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  1. 15.7 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Did I do that?! When asked to name a successor, Alexander the Great declared that his empire should go “to the strongest.” But would rival factions have descended into war if he’d been a little more specific? What if the Vienna School of Art took a chance on a hopeful young student named Adolf Hitler? If Pope Clement VII granted King Henry VIII an annulment, England would likely still be Catholic today—and so would America. Bill Fawcett, author of 100 Mistakes That Changed History, offers a compendium of 101 all-new mammoth mistakes—from the ill-fated rule of Emperor Darius III to the equally ill-fated search for WMDs in Iraq—that will, unfortunately, never be forgotten by history.

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    101 Stumbles in the March of History by Bill Fawcett

    101 Stumbles in the March of History

    15.7 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.0 hrs • 1/18/2005 • Abridged

    The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted. At 8:46 AM on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers -- reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it -- until now. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews; thousands of pages of oral histories; and phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women -- the 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished -- who made 102 minutes count as never before. Read by Ron McLarty

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    102 Minutes

    6.0 hrs • 1/18/05 • Abridged
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  3. 6.0 hrs • 5/3/2005 • Abridged

    They were told as little as possible. Their orders were to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and report for work at a classified Manhattan Project site, a location so covert it was known to them only by the mysterious address: 109 East Palace. There, behind a wrought-iron gate and narrow passageway just off the touristy old plaza, they were greeted by Dorothy McKibbin, an attractive widow who was the least likely person imaginable to run a front for a clandestine defense laboratory. They stepped across her threshold into a parallel universe—the desert hideaway where Robert Oppenheimer and a team of world-famous scientists raced to build the first atomic bomb before Germany and bring World War II to an end. Brilliant, handsome, extraordinarily charismatic, Oppenheimer based his unprecedented scientific enterprise in the high reaches of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, hoping that the land of enchantment would conceal and inspire their bold mission. Oppenheimer was as arrogant as he was inexperienced, and few believed the thirty-eight-year-old theoretical physicist would succeed. Jennet Conant captures all the exhilaration and drama of those perilous twenty-seven months at Los Alamos, a secret city cut off from the rest of society, ringed by barbed wire, where Oppenheimer and his young recruits lived as virtual prisoners of the United States government. With her dry humor and eye for detail, Conant chronicles the chaotic beginnings of Oppenheimer’s by-the-seat-of-his-pants operation, where freshly minted secretaries and worldly scientists had to contend with living conditions straight out of pioneer days. Despite all the obstacles, Oppie managed to forge a vibrant community at Los Alamos through the sheer force of his personality. Dorothy, who fell for him at first sight, devoted herself to taking care of him and his crew and supported him through the terrifying preparations for the test explosion at Trinity and the harrowing aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Less than a decade later, Oppenheimer became the focus of suspicion during the McCarthy witch hunts. When he and James B. Conant, one of the top administrators of the Manhattan Project (and the author’s grandfather), led the campaign against the hydrogen bomb, Oppenheimer’s past left-wing sympathies were used against him, and he was found to be a security risk and stripped of his clearance. Though Dorothy tried to help clear his name, she saw the man she loved disgraced. In this riveting and deeply moving account, drawing on a wealth of research and interviews with close family and colleagues, Jennet Conant reveals an exceptionally gifted and enigmatic man who served his country at tremendous personal cost and whose singular achievement, and subsequent undoing, is at the root of our present nuclear predicament.

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    109 East Palace

    6.0 hrs • 5/3/05 • Abridged
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  4. 5.5 hrs • 11/28/2006 • Unabridged

    11 Days in December tells the dramatic story of one of the grimmest points of World War II and its Christmas Eve turn toward victory. In December 1944, the Allied forces thought their campaign for securing Europe was in its final stages. But Germany had one last great surprise attack still planned, leading to some of the most intense fighting in World War II: the Battle of the Bulge. After ten days of horrific weather conditions and warfare, General Patton famously asked God, “Sir, whose side are you on?” For the next four days, as the skies cleared, the Allies could fly again, the Nazis were contained, and the outcome of the war was ensured. Renowned historian and author Stanley Weintraub tells the remarkable story of the Battle of the Bulge as it has never been told before, from frozen foxholes to barn shelters to boxcars packed with wretched prisoners of war. He weaves together the stories of ordinary soldiers and their generals to recreate this dramatic, crucial narrative of a miraculous shift of luck in the midst of the most significant war of the modern era.

