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Political Freedom

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  1. 2.8 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    "Our commander in chief has to be able to defend our country, not embarrass it."*-Hillary Clinton "She doesn't have strength. She doesn't have the stamina. . . . I think she's an embarrassment."**-Donald TrumpIn this presidential contest of diametric opposites, nothing is certain on the path to the polls-except that every word matters. Direct from the candidates, from point and counterpoint to wit and wisdom, an unvarnished conversation on the issues captivating the American electorate. *Victory speech on Super Tuesday II, West Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016**Interview on CNN, New Day, March 16, 2016BookShotsLIGHTNING-FAST READS BY JAMES PATTERSONBooks you can devour in a few hoursImpossible to stop readingAll original content by James Patterson

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    Trump vs. Clinton: In Their Own Words

    2.8 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 14.6 hrs • 7/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Translated into 100 languages, winner of the National Book Award, and named one of the 100 Most Influential Books since World War II by the Times Literary Supplement, Anarchy, State and Utopia remains one of the most theoretically trenchant and philosophically rich defenses of economic liberalism to date, as well as a foundational text in classical libertarian thought. With a new introduction by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, this revised edition will introduce Nozick and his work to a new generation of listeners.

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    Anarchy, State, and Utopia

    14.6 hrs • 7/1/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 8.7 hrs • 3/8/2016 • Unabridged

    The first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi has inspired millions around the globe through her work as a human rights lawyer defending women and children against a brutal regime in Iran. Now Ebadi tells her story of courage and defiance in the face of a government out to destroy her, her family, and her mission: to bring justice to the people and the country she loves. For years the Islamic Republic tried to intimidate Ebadi, but after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rose to power in 2005, the censorship and persecution intensified. The government wiretapped Ebadi’s phones, bugged her law firm, sent spies to follow her, harassed her colleagues, detained her daughter, and arrested her sister on trumped-up charges. It shut down her lectures, fired up mobs to attack her home, seized her offices, and nailed a death threat to her front door. Despite finding herself living under circumstances reminiscent of a spy novel, nothing could keep Ebadi from speaking out and standing up for human dignity. But it was not until she received a phone call from her distraught husband—and he made a shocking confession that would all but destroy her family—that she realized what the intelligence apparatus was capable of to silence its critics. The Iranian government would end up taking everything from Shirin Ebadi—her marriage, friends, and colleagues, her home, her legal career, even her Nobel Prize—but the one thing it could never steal was her spirit to fight for justice and a better future. This is the amazing, at times harrowing, simply astonishing story of a woman who would never give up, no matter the risks. Just as her words and deeds have inspired a nation, Until We Are Free will inspire you to find the courage to stand up for your beliefs.

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    Until We Are Free

    8.7 hrs • 3/8/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 1.7 hrs • 1/5/2016 • Unabridged

    An impassioned defense of the freedom of speech, from Stéphane Charbonnier, a journalist murdered for his convictions On January 7, 2015, two gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. They took the lives of twelve men and women, but they called for one man by name: “Charb.” Known by his pen name, Stéphane Charbonnier was editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, and a renowned political cartoonist in his own right. In the past, he had received death threats and had even earned a place on Al Qaeda’s “Most Wanted List.” On January 7 it seemed that Charb’s enemies had finally succeeded in silencing him. But in a twist of fate befitting Charb’s defiant nature, it was soon revealed that he had finished a book just two days before his murder on the very issues at the heart of the attacks: blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the necessary courage of satirists. Here, published for the first time in English, is Charb’s final work. A searing criticism of hypocrisy and racism, and a rousing, eloquent defense of free speech, Open Letter shows Charb’s words to be as powerful and provocative as his art. This is an essential book about race, religion, the voice of ethnic minorities and majorities in a pluralistic society, and above all, the right to free expression and the surprising challenges being leveled at it in our fraught and dangerous time.

