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  1. 10.9 hrs • 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    “The Erie Canal rubbed Aladdin’s lamp. America awoke, catching for the first time the wondrous vision of its own dimensions and power.”—Francis Kimball, American architect The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn’t just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history. Zealots invented new religions and new modes of living. The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face-to-face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity. Heaven’s Ditch illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this “psychic highway,” from its opening in 1825 through 1844. “Wage slave” Sam Patch became America’s first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Farm boy Joseph Smith gave birth to Mormonism, a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, one encounters America’s very first “crime of the century,” a treasure hunt, searing acts of violence, a visionary cross-dresser, and a panoply of fanatics, mystics, and hoaxers. A page-turning narrative, Heaven’s Ditch offers an excitingly fresh look at a heady, foundational moment in American history.

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    Heaven’s Ditch by Jack Kelly

    Heaven’s Ditch

    10.9 hrs • 7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 5.6 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex—the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history. In 1819 the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear. In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man’s relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.

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    In the Heart of the Sea, Young Reader’s Edition by Nathaniel Philbrick
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    7.6 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    Rescue of the Bounty is the harrowing story of the sinking and rescue of Bounty—the tall ship used in the classic 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty—which was caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy with sixteen aboard. On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail Bounty from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Walbridge was well aware that a hurricane was forecast to travel north from the Caribbean toward the eastern seaboard. Yet the captain was determined to sail. As he explained to his crew of fifteen: A ship is always safer at sea than in port. He intended to sail “around the hurricane” and told the crew that anyone who did not want to come on the voyage could leave the ship—there would be no hard feelings. As fate would have it, no one took the captain up on his offer. Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on Bounty. The vessel’s failing pumps could not keep up with the incoming water. The ship began to lose power as it was beaten and rocked by hurricane winds that spanned eight hundred miles. A few hours later, in the dark of night, the ship suddenly overturned ninety miles off the North Carolina coast in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” sending the crew tumbling into an ocean filled with towering thirty-foot waves. The Coast Guard then launched one of the most complex and massive rescues in its history, flying two Jayhawk helicopter crews into the hurricane and lowering rescue swimmers into the raging seas again and again, despite the danger to their own lives. In the uproar heard across American media in the days following, a single question persisted: Why did the captain decide to sail? Through hundreds of hours of interviews with the crew members, their families, and the Coast Guard, the masterful duo of Michael J. Tougias and Douglas A. Campbell creates an in-depth portrait of the enigmatic Captain Walbridge, his motivations, and what truly occurred aboard Bounty during those terrifying days at sea. Dripping with suspense and vivid high-stakes drama, Rescue of the Bounty is an unforgettable tale about the brutality of nature and the human will to survive.

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    Rescue of the Bounty by Michael J. Tougias, Douglas A. Campbell

    Rescue of the Bounty

    7.6 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.9 hrs • 5/20/2014 • Unabridged

    From a writer whose books succeed in either subverting or creating genres comes a unique look at an inaccessible world: life on board an American aircraft carrier. At once deft travelogue, unerring social observation, and honed comedy, this book describes life on a three-dimensional maze of walkways, hatches, and stairs; conversations conducted in a language suffused with acronyms but devoid of grammar; and Geoff Dyer’s own earnest efforts to appreciate the men and women aboard who have chosen a way of life the diametric opposite of the one he has constructed for himself. Underlying Dyer’s efforts to overcome the disadvantages of being the oldest, tallest (actually, second tallest), and most self-conscious person on the boat is an intense fascination with the military world—one that has its origins in the long hours he spent as a child building and painting airplane models and mastering the intricate details and features of military aircraft. This fascination allows Dyer to appreciate the rigorous protocols defined by the instruments, equipment that requires a thoroughgoing mastery of detail, and the expectations and outlooks of those who must adhere to a regimen defined by service and self-constraint, and a refusal to embrace uncertainty.

