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  1. 16.3 hrs • 8/29/2016 • Unabridged

    Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus’s landing had crossed the Bering Strait twelve thousand years ago; existed mainly in small, nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas was, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last thirty years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong. In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions. Among them: • In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe. • Certain cities–such as Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital–were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlán, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately clean streets. • The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids. • Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed corn by a breeding process so sophisticated that the journalScience recently described it as “man’s first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering.” • Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it–a process scientists are studying today in the hope of regaining this lost knowledge. • Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively “landscaped” by human beings. Mannsheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation.

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    1491

    16.3 hrs • 8/29/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 11.1 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    With a Foreword by Bill O’Reilly, here is the incredible memoir of a former Marine who returns to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan three decades after leaving the Corps. Terry McGowan had been a beat cop, a Marine captain, and a special agent for the FBI before retiring at the age of fifty. But when tragedy struck the United States on September 11, 2001, Terry felt an undiminished sense of duty to protect and serve his country. Six years later, he was in Iraq as a member of a team of high-ranking retired and active-duty military working for the highest level of Marine military intelligence. His success in Iraq led to a position as a Law Enforcement Professional with the Marines in Afghanistan. There he found himself the oldest member of a platoon on the front line; a platoon that was under strength and under fire. While an eighteen-year-old Marine can’t look at a crowd of Afghans and pick out the guilty party, with his years of experience in law enforcement, Terry had developed an eye for the “felony look.” His training as a Marine officer combined with his experience as an FBI agent made him a unique asset as he struggled to keep up with young Marines while they humped over the mountains. In The Silence of War, Terry recounts the many trials of his life of service, providing an intimate glimpse into the horrible realities of modern military conflict.

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    The Silence of War

    Foreword by Bill O’Reilly
    Read by Pete Larkin
    11.1 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.8 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    A riveting new examination of the leading progressive Supreme Court justice of his era According to Jeffrey Rosen, Louis D. Brandeis was “the Jewish Jefferson,” the greatest critic of what he called “the curse of bigness” in business and government since the author of the Declaration of Independence. Published to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of his Supreme Court confirmation on June 1, 1916, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet argues that Brandeis was the most farseeing constitutional philosopher of the twentieth century. In addition to writing the most famous article on the right to privacy, he also wrote the most important Supreme Court opinions about free speech, freedom from government surveillance, and freedom of thought and opinion. And as the leader of the American Zionist movement, he convinced Woodrow Wilson and the British government to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Combining narrative biography with a passionate argument for why Brandeis matters today, Rosen explores what Brandeis, the Jeffersonian prophet, can teach us about historic and contemporary questions involving the Constitution, monopoly, corporate and federal power, technology, privacy, free speech, and Zionism.

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    Louis D. Brandeis by Jeffrey Rosen

    Louis D. Brandeis

    7.8 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.8 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    On a cold, moonlit night in January 1944, Anne-Marie Walters, just twenty years old, parachuted into southwest France to work with the Resistance in preparation for the long-awaited Allied invasion. The daughter of a British father and a French mother, she was to act as a courier for George Starr, head of the “Wheelwright” circuit of the Special Operations Executive. Over the next seven months, Walters crisscrossed the region, carrying messages, delivering explosives, arranging the escape of downed airmen, and receiving parachute drops of arms and personnel in the dead of night—living in constant fear of capture and torture by the Gestapo. Then, on the very eve of liberation, she was sent off on foot over the Pyrenees to Spain, carrying urgent dispatches for London. Anne-Marie Walters wrote Moondrop to Gascony immediately after the war, while the events were still vivid in her mind. It is a tale of high adventure, comradeship and kindness, of betrayals and appalling atrocities, and of the often unremarked courage of many ordinary French men and women who risked their lives to help drive German armies from French soil. And through it all shines her’s quiet courage, a keen sense of humor and, above all, her pure zest for life. For this new edition, David Hewson, a former regular-army officer interested in military history, adds biographical details for the main characters, identifies the real people behind the code names, and provides background information. He also tells about Anne-Marie Walters’ early life and what happened to her in the postwar years.

