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  1. 11.9 hrs • 3/14/2017 • Unabridged

    From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China's Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China's ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy. For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China's present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become--and to interact wisely with a future peer.      Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best.From the Hardcover edition.

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    Everything Under the Heavens

    11.9 hrs • 3/14/17 • Unabridged
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 13.2 hrs • 2/28/2017

    Dodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City’s streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset. #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Clavin’s Dodge City tells the true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt) that has gone largely untold―lost in the haze of Hollywood films and western fiction, until now.

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    Dodge City

    By Tom Calvin
    13.2 hrs • 2/28/17
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  10. 14.9 hrs • 2/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Over the past century, humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonald’s than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet Earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

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    Homo Deus

    14.9 hrs • 2/21/17 • Unabridged
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  11. 13.7 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    "A most valuable book." —Christian Science MonitorFor readers of The Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners. While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Monuments Men themselves—Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe’s libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to compile a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicians, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day. Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin’s public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.

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    The Book Thieves

    Translated by Henning Koch
    13.7 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  12. 17.6 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    From an award-winning historian, an engrossing look at how Abraham Lincoln grappled with the challenges of leadership in an unruly democracy An awkward first meeting with U.S. Army officers, on the eve of the Civil War. A conversation on the White House portico with a young cavalry sergeant who was a fiercely dedicated abolitionist. A tense exchange on a navy ship with a Confederate editor and businessman. In this eye-opening book, Elizabeth Brown Pryor examines six intriguing, mostly unknown encounters that Abraham Lincoln had with his constituents. Taken together, they reveal his character and opinions in unexpected ways, illustrating his difficulties in managing a republic and creating a presidency. Pryor probes both the political demons that Lincoln battled in his ambitious exercise of power and the demons that arose from the very nature of democracy itself: the clamorous diversity of the populace, with its outspoken demands. She explores the trouble Lincoln sometimes had in communicating and in juggling the multiple concerns that make up being a political leader; how conflicted he was over the problem of emancipation; and the misperceptions Lincoln and the South held about each other. Pryor also provides a fascinating discussion of Lincoln’s fondness for storytelling and how he used his skills as a raconteur to enhance both his personal and political power. Based on scrupulous research that draws on hundreds of eyewitness letters, diaries, and newspaper excerpts, Six Encounters with Lincoln offers a fresh portrait of Lincoln as the beleaguered politician who was not especially popular with the people he needed to govern with, and who had to deal with the many critics, naysayers, and dilemmas he faced without always knowing the right answer. What it shows most clearly is that greatness was not simply laid on Lincoln’s shoulders like a mantle, but was won in fits and starts.With a Foreword read by the Author's sister, Beverly Brown

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    Six Encounters with Lincoln

    17.6 hrs • 2/7/17 • Unabridged
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  13. 12.7 hrs • 2/7/2017

    Six gentlemen, one goal: the destruction of Hitler’s war machine In the spring of 1939, a top-secret organization was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage. The guerrilla campaign that followed was every bit as extraordinary as the six men who directed it. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler’s favorite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world’s leading expert in silent killing, hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men—along with three others—formed a secret inner circle that, aided by a group of formidable ladies, single-handedly changed the course Second World War: a cohort hand-picked by Winston Churchill, whom he called his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do that is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.

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  14. 10.6 hrs • 2/7/2017 • Unabridged

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanov Sisters, Caught in the Revolution isHelen Rappaport's masterful telling of the outbreak of the Russian Revolution through eye-witness accounts left by foreign nationals who saw the drama unfold. This program includes a bonus interview with the author and her editor. 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, offices 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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