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21st Century

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  1. 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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  2. 22.9 hrs • 9/29/2015 • Unabridged

    From the former Moscow bureau chief of the New York Times comes The New Tsar, an epic and incisive portrait of Vladimir Putin, one of the most important and destabilizing world leaders in recent history. In a gripping narrative of Putin’s rise to power as Russia’s president, Steven Lee Myers recounts Putin’s origins—from his childhood of abject poverty in Leningrad, to his ascension through the ranks of the KGB, and his eventual consolidation of rule. Along the way, world events familiar to readers, such as September 11th and Russia’s war in Georgia in 2008, as well as the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, are presented from never-before-seen perspectives. This book is a grand, staggering achievement and a breathtaking look at one man’s rule. On one hand, Putin’s many reforms—from tax cuts to an expansion of property rights—have helped reshape the potential of millions of Russians whose only experience of democracy had been crime, poverty, and instability after the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism, unyielding in his brutal repression of revolts and squashing of dissent. Still, he retains widespread support from the Russian public. The New Tsar is a narrative tour de force, deeply researched, and utterly necessary for anyone fascinated by the formidable and ambitious Vladimir Putin, but also for those interested in the world and what a newly assertive Russia might mean for the future.

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    The New Tsar

    22.9 hrs • 9/29/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.4 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    New York Times bestselling author and founder of Media Matters, David Brock takes readers on his daring and eye-opening odyssey through the maze of political trenches. David Brock is the ultimate happy warrior. Once a leading right-wing hit man, Brock is now the Left’s pre-eminent defender and truth teller. In this incisive, personal account, Brock disarms the major tentacles of the Republican Leviathan: the Koch Brothers, the Clinton haters, and the Fox Noise Machine. With the acumen of a seasoned political player, Brock takes readers inside his Democratic war rooms and their 24/7 battles with right-wing forces for control of the story lines and messages that will decide the 2016 election. And he chronicles his own evolution from lead Clinton attack-dog to one of Hillary Clinton’s fiercest defenders as he knocks down the conservative case against her. Finally, Killing the Messenger provides the no holds barred playbook for what the new right-wing conspirators will do in this election cycle to tear apart the electorate—and what good, engaged, and informed citizens can do to stop them.

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    Killing the Messenger

    10.4 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 14.7 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Objective Troy tells the gripping and unsettling story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the once-celebrated American imam who called for moderation after 9/11, a man who ultimately directed his outsized talents to the mass murder of his fellow citizens. It follows Barack Obama’s campaign against the excesses of the Bush counterterrorism programs and his eventual embrace of the targeted killing of suspected militants. And it recounts how the president directed the mammoth machinery of spy agencies to hunt Awlaki down in a frantic, multimillion-dollar pursuit that would end with the death of Awlaki by a bizarre, robotic technology that is changing warfare—the drone. Scott Shane, who has covered terrorism for the New York Times over the last decade, weaves the clash between president and terrorist into both a riveting narrative and a deeply human account of the defining conflict of our era. Awlaki, who directed a plot that almost derailed Obama’s presidency, and then taunted him from his desert hideouts, will go down in history as the first United States citizen deliberately hunted and assassinated by his own government without trial. But his eloquent calls to jihad, amplified by YouTube, continue to lure young Westerners into terrorism—resulting in tragedies from the Boston marathon bombing to the murder of cartoonists at a Paris weekly. Awlaki’s life and death show how profoundly America has been changed by the threat of terrorism and by our own fears. Illuminating and provocative, and based on years of in-depth reporting, Objective Troy is a brilliant reckoning with the moral challenge of terrorism and a masterful chronicle of our times.