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    Moondrop to Gascony by Anne-Marie Walters

    Moondrop to Gascony

    Introduction and postscript by David Hewson
    9.8 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 10.0 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    The daring behind-Nazi-lines rescue of priceless pedigree horses by American soldiers in the closing days of World War Two—a riveting equine adventure story from the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion. While Hitler’s attempt to create an Aryan master race is well known, his simultaneous effort to build an equine master race made up of the finest purebred horses is not. Hidden on a secret farm in Czechoslovakia, these beautiful animals were suddenly imperiled in the spring of 1945 as the Russians closed in on the Third Reich from the east and the Allies attacked from the west. Thanks to the daring of an American colonel, an Austrian Olympian in charge of the famous Lipizzaner stallions, and the support of US General George Patton, a covert mission was planned to kidnap these endangered animals and smuggle them into safe territory—though many disapproved of risking human lives to save mere horses.

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    The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts

    The Perfect Horse

    10.0 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    Ten powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS. With the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. This collection draws on several articles he wrote while researching that book as well as many that he’s written since, following where and how al-Qaeda and its core cultlike beliefs have morphed and spread. They include an indelible impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world. The American response is covered in profiles of two FBI agents and a chief of the CIA. It ends with the recent devastating piece about the capture and beheading by ISIS of four American journalists and aid workers, and how our government failed to handle the situation.

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    The Terror Years

    8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 12.8 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion comes the riveting true story of the valiant rescue of priceless pedigree horses in the last days of World War II. As the Russians closed in on Hitler from the east and the Allies attacked from the west, American soldiers discovered a secret Nazi effort to engineer a master race of the finest purebred horses. With the support of U.S. general George S. Patton, a passionate equestrian, the Americans planned an audacious mission to kidnap these beautiful animals and smuggle them into safe territory—assisted by a daring Austrian colonel who was both a former Olympian and a trainer of the famous Lipizzaner stallions.

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    The Perfect Horse

    12.8 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 22.3 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer’s search for the truth behind his family’s tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history. The Lost begins as the story of a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust—an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relatives’ fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family’s story began and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.

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    The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn

    The Lost

    22.3 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating and original portrait of the escaped-slave refugee camps and how they shaped the course of emancipation and black citizenship. By the end of the Civil War, nearly half a million slaves had taken refuge behind Union lines in what became known as “contraband camps.” These were crowded, dangerous places, yet some 12–15 percent of the Confederacy’s slave population took almost unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places Northerners came to know former slaves en masse. Ranging from stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to the debates in Congress, Troubled Refuge probes what the camps were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there. This alliance, which would outlast the war, helped to destroy slavery and ward off the surprisingly tenacious danger of reenslavement. But it also raised unsettling questions about the relationship between American civil and military authority and reshaped the meaning of American citizenship to the benefit as well as the lasting cost of African Americans.

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    Troubled Refuge by Chandra Manning

    Troubled Refuge

    12.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 25.5 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    Nine hundred years ago, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the Pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed, Islam and Christianity—both firm in the belief that they were at God’s work—fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars: the Crusades. For the first time, this book tells the story of that epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims. A vivid and fast-paced narrative history, it exposes the full horror, passion, and barbaric grandeur of the Crusading era, leading us into a world of legendary champions—such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin—shadowy Assassins, poet-warriors, and pious visionaries; across the desert sands of Egypt to the verdant forests of Lebanon; and through the ancient cities of Constantinople, Cairo, and Damascus. Drawing on painstaking original research and an intimate knowledge of the Near East, Thomas Asbridge uncovers what drove Muslims and Christians alike to embrace the ideals of jihad and crusade, revealing how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world and why they continue to influence events today.

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    The Crusades

    25.5 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 10.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    At midday on May 4, 1970, after three days of protests, several thousand students and the Ohio National Guard faced off at opposite ends of the grassy campus commons at Kent State University. At noon, the Guard moved out. Twenty-four minutes later, Guardsmen launched a thirteen-second, sixty-seven-shot barrage that left four students dead and nine wounded, one paralyzed for life. The story doesn’t end there, though. A horror of far greater proportions was narrowly averted minutes later when the Guard and students reassembled on the commons. The Kent State shootings were both unavoidable and preventable: unavoidable in that all the discordant forces of a turbulent decade flowed together on May 4, 1970, on one Ohio campus; preventable in that every party to the tragedy made the wrong choices at the wrong time in the wrong place. Using the university’s recently available oral-history collection supplemented by extensive new interviewing, Means tells the story of this iconic American moment through the eyes and memories of those who were there, and skillfully situates it in the context of a tumultuous era.

