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  1. 9.3 hrs • 2/7/2017

    In 2014, protesters ringed the White House, chanting, “How many black kids will you kill? Michael Brown, Emmett Till!” Why did demonstrators invoke the name of a black boy murdered six decades before? In 1955, white men in the Mississippi Delta lynched a fourteen-year-old from Chicago named Emmett Till. His murder was part of a wave of white terrorism in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional. The national coalition organized to protest the Till lynching became the foundation of the modern civil rights movement. Only weeks later, Rosa Parks thought about young Emmett as she refused to move to the back of a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Five years later, the Emmett Till generation, forever marked by the vicious killing of a boy their own age, launched sit-in campaigns that turned the struggle into a mass movement. “I can hear the blood of Emmett Till as it calls from the ground,” shouted a black preacher in Albany, Georgia. But what actually happened to Emmett Till—not the icon of injustice but the flesh-and-blood boy? Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till draws on a wealth of new evidence, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant, the white woman in whose name Till was killed. Tyson’s gripping narrative upends what we thought we knew about the most notorious racial crime in American history.

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  2. 10.6 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    Caught in the Revolution is Helen Rappaport’s masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold. Between the first revolution in February 1917 and Lenin’s Bolshevik coup in October, Petrograd (the former St. Petersburg) was in turmoil—felt nowhere more keenly than on the fashionable Nevsky Prospekt. There, the foreign visitors who filled hotels, clubs, bars, and embassies were acutely aware of the chaos breaking out on their doorsteps and beneath their windows. Among this disparate group were journalists, diplomats, businessmen, bankers, governesses, volunteer nurses, and expatriate socialites. Many kept diaries and wrote letters home: from an English nurse who had already survived the sinking of the Titanic; to the black valet of the US ambassador, far from his native Deep South; to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who had come to Petrograd to inspect the indomitable Women’s Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva. Helen Rappaport draws upon this rich trove of material, much of it previously unpublished, to carry us right up to the action—to see, feel, and hear the Revolution as it happened to an assortment of individuals who suddenly felt themselves trapped in a “red madhouse.”

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    Caught in the Revolution

    10.6 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.0 hrs • 1/31/2017 • Unabridged

    Their story was almost forgotten by history. Now known as the Wereth Eleven, these brave African-American soldiers left their homes to join the Allied effort on the front lines of WWII. As members of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, they provided crucial fire support at the Siege of Bastogne. Among the few who managed to escape the Nazis’ devastating Ardennes Offensive, they found refuge in the small village of Wereth, Belgium. A farmer and supporter of the Allies took the exhausted and half-starved men into his home. When Nazi authorities learned of their whereabouts, they did not take the soldiers prisoner, but subjected them to torture and execution in a nearby field. Despite their bravery and sacrifice, these eleven soldiers were omitted from the final Congressional War Crimes report of 1949. For seventy years, their files—marked secret—gathered dust in the National Archive. But in 1994, at the site of their execution, a memorial was dedicated to the Wereth Eleven and all African-American soldiers who fought in Europe. Drawing on firsthand interviews with family members and fellow soldiers, The Lost Eleven tells the complete story of these nearly forgotten soldiers, their valor in battle, and their tragic end.

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    The Lost Eleven by Denise George, Robert Child

    The Lost Eleven

    9.0 hrs • 1/31/17 • Unabridged
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  4. 14.3 hrs • 1/31/2017 • Unabridged

    The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period—one not easily chronicled within the scope of a few hundred pages. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation. Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.

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    Medieval Europe by Chris Wickham

    Medieval Europe

    14.3 hrs • 1/31/17 • Unabridged
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  5. 0.2 hrs • 1/31/2017

    This is the true story of James Lafayette, a slave who spied for George Washington's army during the American Revolution. But while America celebrated its newfound freedom, James returned to slavery. His service hadn't qualified him for the release he'd been hoping for. For James, the fight wasn't over; he'd already helped his country gain its freedom, now it was time to win his own.

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    A Spy Called James

    0.2 hrs • 1/31/17
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  6. 7.8 hrs • 1/31/2017

    Every four years on January 20, the president of the United States is sworn into office. Most often following a hard-fought campaign season, the voters determine the number of electoral votes each candidate is awarded and the winner takes the oath of office given by the chief justice of the United States. The Inaugurations is a compilation of every inauguration speech given by the newly sworn-in president, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Donald J. Trump.

