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  1. 12.4 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    In this original, provocative contribution to the debate over economic inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman argues that a strong and sizable middle class is a prerequisite for America’s constitutional system.  For most of Western history, Sitaraman argues, constitutional thinkers assumed economic inequality was inevitable and inescapable—and they designed governments to prevent class divisions from spilling over into class warfare. The American Constitution is different. Compared to Europe and the ancient world, America was a society of almost unprecedented economic equality, and the founding generation saw this equality as essential for the preservation of America’s republic. Over the next two centuries, generations of Americans fought to sustain the economic preconditions for our constitutional system. But today, with economic and political inequality on the rise, Sitaraman says Americans face a choice: Will we accept rising economic inequality and risk oligarchy or will we rebuild the middle class and reclaim our republic?  The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution is a tour de force of history, philosophy, law, and politics. It makes a compelling case that inequality is more than just a moral or economic problem; it threatens the very core of our constitutional system.

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  2. 16.7 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    The definitive history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that has quietly shaped war and technology for nearly sixty years.Founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, the agency’s original mission was to create “the unimagined weapons of the future.” Over the decades, DARPA has been responsible for countless inventions and technologies that extend well beyond military technology. Sharon Weinberger gives us a riveting account of DARPA’s successes and failures, its remarkable innovations, and its wild-eyed schemes. We see how the threat of nuclear Armageddon sparked investment in computer networking, leading to the Internet, as well as to a proposal to power a missile-destroying particle beam by draining the Great Lakes. We learn how DARPA was responsible during the Vietnam War for both Agent Orange and the development of the world’s first armed drones, and how after 9/11 the agency sparked a national controversy over surveillance with its data-mining research. And we see how DARPA’s success with self-driving cars was followed by disappointing contributions to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.Weinberger has interviewed more than one hundred former Pentagon officials and scientists involved in DARPA’s projects—many of whom have never spoken publicly about their work with the agency—and pored over countless declassified records from archives around the country, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and exclusive materials provided by sources. The Imagineers of War is a compelling and groundbreaking history in which science, technology, and politics collide.

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    The Imagineers of War

    16.7 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.2 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    A former CIA officer and curator of the CIA Museum unveils the shocking, untold story of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway’s secret life as a spy for both the Americans and the Soviets before and during World War II. While he was the curator of the CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime military intelligence expert, began to discover tantalizing clues that suggested Ernest Hemingway’s involvement in the Second World War was much more complex and dangerous than has been previously understood. Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy brings to light for the first time this riveting secret side of Hemingway’s life—when he worked closely with both the American OSS, a precursor to the CIA, and the Soviet NKVD, the USSR’s forerunner to the KGB to defeat Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Reynolds dig deep into Hemingway’s involvement in World War II, from his recruitment by both the Americans and the Soviets—who valued Hemingway for his journalistic skills and access to sources—through his key role in gaining tactical intelligence for the Allies during the liberation of Paris, to his later doubts about communist ideology and his undercover work in Cuba. As he examines the links between his work as a spy and as an author, Reynolds reveals how Hemingway’s wartime experiences shook his faith in literature and contributed to the writer’s block that plagued him for much of the final two decades of his life. Reynolds also illuminates how those same experiences also informed one of Hemingway’s greatest works—The Old Man and the Sea—the final novel published during his lifetime. A unique portrait as fast-paced and exciting as the best espionage thrillers, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy illuminates a hidden side of a revered artist and is a thrilling addition to the annals of World War II.

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    Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy by Nicholas Reynolds

    Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy

    9.2 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.7 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    In 1913, at the height of the Mexican Revolution, magazine correspondent John Reed headed South to cover the story of the year. His travels with a group of rebels that included the legendary Pancho Villa earned him everlasting fame as a reporter and left behind a series of unmatched portraits of a people, a place and a time.

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    Insurgent Mexico

    7.7 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 5.2 hrs • 3/10/2017 • Unabridged

    Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and an acute observer of American life and history, turns his literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. In "Inventing a Nation", Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams and others. We come to know these men, their opinions of each other, their worries about money and their concerns about creating a viable democracy.

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    Inventing A Nation

    5.2 hrs • 3/10/17 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    In the American Civil War, or the War between the States, three dashing cavalry leaders—Stuart, Forrest, and Mosby—so captured the public imagination that their exploits took on a glamour, which we associate—as did the writers of the time—with the deeds of the Waverley characters and the heroes of chivalry. Of the three leaders, Colonel John S. Mosby (1833–1916), was, perhaps, the most romantic figure. In the South his dashing exploits made him one of the great heroes of the “Lost Cause.” In the North he was painted as the blackest of redoubtable scoundrels. This is his story in his own words.

