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  1. 17.9 hrs • 10/1/2016 • Unabridged
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    How America Was Lost

    17.9 hrs • 10/1/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 14.8 hrs • 1/26/2016 • Unabridged

    After being sworn in as president, Richard Nixon told the assembled crowd that government will listen. Those who have been left out, we will try to bring in. But that same day, he obliterated those pledges of greater citizen control of government by signing National Security Decision Memorandum 2, a document that made sweeping changes to the national security power structure. Nixon’s signature erased the influence that the departments of State and Defense, as well as the CIA, had over Vietnam and the course of the Cold War. The new structure put Nixon at the center, surrounded by loyal aides and a new national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, who coordinated policy through the National Security Council under Nixon’s command. Using years of research and revelations from newly released documents, USA Today reporter Ray Locker upends much of the conventional wisdom about the Nixon administration and its impact and shows how the creation of this secret, unprecedented, extraconstitutional government undermined US policy and values. In doing so, Nixon sowed the seeds of his own destruction by creating a climate of secrecy, paranoia, and reprisal that still affects Washington today.

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    Nixon’s Gamble

    14.8 hrs • 1/26/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 29.1 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    In the tradition of John Reed’s classic Ten Days That Shook the World, this bestselling account of the collapse of the Soviet Union combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism.

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    Lenin's Tomb

    29.1 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 25.4 hrs • 10/13/2015 • Unabridged

    An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful—and secretive—colossus in Washington, from the founder of Salon.com and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers America’s greatest untold story: the United States’ rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly discovered US government documents, US and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’ wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials—Talbot reveals the underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures. Dulles’s decade as the director of the CIA—which he used to further his public and private agendas—were dark times in American politics. Calling himself “the secretary of state of unfriendly countries,” Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients—colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. An exposé of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil’s Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state—and the battle for America’s soul.

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    The Devil’s Chessboard

    25.4 hrs • 10/13/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 18.8 hrs • 10/13/2015 • Unabridged

    A necessary and unprecedented account of America’s changing relationship with Israel. When it comes to Israel, US policy has always emphasized the unbreakable bond between the two countries and our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. Today our ties to Israel are close—so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way. Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping US policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab–Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach. Ross points out how rarely lessons were learned and how distancing the United States from Israel in the Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush, and Obama administrations never yielded any benefits and why that lesson has never been learned. Doomed to Succeed offers compelling advice for how to understand the priorities of Arab leaders and how future administrations might best shape US policy in that light.

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    Doomed to Succeed

    18.8 hrs • 10/13/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 16.6 hrs • 9/8/2015 • Unabridged

    How does America, founded on the promise of freedom for all, find itself poised to become a police state? In Police State, legendary "country lawyer" Gerry Spence reveals the unnerving truth of our criminal justice system. In his more than sixty years in the courtroom, Spence has never represented a person charged with a crime in which the police hadn't themselves violated the law. Whether by hiding, tampering with, or manufacturing evidence; by gratuitous violence and even murder, those who are charged with upholding the law too often break it. Spence points to the explosion of brutality leading up to the murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, insisting that this is the way it has always been: cops get away with murder. Nothing changes. Police State narrates the shocking account of the Madrid train bombings - how the FBI accused an innocent man of treasonous acts they knew he hadn't committed. It details the rampant racism within Chicago's police department, which landed teenager Dennis Williams on death row. It unveils the deliberately coercive efforts of two cops to extract a false murder confession from frightened and mentally fragile Albert Hancock, along with other appalling evidence from eight of Spence's most famous cases. We all want to feel safe. But how can we be safe when the very police we pay to protect us instead kill us, maim us, and falsify the evidence against us? Can we accept the argument that cops may occasionally overstep their boundaries, but only when handling guilty criminals and never with us? Can we expect them to investigate and prosecute themselves when faced with allegations of misconduct? Can we believe that they are acting for our own good? Too many innocent are convicted; too many are wrongly executed. The cost has become too high for a free people to bear. In Police State, Spence issues a stinging indictment of the American justice system. Demonstrating that the way we select and train our police guarantees fatal abuses of justice, he also prescribes a challenging cure that stands to restore America's promise of liberty and justice for all.