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    Another Great Day at Sea

    5.9 hrs • 5/20/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 13.0 hrs • 4/1/2014 • Unabridged

    A crucial, forgotten chapter of American history—brilliantly retold for a new generation Everywhere hailed as a masterpiece of historical adventure, this enthralling narrative recounts the experiences of twelve American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815, captured by desert nomads, sold into slavery, and subjected to a hellish two-month journey through the bone-dry heart of the Sahara. The ordeal of these men—who found themselves tested by barbarism, murder, starvation, death, dehydration, and hostile tribes that roamed the desert on camelback— is made indelibly vivid in this gripping account of courage, brotherhood, and survival.

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    Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King

    Skeletons on the Zahara

    13.0 hrs • 4/1/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.6 hrs • 2/15/2014 • Unabridged

    A heart-stopping true-life tale of maritime disaster, survival, and daring rescue from a master storyteller Seventy-foot waves batter a torn life raft 250 miles out to sea in one of the world’s most dangerous places, the Gulf Stream. Hanging on to the raft are three men, a Canadian, a Brit, and their captain, Jean Pierre de Lutz, a dual citizen of America and France. Their capsized forty-seven-foot sailboat has filled with water and disappeared below the tempestuous sea. The giant waves repeatedly toss the men out of their tiny vessel, and JP, with nine broken ribs, is hypothermic and on the verge of death. The captain, however, is a remarkably tough character, having survived a brutal boyhood, and now he must rely on the same inner strength to outlast the storm. Trying to reach these survivors before it’s too late are four brave coast guardsmen battling hurricane-force winds in their Jayhawk helicopter. They know the waves will be extreme, but when they arrive they are astounded to find that the monstrous seas have waves reaching eighty feet. Lowering the wind-whipped helicopter to drop a rescue swimmer into such chaos will be extremely dangerous. The pilots wonder if they have a realistic chance of saving the sailors clinging to the broken life raft and if they will be able to even retrieve their own rescue swimmer from the towering seas. Once they commit to the rescue, they find themselves in almost as much trouble as the survivors, facing one life-and-death moment after the next. Also caught in the storm are three other boats, each one in a Mayday situation. Of the ten people on these boats, only six will ever see land again. Spellbinding, harrowing, and meticulously researched, A Storm Too Soon is a vivid account of the powerful collision between the forces of nature and the human will to survive. Author Michael J. Tougias, known for his fast-paced writing style and character-driven stories, tells this true saga in the present tense to give the reader a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat immediacy. A Storm Too Soon is Tougias at his masterful best and a heart-pounding narrative of survival, the power of the human spirit, and one of the most incredible rescues ever attempted.

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    A Storm Too Soon by Michael J. Tougias

    A Storm Too Soon

    8.6 hrs • 2/15/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.1 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Abridged

    Why did Titanic sink as quickly as it did? Two of the greatest wreck divers in the world, the heroes of Shadow Divers, solve the mystery of history's greatest wreck. Titanic's Last Secrets peers into the lives of scientists, financiers, adventurers, and industrialists to bring readers a thrilling and revelatory work of history and contemporary adventure.

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    Titanic’s Last Secrets

    6.1 hrs • 7/15/12 • Abridged
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  8. 14.5 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    From bestselling author Simon Winchester comes the immense and thrilling story of the world’s most mysterious and breathtaking natural wonder: the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic is a biography of a tremendous space that has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists, and warriors, and continues profoundly to affect our character, attitudes, and dreams. Spanning the ocean’s story, from its geological origins to the age of exploration, from World War II battles to today’s struggles with pollution and overfishing, Winchester’s narrative is epic, intimate, and awe inspiring. Until a thousand years ago, few humans ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its vast infinity. But once the first daring mariners successfully navigated to its far shores—whether they were Vikings, the Irish, the Basques, John Cabot, or Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south—the Atlantic swiftly evolved in the world’s growing consciousness of itself as an enclosed body of water. Soon it became the fulcrum of Western civilization. More than a mere history, Atlantic is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope by one of the most gifted writers in the English language.