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    Open Letter

    Foreword by Adam Gopnik
    Read by Dean Olsher
    1.7 hrs • 1/5/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.2 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared. Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before. It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.” And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio. In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company—the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive? With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

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    Lights Out by Ted Koppel

    Lights Out

    8.2 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 0.9 hrs • 8/19/2015 • Unabridged

    Ammetto che qualcuno a volte avrà paura e sarà completamente in preda alla convinzione che in ogni altro suo simile si nasconda una minaccia. Ammetto che un essere umano possa diventare tanto aberrato da costituire una minaccia per il grosso della società e che in tal caso sia necessario fargli riprendere familiarità con la società. Ma non ammetterò mai che vi sia sulla Terra un uomo cattivo, malvagio per natura. — L. Ron Hubbard La singola parola “libertà” esprime chiaramente non solo diritti fondamentali, come ad esempio libertà di parola e religione, ma qualsiasi altro concetto vitale: opportunità, scelta, sicurezza e persino felicità. È davvero una parola che simboleggia i sogni e le mete di ogni essere umano. Eppure proprio il suo potere la espone a fini offensivi, interamente contrari al suo vero significato. Di conseguenza, sia la libertà individuale che quella nazionale possono essere soggette all’azione di un’inavvertibile erosione. Se tale deterioramento della libertà non viene notato e rovesciato, un popolo può perdere molti dei suoi diritti fondamentali, arrivando infine a non riconoscere, e quindi a non arrestare, il graduale declino verso uno stato di polizia. Tutto ciò che sta più a cuore ai cittadini dipende dalla libertà, a lungo sognata e duramente conquistata. Nell’affermare l’onestà fondamentale di ogni persona e nel sostenerne i diritti fondamentali, L. Ron Hubbard fornisce una comprensione generale che, in modo vitale, interessa tutti.

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    Il Deterioramento della Libertà

    0.9 hrs • 8/19/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 8.6 hrs • 5/26/2015 • Unabridged

    Senator Rand Paul, leading national politician and likely contender for the 2016 presidential bid, presents his vision for America. In his four years since joining the Senate, Rand Paul has risen to the forefront of the national discussion. Now considered a major presidential contender, he’s being called the most interesting Republican because he doesn’t strictly follow the establishment. When he believes in an issue, he reaches across the aisle to collaborate with his colleagues. Recently, he’s worked with Senator Kristen Gillibrand on an antiwar bill, a financial assistance for childcare bill, and a protection for women in the military bill. He’s also worked with Senator Cory Booker to reform the nation’s criminal justice system. During his speeches at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and University of California at Berkley, he’s received standing ovations from both conservatives and liberals alike.

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    Taking a Stand

    Introduction read by Rand Paul
    8.6 hrs • 5/26/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 14.0 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    An electrifying memoir by the blind Chinese activist who inspired millions with the story of his fight for justice and his belief in the cause of freedom It was like a scene out of a thriller: one morning in April 2012, China’s most famous political activist—a blind, self-taught lawyer—climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. Days later he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States. Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than anyone knew. The son of a poor farmer in rural China, blinded by illness when he was an infant, Chen was fortunate to survive a difficult childhood. But despite his disability, he was determined to educate himself and fight for the rights of his country’s poor, especially a legion of women who had endured forced sterilizations and abortions under the hated “one child” policy. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, Chen was ultimately placed under house arrest. After nearly two years of increasing danger, he evaded his captors and fled to freedom. Both a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, The Barefoot Lawyer tells the story of a man who has never accepted limits and always believed in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.

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    The Barefoot Lawyer

    14.0 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    8.6 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Unabridged

    With the end of the Cold War came not the end of history, but the end of America’s sense of its strategic purpose in the world. Then, after a decade of drift, the United States was violently dragged back into international conflict. Its armed forces responded magnificently, but its leaders’ objectives were substantially flawed. We fought the wrong war—twice—for reasons that were opaque, and few American citizens understood the cause for which their sons and daughters were fighting and dying. War is a poor substitute for strategic vision, and decisions made in the heat of imminent conflict are often limited by the emotions of the moment. In Don’t Wait for the Next War, Wesley K. Clark, a retired four-star general of the US Army and former Democratic candidate for president, presents a compelling argument for continued American global leadership and the basis on which it can succeed: a new American strategy. America needs both new power and deeper perspective. The platform for American leadership is to use America’s energy resources to spark sustainable economic growth, building new strength to deal with pressing domestic issues like the deficit as well as the longer term challenges to US security—terrorism, cyber threats, the next financial crisis, China’s rising power, and climate change. Such a strategy is not only achievable but essential, and it is urgently needed. This is the true test of American leadership for the next two decades, but it must start now so America has the power and vision to deal with the acute crises that will inevitably come—in the Middle East, Europe, or Asia.