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    Police State

    16.6 hrs • 9/8/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 11.1 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    The trade in oil, gas, gems, metals and rare earth minerals wreaks havoc in Africa. During the years when Brazil, India, China and the other “emerging markets” have transformed their economies, Africa’s resource states remained tethered to the bottom of the industrial supply chain. While Africa accounts for about 30 percent of the world’s reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 14 percent of the world’s population, its share of global manufacturing stood in 2011 exactly where it stood in 2000: at 1 percent. In his first book, The Looting Machine, Tom Burgis exposes the truth about the African development miracle: for the resource states, it’s a mirage. The oil, copper, diamonds, gold and coltan deposits attract a global network of traders, bankers, corporate extractors and investors who combine with venal political cabals to loot the states’ value. And the vagaries of resource-dependent economies could pitch Africa’s new middle class back into destitution just as quickly as they climbed out of it. The ground beneath their feet is as precarious as a Congolese mine shaft; their prosperity could spill away like crude from a busted pipeline. This catastrophic social disintegration is not merely a continuation of Africa’s past as a colonial victim. The looting now is accelerating as never before. As global demand for Africa’s resources rises, a handful of Africans are becoming legitimately rich but the vast majority, like the continent as a whole, is being fleeced. Outsiders tend to think of Africa as a great drain of philanthropy. But look more closely at the resource industry and the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world looks rather different. In 2010, fuel and mineral exports from Africa were worth $333 billion, more than seven times the value of the aid that went in the opposite direction. But who received the money? For every Frenchwoman who dies in childbirth, 100 die in Nigeria alone, the former French colony whose uranium fuels France’s nuclear reactors. In petro-states like Angola three-quarters of government revenue comes from oil. The government is not funded by the people, and as result it is not beholden to them. A score of African countries whose economies depend on resources are rentier states; their people are largely serfs. The resource curse is not merely some unfortunate economic phenomenon, the product of an intangible force. What is happening in Africa’s resource states is systematic looting.

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    The Looting Machine

    11.1 hrs • 5/1/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 21.6 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    World War II commando, Cold War spy, and CIA director under presidents Nixon and Ford, William Egan Colby played a critical role in some of the most pivotal events of the twentieth century. A quintessential member of the greatest generation, Colby embodied the moral and strategic ambiguities of the postwar world, and first confronted many of the dilemmas about power and secrecy that America still grapples with today. In Shadow Warrior, eminent historian Randall B. Woods presents a riveting biography of Colby, revealing that this crusader for global democracy was also drawn to the darker side of American power. He insisted on the importance of fighting communism on the ground, doggedly applying guerilla tactics for counterinsurgency, sabotage, surveillance, and information-gathering on the new battlefields of the Cold War. Over time, these strategies became increasingly ruthless. Colby ultimately came clean about many of the CIA’s illegal activities, making public a set of internal reports —that haunt the agency to this day. Ostracized from the intelligence community, he died under suspicious circumstances——a murky ending to a life lived in the shadows. Drawing on multiple new sources, including interviews with members of Colby’s family, Woods has crafted a gripping biography of one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

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    Shadow Warrior

    21.6 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.0 hrs • 12/1/2013 • Unabridged

    In the early 1960s, Dallas was brewing with political passions and full of extreme and unlikely characters, many of them dead set against a Kennedy presidency—rabid politicos like defrocked military general Edwin A. Walker; oil baron H. L. Hunt; W. A. Criswell, leader of the largest Baptist congregation in the world; and fanatical congressman Bruce Alger; along with a host of gangsters, unsung civil rights leaders, strippers, billionaires, and marauding police. Beginning with the campaign for Kennedy’s election and set against a nation in transition, Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis ingeniously explore the swirling forces that led numerous friends and aides to warn the president against stopping in Dallas on his fateful trip to Texas. Breathtakingly paced, this book presents a clear, cinematic, and revelatory look at the twentieth century’s most significant and terrifying political event. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, Dallas 1963 is not only a fresh look at a momentous political tragedy but a sobering reminder of how radical ideology turns ordinary Americans extraordinarily violent.