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    Atlantic

    14.5 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.3 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Late in the night of April 14, 1912, the mighty Titanic, a passenger liner traveling from Southampton, England, to New York City, struck an iceberg four hundred miles south of Newfoundland. Its sinking over the next two and a half hours brought the ship—mythological in name and size—one hundred years of infamy. Of the 2,240 people aboard the ship, 1,517 perished either by drowning or by freezing to death in the frigid North Atlantic waters. What followed the disaster was tantamount to a worldwide outpouring of grief: In New York, Paris, London, and other major cities, people lined the streets and crowded around the offices of the White Star Line, the Titanic’s shipping company, to inquire for news of their loved ones and for details about the lives of some of the famous people of their time. While many accounts of the Titanic’s voyage focus on the technical or mechanical aspects of why the ship sank, Voyagers of the Titanic follows the stories of the men, women, and children whose lives intersected on the vessel’s fateful last day, covering the full range of first, second, and third class­—from plutocrats and captains of industry to cobblers and tailors looking for a better life in America. Richard Davenport-Hines delves into the fascinating lives of those who ate, drank, reveled, dreamed, and died aboard the mythic ship: from John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest person on board, whose comportment that night was subject to speculation and gossip for years after the event, to Archibald Butt, the much-beloved military aide to Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, who died helping others into the Titanic’s few lifeboats. With magnificent prose, Voyagers of the Titanic also brings to life the untold stories of the ship’s middle and third classes—clergymen, teachers, hoteliers, engineers, shopkeepers, counterjumpers, and clerks—each of whom had a story that not only illuminates the fascinating ship but also the times in which it sailed. In addition, Davenport-Hines explores the fascinating politics behind the Titanic’s creation, which involved larger-than-life figures such as J. P. Morgan, the ship’s owner, and Lord Pirrie, the ship’s builder. The memory of this tragedy still remains a part of the American psyche and Voyagers of the Titanic brings that clear night back to us with all of its drama and pathos.

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    Voyagers of the Titanic

    11.3 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    5.9 hrs • 4/1/2012 • Unabridged

    In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor’easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril, setting the stage for one of the most heroic rescue stories ever lived. On February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, were in the same horrifying predicament. Built with “dirty steel,” and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic’s mercy. The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in a terrifying battle for survival.  Not all of the eighty-four men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it’s a miracle—and a testament to their bravery—that any at all came home to tell their tales.

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    The Finest Hours by Michael J. Tougias, Casey Sherman

    The Finest Hours

    5.9 hrs • 4/1/12 • Unabridged
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  11. 14.2 hrs • 2/1/2012 • Unabridged

    In this centennial edition of the definitive book on the Titanic, new findings and interviews shed light on the world’s most famous marine disaster for the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. On that fatal night in 1912, the world’s largest moving object disappeared beneath the waters of the North Atlantic in less than three hours. Why was the ship sailing through waters well known to be a “mass of floating ice”? Why were there too few lifeboats? Why were a third of the survivors crew members? Based on the sensational evidence of the United States Senate hearings, eyewitness accounts, and the results of the 1985 Woods Hole expedition that photographed the ship, this electrifying account vividly re-creates the vessel’s last desperate hours afloat and fully addresses the questions that have continued to haunt the tragedy of the Titanic.

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    The Titanic

    14.2 hrs • 2/1/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.3 hrs • 1/4/2012 • Unabridged

    Jack London, one of the most popular American writers, produced over fifty books of fiction and nonfiction during his lifetime. In 1906, without studying navigation, he and his wife Charmian and a small crew set out for Hawaii, hoping not to get lost. His misadventures at sea led him through the native uprisings, the doldrums, and the then unknown sport of surfing. Jack London describes the construction and outfitting of his boat in San Francisco, including frustrations with vendors, with which every boat owner will sympathize. London narrates his adventures in Hawaii and his perilous navigation across the Pacific sailing through the windless doldrums to the Marquesas Islands, Typee, Papeete, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands, before being overcome by tropical diseases and fever. This first person narrative, the first recording as an audiobook, combines London’s spirit of adventure with his wonderful sense of humor.