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    Don’t Wait for the Next War by General Wesley K. Clark

    Don’t Wait for the Next War

    8.6 hrs • 10/7/14 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.7 hrs • 8/19/2014 • Unabridged

    The urgent truth about the privatization of America’s national security that exposes where this industry came from, how it operates, where it’s heading—and why we should be concerned Thirty years ago there were no private military and security companies (PMSCs); there were only mercenaries. Now the PMSCs are a bona fide industry, an indispensable part of American foreign and military policy. PMSCs assist US forces in combat operations and replace them after the military withdraws from combat zones; they guard our embassies; they play key roles in US counterterrorism strategies; and Homeland Security depends on them. Their services include maritime security, police training, drone operations, cyber security, and intelligence analysis (as Edward Snowden has famously revealed). Even the United Nations employs them. When did this happen? The turning point came when the United States found itself in a prolonged war with Iraq, but without adequate forces. So the Bush Administration turned to the PMSCs to fill the gap. Private contractors and subcontractors eventually exceeded the traditional troops. The industry has never scaled back. Ann Hagedorn profiles the members of Congress who recognize the dangers of dependence on PMSCs, but have been unable to limit them or even determine their true scope. She takes us to the exclusive club in London where the PMSCs were created, and she reveals the key figure in the evolution of the industry. She introduces us to a US Army general who studies new developments, such as PMSCs’ drone operations, and worries about PMSCs potentially fighting American troops. The Invisible Soldiers will inspire a national dialogue about a little-known international industry on which our security rests.

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    The Invisible Soldiers

    8.7 hrs • 8/19/14 • Unabridged
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  11. 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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  12. 7.9 hrs • 1/8/2014 • Unabridged

    The heroic story of Pussy Riot, who resurrected the power of truth in a society built on lies On February 21, 2012, five young women entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In neon-colored dresses, tights, and balaclavas, they performed a “punk prayer” beseeching the “Mother of God” to “get rid of Putin.” They were quickly shut down by security, and in the weeks and months that followed, three of the women were arrested and tried, and two were sentenced to a remote prison colony. But the incident captured international headlines, and footage of it went viral. People across the globe recognized not only a fierce act of political confrontation but also an inspired work of art that, in a time and place saturated with lies, found a new way to speak the truth. Masha Gessen’s riveting account tells how such a phenomenon came about. Drawing on her exclusive, extensive access to the members of Pussy Riot and their families and associates, she reconstructs the fascinating personal journeys that transformed a group of young women into artists with a shared vision, gave them the courage and imagination to express it unforgettably, and endowed them with the strength to endure the devastating loneliness and isolation that have been the price of their triumph.

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    Words Will Break Cement by Masha Gessen

    Words Will Break Cement

    7.9 hrs • 1/8/14 • Unabridged
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  13. 8.4 hrs • 1/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Between 1961 and 1967 the United States Air Force buried one thousand Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles in pastures across the Great Plains. The Missile Next Door tells the story of how rural Americans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by living with nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that story tells us about enduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending. By scattering the missiles in out-of-the-way places, the Defense Department kept the chilling calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy out of view. This subterfuge was necessary, Gretchen Heefner argues, in order for Americans to accept a costly nuclear buildup and the resulting threat of Armageddon. As for the ranchers, farmers, and other civilians in the Plains states who were first seduced by the economics of war and then forced to live in the Soviet crosshairs, their sense of citizenship was forever changed. Some were stirred to dissent. Others consented but found their proud Plains individualism giving way to a growing dependence on the military-industrial complex. Even today, some communities express reluctance to let the Minutemen go, though the Air Force no longer wants them buried in the heartland. Complicating a red state / blue state reading of American politics, Heefner’s account helps to explain the deep distrust of government found in many western regions and also an addiction to defense spending which, for many local economies, seems inescapable.

