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Biography & Autobiography

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  1. 14.2 hrs • 3/23/2017 • Unabridged

    In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—Africa’s “Iron Lady”—was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation. In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive, to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power, and gives us all hope that we can change the world.

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    This Child Will Be Great

    14.2 hrs • 3/23/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.7 hrs • 3/23/2017 • Unabridged

    El testimonio valiente y vibrante de la única sobreviviente de las Hermanas Mirabal, asesinadas cruelmente por el tirano Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. Dedé Mirabal nos cuenta la verdadera historia de Patria, Minerva y María Teresa y de la férrea lucha de sus hermanas por vivir en libertad y de sus esfuerzos junto a un pueblo oprimido por una sangrienta dictadura.

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    Vivas en su jardín

    10.7 hrs • 3/23/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.8 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    One decision can end everything … or lead to unlikely redemption. Millions watched the CBS 60 Minutes special on Jack Barsky in 2015. Now, in this fascinating memoir, the Soviet KGB agent tells his story of gut-wrenching choices, appalling betrayals, his turbulent inner world, and the secret life he lived for years without getting caught. On October 8, 1978, a Canadian national by the name of William Dyson stepped off a plane at O’Hare International Airport and proceeded toward customs and immigration. Two days later, William Dyson ceased to exist. The identity was a KGB forgery, used to get one of their own―a young, ambitious East German agent―into the United States. The plan succeeded, and the spy’s new identity was born: Jack Barsky. He would work undercover for the next decade, carrying out secret operations during the Cold War years—until a surprising shift in his allegiance challenged everything he thought he believed. Deep Undercover reveals the secret life of this man without a country and tells the story no one ever expected him to tell.

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    Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky

    Deep Undercover

    By Jack Barsky, with Cindy Coloma
    10.8 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 14.8 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Frederick Russell Burnham’s amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world-famous as “the American scout.” His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII. After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern California. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many bestselling exotic tales, remarked, “In real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance.” Among other well-known individuals who figure in Burnham’s story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft, as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E. H. Harriman, Harry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers. Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but he was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake. Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.

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    A Splendid Savage by Steve Kemper

    A Splendid Savage

    14.8 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.9 hrs • 3/21/2017 • Unabridged

    From her film debut as the sultry schemer in Body Heat to her award-winning role as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, actress Kathleen Turner’s unique blend of beauty, intelligence, and raw sexuality has driven her personal and professional life. Now, in this gutsy memoir, the screen icon tells us of the risks she’s taken and the lessons she’s learned—sometimes the hard way. For the first time, Turner shares her childhood challenges—a life lived in countries around the world until her father, a State Department official whom she so admired, died suddenly when she was a teenager. She talks about her twenty year marriage, and why she and her husband recently separated, her close relationship with her daughter, her commitment to service, and how activism in controversial causes has bolstered her beliefs. And Turner reveals the pain and heartbreak of her struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, and how, in spite of it, she made a daring decision: to take a break from the movies and relaunch her stage career. Along the way, Turner describes what it’s like to work with legends like Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, William Hurt, Steve Martin, Francis Ford Coppola, John Huston, John Waters, Edward Albee … and, with characteristic irreverent humor, shares her behind-the-screen stories of dealing with all types of creative, intimidating, and inspiring characters. Kathleen Turner has always known that she would play the lead in the story of her life. It’s impossible not to take her lessons on living, love, and leading roles to heart. And it won’t be long until you’ll be sending yourself roses!

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    Send Yourself Roses

    By Kathleen Turner, with Gloria Feldt
    10.9 hrs • 3/21/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.4 hrs • 3/15/2017 • Unabridged

    En esta memoria sobre una niña, dos culturas y una lucha por la libertad, la periodista Mirta Ojito, ganadora del Premio Pulitzer, vuelve al evento en su adolescencia que cambió su vida para siempre: el éxodo en el 1980 de más de 125.000 cubanos, mejor conocido como el puente marítimo del Mariel. Con perseverancia y mucho corazón, Ojito logra localizar en Cuba y Estados Unidos a los individuos –ya olvidados por la historia– cuyas acciones desencadenaron los sucesos que impactaron su vida y la de otros miles de cubanos a ambos lados del Estrecho de la Florida. Su libro es un relato conmovedor de cómo una niña creció desgarrada entre las críticas contra el gobierno que reinaban en su casa y el arrastre de una revolución que exigía lealtad absoluta. El Mañana ofrece una mirada inolvidable dentro del corazón de una valiente refugiada adolescente.

