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Arms Control

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  1. 10.8 hrs • 7/12/2016 • Unabridged

    On a tranquil summer night in July 2012, a trio of peace activists infiltrated the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nicknamed the “Fort Knox of Uranium,” Y-12 was reputedly one of the most secure nuclear weapons facilities in the world, a bastion of warhead parts that harbored hundreds of metric tons of highly-enriched uranium—enough to power thousands of nuclear bombs. The activists—a house painter, a Vietnam veteran, and an eighty-two-year-old Catholic nun—penetrated the complex’s exterior with alarming ease; their strongest tools were two pairs of bolt cutters and three hammers. Once inside, the pacifists hung freshly spray-painted protest banners and streaked the complex’s white walls with six baby bottles’ worth of human blood. Then they waited to be arrested. With the symbolic break-in, the Plowshares activists had hoped to draw attention to a costly military-industrial complex that stockpiled deadly nukes and drones. But they also triggered a political, legal, and moral firestorm when they defeated a multimillion-dollar security system. What if they had been terrorists with a deadly motive? Why does the United States continue to possess such large amounts of nuclear weaponry in the first place? And above all, are we safe? In Almighty, Washington Post reporter Dan Zak explores these questions by reexamining America’s love-hate relationship with the bomb, from the race to achieve atomic power before the Nazis did to the solemn seventieth anniversary of Hiroshima. At a time of concern about proliferation in such nations as Iran and North Korea, the US arsenal is plagued by its own security problems. This life-or-death quandary is unraveled in Zak’s eye-opening account, with a cast that includes the biophysicist who first educated the public on atomic energy, the prophet who predicted the creation of Oak Ridge, the generations of activists propelled into resistance by their faith, and the Washington bureaucrats and diplomats who are trying to keep the world safe. Part historical adventure, part courtroom drama, part moral thriller, Almighty reshapes the accepted narratives surrounding nuclear weapons and shows that our greatest modern-day threat remains a power we discovered long ago.

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    Almighty by Dan Zak

    Almighty

    10.8 hrs • 7/12/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 9.4 hrs • 6/9/2015 • Unabridged

    The page-turning, inside account of how three kids from Florida became big-time weapons traders—and how the United States government turned on them In January of 2007, three young stoners from Miami Beach won a $300 million Department of Defense contract to supply ammunition to the Afghanistan military. Incredibly, instead of fulfilling the order with high-quality arms, Efraim Diveroli, David Packouz, and Alex Podrizki—the dudes—bought cheap Communist-style surplus ammunition from Balkan gunrunners. The dudes then secretly repackaged millions of rounds of shoddy Chinese ammunition and shipped it to Kabul—until they were caught by Pentagon investigators and the scandal turned up on the front page of the New York Times. That’s the “official” story. The truth is far more explosive. For the first time, journalist Guy Lawson tells the thrilling true tale. It’s a trip that goes from a dive apartment in Miami Beach to mountain caves in Albania, the corridors of power in Washington, and the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lawson’s account includes a shady Swiss gunrunner, Russian arms dealers, corrupt Albanian gangsters, and a Pentagon investigation that impeded America’s war efforts in Afghanistan. Lawson exposes the mysterious and murky world of global arms dealing, showing how the American military came to use private contractors like Diveroli, Packouz, and Podrizki as middlemen to secure weapons from illegal arms dealers—the same men who sell guns to dictators, warlords, and drug traffickers. This is a story you were never meant to read.

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    Arms and the Dudes

    9.4 hrs • 6/9/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.1 hrs • 7/15/2014 • Unabridged

