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India & South Asia

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  1. 8.0 hrs • 5/24/2016 • Unabridged

    Following his trek along the length of the Nile River, explorer Levison Wood takes on his greatest challenge yet—navigating the treacherous foothills of the Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range. Praised by Bear Grylls, Levison Wood has been called “the toughest man on TV” (The Times UK). Now, following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison recounts the beauty and danger he found along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan, the Line of Control between Pakistan and India, the disputed territories of Kashmir, and the earthquake-ravaged lands of Nepal. Over the course of six months, Wood and his trusted guides trek 1,700 grueling miles across the roof of the world. Packed with action and emotion, Walking the Himalayas is the story of one intrepid man’s travels in a world poised on the edge of tremendous change.

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    Walking the Himalayas

    8.0 hrs • 5/24/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.0 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    The shocking, three-decade story of A. Q. Khan and Pakistan’s nuclear program, and the complicity of the United States in the spread of nuclear weaponry. On December 15, 1975, A. Q. Khan—a young Pakistani scientist working in Holland—stole top-secret blueprints for a revolutionary new process to arm a nuclear bomb. His original intention, and that of his government, was purely patriotic—to provide Pakistan a counter to India’s recently unveiled nuclear device. However, as Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark chillingly relate in their masterful investigation of Khan’s career over the past thirty years, over time that limited ambition mushroomed into the world’s largest clandestine network engaged in selling nuclear secrets—a mercenary and illicit program managed by the Pakistani military and made possible, in large part, by aid money from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, and by indiscriminate assistance from China. Most unnerving, the authors reveal that the sales of nuclear weapons technology to Iran, North Korea, and Libya, so much in the news today, were made with the clear knowledge of the American government, for whom Pakistan has been a crucial buffer state and ally—first against the Soviet Union, now in the “war against terror.” Every successive American presidency, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, has turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear activity—rewriting and destroying evidence provided by its intelligence agencies, lying to Congress and the American people about Pakistan’s intentions and capability, and facilitating, through shortsightedness and intent, the spread of the very weapons we vilify the “axis of evil” powers for having and fear terrorists will obtain. Deception puts our current standoffs with Iran and North Korea in a startling new perspective, and makes clear two things: that Pakistan, far from being an ally, is a rogue nation at the epicenter of world destabilization; and that the complicity of the United States has ushered in a new nuclear winter. Based on hundreds of interviews in the United States, Pakistan, India, Israel, Europe, and Southeast Asia, Deception is a masterwork of reportage and dramatic storytelling by two of the world’s most resourceful investigative journalists. Urgently important, it should stimulate debate and command a reexamination of our national priorities.

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    Deception

    6.0 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.0 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    The definitive account of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai Mumbai, 2008. On the night of November 26, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city, including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the world’s most exclusive luxury hotels. For sixty-eight hours, hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged. When the smoke cleared, thirty-one people were dead and many more had been injured. Only the courageous actions of staff and guests—including Mallika Jagad, Bob Nichols, and Taj general manager Binny Kang—prevented a much higher death toll. With a deep understanding of the region and its politics and a narrative flair reminiscent of Midnight in Peking, journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy vividly unfold the tragic events in a real-life thriller filled with suspense, tragedy, history, and heroism.

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    The Siege

    11.0 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  4. 11.7 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    This is the inspiring story of how one man realized his dream of witnessing firsthand the most dramatic of meteorological events: the Indian monsoon. Alexander Frater spent the first six years of his life on a South Pacific island, where his father, the only doctor within a thousand square miles, encouraged his fascination and respect for the volatile play of the elements. Frater brings this heritage to his observations on the monsoon, following it from its burst on the beaches of Trivandrum through Delhi and Calcutta, across Bangladesh, to its finale in the town of Cherrapunji, the “wettest place on earth.” With exceptional sensitivity and wit, Frater uses fact, impression, and anecdote to vividly describe his own experience of the monsoon while also illustrating the towering influence of nature over the lives of Indians.

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    Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater

    Chasing the Monsoon

    11.7 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  5. 12.6 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    From the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who finished writing this extraordinary book just days before her assassination, comes a groundbreaking vision of how to bridge the widening gap between the Islamic world and the West. Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after eight years of exile, hopeful that she could be a catalyst for change. Upon a tumultuous reception, she survived a suicide-bomb attack that killed nearly 200 of her countrymen. But she continued to forge ahead, with more courage and conviction than ever, since she knew that time was running out—for the future of her nation, and for her life. In Reconciliation, Bhutto recounts in gripping detail her final months in Pakistan and offers a bold new agenda for how to stem the tide of Islamic radicalism and to rediscover the values of tolerance and justice that lay at the heart of her religion. After reading this book, it will become even clearer what the world has lost by her assassination.

