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History

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  1. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    12.4 hrs • 6/24/2005 • Unabridged

    One of the greatest dramas in all of modern times involves the peopling of America. In Ethnic America, Thomas Sowell provides a useful and concise record tracing the history of nine ethnic groups: the Irish, the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Blacks, the Puerto Ricans, and the Mexicans. Sowell offers perspective-building facts—there are more people of Irish ancestry in the United States than in Ireland and more Jews than in Israel—and explains each ethnic group’s varied experiences in adapting to American society.

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    Ethnic America by Thomas Sowell

    Ethnic America

    12.4 hrs • 6/24/05 • Unabridged
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    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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    41.4 hrs • 12/3/2007 • Unabridged

    Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the twentieth century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time. In political office at the end of WWI, he foresaw the folly of Versailles and feared what a crippled Germany would do to the balance of power. In his years in the political wilderness from 1931 to 1939, he alone of all British public men continually raised his voice against Hitler and his appeasers. For over fifty years, he was constantly involved in, and usually at the center of, the most important events of his age. It was, however, his obduracy on matters of principle, his fortitude in the face of opposition, and his perseverance in standing alone that defined him. As a biographer, William Manchester is the standard by which all others are measured. And when a writer of his caliber is matched with a subject as colorful as Winston Churchill, look for results that are magisterial. This, the first in a three-volume biography, is a momentous piece of work.

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    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Vol. 1 by William Manchester

    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Vol. 1

    41.4 hrs • 12/3/07 • Unabridged
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    36.4 hrs • 1/1/2008 • Unabridged

    This second volume in William Manchester’s three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill’s finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932–1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC and Fleet Street and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement. Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history without ever losing sight of Churchill the man, a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.

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    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Vol. 2 by William Manchester

    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Vol. 2

    36.4 hrs • 1/1/08 • Unabridged
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    11.4 hrs • 12/17/2008 • Abridged

    A Prussian soldier and writer, Clausewitz is said to have distilled Napoleon into theory. Perhaps best known among his numerous pronouncements is that war is a continuation of politics by other means. His theories and observations in this work have been heeded by military strategists for nearly two hundred years. Many have considered this to be the Bible of military strategy and tactics. This abridged version of Clausewitz’s magnum opus follows the text of the New and Revised Edition (edited by F.N. Maude in 1908) of Col. J.J. Graham’s translation. Of the original three volumes, this version includes all of Volume I (except for the last chapter on night fighting) and six of the nine chapters of Book Eight of Volume III (The Plan of War). The editor’s objective in this abridgement was to select those portions of the work which most closely relate to our own time.

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    On War by Carl von Clausewitz

    On War

    Translated by Colonel J. J. Graham
    11.4 hrs • 12/17/08 • Abridged
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    10.4 hrs • 1/25/2006 • Unabridged

    Robert E. Lee, one of the most famous figures in American history, vanished after his dramatic surrender at Appomattox. In fact, he lived only another five years, during which time he did more than any other American to heal the wounds between North and South during the tempestuous postwar period. This is a moving and intimate account of those years filled with the warmth of family ties and enduring friendships set against the harsh realities of Reconstruction. Though Lee is best remembered for his military campaigns, this was his finest hour, the great forgotten chapter of an extraordinary life.

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    Lee

    10.4 hrs • 1/25/06 • Unabridged
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    19.0 hrs • 3/20/2012 • Unabridged

    Drawing on a lifetime of military experience, Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall, “one of our most distinguished military writers” (New York Times), delivers this unflinching history of the war that was supposed to end all wars. From the perspective of more than half a century, Marshall examines the blunders and complacency that turned what everyone thought would be a brief campaign and an easy victory into a relentless four-year slaughter that left ten million dead and twenty million wounded. As the war raged on, more efficient methods of war-making were devised: the flamethrower and poison gas were added to the world’s arsenals, tanks replaced cavalry, air combat and submarine warfare came into their own. And at the end, the exhausted combatants signed the Treaty of Versailles, which laid the groundwork for the dictatorships that would plunge the next generation into another world war.

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    The American Heritage History of World War I by S. L. A. Marshall

    The American Heritage History of World War I

    19.0 hrs • 3/20/12 • Unabridged
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    17.0 hrs • 12/1/1998 • Unabridged

    For more than four thousand years, the Middle East has provided a setting for titanic struggles between great civilizations and religions. In the twentieth century it became the focus of rivalry between the European powers as the last major Islamic empire of the Ottoman Turks crumbled and collapsed. The discovery of the world’s greatest oil reserves gave the region global economic importance as well as a unique strategic value. In this masterly work of synthesis, Peter Mansfield draws on his experience as a journalist and historian to form a picture of the political and social history of the meeting point of Occident and Orient over the last two centuries, from Bonaparte’s marauding invasion of Egypt to the start of the Gulf War. In two penetrating final chapters, Peter Mansfield discusses Saddam Hussein and the prospects for the future. Incisive and illuminating, A History of the Middle East is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand what is perhaps the most crucial and volatile nerve center of the modern world.