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    The Missile Next Door by Gretchen Heefner

    The Missile Next Door

    8.4 hrs • 1/1/14 • Unabridged
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  14. 8.9 hrs • 12/3/2013 • Unabridged

    After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, John Dodson pulled bodies out of the wreckage at the Pentagon. In 2007, following the shooting massacre at Virginia Tech, Dodson walked through the classrooms, heartbroken, to cover up the bodies of the victims. Then came Arizona—the American border. Ten days before Christmas, 2010, ATF agent John Dodson awoke to the news he had dreaded every day as a member of the elite team called the Group VII Strike Force: a US border patrol agent named Brian Terry had been shot dead by bandits armed with guns that had been supplied to them by ATF. Was this an inevitable consequence of the Obama administration’s Project Gunrunner, set in place one year earlier ostensibly to track Mexican drug cartels? Brian Terry’s murder would not only change John Dodson’s life forever; it would reveal a scandal so unthinkably unpatriotic that it forced President Barack Obama to claim executive privilege and caused Attorney General Eric Holder to be held in contempt of Congress. Federal Agent John Dodson, an ex-military man, took an oath to defend the world’s greatest country and proudly considered himself a walking patriotic example of the American Dream. Brian Terry, ex-military like Dodson, was only forty years old, a family man who served his country by working for the government. Dodson was terrified when the next phone call came, one with the potential to destroy his career, his family, and his life. CBS investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson asked Dodson to go public with what he knew about Fast and Furious. To Agent Dodson, this meant blowing the whistle. But to the family of Agent Terry, it was a chance to save lives and right a wrong. As he took a fight from the border towns of Arizona to a showdown in the halls of Congress, Dodson clung to the hope that truth would prevail, that he would be redeemed, and that Brian Terry’s death would not be in vain. Like whistle-blowers before him, John would not be welcome back on the job. But he found strength in his conscience, in the support of the American public, and in Senators Darrell Issa and Chuck Grassley. When his first-amendment rights to publicly tell his story were threatened, the ACLU took up his case. For her report revealing Dodson as the key whistle-blower in Fast and Furious, Sharyl Attkisson received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. Ultimately, Dodson was cleared by the Inspector General’s office, publicly heralded as a hero, and returned to Arizona. Perhaps a lesson gleaned from John Dodson’s powerful account is well stated by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn: “If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.”

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    The Unarmed Truth by John Dodson

    The Unarmed Truth

    Foreword by Senator Chuck Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa
    Read by John Pruden
    8.9 hrs • 12/3/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.8 hrs • 10/1/2013 • Unabridged

    From David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and the author of The Good Soldiers, comes this profound look at life after war. The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous “surge,” a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkel’s hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war. In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for?

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    Thank You for Your Service

    Introduction read by David Finkel
    7.8 hrs • 10/1/13 • Unabridged
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  16. 6.6 hrs • 7/23/2012 • Unabridged

    The Obama administration’s overreaching and pervasive secularist policies represent the greatest government-directed assault on religious freedom in American history. So argues conservative movement leader Phyllis Schlafly and journalist George Neumayr. In No Higher Power, Schlafly and Neumayr show how Obama is waging war on our religious liberties and actively working to create one nation under him rather than one nation under God. “Obama views traditional religion as a temporary opiate for the poor, confused, and jobless—a drug that will dissipate as the federal government assumes more God-like powers, and his new secularist beliefs and policies gain adherents,” write Schlafly and Neumayr. From cutting funding for religious schools to Obama’s deliberate omission of God and religion in public speeches to his assault on the Catholic church, No Higher Power is a shocking and comprehensive look at how Obama is violating one of our most fundamental rights—and remaking our country into a nation our Founding Fathers would hardly recognize.

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    No Higher Power by Phyllis Schlafly, George Neumayr

    No Higher Power

    6.6 hrs • 7/23/12 • Unabridged
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