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  1. 3 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (3)
    9.2 hrs • 1/28/2008 • Unabridged

    Master Sun said: “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” For more than two thousand years, The Art of War has stood as a cornerstone of Chinese culture, a lucid text that reveals as much about psychology, politics, and economics as it does about battlefield strategy. For those seeking a deeper understanding of this seminal work, scholar John Minford brings the words of Sun-tzu to life for modern listeners, presenting the core text in two formats: Part I: The original text by Sun-tzuRay Porter reads the unadorned thirteen chapters, allowing listeners to form their own first impressions of the ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu. Part II: The original text with running commentaryRead by Ray Porter and Lorna Raver, the original text is presented again, this time with extensive running commentary by traditional Chinese scholars and the translator, providing context and subtext for the work. Included is a lively, learned introduction, read by Lorna Raver, in which Minford explores the life and times of Sun-tzu and considers how best to read and understand the work today.  Even those readers familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating and more relevant than ever.

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    The Art of War by Sun-tzu

    The Art of War

    Translated by John Minford
    Read by Ray Porter
    9.2 hrs • 1/28/08 • Unabridged
    3 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5 (3)
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
    7.2 hrs • 10/1/2008 • Unabridged

    In the dark winter of 1917, World War I was deadlocked. For Europe to be saved, the United States had to join the war—but President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States: Mexico would recover her lost American territories while keeping the US occupied on her side of the Atlantic. How Britain managed to inform America of Germany’s plan without revealing that the German codes had been broken makes for an incredible true story of espionage, intrigue, and international politics as only Barbara W. Tuchman could tell it.

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    The Zimmermann Telegram by Barbara W. Tuchman

    The Zimmermann Telegram

    7.2 hrs • 10/1/08 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
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  3. 4 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (4)
    57.2 hrs • 7/15/2010 • Unabridged

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the twentieth century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic. Now, years after the end of World War II, it may seem incredible that our most valued institutions, and way of life, were threatened by the menace that Hitler and the Third Reich represented. Shirer’s description of events and the cast of characters who played such pivotal roles in defining the course Europe was to take is unforgettable.Benefiting from his many years as a reporter, and thus a personal observer of the rise of Nazi Germany, and availing himself of some of the 485 tons of documents from the German Foreign Office, as well as countless other diaries, phone transcriptions, and other written records, meticulously kept at every level by the Germans, Shirer has put together a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany, and planned and executed his six-year quest to dominate the world, only to see Germany go down in flames. Although 1600 pages long, this is such a richly rewarding experience for anyone who wants to come to grips with the mysterious question of how this menace to civilization ever came into being, much less was sustained for as long as it was. The answer, unfortunately, is that most of Germany, for a whole host of reasons, embraced Nazism and the fanaticism that Hitler engendered.

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    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer

    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

    57.2 hrs • 7/15/10 • Unabridged
    4 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (4)
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  4. 3 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (3)
    13.9 hrs • 11/16/2010 • Unabridged

    In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. Made into an award-winning Oscar-nominated film in 2014 by director Angelina Jolie, Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by author Laura Hillenbrand.

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    Unbroken

    13.9 hrs • 11/16/10 • Unabridged
    3 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (3)
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  5. 2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
    9.7 hrs • 9/4/2012 • Unabridged

    He fought for Washington, served with Lincoln, witnessed Bunker Hill, and sounded the clarion against slavery on the eve of the Civil War. He negotiated an end to the War of 1812, engineered the annexation of Florida, and won the Supreme Court decision that freed the African captives of La Amistad. He served his nation as minister to six countries, secretary of state, senator, congressman, and president. John Quincy Adams was all of these things and more. In this masterful biography, award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals Adams as a towering figure in the nation’s formative years and one of the most courageous figures in American history—which is why he ranked first in John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Profiles in Courage. For this magisterial biography, Unger makes use of a little-known national treasure: John Quincy Adams’ diary, started at age ten, giving us an eye-witness account of sixty-five years of critical American history. 