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    11 Days in December by Stanley Weintraub

    11 Days in December

    5.5 hrs • 11/28/06 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.0 hrs • 3/31/2010 • Unabridged

    Even after the ruinous financial crisis of 2008, America is still beset by the depredations of an oligarchy that is now bigger, more profitable, and more resistant to regulation than ever. Anchored by six megabanks, which together control assets amounting to more than 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product, these financial institutions (now more emphatically "too big to fail") continue to hold the global economy hostage, threatening yet another financial meltdown with their excessive risk-taking and toxic "business as usual" practices. How did this come to be-and what is to be done? These are the central concerns of 13 Bankers, a brilliant, historically informed account of our troubled political economy. In 13 Bankers, prominent economist Simon Johnson and James Kwak give a wide-ranging, meticulous, and bracing account of recent U.S. financial history within the context of previous showdowns between American democracy and Big Finance. They convincingly show why our future is imperiled by the ideology of finance (finance is good, unregulated finance is better, unfettered finance run amok is best) and by Wall Street's political control of government policy pertaining to it. The choice that America faces is stark: whether Washington will accede to the vested interests of an unbridled financial sector that runs up profits in good years and dumps its losses on taxpayers in lean years, or reform through stringent regulation the banking system as first and foremost an engine of economic growth. To restore health and balance to our economy, Johnson and Kwak make a radical yet feasible and focused proposal: reconfigure the megabanks to be "small enough to fail."

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    13 Bankers

    9.0 hrs • 3/31/10 • Unabridged
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  6. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    7.7 hrs • 9/9/2014 • Unabridged

    13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. This is the story, told in incredible, spine-tingling detail, of what happened on the ground—in the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex, as told by the men who faced terrorism head-on—and lived to share the story. Written by New York Times bestselling author Mitch Zuckoff with members of the Annex Security Team, 13 Hours puts readers inside the action, relating how these brave men worked heroically under pressure to save lives. They performed extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, that if not for them, Benghazi would have been a tragedy on a much larger order. 13 Hours is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book—but most importantly, it is the truth. The story of what happened to these men is unforgettable.

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    13 Hours

    7.7 hrs • 9/9/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    13.0 hrs • 1/28/2014 • Unabridged

    On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. Its mission was "to proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. When it returned in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in China's long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. Also concealed was how the Chinese colonized America before the Europeans and transplanted in America and other countries the principal economic crops that have fed and clothed the world. Unveiling incontrovertible evidence of these astonishing voyages, 1421 rewrites our understanding of history. Our knowledge of world exploration as it has been commonly accepted for centuries must now be reconceived due to this landmark work of historical investigation.

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    1421

    13.0 hrs • 1/28/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.9 hrs • 1/28/2014 • Unabridged

    The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world's most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today. The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 combines a long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure, bringing the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

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    1434

    9.9 hrs • 1/28/14 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    10.9 hrs • 8/9/2016 • Unabridged

    A gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today, 1453 tells the story of one of the great forgotten events of world history, the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks. For a thousand years Constantinople was quite simply the city: fabulously wealthy, imperial, intimidating—and Christian. Single-handedly it blunted early Arab enthusiasm for Holy War; when a second wave of Islamic warriors swept out of the Asian steppes in the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the ultimate prize: “The Red Apple.” It was a city that had always lived under threat. On average it had survived a siege every forty years for a millenium—until the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, twenty-one years old and hungry for glory, rode up to the walls in April 1453 with a huge army, “numberless as the stars.” Here is the taut, vivid story of this final struggle for the city told largely through the accounts of eyewitnesses. For fifty-five days a tiny group of defenders defied the huge Ottoman army in a seesawing contest fought on land, at sea, and underground. During the course of events, the largest cannon ever built was directed against the world’s most formidable defensive system, Ottoman ships were hauled overland into the Golden Horn, and the morale of defenders was crucially undermined by unnerving portents. At the center is the contest between two inspirational leaders, Mehmed II and Constantine XI, fighting for empire and religious faith, and an astonishing finale in a few short hours on May 29, 1453—a defining moment for medieval history.

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    1453

    10.9 hrs • 8/9/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    16.3 hrs • 8/29/2016 • Unabridged

    Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus’s landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong. In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions. Among them: • In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe. • Certain cities–such as Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital–were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlán, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately clean streets. • The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids. • Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed corn by a breeding process so sophisticated that the journalScience recently described it as “man’s first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering.” • Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it–a process scientists are studying today in the hope of regaining this lost knowledge. • Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively “landscaped” by human beings. Mannsheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation.

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    1491

    16.3 hrs • 8/29/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 17.8 hrs • 8/9/2011 • Unabridged

    From the author of 1491—the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas—a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs.More than 200 million years ago, geological forces split apart the continents. Isolated from each other, the two halves of the world developed radically different suites of plants and animals. When Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, he ended that separation at a stroke. Driven by the economic goal of establishing trade with China, he accidentally set off an ecological convulsion as European vessels carried thousands of species to new homes across the oceans. The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand. More important, creatures the colonists knew nothing about hitched along for the ride. Earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; bacteria, fungi, and viruses; rats of every description—all of them rushed like eager tourists into lands that had never seen their like before, changing lives and landscapes across the planet. Eight decades after Columbus, a Spaniard named Legazpi succeeded where Columbus had failed. He sailed west to establish continual trade with China, then the richest, most powerful country in the world. In Manila, a city Legazpi founded, silver from the Americas, mined by African and Indian slaves, was sold to Asians in return for silk for Europeans. It was the first time that goods and people from every corner of the globe were connected in a single worldwide exchange. Much as Columbus created a new world biologically, Legazpi and the Spanish empire he served created a new world economically.As Charles C. Mann shows, the Columbian Exchange underlies much of subsequent human history. Presenting the latest research by ecologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the creation of this worldwide network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City—where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted—the center of the world. In such encounters, he uncovers the germ of today’s fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars.In 1493, Charles Mann gives us an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.

