Nonfiction Audio Books
10.0 hrs • 5/14/2013Listen
An outspoken centrist, Senator Snowe stunned Washington in February 2012 when she announced she would not seek a fourth term and offered a sharp rebuke to the Senate, citing the dispiriting gridlock and polarization. After serving in the legislative branch at the state and federal levels for forty years, including eighteen years in the US Senate, she explained that Washington wasn’t solving the big problems anymore.
In this timely call to action, she explores the roots of her belief in principled policy-making and bipartisan compromise. A leading moderate with a reputation for crossing the aisle, Senator Snowe proposes solutions for bridging the partisan divide in Washington, most notably through a citizens’ movement to hold elected officials accountable.
Senator Snowe recounts how the tragedies and triumphs of her personal story helped shape her political approach. Born in Augusta, Maine, Senator Snowe was orphaned at nine and raised by an aunt and uncle. When she was twenty-six, her husband, a Maine state representative, was killed in a car accident. Already dedicated to public service, she ran for and won her husband’s seat.
Fighting for Common Ground includes anecdotes from throughout Snowe’s career and addresses her working relationships with Presidents Reagan through Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, Majority Leader Bob Dole, and many others. As a senior member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the high-profile Commerce and Intelligence Committees, and the Small Business Committee, Senator Snowe has been directly involved with the most talked-about legislative challenges of recent decades: the country’s response to 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, the Affordable Care Act, the debt ceiling debacle, and much more.
Drawing on the lessons she’s learned as a policymaker and the frustration she shares with the American people about the government’s dwindling productivity, Senator Snowe passionately argues that the government has now lost its way, shows how this happened, and proposes ways for the world’s greatest deliberative body to once again fulfill its mission.>Learn More
6.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
From the bestselling author of Killing Lincoln and host of Fox News’ top show, The O’Reilly Factor—an essential collection of writing and commentary featuring Bill O’Reilly’s ideas, wisdom, and core message
Bill O’Reilly is one of the most recognized and talked-about journalists of our time. With an unparalleled track record as an author and a #1 rated Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly has always been a provocative and outspoken defender of our traditional values. In Keep It Pithy, O’Reilly offers a classic collection of the most memorable writings from his previous books and columns, topped off with a new introduction, and looks back at how his opinions and ideas have been proven right or wrong by the passage of time. With his trademark candor and no-nonsense approach, each chapter will focus on a core theme or value as it gathers O’Reilly’s thoughts on the most compelling issues of our time and offers readers an illuminating guide to the American cultural landscape.
A spirited and personal book, Keep It Pithy will be the perfect addition to an O’Reilly fan’s library, or the best introduction to him for the few left uninitiated.>Learn More
13.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
Seven minutes after President Obama put his signature to a landmark national health care insurance program, a lawyer in the office of Florida GOP attorney general Bill McCollum hit a computer key, sparking a legal challenge to the new law that would eventually reach the nation’s highest court. Health care is only the most visible and recent front in a battle over the meaning and scope of the US Constitution. The battleground is the Supreme Court, and one of the most skilled, insightful, and trenchant of its observers takes us close up to watch it in action.
The Roberts court, seven years old, is at the center of a constitutional maelstrom. Four landmark decisions—concerning health care, money in elections, guns at home, and race in schools—reveal the fault lines in a conservative-dominated court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.
Marcia Coyle’s brilliant inside account of the high court captures how those cases began—the personalities and conflicts that catapulted them onto the national scene—and how they ultimately exposed the great divides among the justices, such as the originalists versus the pragmatists on guns and the Second Amendment, and corporate speech versus human speech in the controversial Citizens United campaign case. Most dramatically, her analysis shows how dedicated conservative lawyers and groups are strategizing to find cases and crafting them to bring up the judicial road to the Supreme Court with an eye on a receptive conservative majority. The Roberts Court offers a ringside seat at the struggle to lay down the law of the land.>Learn More
13.5 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
This nonfiction legal thriller traces the fourteen-year struggle of two lawyers to bring the most powerful coal baron in American history to justice.