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    John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger

    John Quincy Adams

    9.7 hrs • 9/4/12 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
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  6. 7 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (7)
    7.8 hrs • 3/15/2013 • Unabridged

    In this riveting landmark autobiography that reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York, Louisiana, and Washington, DC, to experience the kidnapping and twelve-year bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War. It validated Harriett Beecher Stowe’s fictional account of Southern slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had become the best-selling American book in history a few years earlier, and significantly changed public opinion in favor of abolition. A major motion picture based on the book and starring Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Michael Fassbender released in 2013. Hard working Solomon Northup, an educated free man of color in 1841, enjoys family life with his wife and three children in Saratoga, New York. He delights his community with his fiddle playing and antic spirit and has positive expectations of everyone he meets. When he is deceived by “circus promoters” who ask him to accompany them to a musical gig in Washington, DC, his joyful life takes an unimaginable turn. He awakes in shackles to find he has been drugged, kidnapped, and bound for the slave block in the nation’s capital. After Solomon is shipped a thousand miles to New Orleans, he is assigned his slave name and quickly learns that the mere utterance of his true origin or rights as a freeman are certain to bring severe punishment, maybe even death. While he endures the brutal life of a slave in Louisiana’s isolated Bayou Boeuf plantation country, he must learn how to play the system and plot his escape home. For twelve years, his fine mind captures the reality of slavery in stunning detail, and listeners learn about the characters that populated plantation society and the intrigues of the bayou—from the collapse of a slave rebellion resulting in mass hangings due to traitorous slave Lew Cheney to the tragic abuse of his friend Patsey, brought about by Mrs. Epps’ jealousy of her husband’s sexual exploitation of the pretty young slave. When Solomon finally finds a sympathizing friend who risks his life to secret a letter to the North, a courageous rescue attempt ensues that could either compound Solomon’s suffering or get him back to the arms of his family. “[Screenwriter John] Ridley said he decided simply to stick with the facts in adapting Northup’s book for the film…[and] he was helped by voluminous footnotes and documentation that were included with Dr. Eakin’s edition of the book.”—New York Times (September 22, 2013) on the making of the film 12 Years a Slave

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    Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

    Twelve Years a Slave

    7.8 hrs • 3/15/13 • Unabridged
    7 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (7)
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  7. 2 reviews 0 5 3.6 3 out of 5 stars 3.6/5 (2)
    14.3 hrs • 10/15/2009 • Unabridged

    Immediately recognized as a revelatory and enormously controversial book since its first publication in 1971, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is universally recognized as one of those rare books that forever changes the way its subject is perceived.     Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s classic, eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was won—and lost. It tells a story that should not be forgotten, and so must be retold from time to time.

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    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

    14.3 hrs • 10/15/09 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 3.6 3 out of 5 stars 3.6/5 (2)
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  8. 2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
    20.8 hrs • 4/18/2013 • Unabridged

    The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to grant the Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. This is the era of chivalry, Robin Hood, and the Knights Templar, the era of the Black Death, the Black Prince, the founding of Parliament, and the Hundred Years’ War.

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    The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

    The Plantagenets

    20.8 hrs • 4/18/13 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4.2 4 out of 5 stars 4.2/5
    41.5 hrs • 1/1/1992 • Unabridged

    Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon’s treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study. Gibbon’s monumental work traces the history of more than thirteen centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers 180 AD to 395 AD, which includes the reign of Augustus, the establishment of Christianity, and the Crusades.

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    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I by Edward Gibbon

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I

    41.5 hrs • 1/1/92 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.2 4 out of 5 stars 4.2/5
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  10. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    48.0 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    In the third and final volume of this magnificent history, Shelby Foote brings to a close the story of four years of turmoil and strife that altered American life forever. Following the events of the war from 1862–1864, Foote discusses the strategies of both the North and the South and assesses the performance of the Union generals. The volume opens with the beginning of the two final, major confrontations of the war: Grant against Lee in Virginia, and Sherman pressing Johnston in North Georgia. In vivid narrative as seen from both sides, he tells of the climactic struggles, great and small, on and off the field of battle, that finally decided the fate of this nation.

