensive multi-volume memoirs, which depict life in France at the time. He was an indefatigable writer, and he began very early to record all the gossip he collected, all his interminable legal disputes over precedence, and a vast mass of unclassified material. He is petty, unjust to private enemies and to those who espoused public views contrary to his as well as being an incessant gossip. Yet he shows a great skill for narrative and for character-drawing; he has been compared to Tacitus, and to historians such as Livy.He had a profound influence on writers like Tolstoy, Barbey d' Aurevilly, Flaubert, Valle-Inclán, Proust, Mujica Láinez, and many others.

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    Memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency

    42.1 hrs • 10/1/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.5 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    The eccentric, tech genius founder of the travel website Kayak, a poor boy who became a billionaire and then philanthropist, is at the center of Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder’s new riveting book about an untraditional hero. Like Paul Farmer in Mountains beyond Mountains, Paul English grew up poor, in working-class Boston, but as Tracy Kidder writes, he had “a mind for the age that was coming.” Brilliant, reckless, endlessly energetic, Paul English, after Kayak sold for $2 billion, asked himself: What comes next? Start another company? Use his new wealth to make a difference in the world? With a riveting, page-turning narrative and unmatched storytelling skill, Kidder casts a fresh and critical eye on how new technologies, start-ups, and money are reshaping our culture.

    Available Formats: CD
    Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder

    Truck Full of Money

    8.5 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
    CD
  12. 34.8 hrs • 9/1/2016 • Unabridged

    A major new biography-an extraordinary, penetrating study of the man who has become the personification of evil. For all the literature about Adolf Hitler there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself. Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler’s childhood to his failures as a young man in Vienna to his experiences during the First World War to his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler’s intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview. Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression, but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer.

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    Hitler

    Translated by Jefferson Chase
    Read by Don Hagen
    34.8 hrs • 9/1/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 34.5 hrs • 8/30/2016 • Unabridged

    This is the true story behind the making of a television legend. There have been many books written about Star Trek, but never with the unprecedented access, insight, and candor of authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross. Having covered the franchise for over three decades, they have assembled the ultimate guide to a television classic. Volume two of The Fifty-Year Mission is an incisive, no-holds-barred oral history telling the story of the post-original series Star Trek, told exclusively by the people who were there, in their own words―sharing the inside scoop they’ve never told before―unveiling the oftentimes shocking true story of the history of Star Trek and chronicling the trials, tribulations―and tribbles―that have remained deeply buried secrets—until now. The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years includes the voices of hundreds television and film executives, programmers, writers, creators, and cast, who span from the beloved The Next Generation and subsequent films through its spin-offs: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well J. J. Abrams’ reimagined film series.

    Available Formats: Download
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  14. 13.0 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    The daring behind-Nazi-lines rescue of priceless pedigree horses by American soldiers in the closing days of World War Two—a riveting equine true-adventure account from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Eighty-Dollar Champion. While Hitler’s attempt to create an Aryan master race is well known, his simultaneous effort to build an equine master race made up of the finest purebred horses is not. Hidden on a secret farm in Czechoslovakia, these beautiful animals were suddenly imperiled in the spring of 1945 as the Russians closed in on the Third Reich from the east and the Allies attacked from the west. Thanks to the daring of an American colonel, an Austrian Olympian in charge of the famous Lipizzaner stallions, and the support of US Army General George Patton, a covert mission was planned to kidnap these endangered animals and smuggle them into safe territory—though many disapproved of risking human lives to save them.

    Available Formats: CD
    The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts

    The Perfect Horse

    13.0 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
    CD
  15. 25.0 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    An astonishing—and astonishingly entertaining—behind-the-curtain history of Hollywood’s transformation over the past five decades as seen through the agency at the heart of it all, from the #1 bestselling coauthor of Live from New York and Those Guys Have All the Fun. In 1975, five young employees of a sclerotic William Morris agency left to start their own, strikingly innovative talent agency. In the years to come, Creative Artists Agency would vault from its origins in a tiny office on the last block of Beverly Hills to become the largest, most imperial, groundbreaking, and star-studded agency Hollywood has ever seen—a company whose tentacles now spread throughout the world of movies, music, television, technology, advertising, sports, and investment banking far more than previously imagined. Powerhouse is the fascinating, no-holds-barred saga of that hot-blooded ascent. Drawing on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled CAA, as well as financial information never before made public, acclaimed author James Andrew Miller spins a tale of boundless ambition, ruthless egomania, ceaseless empire building, drugs, sex, greed, and personal betrayal. Powerhouse is also a story of prophetic brilliance, magnificent artistry, singular genius, entrepreneurial courage, strategic daring, foxhole brotherhood, and how one firm utterly transformed the entertainment business. Here are the real Star Wars—complete with a Death Star—told through the voices of those who were actually there. Packed with scores of stars from movies, television, music, and sports, as well as a tremendously compelling cast of agents, studio executives, network chiefs, league commissioners, hedge fund managers, tech CEOs, and media tycoons, Powerhouse is itself a Hollywood blockbuster of the most spectacular sort.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD
    Powerhouse by James Andrew Miller

    Powerhouse

    25.0 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 8.0 hrs • 8/3/2016 • Unabridged

    Wit, diplomat, scientist, philosopher, businessman, inventor, and bon vivant, Benjamin Franklin was in every respect America’s first Renaissance man. From penniless runaway to highly successful printer, from ardently loyal subject of Britain to architect of an alliance with France that ensured America’s independence, Franklin went from obscurity to become one of the world’s most admired figures, whose circle included the likes of Voltaire, Hume, Burke, and Kant. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and a host of other sources, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands has written a thoroughly engaging biography of the eighteenth-century genius. A much needed reminder of Franklin’s greatness and humanity, The First American is a work of meticulous scholarship that provides a magnificent tour of a legendary historical figure, a vital era in American life, and the countless arenas in which the protean Franklin left his legacy.

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    The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

    8.0 hrs • 8/3/16 • Unabridged
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