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    The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby by Colonel John S. Mosby

    The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby

    Edited by Charles Wells Russell
    9.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

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    Blitzed by Norman Ohler

    Blitzed

    Translated by Shaun Whiteside
    Directed by Claire Bloom
    7.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 14.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    In A Generation of Sociopaths, Bruce Cannon Gibney shows how America was hijacked by the Boomers, a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity. A former partner in a leading venture capital firm, Gibney examines the disastrous policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, showing how the Boomers ruthlessly enriched themselves at the expense of future generations. Acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts—acting, in other words, as sociopaths—the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. The Boomers have set a time bomb for the 2030s, when damage to Social Security, public finances, and the environment will become catastrophic and possibly irreversible—and when, not coincidentally, Boomers will be dying off. Gibney, whose 2011 essay “What Happened to the Future?” transfixed the investment world, argues that younger generations have a fleeting window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America. Distilling deep research into a witty, colorful indictment of the Boomers and an urgent defense of the once-unquestioned value of society, A Generation of Sociopaths is poised to become one of the most controversial books of the year.

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    A Generation of Sociopaths

    14.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 24.9 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    A bracing, indispensable account of America’s epoch-defining involvement in the Great War, rich with fresh insights into the key issues, events, and personalities of the period After years of bitter debate, the United States declared war on Imperial Germany on April 6, 1917, plunging the country into the savage European conflict that would redraw the map of the continent—and the globe. The World Remade is an engrossing chronicle of America’s pivotal, still controversial intervention into World War I, encompassing the tumultuous politics and towering historical figures that defined the era and forged the future. When it declared war, the United States was the youngest of the major powers and militarily the weakest by far. On November 11, 1918, when the fighting stopped, it was not only the richest country on earth but the mightiest. With the mercurial, autocratic President Woodrow Wilson as a primary focus, G. J. Meyer takes readers from the heated deliberations over U.S. involvement, through the provocations and manipulations that drew us into the fight, to the battlefield itself and the shattering aftermath of the struggle. America’s entry into the Great War helped make possible the defeat of Germany that had eluded Britain, France, Russia, and Italy in three and a half years of horrendous carnage. Victory, in turn, led to a peace treaty so ill-conceived, so vindictive, that the world was put on the road to an even bloodier confrontation a mere twenty years later. On the home front, Meyer recounts the break-up of traditional class structures, the rise of the progressive and labor movements, the wave of anti-German hysteria, and the explosive expansion of both the economy and federal power, including shocking suspensions of constitutional protections that planted the seeds of today’s national security state. Here also are revealing portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, Robert La Follette, Eugene Debs, and John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, among others, as well as European leaders such as “Welsh Wizard” David Lloyd George of Britain, “Tiger” Georges Clemenceau of France, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Meyer interweaves the many strands of his story into a gripping narrative that casts new light on one of the darkest, most forgotten corners of U.S. history. In the grand tradition of his earlier work A World Undone—which centered on the European perspective—The World Remade adds a new, uniquely American dimension to our understanding of the seminal conflict of the twentieth century. Praise for G. J. Meyer’s A World Undone “[Meyer] blends ‘foreground, background, and sidelights’ to highlight the complex interactions of apparently unconnected events behind the four-year catastrophic war that destroyed a world and defined a century.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)   “Thundering, magnificent . . . a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure . . . It will earn generations of admirers.”—The Washington Times “With a historian’s eye for clearheaded analysis and a storyteller’s talent for detail and narrative, G. J. Meyer presents a compelling account of the blunders that produced the world’s first ‘great war’ and set the stage for many of the tragic events that followed.”—Steve Gillon, resident historian, The History Channel “This is one of those books where you read every page. . . . [A World Undone] has the very best qualities for this kind of comprehensive approach: a gift for compression and an eye for the telling detail.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel From the Hardcover edition.

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    The World Remade

    24.9 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 13.3 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. For most of her adult life, Keggie was kept at arm’s length from her father’s personal history, but when she is invited to join him for the sixtieth anniversary of the Jedburghs—an elite special operations unit that was the first collaboration between the American and British Secret Services during World War II—a new door opens in their relationship. As dementia stakes a claim over his memory, Keggie embarks on a quest to unravel her father’s story, and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for. Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a Jedburgh he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance first against the Germans in France, then against the Japanese in Southeast Asia, where he won the moniker “Lawrence of Burma.” But his wartime exploits are only the beginning. Part family memoir, part energetic military history, Dadlandtakes us on a spellbinding journey, in peace and war, into surprising and shady corners of twentieth-century politics, her rackety English childhood, the poignant breakdown of her family, the corridors of dementia and beyond. As Keggie pieces her father—and herself—back together again, she celebrates the technicolor life of an impossible, irresistible, unstoppable man.