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    Reconciliation

    12.6 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.1 hrs • 3/15/2012 • Unabridged

    What are the possibilities—and hazards—facing America as it withdraws from Afghanistan and reviews its long engagement in Pakistan? Where is the Taliban now in both of these countries? What does the immediate future hold, and what are America’s choices going forward? These are some of the crucial questions that Ahmed Rashid—Pakistan’s preeminent journalist—takes on in this follow-up to his acclaimed Descent into Chaos. The escalation of the war in Afghanistan has deepened a long-standing crisis in its neighbor to the east. Pakistan’s political and military leadership has exhibited neither the courage nor the will to carry out major reforms in the country’s foreign and economic policies. The Pakistani state still fosters many extremist jihadi fighters, even as the Pakistani Taliban directly threaten that very state. Social services are near collapse, law enforcement is abysmal, economic hardship is widespread, natural disasters occur with little government assistance, and the majority of the population has no security. During the first years of the Obama administration, the critical US-Pakistan relationship has been in a state of virtual meltdown. American strategy has reflected contradictory policies, intense political infighting, and uncertainty about US aims in the region. All parties to the conflict in Afghanistan and to the deterioration in Pakistan have made terrible mistakes, acting with arrogance, hubris, rigidity, and stubbornness. While struggles for democracy are occurring in countries that have hitherto known nothing but dictatorship, South and Central Asia, the birthplace of Al Qaeda, remains beset by extremist groups and nuclear weapons. Yet Afghanistan and Pakistan have a greater impact on global stability than anywhere else, and the decisions made by America and the West in the coming years about Pakistan will affect the security and safety of the world. For three decades, Ahmed Rashid has reported, written, and spoken about the wars and political events he has witnessed and has been lauded internationally for his levelheaded, informed insights. As an up-to-date briefing from one of the world’s leading experts, and as an exhortation toward peace and understanding, Pakistan on the Brink is Rashid’s most urgent book.

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    Pakistan on the Brink

    8.1 hrs • 3/15/12 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.3 hrs • 2/7/2012 • Unabridged

    From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.” But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi. With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.

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    Behind the Beautiful Forevers

    8.3 hrs • 2/7/12 • Unabridged
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  8. 17.2 hrs • 9/6/2011 • Unabridged

    A monumental biography of the subcontinent from the award-winning author of The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul. Second only to China in the magnitude of its economic miracle and second to none in its potential to shape the new century, India is fast undergoing one of the most momentous transformations the world has ever seen. In this dazzlingly panoramic book, Patrick French chronicles that epic change, telling human stories to explain a larger national narrative. French’s inquiry goes to the heart of all the puzzlements that modern India presents: Is this country actually rich or poor? Why has its Muslim population, the second largest on earth, resisted radicalization to such a considerable extent? Why do so many children of Indians who have succeeded in the West want to return “home,” despite never having lived in India? Will India become a natural ally of the West, a geostrategic counterweight to the illiberal rising powers China and Russia? To find the answers, French seeks out an astonishing range of characters: from Maoist revolutionaries to Mafia dons, from chained quarry laborers to self-made billionaires. And he delves into the personal lives of the political elite, including the Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, one of the most powerful women in the world. With a familiarity and insight few Westerners could approach, Patrick French provides a vital corrective to the many outdated notions about a uniquely dynamic and consequential nation. His India is a thrilling revelation.

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    India

    17.2 hrs • 9/6/11 • Unabridged
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    9.9 hrs • 3/22/2011 • Unabridged

    A true-life Catch-22 set in the deeply dysfunctional countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, by one of the region’s longest-serving correspondents. Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job. When Barker arrives in Kabul, foreign aid is at a record low, electricity is a pipe dream, and of the few remaining foreign troops, some aren’t allowed out after dark. Meanwhile, in the vacuum left by the US and NATO, the Taliban is regrouping as the Afghan and Pakistani governments floun­der. Barker watches Afghan police recruits make a travesty of practice drills and observes the disorienting turnover of diplomatic staff. She is pursued romantically by the former prime minister of Pakistan and sees adrenaline-fueled col­leagues disappear into the clutches of the Taliban. And as her love for these hapless countries grows, her hopes for their stability and security fade. Swift, funny, and wholly original, The Taliban Shuffle unforgettably captures the absurdities and tragedies of life in a war zone.

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    The Taliban Shuffle

    9.9 hrs • 3/22/11 • Unabridged
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  10. 22.6 hrs • 11/20/2010 • Unabridged

    This is the story of the eclipse of the British Raj and the birth of an independent India and Pakistan. The fabled India of the maharajas, with their palaces and harems, their gold-caparisoned elephants and their glittering private armies—the India of Kipling’s legendary army, with its young British officers commanding troops of a dozen races, religions, and castes—the India of tiger hunts and pigsticking, of sadhus and holy men—the India that was the heart and soul of an empire—underwent a violent transformation into the new India of Gandhi and Nehru, precursor of the Third World. At the center of this drama are Nehru, Jinnah, Mountbatten and, of course, Gandhi, the gentle prophet of revolution, who stirred the masses of the most populous area on earth without raising his voice.