    On today’s high-tech battlefields, the most lethal weapons are not the big ones, but rather the ones that are small enough to be smuggled inside a pack of chewing gum: microchips, gyroscopes, radar-cloaking, and night-vision technology. Developed and manufactured in the United States at extraordinary cost, these tiny weapons of war—which can guide missiles, see through walls, and trigger anything from a wireless IED to a nuclear weapon—are what currently give the United States its military advantage. Unfortunately, they are increasingly being discovered in the hands of our enemies. In Operation Shakespeare, Pulitzer Prize finalist John Shiffman tells the true story of an elaborate sting operation launched by an elite Homeland Security team that was created to stop Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea from stealing US military technology. The sting, codenamed Operation Shakespeare to disguise its true nature, targets an Iranian arms broker who works on behalf of Tehran. Over the course of three years, the American agents go undercover to outwit not only the Iranian, but US defense contractors and bankers willing to put profit over national security. The chase moves around the world, from Philadelphia to Shiraz, London to Dubai, Beverly Hills to Tbilisi. A mysterious British informant helps the US team lure the Iranian to a former Soviet republic. The Iranian walks into the sting carrying a laptop containing a road map to Tehran’s secret military plans. As the United States tries to bring the Iranian to justice, his own government plots to assassinate him, fearful of what he might reveal. More than a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase, Operation Shakespeare opens our eyes to a vast secret war the United States is waging across the globe. How does rocket guidance technology that is manufactured in California wind up in the hands of terrorists in Lebanon? How do IED triggers travel from the factories of Arizona to insurgents on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan? In addition to answering questions like these, Operation Shakespeare reveals how many of the world’s biggest banks have systematically helped enemy states conceal trillions of dollars’ worth of wire transactions over the past decades. Shiffman also bares others who put profits over US troops, including a major corporation that hands night vision secrets to China and an American scientist who helps Beijing develop stealth technology. Tenacious, richly detailed, and boasting unprecedented access to both the Iranian broker and the US agents who caught him, Operation Shakespeare combines the rigor of the best investigative journalism with the drama of Homeland. The result is a fast-paced, masterful account of a little-explored front in the national security wars: the covert struggle to preserve American military supremacy and protect US troops.

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    Operation Shakespeare

    9.1 hrs • 7/15/14 • Unabridged
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  4. 14.7 hrs • 3/5/2013 • Unabridged

    Here is armed America—a land of machine-gun gatherings in the desert, German shooting societies, feral-hog hunts, and Hollywood gun armories. Whether they’re collecting antique weapons, practicing concealed carry, or firing an AR-15 at their local range, many Americans love guns—which horrifies and fascinates many other Americans—and much of the rest of the world. This lively, sometimes raucous book explores the American love affair with firearms. Dan Baum is both a lifelong gun guy and a Jewish Democrat who grew up in suburban New Jersey. In Gun Guys he grabs his licensed concealed handgun and hits the road to meet some of the forty percent of Americans who own guns. Through him we meet Rick Ector, a Detroit autoworker who buys a Smith & Wesson after suffering an armed robbery—then quits his job to preach the gospel of armed self-defense to a resistant African American community; Jeremy and Marcey Parker, a young, successful Kentucky couple whose idea of a romantic getaway is the Blue Ridge Mountain Three-Gun Championship in Bowling Green; and Aaron Zelman, head of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Baum also travels to New Orleans, where he enters the world of a man disabled by a bullet, and to Chicago, where he interviews a killer. Along the way, he takes us to gun shows, gun stores, and a shooting range—trying to figure out why so many of us love these things and why they inspire such passions. In the tradition of Confederates in the Attic and Among the Thugs, Baum brings an entire world to life. Written equally for avid shooters and those who would never touch a firearm, Gun Guys is more than a travelogue. It gives a fresh perspective on the heated politics surrounding guns—one that will challenge and inform people on all sides of the issue.

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    Gun Guys

    14.7 hrs • 3/5/13 • Unabridged
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  5. 13.4 hrs • 5/10/2011 • Unabridged