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  13. 5.3 hrs • 6/20/2010 • Unabridged

    The “unsinkable” Titanic was four city blocks long, with a French “sidewalk café,” private promenade decks, and the latest, most ingenious safety devices … but only twenty lifeboats for the 2,207 passengers and crew on board. Gliding through a calm sea, disdainful of all obstacles, the Titanic brushed an iceberg. Two hours and forty minutes later, she upended and sank. Only 705 survivors were picked up from the half-filled boats of “the ship that God himself couldn’t sink.” Walter Lord’s classic minute-by-minute re-creation is as vivid now as it was upon first publication fifty years ago. From the initial distress flares to the struggles of those left adrift for hours in freezing waters, this audio presentation will bring that moonlit night in 1912 to life for a new generation of readers.

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    A Night to Remember by Walter Lord

    A Night to Remember

    5.3 hrs • 6/20/10 • Unabridged
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  14. 1 reviews 0 5 4.8 4 out of 5 stars 4.8/5 (1)
    10.3 hrs • 11/1/2007 • Unabridged

    This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever recorded. In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world. Lansing describes how the men survived a 1,000-mile voyage in an open boat across the stormiest ocean in the world and an overland trek through forbidding glaciers and mountains. The book recounts a harrowing adventure, but ultimately it is the nobility of these men and their indefatigable will that shines through.

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    Endurance by Alfred Lansing

    Endurance

    10.3 hrs • 11/1/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 13.1 hrs • 10/15/2007 • Unabridged

    For more than three centuries, slave ships carried millions of people from the coasts of Africa across the Atlantic to the New World. Much is known of the slave trade and the American plantation complex, but little of the ships that made it all possible. In The Slave Ship, award-winning historian Marcus Rediker draws on thirty years of research in maritime archives to create an unprecedented history of these vessels and the human drama acted out on their rolling decks. He reconstructs in chilling detail the lives, deaths, and terrors of captains, sailors, and the enslaved aboard a “floating dungeon” trailed by sharks. From the young African kidnapped from his village and sold to the slavers by a neighboring tribe to the would-be priest who takes a job as a sailor on a slave ship only to be horrified by the evil he sees to the captain who relishes having “a hell of my own,” Rediker illuminates the lives of people who were thought to have left no trace. This is a tale of tragedy and terror, but also an epic of resilience, survival, and the creation of something entirely new, something that could only be called African American. Rediker restores the slave ship to its rightful place alongside the plantation as a formative institution of slavery, as a place where a profound and still haunting history of race, class, and modern capitalism was made.

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    The Slave Ship

    13.1 hrs • 10/15/07 • Unabridged
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  16. 5.9 hrs • 7/17/2007 • Unabridged

    Fatal Forecast chronicles a dramatic fight for survival aboard two small fishing boats that were caught in a horrific surprise storm off of Cape Cod. Soon after the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever reached the fishing ground at Georges Bank, they were hit with hurricane-force winds and massive ninety-foot waves that battered the boats for hours and made it impossible to turn back. The Fair Wind soon capsized, drowning all but one of the crewmembers. The Sea Fever was nearly torn apart. Here is the hour-by-hour account of the struggles faced by the boats’ crewmembers, including the incredible ordeal of Ernie Hazard, who endured three days in a lifeboat in open water. The book also details the dramatic rescue attempts made by the Coast Guard on a day in which it received more mayday calls than any other in New England history.

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    Fatal Forecast

    5.9 hrs • 7/17/07 • Unabridged
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