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Malcolm Hillgartner

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  1. 12.4 hrs • Mar/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Spanning nearly 200 years, Ice Ghosts is a fast-paced detective story about Western science, indigenous beliefs, and the irrepressible spirit of exploration and discovery. It weaves together an epic account of the legendary Franklin Expedition of 1845―whose two ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, and their crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice―with the modern tale of the scientists, researchers, divers, and local Inuit behind the recent discoveries of the two ships, which made news around the world.The journalist Paul Watson was on the icebreaker that led the expedition that discovered the HMS Erebus in 2014, and he broke the news of the discovery of the HMS Terror in 2016. In a masterful work of history and contemporary reporting, he tells the full story of the Franklin Expedition: Sir John Franklin and his crew setting off from England in search of the fabled Northwest Passage; the hazards they encountered and the reasons they were forced to abandon ship after getting stuck in the ice hundreds of miles from the nearest outpost of Western civilization; and the dozens of search expeditions over more than 160 years, which collectively have been called “the most extensive, expensive, perverse, and ill-starred … manhunt in history.”All that searching turned up a legendary trail of sailors’ relics, a fabled note, a lifeboat with skeletons lying next to loaded rifles, and rumors of cannibalism—but no sign of the ships until, finally, the discoveries in our own time. As Watson reveals, the epic hunt for the lost Franklin Expedition found success only when searchers combined the latest marine science with faith in Inuit lore that had been passed down orally for generations.Ice Ghosts is narrative nonfiction of the highest order, full of drama and rich in characters: Lady Jane Franklin, who almost single-handedly kept the search alive for decades; an Inuit historian who worked for decades gathering elders’ accounts; an American software billionaire who launched his own hunt; and underwater archaeologists honing their skills to help find the ships. Watson also shows how the hunt for the Franklin Expedition was connected to such technological advances as SCUBA gear and sonar technology, and how it ignited debates over how to preserve the relics discovered with the ships.A modern adventure story that arcs back through history, Ice Ghosts tells the complete and incredible story of the Franklin Expedition―the greatest of Arctic mysteries―for the ages.

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    Ice Ghosts

    12.4 hrs • Mar/21/2017 • Unabridged
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  2. 14.0 hrs • Mar/14/2017 • Unabridged

    All his life, Viggo Larssen has been haunted by the same troubling dream, which he calls the Omen—a vision of a woman beckoning to him from the surface of a churning sea. Now, as he broods over his shipwrecked existence in a remote lighthouse off the outermost coast of Denmark, he is about to be borne backward by the current to a past he thought he had escaped forever.On the Danish mainland, the widowed mother of the nation’s prime minister mysteriously vanishes from her prestigious nursing home. As the police search for clues, evidence mounts that her disappearance is tied to an unsolved crime from Viggo’s childhood. Told through the eyes of multiple characters from Viggo’s old neighborhood, Erik Valeur’s dark, serpentine mystery is a profound meditation on the persistence of memory, the power of dreams, and the secrets we hide from one another—and ourselves.

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    The Man in the Lighthouse by Erik Valeur

    The Man in the Lighthouse

    14.0 hrs • Mar/14/2017 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.7 hrs • Feb/14/2017 • Unabridged

    When the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the badlands of South Dakota twenty years after their fall, nobody can explain their return. To the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands drawn to the “American Stonehenge”—including Parker and Zema, siblings on their way from Los Angeles to visit their mother in Michigan—the Towers seem to sing, even as everybody hears a different song. A rumor overtakes the throng that someone can be seen in the high windows of the southern structure.On the ninety-third floor, Jesse Presley—the stillborn twin of the most famous singer who ever lived—suddenly awakes, driven mad over the hours and days to come by a voice in his head that sounds like his but isn’t, and by the memory of a country where he survived in his brother’s place. Meanwhile, Parker and Zema cross a possessed landscape by a mysterious detour no one knows, charted on a map that no one has seen.Haunting, audacious, and undaunted, Shadowbahn is a winding and reckless ride through intersections of danger, destiny, and the conjoined halves of a ruptured nation.

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    Shadowbahn

    6.7 hrs • Feb/14/2017 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.2 hrs • Feb/02/2017 • Unabridged

    In 1935, the Spokane police regularly extorted sex, food, and money from the reluctant hobos (many of them displaced farmers who had fled the midwestern dust bowls), robbed dairies, and engaged in all manner of nefarious crimes, including murder. This history was suppressed until 1989, when former logger, Vietnam vet, and Spokane cop Tony Bamonte discovered a strange 1955 deathbed confession while researching a thesis on local law enforcement history.Bamonte began to probe what had every appearance of widespread police crime and a massive cover-up whose highlight was the unsolved murder of Town Marshall George Conff. The fact that many of those involved, now in their 80s and 90s, were still alive made it imperative that Bamonte unravel this mystery. The result is Breaking Blue, a white-knuckle ride through institutional corruption and cover-up that vividly documents Depression-era Spokane and an extraordinary case that few believed would ever be brought to light.