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    Historic Moments in Speech: The Inaugurations by the Speech Resource Company

    Historic Moments in Speech: The Inaugurations

    with introductions by Robert Wikstrom
    7.8 hrs • 1/31/17
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  7. 5.7 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    Bill Clinton: a president of contradictions. He was a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law School graduate, but he was also a fatherless child from rural Arkansas. He was one of the most talented politicians of his age, but he inspired enmity of such intensity that his opponents would stop at nothing to destroy him. He was the first Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt to win two successive presidential elections, but he was also the first president since Andrew Johnson to be impeached. In this incisive biography of America’s forty-second president, Michael Tomasky examines Clinton’s eight years in office, a time often described as one of peace and prosperity, but in reality a time of social and political upheaval, as the culture wars grew ever more intense amid the rise of the Internet (and with it, online journalism and blogging); military actions in Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo; standoffs at Waco and Ruby Ridge; domestic terrorism in Oklahoma City; and the rise of al-Qaeda. It was a time when Republicans took control of Congress and a land deal gone bad turned into a constitutional crisis, as lurid details of a sitting president’s sexual activities became the focus of public debate. Tomasky’s clear-eyed assessment of Clinton’s presidency offers a new perspective on what happened, what it all meant, and what aspects continue to define American politics to this day. In many ways, we are still living in the age of Clinton.

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    Bill Clinton by Michael Tomasky

    Bill Clinton

    Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and Sean Wilentz
    Read by Paul Heitsch
    5.7 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.7 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    The compelling story of the effect of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species on a diverse group of American writers, abolitionists, and social reformers, including Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott, in 1860 In early 1860, a single copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was read and discussed by five important American intellectuals who seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery. The book first came into the hands of Harvard botanist Asa Gray, who would lead the fight for the theory in America. Gray passed his heavily annotated copy to the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, who saw value in natural selection’s premise that mankind was destined to progressive improvement. Brace then introduced the book to three other friends: Franklin Sanborn, a key supporter of the abolitionist John Brown, who grasped that Darwin’s depiction of constant struggle and endless competition perfectly described America in 1860, especially the ongoing conflict between pro- and antislavery forces; the philosopher Bronson Alcott, who resisted Darwin’s insights as a threat to transcendental idealism; and Henry David Thoreau, who used Darwin’s theory to redirect the work he would pursue till the end of his life regarding species migration and the interconnectedness of nature.  The Book That Changed America offers a fascinating narrative account of these prominent figures as they grappled over the course of that year with Darwin’s dangerous hypotheses. In doing so, it provides new perspectives on America prior to the Civil War, showing how Darwin’s ideas become potent ammunition in the debate over slavery and helped advance the cause of abolition by giving it scientific credibility.From the Hardcover edition.

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    The Book That Changed America

    9.7 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  9. 13.2 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    A true story of murder and conspiracy that points directly to Vladimir Putin, by The Guardian’s former Moscow bureau chief.On November 1, 2006, journalist and Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London. He died twenty-two days later. The cause of death? Polonium—a rare, lethal, and highly radioactive substance. Here Luke Harding unspools a real-life political assassination story—complete with KGB, CIA, MI6, and Russian mobsters. He shows how Litvinenko’s murder foreshadowed the killings of other Kremlin critics, from Washington, DC, to Moscow, and how these are tied to Russia’s current misadventures in Ukraine and Syria. In doing so, he becomes a target himself and unearths a chain of corruption and death leading straight to Vladimir Putin. From his investigations of the downing of flight MH17 to the Panama Papers, Harding sheds a terrifying light on Russia’s fracturing relationship with the West.

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    A Very Expensive Poison

    13.2 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  10. 11.8 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago, has sold in the millions, and yet the true story behind its two famed lovers has been lost to history. When Stalin came into power in 1924, the Communist government began persecuting dissident writers. Though Stalin spared the life of Boris—whose novel-in-progress, Doctor Zhivago, was suspected of being anti-Soviet—he persecuted Boris’ mistress, typist, and literary muse, Olga Ivinksaya. Olga was twice sentenced to work in Siberian labor camps, where she was interrogated about the book Boris was writing, but she refused to betray the man she loved. When Olga was released from the gulags, she assumed that Boris would leave his wife for her but, trapped by his family’s expectations and his own weak will, he never did. Drawing on previously neglected family sources and original interviews, Boris’ great-niece, Anna Pasternak, explores this hidden act of moral compromise by her great-uncle, and restores to history the passionate affair that inspired and animated Doctor Zhivago. Devastated that Olga suffered on his behalf and frustrated that he could not match her loyalty to him, Boris instead channeled his thwarted passion for Olga into the love story in his classic work. Filled with the rich detail of Boris’ secret life, Lara unearths a moving love story of courage, loyalty, suffering, drama, and loss, and casts a new light on the legacy of Doctor Zhivago.

