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Historiography

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  1. 3.3 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    From New Yorker staff writer and Harvard historian Jill Lepore, the story of the discovery of Joe Gould's long-lost manuscript, "The Oral History of Our Time," and of the violence, betrayals, and madness that led to its concealment. When Joseph Mitchell published his profile of Joseph Gould in the December 1942 issue of The New Yorker, he deemed Gould's purportedly masterful but rarely seen Oral History project, which allegedly consisted of nine million words detailing everything anyone ever said to him, "the longest unpublished work in existence."      But Mitchell, in fact, hadn't read more than a few pages of the Oral History. The manuscript seemed to have gone missing, along with other of Gould's possessions--his hair, his sight, his teeth--as he began to sink deeper into poverty, drink, and destitution. And as Gould neared the end of his life, lying pathologically, begging for money from friends and strangers alike, and deflecting publishers' requests to read his work, Mitchell couldn't help but wonder: Had the Oral History ever existed? After Gould's death in 1957, Mitchell wrote a second profile in which he insisted that it did not. Was Mitchell wrong?     Joe Gould's Teeth is a literary investigation of this enigmatic figure of the early twentieth century, who, despite doubts surrounding his sanity, captured the imaginations of the most prominent writers and artists of the time. Renowned master of historical storytelling Jill Lepore carefully unravels the riddle of Joe Gould and his missing manuscript, probing deeply into our collective self-conscious, the nature of art, and how we define our reality for the future. Complete with appearances from the likes of E. E. Cummings, Ezra Pound, and Augusta Savage and set against the backdrop of inter-war and post-war New York's glamour and grime, Joe Gould's Teeth is not only the portrait of one man's mind, but also a profound meditation on the limits of how well one ever knows another person.From the Hardcover edition.

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    Joe Gould's Teeth

    3.3 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    14.4 hrs • 2/20/2016 • Unabridged

    This national bestseller and American Book Award winner is an entertaining, informative, and sometimes shocking expose of the way history is taught to American students. James W. Loewen, a distinguished critic of history education, puts twelve popular textbooks under the microscope. What he finds is a proliferation of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, misinformation, and flat-out lies filling the pages.

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    Lies My Teacher Told Me

    14.4 hrs • 2/20/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 20.1 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    In this groundbreaking work, Norman Cantor explains how our current notion of the Middle Ages—with its vivid images of wars, tournaments, plagues, saints and kings, knights and ladies—was born in the twentieth century. The medieval world was not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created: it had to be invented, and this is the story of that invention. Cantor focuses on the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century, demonstrating how the events of their lives, and their spiritual and emotional outlooks, influenced their interpretations of the Middle Ages. He makes their scholarship an intensely personal and passionate exercise, full of color and controversy, displaying the strong personalities and creative minds that brought new insights about the past.

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    Inventing the Middle Ages

    20.1 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.4 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Musician and naturalist Bernie Krause is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound, and he's spent his life discovering and recording nature's rich chorus. Searching far beyond our modern world's honking horns and buzzing machinery, he has sought out the truly wild places that remain, where natural soundscapes exist virtually unchanged from when the earliest humans first inhabited the earth.Krause shares fascinating insight into how deeply animals rely on their aural habitat to survive and the damaging effects of extraneous noise on the delicate balance between predator and prey. But natural soundscapes aren't vital only to the animal kingdom; Krause explores how the myriad voices and rhythms of the natural world formed a basis from which our own musical expression emerged.From snapping shrimp, popping viruses, and the songs of humpback whales-whose voices, if unimpeded, could circle the earth in hours-to cracking glaciers, bubbling streams, and the roar of intense storms; from melody-singing birds to the organlike drone of wind blowing over reeds, the sounds Krause has experienced and describes are like no others. And from recording jaguars at night in the Amazon rain forest to encountering mountain gorillas in Africa's Virunga Mountains, Krause offers an intense and intensely personal narrative of the planet's deep and connected natural sounds and rhythm.The Great Animal Orchestra is the story of one man's pursuit of natural music in its purest form, and an impassioned case for the conservation of one of our most overlooked natural resources-the music of the wild.