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    The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 3 by Shelby Foote

    The Civil War: A Narrative, Vol. 3

    48.0 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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  11. 2 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (2)
    3.6 hrs • 7/14/2015 • Unabridged

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers WeeklyHailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.Praise for Between the World and Me“I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory.”—Toni Morrison “Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Really powerful and emotional.”—John Legend, The Wall Street Journal “Extraordinary.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker “Brilliant . . . a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers.”—The Washington Post “An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir.”—The Boston Globe “[Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America.”—Los Angeles Times “A work that’s both titanic and timely . . . the latest essential reading in America’s social canon.”—Entertainment Weekly

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    Between the World and Me

    3.6 hrs • 7/14/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.9 4 out of 5 stars 4.9/5 (2)
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    23.8 hrs • 8/6/2013 • Unabridged

    A thrilling and revelatory narrative of one of the most epic and consequential periods in twentieth century history—the Arab Revolt and the secret game to control the Middle East The Arab revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. Curt Prüfer was an academic attached to the German embassy in Cairo whose clandestine role was to foment jihad against British rule. Aaron Aaronsohn was a renowned agronomist and committed Zionist who gained the trust of the Ottoman governor of Palestine even as he built an elaborate anti-Ottoman spy ring. William Yale was a fallen scion of the American aristocracy who traveled the Ottoman Empire on behalf of Standard Oil, dissembling to the Turks in order to gain valuable oil concessions. At the center of it all was Lawrence. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist digging ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army, as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

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    Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

    Lawrence in Arabia

    23.8 hrs • 8/6/13 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
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  13. 1 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (1)
    10.3 hrs • 11/1/2007 • Unabridged

    This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever recorded. In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world. Lansing describes how the men survived a 1,000-mile voyage in an open boat across the stormiest ocean in the world and an overland trek through forbidding glaciers and mountains. The book recounts a harrowing adventure, but ultimately it is the nobility of these men and their indefatigable will that shines through.

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    Endurance by Alfred Lansing

    Endurance

    10.3 hrs • 11/1/07 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (1)
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  14. 1 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5 (1)
    36.8 hrs • 5/20/2012 • Unabridged

    From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change. Schama’s approach, weaving in and out of private and public lives in the fashion of a novel, brings us closer than we have ever been to the harrowing and seductive French Revolution.

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    Citizens by Simon Schama

    Citizens

    36.8 hrs • 5/20/12 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.3 4 out of 5 stars 4.3/5 (1)
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  15. 0 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5
    16.1 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon—his masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic—with Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors. Dynasty continues Rubicon’s story, opening where that book ended: with the murder of Julius Caesar. This is the period of the first and perhaps greatest Roman emperors. It’s a colorful story of rule and ruination, from the rise of Augustus to the death of Nero. Holland’s expansive history also has distinct shades of I, Claudius, with five wonderfully vivid (and in three cases, thoroughly depraved) emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—featured, along with numerous fascinating secondary characters. Intrigue, murder, naked ambition and treachery, greed, gluttony, lust, incest, pageantry, decadence—the tale of these five Caesars continues to cast a mesmerizing spell across the millennia.

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    Dynasty by Tom Holland

    Dynasty

    16.1 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    40.3 hrs • 10/1/2007 • Unabridged

    Famous for its unflagging narrative power, fine organization, and irresistibly persuasive arguments, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has earned a permanent place of honor in historical literature. Gibbon’s elegantly detached erudition is seasoned with an ironic wit, and remarkably little of his work is outdated. This second volume covers 395 AD to 1185 AD, from the reign of Justinian in the East to the establishment of the German Empire of the West. It recounts the desperate attempts to hold off the barbarians, palace revolutions and assassinations, theological controversy, and lecheries and betrayals, all in a setting of phenomenal magnificence.

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    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2 by Edward Gibbon

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2

    40.3 hrs • 10/1/07 • Unabridged
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