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    Objective Troy

    14.7 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.7 hrs • 4/7/2015 • Unabridged

    The facts of the tragedy are established: On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs fashioned from pressure cookers exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others. The elder of the brothers suspected of committing this atrocity, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in the ensuing manhunt; Dzhokhar will stand trial in January 2015. What we don’t know is why. How did such a nightmare come to pass? This is a probing and powerful story of dislocation, and the longing for clarity and identity that can reach the point of combustion. Bestselling Russian-American author Masha Gessen is uniquely endowed with the background, access, and talent to tell it. She explains who the brothers were and how they came to do what they appear to have done. From their displaced beginnings as descendants of ethnic Chechens, Gessen follows them as they are displaced again, from strife-ridden Kyrgyzstan eventually to the United States, into an utterly disorienting new world. Most crucially, she reconstructs the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, fueling their apparent metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist, with their feet on American soil but their loyalties elsewhere—a split in identity that seems to have incubated a deadly sense of mission. Like Dave Cullen’s Columbine, this will be the enduring account of an indelible tragedy.

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    The Brothers

    9.7 hrs • 4/7/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.7 hrs • 3/24/2015 • Unabridged

    On May 10, 1970, during the Cambodian Incursion, Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., twenty-two-years old, married only thirty days before shipping out and on active duty for just six months, died as his patrol was ambushed near a remote border area of Cambodia. When an enemy grenade landed near a wounded comrade, Sabo used his body to shield the soldier from the blast. Despite being mortally injured, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and threw a grenade into the bunker. The explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Sabo’s life. This attack by North Vietnamese troops killed eight of Sabo’s fellow soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and would come to be known as the “Mother’s Day Ambush.” Sabo’s commanders nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the request was somehow lost. A campaign to correct the oversight began in 1999, ultimately leading to legislation that eliminated the three-year time limit on awarding this medal. Forty-two years after his selfless acts of heroism during the Vietnam War saved the lives of his fellow soldiers, Leslie H. Sabo Jr. posthumously received the Medal of Honor on May 16, 2012. Using military records and interviews with surviving soldiers, journalist Eric Poole recreates the terror of combat amidst the jungles and rice paddies as Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne forged bonds of brotherhood in their battle for survival. Company of Heroes offers an insight into the incredible and harrowing experiences of just a small number of men from a single unit, deep in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia.

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    Company of Heroes

    9.7 hrs • 3/24/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 20.6 hrs • 9/17/2013 • Unabridged

    Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management of America’s nuclear arsenal. A ground-breaking account of accidents, near-misses, extraordinary heroism, and technological breakthroughs, Command and Control explores the dilemma that has existed since the dawn of the nuclear age: how do you deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? That question has never been resolved and Schlosser reveals how the combination of human fallibility and technological complexity still poses a grave risk to mankind. Written with the vibrancy of a first-rate thriller, Command and Control interweaves the minute-by-minute story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in rural Arkansas with a historical narrative that spans more than fifty years. It depicts the urgent effort by American scientists, policymakers, and military officers to ensure that nuclear weapons can’t be stolen, sabotaged, used without permission, or detonated inadvertently. Schlosser also looks at the Cold War from a new perspective, offering history from the ground up, telling the stories of bomber pilots, missile commanders, maintenance crews, and other ordinary servicemen who risked their lives to avert a nuclear holocaust. At the heart of the book lies the struggle, amid the rolling hills and small farms of Damascus, Arkansas, to prevent the explosion of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States. Drawing on recently declassified documents and interviews with men who designed and routinely handled nuclear weapons, Command and Control takes readers into a terrifying but fascinating world that, until now, has been largely hidden from view. Through the details of a single accident, Schlosser illustrates how an unlikely event can become unavoidable, how small risks can have terrible consequences, and how the most brilliant minds in the nation can only provide us with an illusion of control. Audacious, gripping, and unforgettable, Command and Control is a tour de force of investigative journalism, an eye-opening look at the dangers of America’s nuclear age.