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    The Great Animal Orchestra

    9.4 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.7 hrs • 3/8/2011 • Unabridged

    Reflecting on his career, Stephen E. Ambrose—one of the country’s most influential historians—confronts America’s failures and struggles as he explores both its moral and pragmatic triumphs. To America celebrates the men and women who invented the United States and made it exceptional. Taking a few swings at today’s political correctness, Ambrose grapples with the country’s historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors. He reflects on some of the early founders—great men such as Washington and Jefferson—who, while progressive thinkers, lived a contradiction as slaveholders. He contemplates the genius of Andrew Jackson’s defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad that produced great riches for a few barons. Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, records the country’s assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols the heroic victory of World War II. He explores women’s rights and civil rights, immigration, museum and nation-building. Most importantly, Ambrose tells us about writing history, and about what an historian’s job is all about. As he says, “The last five letters of the word ‘history’ tell us that it is an account of the past that is about people and what they did, which is what makes it the most fascinating of subjects.” As he reflects upon American history, Ambrose shares his own personal history. To America is an instant classic for those interested in history, patriotism, and the love of writing. 

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    To America

    Read by Henry Strozier, with an introduction read by the author
    9.7 hrs • 3/8/11 • Unabridged
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  6. 10.2 hrs • 10/19/2010 • Unabridged

    A riveting narrative look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America’s historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the nineteenth century. Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.

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    Wicked River

    10.2 hrs • 10/19/10 • Unabridged
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  7. 14.4 hrs • 3/3/2010 • Unabridged

    Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere—from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one—one that can fuel radical or fringe elements and violence. For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories. He found that these theories used similarly murky methods with which to insinuate their claims: they linked themselves to the supposed conspiracies of the past (“it happened then so it can happen now”); they carefully manipulated their evidence to hide its holes; and they relied on the authority of dubious academic sources. Most importantly, they elevated their believers to membership of an elite—a group of people able to see beyond lies to a higher reality. But why believe something that entails stretching the bounds of probability so far? Surely it is more likely that men did actually land on the moon in 1969 than the idea that thousands of people were enlisted to fabricate an elaborate hoax. In this entertaining and enlightening book—aimed at providing ammunition for those who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers—Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. In doing so, he examines why people believe them and makes an argument for a true skeptic—one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.

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    Voodoo Histories

    14.4 hrs • 3/3/10 • Unabridged
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  8. 12.9 hrs • 12/1/2009 • Unabridged

    Master historian Barbara W. Tuchman looks at history in a unique way and draws lessons from what she sees. This accessible introduction to the subject of history offers striking insights into American’s past and present, trenchant observations on the international scene, and thoughtful pieces on the historian’s role. History should not just be a series of facts, names, and dates—it should be a flowing narrative, the story of humanity, written as vividly as a novel. Here is a splendid body of work, the story of a lifetime spent “practicing history.”

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    Practicing History by Barbara W. Tuchman

    Practicing History

    12.9 hrs • 12/1/09 • Unabridged
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  9. 5.3 hrs • 9/29/2009 • Unabridged

    In 1963, Samuel Eliot Morison, long one of our most distinguished historians, was awarded the first Balzan Prize in History, a prize that rivals the Nobel Prize in splendor and munificence. To receive the award, Admiral Morison had to go to Rome, where he delivered an address, “The Experiences and Principles of an Historian.” This book includes the address he gave, as well a fascinating account of the award ceremonies, of which he was a central figure. Morison also draws from his own published work to illustrate how a master historian deals with a variety of problems. There are examples from social history, biography, political history, and military history. The entire collection demonstrates brilliantly the breadth of interests, depth of scholarship, and sureness of writing that earned Admiral Morison his great reputation.

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    Vistas of History by Samuel Eliot Morison

    Vistas of History

    5.3 hrs • 9/29/09 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.8 hrs • 7/7/2009 • Unabridged

    Margaret MacMillan, an acclaimed historian explores here the many ways in which history, its values and dangers, affects us all, including how it is used and abused. The New York Times bestselling author of Paris 1919 and Nixon and Mao reveals how a deeper engagement with history in our private lives and, more important, in the sphere of public debate can guide us to a richer, more enlightened existence, as individuals and nations. Alive with incident and figures both great and infamous, including Robespierre, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Mao Zedong, Karl Marx, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and George W. Bush, Dangerous Games explores why it is important to treat history with care. History is used to justify religious movements and political campaigns alike. The manipulation of history is increasingly pervasive in today’s world. Dictators may suppress history because it undermines their ideas, agendas, or claims to absolute authority. Nationalists may tell false, one-sided, or misleading stories about the past. Political leaders might mobilize their people by telling lies. Adolf Hitler, for instance, blamed the Jews for Germany’s humiliation at Versailles and its defeat in World War I. It is imperative that we have an understanding of the past and avoid the all-too-common traps in thinking to which many fall prey, as MacMillan skillfully illuminates. This brilliantly reasoned work will compel us to examine history anew, including our own understanding of it, and our own closely held beliefs.