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    Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre

    Freedom at Midnight

    22.6 hrs • 11/20/10 • Unabridged
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  11. 2.8 hrs • 11/1/2009 • Abridged

    Mohandas Gandhi inspired the spiritual and political souls of millions of people. His concept of nonviolent resistance propelled numerous struggles throughout the world, including the civil rights movement in America. Written after his release from prison and first published in English in 1927, My Experiments with Truth is Gandhi’s autobiography, documenting his spiritual journey amidst the political strife of his times.

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  12. 35.8 hrs • 8/11/2009 • Unabridged

    In this magisterial book, a monument of history and biography that was awarded the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, renowned journalist Neil Sheehan tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann—“the one irreplaceable American in Vietnam”—and of the tragedy that destroyed that country and the lives of so many Americans. Outspoken and fearless, John Paul Vann arrived in Vietnam in 1962, full of confidence in America’s might and right to prevail. A Bright Shining Lie reveals the truth about the war in Vietnam as it unfolded before Vann’s eyes: the arrogance and professional corruption of the US military system of the 1960s, the incompetence and venality of the South Vietnamese army, the nightmare of death and destruction that began with the arrival of the American forces. Witnessing the arrogance and self-deception firsthand, Vann put his life and career on the line in an attempt to convince his superiors that the war should be fought another way. But by the time he died in 1972, Vann had embraced the follies he once decried. He went to his grave believing that the war had been won. A haunting and critically acclaimed masterpiece, A Bright Shining Lie is a timeless account of the American experience in Vietnam—a work that is epic in scope, piercing in detail, and told with the keen understanding of a journalist who was actually there. Neil Sheehan’s classic serves as a stunning revelation for all who thought they understood the war.

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    A Bright Shining Lie

    35.8 hrs • 8/11/09 • Unabridged
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  13. 29.4 hrs • 4/29/2008 • Unabridged

    In this fast-paced epic, bestselling historian and master storyteller Arthur Herman spotlights two giants of the twentieth century. Gandhi & Churchill shows how their forty-year rivalry revolutionized India and the British Empire, paving the way for a new era. Gandhi championed India’s independence, Churchill the British Empire.

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    Gandhi & Churchill

    29.4 hrs • 4/29/08 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.0 hrs • 11/26/2007 • Unabridged

    November 1944. Army airmen set out in a B-24 bomber on what should have been an easy mission off the Borneo coast. Instead they found themselves unexpectedly facing a Japanese fleet—and were shot down. When they cut themselves loose from their parachutes, they were scattered across the island’s mountainous interior. Then a group of loincloth-wearing natives silently materialized out of the jungle. Would these Dayak tribesmen turn the starving airmen over to the hostile Japanese occupiers? Or would the Dayaks risk vicious reprisals to get the airmen safely home? The tribal leaders’ unprecedented decision led to a desperate game of hide-and-seek and, ultimately, the return of a long-renounced ritual: head-hunting. A cinematic survival story that features a bamboo airstrip built on a rice paddy, a mad British major, and a blowpipe-wielding army that helped destroy one of the last Japanese strongholds, The Airmen and the Headhunters is a gripping, you-are-there journey into the remote world and forgotten heroism of the Dayaks.

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    The Airmen and the Headhunters

    9.0 hrs • 11/26/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.5 hrs • 9/12/2006 • Unabridged

    In this groundbreaking, controversial, and ultimately definitive history, New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky argues that nonviolence is not the same thing as pacifism; it’s a technique that can speak truth to power to right social injustice or end wars. Gandhi utilized it, as did Martin Luther King, Jr. It has been used to end apartheid and topple the Berlin Wall. Kurlansky offers a sweeping yet concise history of nonviolence from ancient Hindu times to today’s many conflicts—including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iraq war. But he also draws into focus what a dangerous idea nonviolence has been perceived to be, drawing from history twenty-five provocative lessons on the subject, lessons we can use to effect change today. Is war necessary? Kurlansky persuasively argues that even the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II could have been avoided by nonviolent means. With Nonviolence, Mark Kurlansky has written an insightful and highly original book with lessons for our time.

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  16. 2.9 hrs • 1/25/2006 • Unabridged

    As one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, India presents a rich mosaic of political, religious, and cultural influences. In 1947, this vast region was split; Pakistan was created to separate Muslims from Hindus, and millions died. Strife and political troubles continue to plague India. The World’s Political Hot Spots Series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

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    India and Pakistan by Dr. Gregory Kozlowski
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