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    Command and Control

    20.6 hrs • 9/17/13 • Unabridged
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  8. 23.0 hrs • 9/3/2013 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking and terrifying examination of the widespread resurgence of antisemitism in the twenty-first century, by the prize-winning and internationally bestselling author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Antisemitism never went away, but since the turn of the century it has multiplied beyond what anyone would have predicted. It is openly spread by intellectuals, politicians, and religious leaders in Europe, Asia, the Arab world, America, and Africa and supported by hundreds of millions more. Indeed, today antisemitism is stronger than any time since the Holocaust. In The Devil That Never Dies, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen reveals the unprecedented, global form of this age-old hatred; its strategic use by states; its powerful appeal to individuals and groups; and how technology has fueled the flames that had been smoldering prior to the millennium. A remarkable work of intellectual brilliance, moral stature, and urgent alarm, The Devil That Never Dies is destined to be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

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    The Devil That Never Dies

    23.0 hrs • 9/3/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 23.0 hrs • 9/3/2013 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking—and terrifying—examination of the widespread resurgence of anti-Semitism in the twenty-first century by the award-winning and #1 internationally bestselling author of Hitler’s Willing Executioners Anti-Semitism never went away, but since the turn of the century it has multiplied beyond what anyone would have predicted. It is openly spread by intellectuals, politicians, and religious leaders in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the United States, and Africa and supported by hundreds of millions more. Indeed, today anti-Semitism is stronger than any time since the Holocaust. In The Devil That Never Dies, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen reveals the unprecedented, global form of this age-old hatred; its strategic use by states; its powerful appeal to individuals and groups; and how technology has fueled the flames that had been smoldering prior to the millennium. A remarkable work of intellectual brilliance, moral stature, and urgent alarm, The Devil That Never Dies is destined to be one of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year.

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    The Devil That Never Dies

    23.0 hrs • 9/3/13 • Unabridged
    CD
  10. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.2 hrs • 6/25/2013 • Unabridged

    As commander of the Carnivore—the most lethal Bradley Fighting Vehicle of the Iraq War—Dillard Johnson was at the forefront of the 2003 invasion. Awarded a Silver Star with Valor for his heroic efforts to save the crew of a crippled Bradley, he was personally responsible for 2,000 confirmed enemy kills. But surviving the enemy was only the beginning. Johnson would use the intensity, focus, and humor that kept him alive on the battlefield to fight stage-three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—which developed from the radiation poisoning he suffered discharging 5,000 uranium rounds in combat—despite learning he had a 25% chance of survival. A man determined not to die, Johnson made a miraculous recovery—and then returned to Iraq for a second combat tour as an Army sniper. Providing protection for his fellow troops, he is officially credited with 121 snipers kills, believed to be the most ever by a US Army sniper and second only (across all branches) to Chris Kyle. After finishing his 21-year career in the military in 2006, Johnson became a private contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, in Carnivore, this decorated hero tells his amazing story. Funny and exciting, Carnivore offers fresh insight into the mind and heart of a warrior and offers a look at the lives of troops on the ground not seen before. It is the story of a poor kid from Kentucky who has beaten extraordinary odds and a loving husband and a devoted father of four children, including a son with cerebral palsy—a story only one man can tell.

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    Carnivore

    9.2 hrs • 6/25/13 • Unabridged
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  11. 12.2 hrs • 3/25/2013 • Unabridged

    From Jim Frederick comes an unflinching account of the Black Heart Brigade’s tragic descent in the Iraq War. Black Hearts is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment—a unit known as the Black Heart Brigade. Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq’s so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country’s most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon—1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion—descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality. Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes United States forces have committed during the Iraq War—the rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost—one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives. Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century.

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    Black Hearts

    12.2 hrs • 3/25/13 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.1 hrs • 1/8/2013 • Unabridged

    A compelling new set of interviews on our changing and turbulent times with Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost thinkers In this new collection of conversations, conducted from 2010 to 2012, Noam Chomsky explores the most immediate and urgent concerns: the future of democracy in the Arab world, the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the European financial crisis, the breakdown of American mainstream political institutions, and the rise of the Occupy movement. As always, Chomsky presents his ideas vividly and accessibly, with uncompromising principle and clarifying insight. The latest volume from a long-established, trusted partnership, this collection shows once again that no interlocutor engages with Chomsky more effectively than David Barsamian. These interviews will inspire a new generation of listeners, as well as longtime Chomsky fans eager for his latest thinking on the many crises we now confront, both at home and abroad. They confirm that Chomsky is an unparalleled resource for anyone seeking to understand our world today.