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    1493

    17.8 hrs • 8/9/11 • Unabridged
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  12. 11.1 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    A meticulously researched historical tour de force in the style of the bestselling In the Garden of Beasts Historian Andrew Morton’s 17 Carnations combines his considerable research background with his proven talent for addictive and readable narrative, giving us a true story steeped in intrigue, suspense, and historical drama. 17 Carnations tells the story of the feckless Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, and his wife Wallis Simpson, whose affair with Joachim von Ribbentrop embroiled the duke in a German plot to use him as a puppet king during their takeover of the British Empire. Although we know that the war ended with Hitler’s defeat, Edward’s story was far from over. The duke’s collaboration with Hitler had resulted in piles of correspondence between them. This damning correspondence, now hidden in a German castle that had fallen to American soldiers, could forever tarnish the reputation of the royal family. 17 Carnations reveals, for the first time in history, the story of the cover-up of those letters, starting with a daring heist—by order of Churchill and the king themselves—to bring the letters back safely to England and out of American hands. Morton’s unique experience and training make him the perfect person to tell this story as it’s never been told before, fusing history and entertainment to create a vivid, atmospheric chronicle of the Windsors’ darkest secrets. The shadowy connection between the House of Windsor, the German aristocracy, and Hitler has hovered on the edge of public consciousness for decades, but no royal biography or historical chronicle has been able to tell the full story—until now. Drawing on FBI documents, material from the German and British Royal Archives, and the personal correspondence of Churchill, Truman, Eisenhower, and the Windsors themselves, 17 Carnations is a dazzling historical drama full of adventure, intrigue, and startling revelations by a master of the genre.

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    17 Carnations

    11.1 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 5.9 hrs • 5/24/2005 • Abridged

    In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence -- when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost -- Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

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    1776

    5.9 hrs • 5/24/05 • Abridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    11.5 hrs • 5/24/2005 • Unabridged

    In this stirring audiobook, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence -- when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known. But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost -- Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.

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    1776

    11.5 hrs • 5/24/05 • Unabridged
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  15. 19.9 hrs • 3/2/2009 • Unabridged

    At the beginning of 1864, the Civil War was far from won; terrible and bloody Union setbacks and casualties lay ahead. Abraham Lincoln was facing a re-election battle as some northern Democrats were ready to start peace talks that could leave the Confederacy a separate slaveholding American nation and as his secretary of the treasury, Salmon P. Chase, challenged him for the Republican nomination. But by the end of the year, the war's end was in sight, and slavery was on the verge of extinction. Despite all the turmoil of war and political infighting, Lincoln also set the stage for a new era of westward expansion. He shaped the decades to come through laws and subsidies that propelled railroads westward, by the Homestead Act that offered western lands to immigrant farmers and by the Act to Encourage Immigration that enabled 615,000 men, women, and children to arrive in America during the Civil War. As the year ended, John Wilkes Booth, who stalked Lincoln throughout 1864, was only a few weeks away from assassinating our greatest president.

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    1864

    19.9 hrs • 3/2/09 • Unabridged
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  16. 12.7 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    One of the most dynamic eras in American history, the 1920s began with a watershed year that would set the tone for the century to follow. The Roaring Twenties is the only decade in American history with a widely applied nickname, and our collective fascination with this era continues. But how did this surge of innovation and cultural milestones emerge out of the ashes of World War I? Acclaimed author Eric Burns investigates the year 1920, which was not only a crucial twelve-month period of its own, but one that foretold the future. 1920 foreshadowed the rest of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, whether it was Sacco and Vanzetti or the stock market crash that brought this era to a close. Burns sets the record straight about this most misunderstood and iconic of periods. Despite being the first full year of armistice, 1920 was not a peaceful period—it contained the greatest act of terrorism in American history to that time. And while 1920 is thought of as the beginning of a prosperous era, for most people life had never been more unaffordable. Meanwhile, African Americans were putting their stamp on culture. And though people today imagine the frivolous image of the flapper dancing the night away, the truth was that a new kind of power had been bestowed on women, and it had nothing to do with the dance floor. From prohibition to immigration, the birth of jazz, the rise of expatriate literature, and the original Ponzi scheme, 1920 was truly a year like no other.

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    1920 by Eric Burns

    1920

    12.7 hrs • 5/1/15 • Unabridged
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