Don Blankenship, head of Massey Energy since the early 1990s, ran an industry that provides nearly half of America’s electric power. But wealth and influence weren’t enough for Blankenship and his company, as they set about destroying corporate and personal rivals, challenging the Constitution, purchasing the West Virginia judiciary, and willfully disregarding safety standards in the company’s mines—mines in which scores died unnecessarily.
As Blankenship hobnobbed with a West Virginia Supreme Court justice in France, his company polluted the drinking water of hundreds of citizens; he himself fostered baroque vendettas against anyone who dared challenge his sovereignty over coal country. Just about the only thing that stood in the way of Blankenship’s tyranny over a state and an industry was a pair of odd-couple attorneys, Dave Fawcett and Bruce Stanley, who undertook a legal quest to bring justice to this corner of America. From the backwoods courtrooms of West Virginia they pursued their case all the way to the US Supreme Court and to a dramatic decision declaring that the wealthy and powerful are not entitled to purchase their own brand of law.
The Price of Justice is a story of corporate corruption so far-reaching and devastating it could have been written a hundred years ago by Ida Tarbell or Lincoln Steffens. And as Laurence Leamer demonstrates in this captivating tale, because it’s true, it’s scarier than fiction.>Learn More
8.0 hrs • 5/7/2013Listen
A trusted member of Hitler’s inner circle, Artur Axmann, the head of the Hitler Youth, witnessed the Führer commit suicide in Berlin, but he would not let the Reich die with its leader. Evading capture, and with access to remnants of the regime’s wealth, Axmann had enough followers to reestablish the Nazi party in the very heart of Allied-occupied Germany and position himself to become dictator of the Fourth Reich.
US Army Counter Intelligence Corps Officer Jack Hunter was the perfect undercover operative. Fluent in German, he posed as a black marketeer to root out Nazi sympathizers and saboteurs after the war, and along with other CIC agents uncovered the extent of Axmann’s conspiracy. It threatened to bring the Nazis back into power, and the task fell to Hunter and his team to stop it.
The Axmann Conspiracy is the previously untold true story of the Nazi threat that continued in the wake of World War II, the espionage that defeated it, and two fascinating men whose lives forever altered the course of history.>Learn More
0.3 hrs • 5/2/2013Listen
You will never see war the same way after reading this extraordinary retelling of an ancient Greek fable about a tragically unnecessary battle between mice and frogs. This miniature masterpiece ranks with Animal Farm as one of the greatest parables of human foibles.
Originally published in 1962, The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice tells a classic tale of the foolhardiness of war. When Crum-snatcher, a Mouse, cautiously mounts the back of Puff-jaw, King of the Frogs, to explore the Frogs’ pond, the Mouse meets with a disaster which soon brings the two nations into mortal conflict. The course of this tempest in a teapot is developed with wit to assume heroic proportions, and the battle of this small world becomes the story of wars through the ages.
George Martin has made an imaginative, free adaptation of a fable originally ascribed to Homer, but now believed to have been written about three hundred years after him by an unknown author.>Learn More
5.0 hrs • 4/30/2013Listen
18.0 hrs • 4/30/2013Listen
Few moments in history have seen as many seismic transformations as 1979. That one year marked the emergence of revolutionary Islam as a political force on the world stage, the beginning of market revolutions in China and Britain that would fuel globalization and radically alter the international economy, and the first stirrings of the resistance movements in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan that ultimately led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than any other year in the latter half of the twentieth century, 1979 heralded the economic, political, and religious realities that define the twenty-first.
In Strange Rebels, veteran journalist Christian Caryl shows how the world we live in today—and the problems that plague it—began to take shape in this pivotal year. 1979 saw a series of counterrevolutions against the progressive consensus that had dominated the postwar era. The year’s epic upheavals embodied a startling conservative challenge to communist and socialist systems around the globe, fundamentally transforming politics and economics worldwide. In China, 1979 marked the start of sweeping market-oriented reforms that have made the country the economic powerhouse it is today. 1979 was also the year that Pope John Paul II traveled to Poland, confronting communism in Eastern Europe by reigniting its people’s suppressed Catholic faith. In Iran, meanwhile, the Islamic Revolution transformed the nation into a theocracy almost overnight, overthrowing the shah’s modernizing monarchy. Farther west, Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Britain, returning it to a purer form of free-market capitalism and opening the way for Ronald Reagan to do the same in the United States. And in Afghanistan, a Soviet invasion fueled an Islamic holy war with global consequences; the Afghan mujahedin presaged the rise of al-Qaeda and served as a key factor in the fall of communism.