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    67 Shots by Howard Means

    67 Shots

    10.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 14.6 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    In a landmark work of history, Russell Shorto presents astonishing information on the founding of our nation and reveals in riveting detail the crucial role of the Dutch in making America what it is today. In the late 1960s, an archivist in the New York State Library made an astounding discovery: 12,000 pages of centuries-old correspondence, court cases, legal contracts, and reports from a forgotten society: the Dutch colony centered on Manhattan, which predated the thirteen “original” American colonies. For the past thirty years, scholar Charles Gehring has been translating this trove, which was recently declared a national treasure. Now, Russell Shorto has made use of this vital material to construct a sweeping narrative of Manhattan’s founding that gives a startling, fresh perspective on how America began. In an account that blends a novelist’s grasp of storytelling with cutting-edge scholarship,The Island at the Center of the Worldstrips Manhattan of its asphalt, bringing us back to a wilderness island—a hunting ground for Indians, populated by wolves and bears—that became a prize in the global power struggle between the English and the Dutch. Indeed, Russell Shorto shows that America’s founding was not the work of English settlers alone but a result of the clashing of these two seventeenth century powers. In fact, it was Amsterdam—Europe’s most liberal city, with an unusual policy of tolerance and a polyglot society dedicated to free trade—that became the model for the city of New Amsterdam on Manhattan. While the Puritans of New England were founding a society based on intolerance, on Manhattan the Dutch created a free-trade, upwardly-mobile melting pot that would help shape not only New York, but America.

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    The Island at the Center of the World

    14.6 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 10.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    “Julius can’t remember who first saw the men. He heard no warning sounds—no dog barking or twig snapping. Until this point, events had moved too swiftly for Julius to be afraid, but now panic seized him. In another instant, he realized that his old life was finished.” Thus begins the extraordinary odyssey of Julius Achon, a journey that takes a barefoot twelve-year-old boy from a village in northern Uganda to the rebel camp of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, where he was made a boy soldier, and then, miraculously, to a career as one of the world’s foremost middle-distance runners. But when a devastating tragedy prevents Julius from pursuing the gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he is once again set adrift and forced to forge a new path for himself, finally finding his true calling as an internationally recognized humanitarian. Today, Julius is the director of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural Uganda through access to healthcare, education, and athletics. While pursuing his destiny, Julius encounters a range of unforgettable characters who variously befriend and betray him: the demonic Joseph Kony, a “world-class warlord”; John Cook, a brilliant and eccentric U.S. track coach; Jim Fee, an American businessman who helps Julius build a state-of-the-art medical center deep in the Ugandan bush; and finally Kristina, Julius’s mother, whose own tragic journey forms the pivot for this spellbinding narrative of love, loss, suffering, and redemption. Written by award-winning sportswriter John Brant, The Boy Who Runs is an empowering tale of obstacles overcome, challenges met, and light wrested from darkness. It’s a story about forging your true path and finding your higher purpose—even when the road ahead bends in unexpected directions.

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    The Boy Who Runs

    10.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.7 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s. In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now. Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security. The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.

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    Altamont

    9.7 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 10.1 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    The legend was forged in the fires of World War II, when special units of elite navy frogmen were entrusted with dangerous covert missions. These Underwater Demolition Teams, as they were then called, soon became known for their toughness and fearlessness, and their remarkable ability to get the job—any job—done. Years later, the renamed US Navy SEALs (for sea, air, and land) continued to be a wartime force to be reckoned with throughout the remainder of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. They served as rangers and scouts in the jungles of Vietnam, answered the call to duty in Panama, Granada, and in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, while developing into the very best of the best, the cream of America’s Special Forces crop.

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    Brave Men Dark Waters

    10.1 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 24.0 hrs • 8/16/2016 • Unabridged

    A stunning account of how the American military’s breaking of the Japanese diplomatic Purple codes led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Bruce Lee, having had access to more than one million pages of US Army documents and thousands of pages of daily top-secret messages dispatched to Tokyo from the Japanese embassy in Berlin, assembles fascinating revelations about pivotal moments in the war, including the reason Eisenhower stopped his army at the Elbe and let the Russians capture Berlin, the invasion of Europe, and the battles on the African and Eastern fronts. This groundbreaking book clearly demonstrates how the success of the American code-breakers led to so many favorable military and strategic outcomes for the Allies and hastened the end of this devastating war.

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    Marching Orders

    24.0 hrs • 8/16/16 • Unabridged
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