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William Hughes

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  1. 13.8 hrs • Mar/07/2017 • Unabridged

    During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world’s most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery’s Capitalism argues for slavery’s centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation’s spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence.Drawing on the expertise of sixteen scholars who are at the forefront of rewriting the history of American economic development, Slavery’s Capitalism identifies slavery as the primary force driving key innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, management, and political economy that are too often attributed to the so-called free market. Approaching the study of slavery as the originating catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism casts new light on American credit markets, practices of offshore investment, and understandings of human capital. Rather than seeing slavery as outside the institutional structures of capitalism, the essayists recover slavery’s importance to the American economic past and prompt enduring questions about the relationship of market freedom to human freedom.Contributors: Edward E. Baptist, Sven Beckert, Daina Ramey Berry, Kathryn Boodry, Alfred L. Brophy, Stephen Chambers, Eric Kimball, John Majewski, Bonnie Martin, Seth Rockman, Daniel B. Rood, Caitlin Rosenthal, Joshua D. Rothman, Calvin Schermerhorn, Andrew Shankman, Craig Steven Wilder.

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  2. 15.5 hrs • Feb/21/2017 • Unabridged

    One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East. Many scholars have documented how the Six-Day War unfolded, but little has been done to explain why the conflict happened at all. As we approach its fiftieth anniversary, Guy Laron refutes the widely accepted belief that the war was merely the result of regional friction, revealing the crucial roles played by American and Soviet policies in the face of an encroaching global economic crisis, and restoring Syria’s often overlooked centrality to events leading up to the hostilities.The Six-Day War effectively sowed the seeds for the downfall of Arab nationalism, the growth of Islamic extremism, and the animosity between Jews and Palestinians. In this important new work, Laron’s fresh interdisciplinary perspective and extensive archival research offer a significant reassessment of a conflict—and the trigger-happy generals behind it—that continues to shape the modern world.

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    The Six-Day War

    Read by William Hughes
    15.5 hrs • Feb/21/2017 • Unabridged
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  3. 13.5 hrs • Nov/07/2016 • Unabridged

    The introduction of new medicines has dramatically improved the quantity and quality of individual and public health while contributing trillions of dollars to the global economy. In spite of these past successes—and indeed because of them—our ability to deliver new medicines may be quickly coming to an end. Moving from the twentieth century to the present, A Prescription for Change reveals how changing business strategies combined with scientific hubris have altered the way new medicines are discovered, with dire implications for both health and the economy.To explain how we have arrived at this pivotal moment, Michael S. Kinch recounts the history of pharmaceutical and biotechnological advances in the twentieth century, relating stories of the individuals and organizations that ushered in the modern era of translational medicine. He shows that an accelerating cycle of acquisition and downsizing is cannibalizing the very infrastructure that had fostered the introduction of innovative new medicines. As Kinch demonstrates, the dismantling of the pharmaceutical and biotechnological research and development enterprises could also provide opportunities to innovate new models that sustain and expand the introduction of newer and better breakthrough medicines in the years to come.

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    A Prescription for Change

    Read by William Hughes
    13.5 hrs • Nov/07/2016 • Unabridged
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  4. 13.2 hrs • Oct/25/2016 • Unabridged

    Now available for the first time with two additional stories!Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be bitten by a zombie or live through a bioweapon attack? In Cory Doctorow’s collection of novellas, he wields his formidable experience in technology and computing to give us mind-bending sci-fi tales that explore the possibilities of information technology—and its various uses—run amok.“Anda’s Game” is a spin on the bizarre new phenomenon of “cyber sweatshops,” in which people are paid very low wages to play online games all day in order to generate in-game wealth, which can be converted into actual money. Another tale tells of the heroic exploits of “sysadmins”—systems administrators—as they defend the cyberworld, and hence the world at large, from worms and bioweapons. And yes, there is a story about zombies too. Plus, for the first time, this collection includes “Petard” and “The Man Who Sold the Moon.”

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  5. 7.9 hrs • Sep/01/2016 • Unabridged

    Americans have come to expect that the nation’s presidential campaigns will be characterized by a carnival atmosphere emphasizing style over substance. But this fascinating account of the pivotal 1840 election reveals how the now-unavoidable traditions of big money, big rallies, shameless self-promotion, and carefully manufactured candidate images first took root in presidential politics.Pulitzer Prize–nominated former Wall Street Journal reporter Ronald G. Shafer tells the colorful story of the election battle between sitting president Martin Van Buren, a professional Democratic politician from New York, and Whig Party upstart William Henry Harrison, a military hero who was nicknamed “Old Tippecanoe” after a battlefield where he fought and won in 1811. Shafer shows how the pivotal campaign of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” marked a series of firsts that changed presidential politicking forever: the first presidential campaign as mass entertainment, directed at middle-income and lower-income voters; the first “image campaign,” in which strategists painted Harrison as an everyman living in a log cabin sipping hard cider (in fact, he was born into wealth, lived in a twenty-two-room mansion, and drank only sweet cider); the first campaign in which a candidate, Harrison, traveled and delivered speeches directly to voters; the first one influenced by major campaign donations; the first in which women openly participated; and the first involving massive grassroots rallies, attended by tens of thousands and marked by elaborate fanfare, including bands, floats, a log cabin on wheels, and the world’s tallest man.Some of history’s most fascinating figures—including Susan B. Anthony, Charles Dickens, Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allan Poe, Thaddeus Stevens, and Walt Whitman—pass through this colorful story, which is essential reading for anyone interested in learning when image first came to trump ideas in presidential politics.