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    Dallas 1963

    12.0 hrs • 12/1/13 • Unabridged
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  10. 9.5 hrs • 11/12/2013 • Unabridged

    One of our most influential progressive voices tells the story of the hollowing of the American middle class and lays out the choices that we must make to ensure that the dream of prosperity can live on for generations. In The Crash of 2016, Thom Hartmann describes a country not on the road to collapse but in the midst of an economic implosion that could make the Great Depression seem like small potatoes. Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction of the population at the expense of the rest, a “for the rich, by the rich” system that is turning our democracy into an ancient feudal kingdom and leading to policies that only benefit the highest bidder. A backlash is now palpable—against the banksters, oligarchs, and economic royalists like Milton Friedman, Lewis F. Powell, Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan, Jude Wanniski, Roger Ailes, the Koch brothers, and others who have plunged our nation into economic chaos and social instability. But like the previous crashes of 1770, 1856, and 1929, the Crash of 2016 will give us the chance to once again embrace the moral motive over the profit motive and to rebuild an economic model that has always yielded great success. Thoroughly researched and passionately argued, The Crash of 2016 assures us that if the right reforms are enacted we can avert disaster and make our nation whole again.

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    The Crash of 2016

    9.5 hrs • 11/12/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 0 reviews 0 5 4.4 4 out of 5 stars 4.4/5
    36.7 hrs • 11/5/2013 • Unabridged

    The gap between rich and poor has never been wider. Legislative stalemate paralyzes the country. Corporations resist federal regulations. Spectacular mergers produce giant companies. The influence of money in politics deepens. Bombs explode in crowded streets. Small wars proliferate far from our shores. A dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming un-seamed and reform was in the air. The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history. The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure. Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men. The Bully Pulpit, like Goodwin’s brilliant chronicles of the Civil War and World War II, exquisitely demonstrates her distinctive ability to combine scholarly rigor with accessibility. It is a major work of history—an examination of leadership in a rare moment of activism and reform that brought the country closer to its founding ideals.

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    The Bully Pulpit

    36.7 hrs • 11/5/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 32.0 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I. The century since the end of the Napoleonic wars had been the most peaceful era Europe had known since the fall of the Roman Empire. In the first years of the twentieth century, Europe believed it was marching to a golden, happy, and prosperous future. But instead, complex personalities and rivalries, colonialism and ethnic nationalism, and shifting alliances helped to bring about the failure of the long peace and the outbreak of a war that transformed Europe and the world. The War That Ended Peace brings vividly to life the military leaders, politicians, diplomats, bankers, and the extended, interrelated family of crowned heads across Europe who failed to stop the descent into war: in Germany, the mercurial Kaiser Wilhelm II and the chief of the German general staff, Von Moltke the Younger; in Austria-Hungary, Emperor Franz Joseph, a man who tried, through sheer hard work, to stave off the coming chaos in his empire; in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife; in Britain, King Edward VII, Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, and British admiral Jacky Fisher, the fierce advocate of naval reform who entered into the arms race with Germany that pushed the continent toward confrontation on land and sea. There are the would-be peacemakers as well, among them prophets of the horrors of future wars whose warnings went unheeded: Alfred Nobel, who donated his fortune to the cause of international understanding; and Bertha von Suttner, a writer and activist who was the first woman awarded Nobel’s new Peace Prize. Here too we meet the urbane and cosmopolitan Count Harry Kessler, who noticed many of the early signs that something was stirring in Europe; the young Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty and a rising figure in British politics; Madame Caillaux, who shot a man who might have been a force for peace; and more. With indelible portraits, MacMillan shows how the fateful decisions of a few powerful people changed the course of history. Taut, suspenseful, and impossible to put down, The War That Ended Peace is also a wise cautionary reminder of how wars happen in spite of the nearly universal desire to keep the peace. Destined to become a classic in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, The War That Ended Peace enriches our understanding of one of the defining periods and events of the twentieth century.