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  11. 16.9 hrs • 4/10/2008 • Unabridged

    The accelerating changes of the past generation have been accompanied by a similarly accelerated amnesia. The twentieth century has become “history” at an unprecedented rate. The world of 2007 is so utterly unlike that of even 1987, much less any earlier time, that we have lost touch with our immediate past even before we have begun to make sense of it—and the results are proving calamitous. In less than a generation, the headlong advance of globalization, with its geographical shifts of emphasis and influence, has altered structures of thought that had been essentially unchanged since the European industrial revolution. We have lost touch with a century of social thought and socially motivated activism. In Reappraisals, Tony Judt resurrects the key aspects of the world we have lost in order to remind us how important they still are to us now and to our hopes for the future.

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    Reappraisals by Tony Judt

    Reappraisals

    16.9 hrs • 4/10/08 • Unabridged
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  12. 10.8 hrs • 3/1/2008 • Unabridged

    History is to society what memory is to the individual—without it, we don’t know who we are and we can’t make wise decisions about our future. But while the nature of memory is constant, the nature of history has changed radically over the past forty years. In The Purpose of the Past, historian Gordon S. Wood examines this sea change in his field through consideration of some of its most important historians and their works. Along the way, he offers wonderful insight into what great historians do, how they can stumble, and what strains of thought have dominated the marketplace of ideas in historical scholarship. The result is a history of American history—and an argument for its ongoing necessity. A commanding assessment of the field by one of its masters, The Purpose of the Past will enlarge every reader’s capacity to appreciate history.

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    The Purpose of the Past by Gordon S. Wood

    The Purpose of the Past

    10.8 hrs • 3/1/08 • Unabridged
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  13. 15.9 hrs • 2/15/2008 • Unabridged

    They say that history is written by the victors. But what if history—or what we have come to know as history—has all along been written by the wrong people? What if everything we’ve been told is only part of the story? What if it’s the wrong part? In this groundbreaking new work, Mark Booth embarks on an enthralling intellectual tour of our world’s secret histories. Starting from a dangerous premise—that everything we’ve been taught about our world’s past is corrupted, and that the stories put forward by the various cults and mystery schools throughout history are true—Booth produces nothing short of an alternate history of the past three thousand years. History is more than a list of things that have happened; it’s a measure of consciousness and experience. And in The Secret History of the World, Booth’s take on history is relentless, charging through time and space and thought in interdisciplinary fashion; embracing cognitive science, religion, psychology, historiography, and philosophy, a new timeline is drawn, and a huge swath of our cultural heritage that has long been hidden is restored. From Greek and Egyptian mythology to Jewish folklore, from Christian cults to Freemasons, from Charlemagne to Don Quixote, from George Washington to Hitler—Booth shows without a doubt that history as we know it needs a revolutionary rethink, and he has three thousand years of hidden wisdom to back it up.

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    The Secret History of the World

    Read by John Lee
    15.9 hrs • 2/15/08 • Unabridged
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  14. 18.4 hrs • 2/2/2007 • Unabridged

    The Sage of Monticello is the sixth and final volume of distinguished historian Dumas Malone’s epic masterwork, Jefferson and His Time, a biography begun in 1943 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1975. More wide ranging than the preceding volumes, The Sage of Monticello brilliantly recounts the accomplishments, friendships, and family difficulties of Jefferson’s last seventeen years—including his retirement from the presidency, his correspondence with John Adams and James Madison, his personal tribulations and debt, and his major role in the founding of the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia. Revealing Jefferson’s shift from the realm of politics to his roles as family man, architect, and educational enthusiast, this is a fitting final chapter in the life of one of America’s greatest men.

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    The Sage of Monticello by Dumas Malone
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  15. 4.5 hrs • 11/1/2002 • Abridged

    Reflecting on his career, Stephen E. Ambrose—one of the country’s most influential historians—confronts America’s failures and struggles as he explores both its moral and pragmatic triumphs. To America celebrates the men and women who invented the United States and made it exceptional. Taking a few swings at today’s political correctness, Ambrose grapples with the country’s historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors. He reflects on some of the early founders—great men such as Washington and Jefferson—who, while progressive thinkers, lived a contradiction as slaveholders. He contemplates the genius of Andrew Jackson’s defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad that produced great riches for a few barons. Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, records the country’s assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols the heroic victory of World War II. He explores women’s rights and civil rights, immigration, museum and nation-building. Most importantly, Ambrose tells us about writing history, and about what an historian’s job is all about. As he says, “The last five letters of the word ‘history’ tell us that it is an account of the past that is about people and what they did, which is what makes it the most fascinating of subjects.” As he reflects upon American history, Ambrose shares his own personal history. To America is an instant classic for those interested in history, patriotism, and the love of writing. 

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    To America

    4.5 hrs • 11/1/02 • Abridged
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