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    Power Systems

    7.1 hrs • 1/8/13 • Unabridged
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  13. 1.5 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Brought to Justice is a history of Osama bin Laden’s infamous campaign against America and our decade-long attempt to find and bring him to justice. The last chapter includes a detailed depiction of the mission that eliminated bin Laden.

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    Brought to Justice

    1.5 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  14. 15.1 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    When Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was appointed in 2006 to become the nation's next Secretary of the Treasury, he knew that his move from Wall Street to Washington would be daunting and challenging. But Paulson had no idea that a year later, he would find himself at the very epicenter of the world's most cataclysmic financial crisis since the Great Depression. Major institutions including Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup, among others-all steeped in rich, longstanding tradition-literally teetered at the edge of collapse. Panic ensnared international markets. Worst of all, the credit crisis spread to all parts of the U.S. economy and grew more ominous with each passing day, destroying jobs across America and undermining the financial security millions of families had spent their lifetimes building. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime economic nightmare. Events no one had thought possible were happening in quick succession, and people all over the globe were terrified that the continuing downward spiral would bring unprecedented chaos. All eyes turned to the United States Treasury Secretary to avert the disaster. This, then, is Hank Paulson's first-person account. From the man who was in the very middle of this perfect economic storm, ON THE BRINK is Paulson's fast-paced retelling of the key decisions that had to be made with lightning speed. Paulson puts the reader in the room for all the intense moments as he addressed urgent market conditions, weighed critical decisions, and debated policy and economic considerations with of all the notable players-including the CEOs of top Wall Street firms as well as Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Sheila Bair, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, and then-President George W. Bush. More than an account about numbers and credit risks gone bad, ON THE BRINK is an extraordinary story about people and politics-all brought together during the world's impending financial Armageddon.

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    On the Brink

    15.1 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  15. 16.0 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Acclaimed historian and award-winning author Simon Schama offers an essential historical perspective on the crucial 2008 presidential election and its importance for reclaiming America's original ideal. It's not business as usual. Cultural hostilities more irreconcilable than any since the Civil War have divided America in two. In November 2008, the American people elected a new president, feeling more anxious about the future of the nation than at any time since Watergate. Our omnipotent military, the cornucopia of material comforts available, the security of our borders, and the global economy can no longer be taken for granted. In The American Future, historian Simon Schama takes a long look at the multiple crises besetting the United States and asks how these problems look in the mirror of time. In four crucial debates—on wars, religion, race and immigration, and the relationship between natural resources and prosperity—Schama looks back to see more clearly into the future. Full of lost insights, The American Future showcases Schama's acclaimed gift for storytelling, ensuring these voices will be heard again.

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    The American Future

    16.0 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  16. 9.4 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    Award-winning journalist David Batstone reveals the story of a new generation of 21st century abolitionists and their heroic campaign to put an end to human bondage. In his accessible and inspiring book, Batstone carefully weaves the narratives of activists and those in bondage in a way that not only raises awareness of the modern-day slave trade, but also serves as a call to action. With 2007 bringing the 200th anniversary of the climax of the 19th century abolitionist movement, the world pays tribute to great visionary figures such as William Wilberforce of the United Kingdom and American Frederick Douglass for their remarkable strides toward framing slavery as a moral issue that people of good conscience could not tolerate. This anniversary serves not only as a commemorative date for battles won against slavery, but also as a reminder that slavery and bondage still persist in the 21st century. An estimated 27 million people around the globe suffer in situations of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation from which they cannot free themselves. Trafficking in people has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly lucrative. After illegal drug sales and arms trafficking, human trafficking is today the third most profitable criminal activity in the world, generating $31 billion annually. As many as half of all those trafficked worldwide for sex and domestic slavery are children under 18 years of age.

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    Not For Sale

    9.4 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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