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    A History of the Middle East by Peter Mansfield

    A History of the Middle East

    17.0 hrs • 12/1/98 • Unabridged
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    5.4 hrs • 11/15/2011 • Unabridged

    “We work,” Aristotle wrote, “in order to have leisure.” Today, this is still true. But is the leisure that Aristotle spoke of—the freedom to do nothing—the same as the leisure we look forward to each weekend?  There have always been breaks from the routine of work—taboo days, market days, public festivals, holy days—we couldn’t survive without them. In Waiting for the Weekend, Witold Rybczynski unfolds the history and evolution of leisure time in Western civilization, from Aristotle, through the Middle Ages, to the present. Along the way, he explores how the psychological needs that leisure time seeks to fulfill have changed as the nature of work has changed.

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    Waiting for the Weekend by Witold Rybczynski

    Waiting for the Weekend

    5.4 hrs • 11/15/11 • Unabridged
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    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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    39.1 hrs • 10/1/2007 • 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 grand scope and considerable accuracy. It is a remarkable survey of what the author calls “the greatest and, perhaps, most awful scene in the history of mankind.” This third volume of Gibbon’s masterpiece covers the years 1185 to 1453 and explores the rise of Islam, the Crusades, the invention of gunpowder, Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasions, the Turkish conquests, and the beginning of the Renaissance. The publication of this work in 1788 ended twenty years of Gibbon’s contemplation and vast research on his subject and made this virtually self-educated man the most famous historian of his time.

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    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3 by Edward Gibbon

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3

    39.1 hrs • 10/1/07 • Unabridged
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    44.5 hrs • 1/1/2004 • Unabridged

    Having coined the phrase “the war that will end war,” H. G. Wells was disillusioned by the World War I peace settlement. Convinced that humanity needed to awaken to the instability of the world order and remember lessons from the past, the author of numerous science fiction classics set out to write about history. Wells hoped to remind mankind of its common past, provide it with a basis for international patriotism, and guide it to renounce war. The work became immensely popular, earning him world renown and solidifying his reputation as one of the most influential voices of his time. Topics range from the world before man and the first living things to civilizations, religions, wars, and everything in between. Wells truly covers the whole of human history.

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    The Outline of History by H. G. Wells

    The Outline of History

    44.5 hrs • 1/1/04 • Unabridged
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    9.8 hrs • 11/12/2008 • Unabridged

    Having entered the British Navy at the age of twelve, Horatio Lord Nelson achieved the rank of captain at the age of twenty. As captain, he was quickly recognized as a magnetic and controversial figure. He triumphed at Cape St. Vincent and the Nile but failed at Tenefife and Boulogne. With the glories of Copenhagen and Trafalgar yet ahead of him, his ardent passion for Emma Hamilton, the wife of a British Ambassador, cast a heavy shadow over his career. Audacious in battle (he once ignored a superior’s order to cease action at Copenhagen by putting his telescope to his blind eye and saying he could not see the signal) and winner of some of Britain’s greatest victories, Nelson possessed an extraordinary amount of dash and courage, thus rendering him one of history’s great romantic figures. This extensive biography of one of England’s most famous navy heroes—a great commander able to inspire and bring out the best in his men—is a great reference work for anyone interested in British naval history.

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    The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson

    9.8 hrs • 11/12/08 • Unabridged
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    4.7 hrs • 3/1/2008 • Unabridged

    Man’s Search for Meaning is the chilling yet inspirational story of Viktor Frankl’s struggle to hold on to hope during the unspeakable horrors of his years as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Through every waking moment of his ordeal, Frankl’s training as a psychiatrist lent him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. As a result of these experiences, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man’s primary motivational force is his search for meaning. Frankl’s assertion that “the will to meaning” is the basic motivation for human life has forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. Frankl’s riveting memoir was named one of the Ten Most Influential Books in America after a 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and Book of the Month Club. This revised and updated version includes a new postscript: “The Case for a Tragic Optimism.”

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    Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

    Man’s Search for Meaning

    4.7 hrs • 3/1/08 • Unabridged
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    16.5 hrs • 11/20/2010 • Unabridged

    Richard Henry Dana referred to this book as “a voice from the sea.” Influencing such authors as Conrad and Melville, it has become a maritime classic that has inflicted legions of men with a passion for the sea. Dana, a law student turned sailor for health reasons, sailed in 1834 on the brig Pilgrim for a voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California. Dana Point was named as a result of this journey. Drawing from his journals, Two Years before the Mast gives a vivid and detailed account, shrewdly observed and beautifully described, of a common sailor’s wretched treatment at sea, and of a way of life virtually unknown at that time. This is a breathtaking true story of adventure on the high seas.

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    Two Years before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

    Two Years before the Mast

    16.5 hrs • 11/20/10 • Unabridged
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    41.1 hrs • 7/1/2008 • Unabridged

    One of the world’s most profoundly influential literary works and the basis for Shakespeare’s Roman plays (Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra), Plutarch’s Lives have been entertaining and arousing the spirit of emulation in countless readers since their creation at the beginning of the second century. Originally named Parallel Lives, the work pairs eminent Romans with famous Greek counterparts—like the orators Cicero and Demosthenes—giving illuminating treatments of each separately and then comparing the two in a pithy essay. This second and final volume includes Alexander and Caesar, Demetrius and Antony, Dion and Marcus Brutus, the aforementioned Demosthenes and Cicero, as well as biographies of Alexander, Caesar, Cato the Younger, and others.

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    Plutarch’s Lives, Vol. 2 by Plutarch

    Plutarch’s Lives, Vol. 2

    Translated by John Dryden
    41.1 hrs • 7/1/08 • Unabridged
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