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Eastern

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  1. 22.3 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer’s search for the truth behind his family’s tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history. The Lost begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust—an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relatives’ fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family’s story began and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.

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    The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn

    The Lost

    22.3 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 11.8 hrs • 9/8/2015 • Unabridged

    A thrilling piece of undiscovered history, this is the true account of a young Jewish woman who survived World War II in Berlin. In 1941, Marie Jalowicz Simon, a nineteen-year-old Berliner, made an extraordinary decision. All around her, Jews were being rounded up for deportation, forced labor, and extermination. Marie took off her yellow star, turned her back on the Jewish community, and vanished into the city.In the years that followed, Marie lived under an assumed identity, forced to accept shelter wherever she found it. Always on the run, never certain whom she could trust, Marie moved between almost twenty different safe-houses, living with foreign workers, staunch communists, and even committed Nazis. Only her quick-witted determination and the most hair-raising strokes of luck allowed her to survive.

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    Underground in Berlin

    Translated by Anthea Bell
    Foreword and afterword by Hermann Simon
    Read by Ellen Archer
    11.8 hrs • 9/8/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.1 hrs • 4/21/2015 • Unabridged

    A nail-bitingly suspenseful account of the conspiracy of assassins that hunted down Turkish officials following the Armenian Genocide In 1921 a small group of self-appointed patriots set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide. They named their operation “Nemesis” after the Greek goddess of retribution. Over several years the men tracked down and assassinated former Turkish leaders. The story of this secret operation has never been fully told—until now. Eric Bogosian goes beyond simply telling the story of this cadre of Armenian assassins. He sets the killings in context by providing a summation of Ottoman and Armenian history as well as the history of the genocide itself. Casting fresh light on one of the great crimes of the twentieth century and one of history’s most remarkable acts of political retribution, and drawing upon years of new research across multiple continents, Operation Nemesis is both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.

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    Operation Nemesis

    11.1 hrs • 4/21/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.5 hrs • 6/12/2014 • Unabridged

    In this riveting, well-written book, award-winning author Tim Butcher tells the story of the young man who sparked the First World War by shooting dead Archduke Franz Ferdinand on a street corner in Sarajevo.

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    The Trigger

    9.5 hrs • 6/12/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.1 hrs • 9/3/2013 • Unabridged

    Savage Will brings to life a remarkable story of perseverance, heroism, and survival. It is the true tale of the American medics and nurses who endured two months in Nazi-occupied Albania and the fearless citizens and Allied intelligence officers who risked all to save them. On a cold morning in war-ravaged Sicily in 1943, men and women of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Squadron boarded a routine flight to the Italian mainland to care for wounded soldiers. En route, their plane became lost in storm clouds looming over the Adriatic Sea, drifted hundreds of miles off course, and crash-landed in remote mountainous Albania.  Hunted by German soldiers, the American castaways were forced to rely on what one survivor called their “savage will” to elude their enemy and ultimately find their way to freedom. Savage Will is a testament to a generation who defied all odds.

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    Savage Will

    8.1 hrs • 9/3/13 • Unabridged
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  6. 26.8 hrs • 10/30/2012 • Unabridged

    At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying detail of Iron Curtain.

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    Iron Curtain

    26.8 hrs • 10/30/12 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.6 hrs • 11/23/2009 • Unabridged

    Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! President Ronald Reagan’s famous exhortation when visiting Berlin in 1987 has long been widely cited as the clarion call that brought the Cold War to an end. The United States won, so this version of history goes, because Ronald Reagan stood firm against the USSR; American resoluteness brought the evil empire to its knees. Michael Meyer, who was there at the time as a Newsweek bureau chief, begs to differ. In this extraordinarily compelling account of the revolutions that roiled Eastern Europe in 1989, Meyer shows that American intransigence was only one of many factors that provoked world-shaking change. He draws together breathtakingly vivid, on-the-ground accounts of the rise of the Solidarity movement in Poland, the stealth opening of the Hungarian border, the Velvet Revolution in Prague, and the collapse of the infamous wall in Berlin. But the most important events, Meyer contends, occurred secretly, in the heroic stands taken by individuals in the thick of the struggle—leaders such as poet and playwright Vaclav Havel in Prague; the Baltic shipwright Lech Walesa; the quietly determined reform prime minister in Budapest, Miklos Nemeth; and the man who privately realized that his empire was already lost and decided, with courage and intelligence, to let it go in peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet general secretary of the Communist party. Reporting for Newsweek from the frontlines in Eastern Europe, Meyer spoke to these players and countless others. Alongside their deliberate interventions were also the happenstance and human error of history that are always present when events accelerate to breakneck speed. Meyer captures these heady days in all of their rich drama and unpredictability. In doing so he provides not just a thrilling chronicle of the most important year of the twentieth century but also a crucial refutation of American political mythology and a triumphal misunderstanding of history that seduced the United States into many of the intractable conflicts it faces today. The Year That Changed the World will change not only how we see the past, but also our understanding of America’s future.

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    The Year That Changed the World

    10.6 hrs • 11/23/09 • Unabridged
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    10.9 hrs • 1/1/2007 • Unabridged

    When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen “guests” hid inside the Zabinskis’ villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts.  Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants and refusing to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, even as Europe crumbled around her.

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    The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    10.9 hrs • 1/1/07 • Unabridged
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  9. 2.8 hrs • 2/19/2006 • Unabridged

    The breakdown of Europe’s Eastern Bloc proves that the map of Europe cannot be redrawn merely to serve political ends. Perhaps no country illustrates this more clearly than Poland, whose borders often have been a negotiating tool of the Big Powers. This presentation enlightens our understanding of the current drama in Eastern Europe. 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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    Poland by Victoria Varga

    Poland

    2.8 hrs • 2/19/06 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.2 hrs • 11/1/2004 • Unabridged

    The price of this man’s freedom included the traumatic separation from his baby daughter. Alex Domokos wrote this memoir of his years during and after World War II with two purposes in mind: to allow his daughter a glimpse into his past, and to enlighten others about the tragedy of his homeland, Hungary. The sufferings that plagued the Hungarian people began with the unjust peace settlements after World War I and continued through World War II and its aftermath. He believes that, as victors of World War II, the people of the West must look more deeply into the effects of war on the vanquished. His memoir, beginning in 1951 in Budapest, Hungary, and carrying through to 1962 in Winnipeg, Canada, includes flashbacks to years before and reminiscences of his experiences as a policeman, a POW, a deportee, a husband, and a father. The narrative is engagingly heartfelt, the people real, and the events—the escapes, the encounters, the endurance, and the foreboding—are full of the human emotions that we all can relate to.

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    The Price of Freedom

    By Alex Domokos with Rita Y. Toews
    11.2 hrs • 11/1/04 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.4 hrs • 11/14/2000 • Unabridged

    In this fascinating work, winner of the Wolfson Prize for History Mark Mazower uncovers the history of the Balkans with detail and clarity. He explores the reasons for current conflicts and examines the Balkans as a religious, cultural, and economic melting pot for Europe and Asia. Through Robert O’Keefe’s articulate narration, listeners will be absorbed by this rich world.

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