    For the past two decades, Mohamed ElBaradei has played a key role in the most high-stakes conflicts of our time. Unique in maintaining credibility in the Arab world and the West alike, ElBaradei has emerged as a singularly independent, uncompromised voice. As the director of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, he has contended with the Bush administration’s assault on Iraq, the nuclear aspirations of North Korea, and the West’s standoff with Iran. For their efforts to control nuclear proliferation, ElBaradei and his agency received the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. Now, in a vivid and thoughtful account, ElBaradei takes us inside the international fray. Inspector, adviser, and mediator, ElBaradei moves from Baghdad, where Iraqi officials bleakly predict the coming war, to behind-the-scenes exchanges with Condoleezza Rice, to the streets of Pyongyang and the trail of Pakistani nuclear smugglers. He dissects the possibility of rapprochement with Iran while rejecting hard-line ideologies of every kind, decrying an us-versus-them approach and insisting on the necessity of relentless diplomacy. Above all, he illustrates that the security of nations is tied to the security of individuals, dependent not only on disarmament but on a universal commitment to human dignity, democratic values, and the freedom from want. Probing and eloquent, The Age of Deception is an unparalleled account of society’s struggle to come to grips with the uncertainties of our age.

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    The Age of Deception

    13.4 hrs • 5/10/11 • Unabridged
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  6. 3.9 hrs • 3/9/2011 • Unabridged

    When it was first published, The Conscience of a Conservative reignited the American conservative movement and made Barry Goldwater a political star. It influenced countless conservatives in the United States and helped lay the foundation for the Reagan Revolution in 1980. Just as vital today as it was then, this book addresses many topics that could be torn from today’s headlines. Goldwater discusses education, labor unions and policies, civil rights, agricultural policy and farm subsidies, social welfare programs, and income taxation. This significant book lays out the conservative position both politically and economically that would come to dominate the Conservative Movement in America.

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    The Conscience of a Conservative

    3.9 hrs • 3/9/11 • Unabridged
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  7. 9.7 hrs • 8/25/2009 • Unabridged

    Former UN Ambassador Dore Gold shows why engaging Iran through diplomacy is not only futile but also could be deadly. In the West, liberal politicians and pundits are calling for renewed diplomatic engagement with Iran, convinced that Tehran will respond to reason and halt its nuclear weapons program. Yet, countries have repeatedly tried diplomatic talks and utterly failed. In The Rise of Nuclear Iran, Gold examines these past failures, showing how Iran employed strategic deception and delay tactics to hide its intentions from the West. He argues that Western policymakers underestimate Iran’s hostility toward us and explains why diplomacy will continue to backfire, no matter which party or president is in power.

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    The Rise of Nuclear Iran by Dore Gold

    The Rise of Nuclear Iran

    Read by Tom Weiner
    9.7 hrs • 8/25/09 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.1 hrs • 6/1/2007 • Unabridged

    In his shocking and revelatory new work, celebrated journalist William Langewiesche investigates the burgeoning threat of nuclear-weapons production and the inexorable drift of nuclear-weapons technology from the hands of the rich into the hands of the poor. As more unstable and undeveloped nations acquire the ultimate arms, the stakes of state-sponsored nuclear activity have soared to frightening heights. Even more disturbing is the likelihood of such weapons being used by guerrilla non-state terrorists. The author also recounts the recent history of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the scientist at the forefront of nuclear development who single-handedly peddled nuclear plans to North Korea, Iran, and other potentially hostile countries. He then examines in dramatic and tangible detail the chances for nuclear terrorism.

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    The Atomic Bazaar by William Langewiesche

    The Atomic Bazaar

    5.1 hrs • 6/1/07 • Unabridged
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  9. 2.7 hrs • 4/28/2006 • Unabridged

    A cluster of five countries; Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; are commonly referred to as Central America. Although these nations differ in their histories and politics, they share at least one factor: they have been caught up in the turmoil of America’s foreign policy in this region. These recordings depict the chain of events that have led to the Central America we view on television. The World’s Political Hotspots Series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

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    Central America by Joseph Stromberg

    Central America

    Edited by Wendy McElroy
    2.7 hrs • 4/28/06 • Unabridged
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  10. 2.9 hrs • 2/24/2006 • Unabridged

    Recent events have made it clear that the Soviet Union is not a monolith; it’s a collection of nationalities, many with serious objection to union. The demise of communism holds great promise and great danger not only for the Soviets, but for the world. This presentation examines how the region’s long history led to modern reality. The World’s Political Hot Spots series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

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    Russia and the Soviet Union by Ralph Raico
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  11. 2.9 hrs • 1/25/2006 • Unabridged

    As one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, India presents a rich mosaic of political, religious, and cultural influences. In 1947, this vast region was split; Pakistan was created to separate Muslims from Hindus, and millions died. Strife and political troubles continue to plague India. The World’s Political Hot Spots Series explains the basis of conflicts in some of the world’s most politically sensitive areas. Many of these regions are in today’s headlines, and tensions recently have become violent in virtually all of them. Each presentation covers up to ten centuries of background, revealing how and why today’s problems occur.