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    El mañana

    10.4 hrs • 3/15/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.9 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    Hida Viloria was raised as a girl but discovered early on that he/r body was different. Unlike most people who are born intersex in the first world—meaning they have genitals, reproductive organs, hormones, and/or chromosomal patterns that do not fit standard definitions of male or female—Hida had the freedom to explore the person s/he was born to be because he/r parents did not agree to have he/r sex characteristics surgically altered at birth. It wasn’t until s/he was twenty-six and encountered the term intersex in a San Francisco newspaper that s/he finally had a name for he/r difference. That’s when s/he began to explore what it means to live in the space between genders—to be both and neither. As s/he began to reach out to others like he/r, however, Hida discovered that most intersex people had been scarred, both physically and psychologically, by infant surgeries and hormone treatments meant to “correct” their bodies. Eager to help end this practice, Hida came out as intersex at a national and then international level. By answering the question “Are you a boy or a girl?” with “I’m both,” Hida’s helped blaze a trail for people—particularly intersex and genderqueer/non-binary people—to celebrate the middle space where male and female are not separate and opposite but entwined. Born Both is an intimate and powerful account of Hida’s search for authentic identity and love in a world that insists on categorizing people into either/or.

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    Born Both

    10.9 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 19.6 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The first biography of one of the most fascinating, complex, and polarizing legends of cinema’s golden age, Charlton Heston, from the bestselling, prize-winning author of Cary Grant, Walt Disney, and American Rebel. With unforgettable performances such as Moses in The Ten Commandments, the anguished astronaut George Taylor in 1968’s Planet of the Apes, and the eponymous Ben-Hur—for which he won an Academy Award—Charlton Heston cemented his place in the pantheon of twentieth-century Hollywood royalty. But his fame as an actor was matched by his political activism. A democrat in his early years, Heston became a staunch supporter of Richard Nixon and Reagan republicanism. He was also president of the National Rifle Association—an outspoken crusader for gun rights whose incendiary words, “from my cold, dead hands” incensed liberals and became a maxim for Second Amendment supporters. At long last, New York Times bestselling author Marc Eliot tells the story of Heston’s life and six-decade-long career in full detail. Granted exclusive access to Heston’s diaries, letters, and personal estate, Eliot skillfully unfolds the complicated story of this iconic actor, illuminating his greatest achievements as well as his greatest failures and regrets. Eliot examines how a boy from backwoods Michigan became Hollywood’s leading heroic actor—a star who not only battled for the plumiest roles, but to maintain his identity in the dreamscape of Tinseltown. As he lays bare this intriguing figure’s life, Eliot exposes the dirty world of Hollywood mythmaking and Heston’s crucial role in it. Illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the actor’s family, Eliot’s moving, artful, and honest biography pays tribute to this movie legend and reveals not only how Heston’s famous persona came into being, but why. Shedding new light on one of America’s greatest stars, Eliot creates an incisive and compelling portrait for both longtime fans and a generation newly discovering the storied star.

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    Charlton Heston by Marc Eliot

    Charlton Heston

    19.6 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 16.6 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    Anne Sebba, acclaimed for her biography of Mother Teresa, reveals it took an American beauty just three days to land Lord Randolph Churchill. Eight months after the marriage, Lady Jennie bore their son Winston. Using her charms to advance her husband and son, Jennie discreetly seduces 200 or more paramours-including the Prince of Wales.