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    The Carnival Campaign

    Read by William Hughes
    7.9 hrs • Sep/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  6. 7.6 hrs • Aug/09/2016 • Unabridged

    Hyperpartisanship has gridlocked the American government. Congress’ approval ratings are at record lows, and both Democrats and Republicans are disgusted by the government’s inability to get anything done. In It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, Congressional scholars Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein present a grim picture of how party polarization and tribal politics have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional failure.In this revised edition, the authors bring their seminal book up to date in a political environment that is more divided than ever. The underlying dynamics of the situation—extremist Republicans holding government hostage to their own ideological, antigovernment beliefs—have only gotten worse, further bolstering their argument that Republicans are not merely ideologically different from Democrats, but engaged in a unique form of politics that undermines the system itself. Without a fundamental change in the character and course of the Republican Party, we may have a long way to go before we hit rock bottom.

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    It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

    Read by William Hughes
    7.6 hrs • Aug/09/2016 • Unabridged
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  7. 22.1 hrs • Jul/12/2016 • Unabridged

    Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded the Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a “Modern Moses,” becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost in 1960 if not for the Defender’s support. Along the way, its pages were filled with columns by legends like Ida B. Wells, Langston Hughes, and Martin Luther King Jr.Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs.

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    The Defender

    Read by William Hughes
    22.1 hrs • Jul/12/2016 • Unabridged
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  8. 4.3 hrs • Jul/11/2016 • Unabridged

    This new gift edition spin-off of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt looks at the favorite beers, liquors, and cocktail recipes of Democratic presidents and their first ladies.This election year, celebrate the Democratic Party by drinking like a Democrat! Organized by president, this fun audiobook is full of cocktail recipes, bar tips, and hysterical drinking anecdotes from all Democratic White House administrations. Which Southern man drank Snakebites? How did Jackie O. like her daiquiris? Drinking with the Democrats is the bar guide with a twist that all political buffs will enjoy.

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    Drinking with the Democrats

    Read by William Hughes
    4.3 hrs • Jul/11/2016 • Unabridged
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  9. 16.3 hrs • Jun/07/2016 • Unabridged

    This pioneering work demystifies the drivers behind political, economic, and social change.Shaped by his twenty-five years traveling the world and enlivened by encounters with tycoons, presidents, and villagers from Rio to Beijing, Ruchir Sharma’s The Rise and Fall of Nations rethinks the “dismal science” of economics as a practical art.Narrowing the thousands of factors that can shape a country’s fortunes to ten clear rules, Sharma explains how to spot political, economic, and social changes in real time. He shows how to read political headlines, black markets, the price of onions, and billionaire rankings as signals of booms, busts, and protests.Set in a post-crisis age that has turned the world upside down replacing fast growth with low growth and political calm with revolt, Sharma’s pioneering book is an entertaining field guide to understanding change in this era or any era.

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    The Rise and Fall of Nations

    Read by William Hughes
    16.3 hrs • Jun/07/2016 • Unabridged
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  10. 13.5 hrs • Mar/01/2016 • Unabridged

    In August 1776, a little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn, and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men, and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day.Today, only a modest, rusted, and scarred metal sign near a dilapidated auto garage marks the mass grave where the bodies of the “Maryland Heroes” lie—256 men “who fell in the Battle of Brooklyn.” In Washington’s Immortals, bestselling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of this remarkable band of brothers. Known as “gentlemen of honor, family, and fortune,” they fought not just in Brooklyn but also in key battles, including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war.Drawing on extensive original sources, from letters to diaries to pension applications, O’Donnell pieces together the stories of these brave men—their friendships, loves, defeats, and triumphs. He explores their arms and tactics, their struggles with hostile loyalists and shortages of clothing and food, their development into an elite unit, and their dogged opponents, including British general Lord Cornwallis. And through the prism of this one group, O’Donnell tells the larger story of the Revolutionary War. Washington’s Immortals is gripping and inspiring boots-on-the-ground history, sure to appeal to a wide audience.

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    Washington’s Immortals

    Read by William Hughes
    13.5 hrs • Mar/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  11. 9.0 hrs • Jan/15/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating new angle on presidential history, assessing the performances of all forty-four presidents in their freshman year of the toughest job in the worldGrouped by the issues the new presidents confronted in their first year in office, The President’s First Year takes listeners into the history, thought processes, and results on a case-by-case basis, including how the presidents’ subsequent actions prove that they learned—or didn’t learn—from their mistakes. From George Washington to Barack Obama, The President’s First Year details the challenging first twelve months of all our presidents’ tenures.