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    India and Pakistan by Dr. Gregory Kozlowski
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  12. 10.0 hrs • 1/1/2004 • Unabridged

    In this explosive book, New York Times bestselling author Bill Gertz uncovers the most significant threat to US national security today: America’s enemies—including radical terrorist groups—are arming themselves with the world’s most dangerous weapons. And they’re doing it with the help of America’s supposed allies. Worst of all, the United States has let it happen. Only Bill Gertz has the contacts and the knowledge to tell the complete story of how France, Germany, Russia, China, and other countries have armed our enemies to the teeth. Treachery is also the definitive account of what the US government is doing to counter the threat—and of how our leaders have too often failed us.

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    Treachery by Bill Gertz

    Treachery

    10.0 hrs • 1/1/05 • Unabridged
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  13. 12.2 hrs • 9/14/2004 • Unabridged

    The history of the Vietnam War has rarely been told from the Vietnamese perspective—and never by a leader of that country. In Buddha's Child, Nguyen Cao Ky reveals the remarkable story of his tumultuous tenure as prime minister of South Vietnam, and offers unprecedented insight into the war’s beginning, escalation, and heartbreaking end. A thirty-four year old pilot and Air Force commander, known for his fighter-pilot’s moustache, flowing lavender scarf and his reputation as a ladies’ man, Ky in 1965 agreed to lead South Vietnam after a series of coups had dangerously destabilized the nation. Ky’s task was to unite a country riven by political, ethnic, and religious factions and undermined by corruption. With little experience in governing and none in international affairs, and while continuing to fly combat missions over Vietnam, Ky plunged into a war to save his homeland. He served as Premier until 1967, continued to be active in the war after his resignation, and finally left Vietnam in 1975 during the fall of Saigon. Buddha’s Child offers Ky’s perspective on the crucial events and memorable images of the Vietnam War: the coup against and execution of President Diem; the self-immolation by the Buddhist monk, and the radical Buddhists’ attempt to topple Ky’s government; the bloody and pivotal Tet Offensive; the shooting of a Vietcong prisoner, captured in one of the war’s most notorious photographs; the Paris Peace talks that sold out South Vietnam; and the last, desperate days of Saigon. In frank language, Ky discusses his own successes and failures as a leader and dramatically relates the progress of the war as it unfolded on the ground and behind the scenes—including anecdotes about Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, William Westmoreland, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Colby, Henry Kissinger, and many others.

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    Buddha’s Child

    12.2 hrs • 9/14/04 • Unabridged
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  14. 10.5 hrs • 4/1/2003 • Unabridged

    Civilization may face no greater enemy than Saddam Hussein, and yet the major powers allowed Saddam to face them down. Here, Richard Butler tells the inside story of the UN’s failed attempt to stop Saddam and explains the terrible cost of that failure.       As the head of UNSCOM, the special United Nations commission that was supposed to regularly inspect Iraq for weapons violations, Butler had the authority to shut the Iraqis down if he caught them cheating—but that authority was undermined behind his back. Kofi Annan, in the name of diplomacy, agreed to Hussein’s outrageous demands, and Russia’s foreign minister took secret payoffs from the Iraqis in exchange for his support. The French, eager to do business with the dictator, undercut American efforts to force Hussein to comply, and Butler found himself the target of a major Iraqi and Russian propaganda campaign, ultimately alone.

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    The Greatest Threat by Richard Butler

    The Greatest Threat

    10.5 hrs • 4/1/03 • Unabridged
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