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    Dadland

    13.3 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 13.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world’s most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery’s Capitalism argues for slavery’s centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation’s spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence. Drawing on the expertise of sixteen scholars who are at the forefront of rewriting the history of American economic development, Slavery’s Capitalism identifies slavery as the primary force driving key innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, management, and political economy that are too often attributed to the so-called free market. Approaching the study of slavery as the originating catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism casts new light on American credit markets, practices of offshore investment, and understandings of human capital. Rather than seeing slavery as outside the institutional structures of capitalism, the essayists recover slavery’s importance to the American economic past and prompt enduring questions about the relationship of market freedom to human freedom. Contributors: Edward E. Baptist, Sven Beckert, Daina Ramey Berry, Kathryn Boodry, Alfred L. Brophy, Stephen Chambers, Eric Kimball, John Majewski, Bonnie Martin, Seth Rockman, Daniel B. Rood, Caitlin Rosenthal, Joshua D. Rothman, Calvin Schermerhorn, Andrew Shankman, Craig Steven Wilder.

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    Slavery’s Capitalism by Sven Beckert, Seth Rockman
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  12. 20.5 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Buildings are more like us than we realise. They can be born into wealth or poverty, enjoying every privilege or struggling to make ends meet. They have parents — gods, kings and emperors, governments, visionaries and madmen — as well as friends and enemies. They have duties and responsibilities. They can endure crises of faith and purpose. They can succeed or fail. They can live. And, sooner or later, they die. In Fallen Glory, James Crawford uncovers the biographies of some of the world’s most fascinating lost and ruined buildings, from the dawn of civilisation to the cyber era. The lives of these iconic structures are packed with drama and intrigue. Soap operas on the grandest scale, they feature war and religion, politics and art, love and betrayal, catastrophe and hope. Frequently their afterlives have been no less dramatic — their memories used and abused down the millennia for purposes both sacred and profane. They provide the stage for a startling array of characters, including Gilgamesh, the Cretan Minotaur, Agamemnon, Nefertiti, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII, Catherine the Great, Adolf Hitler, and even Bruce Springsteen. Ranging from the deserts of Iraq, the banks of the Nile and the cloud forests of Peru, to the great cities of Jerusalem, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, London and New York, Fallen Glory is a unique guide to a world of vanished architecture. And, by picking through the fragments of our past, it asks what history s scattered ruins can tell us about our own future.

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    Fallen Glory

    20.5 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.6 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    There are more than 320 million Chinese between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with no memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre, they are the first net native generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Their experiences and aspirations were formed in a radically different country from the one that shaped their elders, and their lives will decide the future of their nation and its place in the world. Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese. Dahai is a military child, netizen, and self-styled loser. Xiaoxiao is a hipster from the freezing north. “Fred,” born on the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the daughter of a Party official, while Lucifer is a would-be international rock star. Snail is a country boy and Internet gaming addict, and Mia is a fashionista rebel from far west Xinjiang. Following them as they grow up, go to college, find work and love, all the while navigating the pressure of their parents and society, Wish Lanterns paints a vivid portrait of Chinese youth culture and of a millennial generation whose struggles and dreams reflect the larger issues confronting China today.

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    Wish Lanterns by Alec Ash

    Wish Lanterns

    8.6 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 12.8 hrs • 3/7/2017 • Unabridged

    The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future. Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

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    Madame President

    12.8 hrs • 3/7/17 • Unabridged
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  15. 11.2 hrs • 3/7/2017

    Say the word “Israel” today and it sparks images of walls and rockets and a bloody conflict without end. Yet for decades, the symbol of the Jewish State was the noble pioneer draining the swamps and making the deserts bloom: the legendary kibbutznik. So what ever happened to the pioneers’ dream of founding a socialist utopia in the land called Palestine? Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel draws readers into the quest for answers to the defining political conflict of our era. Acclaimed author David Leach revisits his raucous memories of life as a kibbutz volunteer and returns to meet a new generation of Jewish and Arab citizens struggling to forge a better future together. Crisscrossing the nation, Leach chronicles the controversial decline of Israel’s kibbutz movement and witnesses a renaissance of the original vision for a peaceable utopia in unexpected corners of the Promised Land. Chasing Utopia is an entertaining and enlightening portrait of a divided nation where hope persists against the odds.

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    Chasing Utopia

    11.2 hrs • 3/7/17
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  16. 3.5 hrs • 2/28/2017 • Unabridged

    A vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans, with forewords written and read by former First Lady Laura Bush and General Peter Pace, sixteenth chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Growing out of President Bush’s own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11—and whom he has come to know personally. Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation. Often, they return home with injuries—both visible and invisible—that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life. In addition to these burdens, research shows a civilian-military divide. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing veterans, and veterans agree: eighty-four percent say that the public has “little awareness” of the issues facing them and their families. Each painting in this volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by President Bush. Listeners can hear about those who answered the call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed. President Bush is donating his net author proceeds from Portraits of Courage to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a nonprofit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.

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    Portraits of Courage

    By George W. Bush, with Laura Bush and General Peter Pace
    3.5 hrs • 2/28/17 • Unabridged
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