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    The President’s First Year

    Read by William Hughes
    9.0 hrs • Jan/15/2016 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.6 hrs • Nov/03/2015 • Unabridged

    What is space? It isn’t a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it’s where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon—the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space—appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn’t quite resolve it, describing it as “spooky action at a distance.” But this strange occurrence has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity. If space isn’t what we thought it was, then what is it?In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to understand it. Musser guides us on an epic journey of scientific discovery into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers discovering galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. Their conclusions challenge our understanding not only of space and time but of the origins of the universe—and their insights are spurring profound technological innovation and suggesting a new grand unified theory of physics.

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    Spooky Action at a Distance

    Read by William Hughes
    8.6 hrs • Nov/03/2015 • Unabridged
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  13. 28.8 hrs • Oct/19/2015 • Unabridged

    A powerful history of the making and unmaking of American democracy and global power, told in sweeping scope and intimate detailIn the winter of 1936, Franklin Roosevelt remarked in a fireside chat, “I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.” Certainly apt in the midst of the Great Depression, the idea of a nation in the making still resonates today as we measure the achievements and shortcomings of our democracy. Over the twentieth century, Americans have worked, organized, marched, and fought to make the nation’s ideals a reality for all. This shared commitment to achieving an American democracy is the inspiring theme of These United States. Acclaimed historians Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Thomas J. Sugrue forge the panoramic and the personal into an authoritative narrative. They give us insightful accounts of the century’s large events―war, prosperity, and depression; astute leadership and arrogant power; the rise and decline of a broad middle class. And they ground the history in the stories of everyday Americans such as William Hushka, a Lithuanian immigrant who makes and loses an American life; Stan Igawa, a Japanese-American who never doubts his citizenship despite internment during World War II; and Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart cashier who takes on America’s largest corporation over wage discrimination.The history begins and ends in periods of concentrated wealth, with immigration roiling politics and racial divisions flaring. Its arc over those hundred-plus years raises key questions: How far has our democracy come? Were the postwar decades of middle-class prosperity and global power a culmination of the American Century or the exception in a long history of economic and political division? Gilmore and Sugrue frame these questions by drawing the illuminating connections characteristic of the best historical writing.

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    These United States

    Read by William Hughes
    28.8 hrs • Oct/19/2015 • Unabridged
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  14. 18.8 hrs • Aug/25/2015 • Unabridged

    What is autism: a lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is both of these things and more—and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.Going back to the earliest days of autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives.Along the way, he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome, whose “little professors” were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for fifty years; and casts light on the growing movement of “neurodiversity” activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.

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    NeuroTribes

    Read by William Hughes
    18.8 hrs • Aug/25/2015 • Unabridged
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  15. 11.5 hrs • May/26/2015 • Unabridged

    In 2009 BlackBerry controlled half of the smartphone market. Today that number is 1 percent. What went so wrong?Losing the Signal is a riveting story of a company that toppled global giants before succumbing to the ruthlessly competitive forces of Silicon Valley. This is not a conventional tale of modern business failure by fraud and greed. The rise and fall of BlackBerry reveals the dangerous speed at which innovators race along the information superhighway.With unprecedented access to key players, senior executives, directors, and competitors, Losing the Signal unveils the remarkable rise of a company that started above a bagel shop in Ontario. At the heart of the story is an unlikely partnership between a visionary engineer, Mike Lazaridis, and an abrasive Harvard Business School grad, Jim Balsillie. Together they engineered a pioneering pocket email device that became the tool of choice for presidents and CEOs. The partnership enjoyed only a brief moment on top of the world, however. At the very moment BlackBerry was ranked the world’s fastest-growing company, internal feuds and chaotic growth crippled the company as it faced its gravest test: Apple and Google’s entry into mobile phones.Expertly told by acclaimed journalists Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, this is an entertaining, whirlwind narrative that goes behind the scenes to reveal one of the most compelling business stories of the new century.

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    Losing the Signal

    Read by William Hughes
    11.5 hrs • May/26/2015 • Unabridged
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  16. 10.8 hrs • Apr/13/2015 • Unabridged

    In this fascinating history of Cold War cartography, Timothy Barney considers maps as central to the articulation of ideological tensions between American national interests and international aspirations. Barney argues that the borders, scales, projections, and other conventions of maps prescribed and constrained the means by which foreign policy elites, popular audiences, and social activists navigated conflicts between north and south, east and west. Maps also influenced how identities were formed in a world both shrunk by advancing technologies and marked by expanding and shifting geopolitical alliances and fissures. Pointing to the necessity of how politics and values were “spatialized” in recent US history, Barney argues that Cold War–era maps themselves had rhetorical lives that began with their conception and production and played out in their circulation within foreign policy circles and popular media.Reflecting on the ramifications of spatial power during the period, Mapping the Cold War ultimately demonstrates that even in the twenty-first century, American visions of the world—and the maps that account for them—are inescapably rooted in the anxieties of that earlier era.

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    Mapping the Cold War

    Read by William Hughes
    10.8 hrs • Apr/13/2015 • Unabridged
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