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    The War That Ended Peace

    32.0 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    29.3 hrs • 10/22/2013 • Unabridged

    In Days of Fire, Peter Baker, senior White House correspondent for the New York Times, takes us on a gripping and intimate journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a tour de force narrative of a dramatic and controversial presidency. Theirs was the most captivating American political partnership since Nixon and Kissinger, a bold, untested president and his seasoned, relentless vice president. Confronted by one crisis after another, they struggled to protect the country, remake the world, and define their own relationship along the way. In Days of Fire, Peter Baker chronicles the history of the most consequential presidency in modern times through the prism of its two most compelling characters, capturing the elusive and shifting alliance of George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney as no historian has done before. He brings to life with in-the-room immediacy all the drama of an era marked by devastating terror attacks, the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, and financial collapse. The real story of Bush and Cheney is a far more fascinating tale than the familiar suspicion that Cheney was the power behind the throne. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with key players and thousands of pages of never-released notes, memos, and other internal documents, Baker paints a riveting portrait of a partnership that evolved dramatically over time, from the early days when Bush leaned on Cheney, making him the most influential vice president in history, to their final hours, when the two had grown so far apart they were clashing in the West Wing. Together and separately, they were tested as no other president and vice president have been, first on a bright September morning—an unforgettable “day of fire” just months into the presidency—and on countless days of fire over the course of eight tumultuous years. Days of Fire is a monumental and definitive work that will rank with the best of presidential histories. As absorbing as a thriller, it is eye opening and essential reading.

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    Days of Fire

    29.3 hrs • 10/22/13 • Unabridged
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  14. 5.5 hrs • 9/17/2013 • Unabridged

    Ron Paul—the former Texas congressman, presidential candidate, and #1 New York Times bestselling author—returns with a highly provocative and controversial treatise about America’s broken education system. Ron Paul’s new book delves deeply into one of the most important issues facing us today—the state of education in America. The vast majority of Americans agree that our education system is not working. Costs continue to rise while quality continues to plummet. Paul argues that we need to start thinking about the whole thing differently. This book is a focused guide to his position, which centers on a strong support for home schooling and free market principles applied to education. He makes the case that parents should have far greater freedoms when it comes to educating their children, and he nimbly dissects the most pressing problems from a libertarian point of view. He also briefly discusses the history of education in this country, along with what has gone wrong and how we got to where we are now. Unlike nearly all other politicians, Ron Paul’s views have remained remarkably consistent for many decades, and even if for those who disagree with his principles, his arguments always spark critical thinking and challenge the status quo. His urgent appeal to all citizens will illuminate what we need to do to fix America’s education system for future generations.

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    The School Revolution

    5.5 hrs • 9/17/13 • Unabridged
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  15. 4.1 hrs • 3/11/2013

    The coauthor, editor, or coeditor of a number of books on American politics, Ken Masugi of Johns Hopkins University has been a speechwriter for two cabinet members. Examining the founding of the American political system through the classic works of Democracy in America author Alexis de Tocqueville, this course explores the big ideas of the American experiment. Taking into account matters from liberty and independence to self-government and civil associations, these lectures highlight issues of states’ rights, church and state, race, and public versus private charity.

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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.2 hrs • 2/19/2013 • Unabridged

    Just as today’s observers struggle to justify the workings of the free market in the wake of a global economic crisis, an earlier generation of economists revisited their worldviews following the Great Depression. The Great Persuasion is an intellectual history of that project. Angus Burgin traces the evolution of postwar economic thought in order to reconsider many of the most basic assumptions of our market-centered world. Conservatives often point to Friedrich Hayek as the most influential defender of the free market. By examining the work of such organizations as the Mont Pèlerin Society, an international association founded by Hayek in 1947 and later led by Milton Friedman, Burgin reveals that Hayek and his colleagues were deeply conflicted about many of the enduring problems of capitalism. Far from adopting an uncompromising stance against the interventionist state, they developed a social philosophy that admitted significant constraints on the market. Postwar conservative thought was more dynamic and cosmopolitan than has previously been understood. It was only in the 1960s and ‘70s that Friedman and his contemporaries developed a more strident defense of the unfettered market. Their arguments provided a rhetorical foundation for the resurgent conservatism of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan and inspired much of the political and economic agenda of the United States in the ensuing decades. Burgin’s brilliant inquiry uncovers both the origins of the contemporary enthusiasm for the free market and the moral quandaries it has left behind.

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    The Great Persuasion

    10.2 hrs • 2/19/13 • Unabridged
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