Weaving the story of each of these counterrevolutions into a brisk, gripping narrative, Strange Rebels is a groundbreaking account of how these far-flung events and disparate actors and movements gave birth to our modern age.>Learn More
24.0 hrs • 4/23/2013Listen
In this groundbreaking book of new reportage, sure to stir a global debate, journalist Jeremy Scahill—author of the acclaimed international bestseller Blackwater—takes us into the heart of the War on Terror’s most dangerous battlefields as he chases down the most important foreign policy story of our time.
From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, Scahill speaks to the CIA agents, mercenaries, and elite Special Operations Forces operators who populate the dark side of American war-fighting. He goes deep into al-Qaeda-held territory in Yemen and walks the streets of Mogadishu with CIA-backed warlords. We also meet the survivors of US night raids and drone strikes—including families of US citizens targeted for assassination by their own government—who reveal the human consequences of the dirty wars the United States struggles to keep hidden.
Written in a gripping, action-packed narrative nonfiction style, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield reveals that, despite his pledge to bring accountability to US wars and to end Bush-era abuses, President Barack Obama has kept in place many of the most dangerous and secret programs that thrived under his predecessor. In stunning detail, Scahill exposes how Obama has escalated these secret US wars and has built up an elite secret US military unit that answers to no one but the president himself. Scahill reveals the existence of previously unreported secret prisons, kidnappings, assassinations, and cover-ups of covert operations gone terribly wrong.
In this remarkable story from the frontlines of the undeclared battlefields of the War on Terror, journalist Jeremy Scahill documents the new paradigm of American war: fought far from any declared battlefield, by units that do not officially exist, in thousands of operations a month that are never publicly acknowledged.
The devastating picture that emerges in Dirty Wars is of a secret US killing machine that has grown more powerful than whatever president happens to reside in the White House. Scahill argues that far from keeping the United States—and the world—safe from terrorism, these covert American wars ensure that the terror will grow and spread.>Learn More
11.2 hrs • 4/23/2013Listen
Former State Department advisor for Afghanistan and Pakistan and bestselling author Vali Nasr delivers a sharp indictment of America’s flawed foreign policy and outlines a new relationship with the Muslim world and with new players in the changing Middle East.
In this essential new book, Vali Nasr argues that the Obama administration had a chance to improve its relations with the Middle East, but instead chose to pursue its predecessor’s questionable strategies there. Nasr takes readers behind the scenes at the State Department and reveals how the new government's fear of political backlash and the specter of terrorism crippled the efforts of diplomatic giants, like Richard Holbrooke and Hillary Clinton, to boost America’s foundering credibility with world leaders. Meanwhile, the true economic threats, China and Russia, were quietly expanding their influence in the region. And a second Arab Spring is brewing-not a hopeful clamor for democracy but rage at the United States for its foreign policy of drones and assassinations. Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the Middle East and firsthand experience in diplomacy, Nasr offers a powerful reassessment of American foreign policy that directs the country away from its failing relationships in the Middle East (such as with Saudi Arabia) toward more productive, and less costly, partnerships with other foreign allies (such as Turkey). Forcefully persuasive, Vali Nasr’s book is a game changer for America as it charts a course in the Muslim world, Asia, and beyond.>Learn More
8.0 hrs • 4/23/2013Listen
Texas may well be America’s most controversial state. Evangelicals dominate the halls of power, millions of its people live in poverty, and its death row is the busiest in the country. Skeptical outsiders have found much to be offended by in the state’s politics and attitude, and yet, according to journalist, and Texan, Erica Grieder, the United States has a great deal to learn from Texas.
In Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right, Grieder traces the political history of a state that was always larger than life. From its rowdy beginnings, Texas has combined a long-standing suspicion of government intrusion with a passion for business. Looking to the present, Grieder assesses the unique mix of policies on issues like immigration, debt, taxes, regulation, and energy, which together have sparked a bona fide Texas miracle of job growth. While acknowledging that it still has plenty of twenty-first century problems to face, she finds in Texas a model of governance whose power has been drastically underestimated. Her book is a fascinating exploration of America’s underrated powerhouse.>Learn More
8.0 hrs • 4/9/2013Listen
Democracy has been the American religion since before the Revolution, from New England town halls to the multicultural democracy of Atlantic pirate ships. But can our current political system, one that seems responsive only to the wealthiest among us and leaves most Americans feeling disengaged, voiceless, and disenfranchised, really be called democratic? And if the tools of our democracy are not working to solve the rising crises we face, how can we average citizens make change happen?
David Graeber, one of the most influential scholars and activists of his generation, takes readers on a journey through the idea of democracy, provocatively reorienting our understanding of pivotal historical moments, and extracts their lessons for today, from the birth of Athenian democracy and the founding of the United States of America to the global revolutions of the twentieth century and the rise of a new generation of activists. Underlying it all is a bracing argument that in the face of increasingly concentrated wealth and power in this country, a reenergized, reconceived democracy, one based on consensus, equality, and broad participation, can yet provide us with the just, free, and fair society we want.
The Democracy Project tells the story of the resilience of the democratic spirit and the adaptability of the democratic idea. It offers a fresh take on vital history and an impassioned argument that radical democracy is, more than ever, our best hope.>Learn More
36.5 hrs • 4/2/2013Listen
A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and bestselling author David Stockman
David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here—and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.>Learn More
9.0 hrs • 4/2/2013Listen
Nine-year-olds can solve the world’s toughest problems.
In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking “World Peace Game.” These kids—from high school to fourth grade, in schools both well-funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change.
In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from more than thirty years of teaching his game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful audiobook, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.>Learn More
0.9 hrs • 4/1/2013Listen
It was April 16, 1963. Birmingham, Alabama had experienced a spring of nonviolent protests known as the Birmingham Campaign, seeking to draw attention to the segregation against blacks by the city government and downtown retailers. The organizers longed to create a nonviolent tension so severe that the powers that be would be forced to address the rampant racism head on. One of the recently arrested was Martin Luther King Jr. It was there in that jail cell that he penned this letter, originally written on the margins of a newspaper. His message was a defense of nonviolence against segregation. His accusers, though many, were not the white racist leaders or retailers he protested against, but eight black men who saw him as “other” and as too extreme. To them and to the world he defended the notion that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” A powerful message of nonviolence, equality, and tolerance, his words are as inspirational today as in 1963.>Learn More
11.5 hrs • 3/19/2013Listen
We know that power is shifting: From west to east and north to south, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before.
In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moises Naim illuminates the struggle between once-dominant megaplayers and the new micropowers challenging them in every field of human endeavor. Drawing on provocative, original research, Naim shows how the antiestablishment drive of micropowers can topple tyrants, dislodge monopolies, and open remarkable new opportunities, but it can also lead to chaos and paralysis. He deftly covers the seismic changes underway in business, religion, education, within families, and in all matters of war and peace. Examples abound in all walks of life: In 1977, eighty-nine countries were ruled by autocrats while today more than half the world’s population lives in democracies. Major business leaders are more constrained and have shorter tenures than their predecessors. Modern tools of war, cheaper and more accessible, make it possible for groups like Hezbollah to afford their own drones. In the second half of 2010, the top ten hedge funds earned more than the world’s largest six banks combined.
Those in power retain it by erecting powerful barriers to keep challengers at bay. Today, insurgent forces dismantle those barriers more quickly and easily than ever, only to find that they themselves become vulnerable in the process. Accessible and captivating, Naim offers a revolutionary look at the inevitable end of power—and how it will change your world.>Learn More