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    Jennie Churchill: Winston's American Mother

    16.6 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 16.6 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who threatened that she would be next. She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the Dutch Parliament. Infidel shows the coming of age of this distinguished political superstar and champion of free speech as well as the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice. Raised in a strict Muslim family, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries ruled largely by despots. She escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament. Under constant threat, demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father, and expelled from family and clan, she refuses to be silenced. Ultimately a celebration of triumph over adversity, Hirsi Ali's story tells how a bright little girl evolves out of dutiful obedience to become an outspoken, pioneering freedom fighter. As Western governments struggle to balance democratic ideals with religious pressures, no other book could be more timely or more significant.

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    Infidel

    16.6 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 11.5 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A first-hand account of the Ebola epidemic by an American doctor who has been featured on the front page of the New York Times. Dr. Steven Hatch first came to Liberia in November 2013, to work at a hospital in Monrovia. Six months later, several of the physicians Dr. Hatch had mentored and served with were dead or barely clinging to life, and Ebola had become a world health emergency. Hundreds of victims perished each week; whole families were destroyed in a matter of days; so many died so quickly that the culturally taboo practice of cremation had to be instituted to dispose of the bodies. With little help from the international community and a population ravaged by disease and fear, the war-torn African nation was simply unprepared to deal with the catastrophe. A physician’s memoir about the ravages of a terrible disease and the small hospital that fought to contain it, Inferno is also an explanation of the science and biology of Ebola: how it is transmitted and spreads with such ferocity. And as Dr. Hatch notes, while Ebola is temporarily under control, it will inevitably reemerge—as will other plagues, notably the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency. Inferno is a glimpse into the white-hot center of a crisis that will come again.

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    Inferno by Steven Hatch, MD

    Inferno

    11.5 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 14.2 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    With heart-pounding descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor Native American/white kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world. At thirteen, he learned to rappel when he joined the 1292 Lord Strathcone’s Horse Army Cadets. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and end his family’s cycle of poverty. He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but written trail descriptions and the cajones of youth. He slowly acquires the skills, equipment and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learns lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach. This is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us – physically, emotionally, intellectually,

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    The Calling

    14.2 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 13.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. For most of her adult life, Keggie was kept at arm’s length from her father’s personal history, but when she is invited to join him for the sixtieth anniversary of the Jedburghs—an elite special operations unit that was the first collaboration between the American and British Secret Services during World War II—a new door opens in their relationship. As dementia stakes a claim over his memory, Keggie embarks on a quest to unravel her father’s story, and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a Jedburgh he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance first against the Germans in France, then against the Japanese in Southeast Asia, where he won the moniker “Lawrence of Burma.” But his wartime exploits are only the beginning. Part family memoir, part energetic military history, Dadlandtakes us on a spellbinding journey, in peace and war, into surprising and shady corners of twentieth-century politics, her rackety English childhood, the poignant breakdown of her family, the corridors of dementia and beyond. As Keggie pieces her father—and herself—back together again, she celebrates the technicolor life of an impossible, irresistible, unstoppable man.

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    Dadland

    13.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 12.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future. Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

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    Madame President

    12.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 11.2 hrs • 3/7/2017

    Say the word “Israel” today and it sparks images of walls and rockets and a bloody conflict without end. Yet for decades, the symbol of the Jewish State was the noble pioneer draining the swamps and making the deserts bloom: the legendary kibbutznik. So what ever happened to the pioneers’ dream of founding a socialist utopia in the land called Palestine? Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel draws readers into the quest for answers to the defining political conflict of our era. Acclaimed author David Leach revisits his raucous memories of life as a kibbutz volunteer and returns to meet a new generation of Jewish and Arab citizens struggling to forge a better future together. Crisscrossing the nation, Leach chronicles the controversial decline of Israel’s kibbutz movement and witnesses a renaissance of the original vision for a peaceable utopia in unexpected corners of the Promised Land. Chasing Utopia is an entertaining and enlightening portrait of a divided nation where hope persists against the odds.

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    Chasing Utopia

    11.2 hrs • 3/7/17
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  16. 14.4 hrs • 3/1/2017 • Unabridged

    George was a soldier, a consummate politician, a husband, and a man whom Jefferson and Madison believed was their intellectual superior. Hear this brilliant biography of our very human first president by the author of Founding Brothers. Audie Award

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    His Excellency

    14.4 hrs • 3/1/17 • Unabridged
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