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    Lara by Anna Pasternak

    Lara

    11.8 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 29.2 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    This biography of Victoria highlights the many dramas of her life. For example, she was fatherless at eight months and treated poorly by her family, but survived to become the only English queen comparable to Elizabeth I. The character of Victoria herself, stubborn and vital, is also drawn out.

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    Victoria

    29.2 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 15.2 hrs • 1/24/2017

    Drafted into the US Army, Michael Mullen left his family's Iowa farm in September 1969 to fight for his country in Vietnam. Six months later, Michael was killed, not by the North Vietnamese, but by artillery fire from friendly forces. With the government failing to provide the precise circumstances of his death, Mullen's devastated parents, Peg and Gene, demanded to know the truth. A year later, Peg Mullen was under FBI surveillance. In a riveting narrative that moves from the American heartland to the jungles of Vietnam, to an interview with Mullen's battalion commander, Lt. Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Bryan brings to life a military mission gone wrong, a family's explosive confrontation with their government, and the tragedy of a nation at war with itself.

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    Friendly Fire

    15.2 hrs • 1/24/17
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  13. 10.9 hrs • 1/24/2017 • Unabridged

    The bestselling author of Overthrow and The Brothers brings to life the forgotten political debate that set America’s interventionist course in the world for the twentieth century and beyond. How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat—until the cycle begins again. No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country. Revealing a piece of forgotten history in The True Flag, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation. The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before—in the period when the United States was founded—have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity. All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.

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    The True Flag

    10.9 hrs • 1/24/17 • Unabridged
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  14. 16.8 hrs • 1/17/2017 • Unabridged

    The writing of Death of a President, William Manchester’s award-winning account of President Kennedy’s assassination, is the topic of the title essay in this collection, as it was a controversy like few others, pitting one of the most prominent historians of the day against Jackie Kennedy, the most famous, and private, widow in the world. The seventy-six page essay provides an insider’s account of the struggle to see the book published. The rest of this sweeping collection examines the time period between World War II and the Vietnam era. It is an account that is both exactingly accurate and a pleasure to hear.

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    Controversy, and Other Essays in Journalism, 1950–1975 by William Manchester
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  15. 11.5 hrs • 1/17/2017 • Unabridged

    In May 1941, the German battleship Bismarck, accompanied by heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, broke out into the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy’s pursuit and subsequent destruction of the Bismarck was an epic of naval warfare. In this new account of those dramatic events at the height of the Second World War, Iain Ballantyne draws extensively on the graphic eyewitness testimony of veterans to construct a thrilling story, mainly from the point of view of the British battleships, cruisers, and destroyers involved. He describes the tense atmosphere as cruisers play a lethal cat-and-mouse game as they shadow Bismarck in the icy Denmark Strait. We witness the shocking destruction of the British battle cruiser HMS Hood, in which all but three of her ship’s complement were killed, an event that fueled pursuing Royal Navy warships, including the battered battleship Prince of Wales, with a thirst for revenge. While Swordfish torpedo-bombers try desperately to cripple the Bismarck, we sail in destroyers on their own daring torpedo attacks, battling mountainous seas. Finally, the author takes us into the last showdown, as battleships Rodney and King George V, supported by cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire, destroy the pride of Hitler’s fleet. This vivid, superbly researched account portrays this epic saga through the eyes of so-called “ordinary sailors” caught up in extraordinary events. Killing the Bismarck is an outstanding book, conveying the horror and majesty of war at sea in all its cold brutality and awesome power.

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    Killing the Bismarck by Iain Ballantyne

    Killing the Bismarck

    11.5 hrs • 1/17/17 • Unabridged
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  16. 0.9 hrs • 1/14/2017 • Unabridged

    “Civil Disobedience” (also known as “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” and “Resistance to Civil Government”) is an essay published in 1849 by American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. In this essay, Thoreau puts forward the argument each of us has an obligation to resist obedience to a government that acts unjustly lest we become agents of those same injustices. Using slavery and the Mexican-American war in his examples, Thoreau combines philosophical argument with sharing his own personal experiences to encourage all to act according to their consciences in living their day-to-day life, especially when it comes to complying with government edicts.

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    Civil Disobedience

    0.9 hrs • 1/14/17 • Unabridged
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