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    Breaking Blue

    9.2 hrs • Feb/02/2017 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.8 hrs • Jan/10/2017 • Unabridged

    A story of David and Goliath proportions, how an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreamsJonathan Starr is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. Why, they wondered, would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state? To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff. It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it is the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: “If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?”

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    It Takes a School

    7.8 hrs • Jan/10/2017 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.1 hrs • Jan/03/2017 • Unabridged

    Can America’s public schools, long resistant to change, meet the challenges of globalization and new educational alternatives? Not by doing what they’re doing today. So argues Building Engaged Schools, a book that challenges the faulty assumptions that guide American public education.In our efforts to create the best possible schools for America’s kids, we’ve allowed process concerns such as standards, curriculum, and testing to overshadow the importance of people. But the fact is, what we’ve come to think of as the “soft” aspects of education are actually what make truly effective learning possible. Building relationships, nurturing student and teacher talents, fostering engagement ... these are what motivate great teachers and inspire students.Indeed, if schools can learn anything from the business world, it’s this: The “soft” stuff drives results. Corporate leaders have realized that the best way to improve productivity is to tap the talents and motivation of their human assets. This approach is even more critical in the classroom. An overemphasis on process reforms has set the education system at odds with both teachers and students. Too many students are lethargic or alienated; too many teachers have become disillusioned and cynical. We must find a way to bring public schools back to life, and to tap the enormous potential that exists in America’s classrooms.Drawing on decades of Gallup research, Building Engaged Schools offers a fresh approach: Leverage student and teacher talent, on a school-by-school basis. Focusing on talent may lack the political appeal of process reforms, which can be implemented in broad strokes. This approach is surely more complex. But the return on the time and effort invested is far greater. In fact, that return is no less than a more fully engaged society, and a better future for America’s children.

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    Building Engaged Schools

    8.1 hrs • Jan/03/2017 • Unabridged
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  7. 6.1 hrs • Dec/30/2016 • Unabridged

    The 2015 Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks heralded the beginning of a new wave of terrorism―one rooted in the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq that shows the possibility of foreign attackers working with citizens of the country. As ISIS seeks to expand its reach in the Middle East, its territory serves as a training and operations base for a new generation of jihadis. Young people from the West, primarily from Europe, have traveled to join the terror organization, reemerging as hardened fighters with military training and a network of international contacts. Many have returned to their homelands, where it is feared they are planning a new series of brutal attacks. When the War on Terror began, Western political leaders assured their citizens that they would be engaging terrorists “over there” in Iraq and Afghanistan and not at home.In this guide to the latest development in the War on Terror based on extensive interviews and previously unseen material, Peter R. Neumann explains the phenomenon of the “new jihadis” and why the threat of terrorism and ISIS in the West is greater than ever before.

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    Radicalized

    6.1 hrs • Dec/30/2016 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.2 hrs • Dec/20/2016 • Unabridged

    William Manchester was friends with John F. Kennedy for two decades before the President’s assassination. In this work, the bestselling author of Portrait of a President and The Death of a President puts aside the tragedy of JFK’s death to celebrate the brightness of his life.Manchester recalls in intimate detail everything from family gatherings at Hyannis Port, to grueling campaign trips, and quiet evenings alone with the President in the White House family quarters. The resulting portrait provides listeners with myriad anecdotes and insights into a life of a man that bristled with vigor, competitiveness, and an unflagging drive for excellence, and shone with elegance, intelligence, and compassion. The book was important when it was first published, but now fills a new role as an antidote to the wave of political disillusionment in America.

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    One Brief Shining Moment

    9.2 hrs • Dec/20/2016 • Unabridged
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  9. 12.0 hrs • Nov/15/2016 • Unabridged

    On the seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Eleventh Day unravel the mysteries of Pearl Harbor to expose the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command the day 2,000 Americans died, report on the continuing struggle to restore his lost honor—and clear President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the charge that he knew the attack was coming.The Japanese onslaught on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 devastated Americans and precipitated entry into World War II. In the aftermath, Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command, accused of negligence and dereliction of duty—publicly disgraced.But the Admiral defended his actions through eight investigations and for the rest of his long life. The evidence against him was less than solid. High military and political officials had failed to provide Kimmel and his Army counterpart with vital intelligence. Later, to hide the biggest US intelligence secret of the day, they covered it up.Following the Admiral’s death, his sons—both Navy veterans—fought on to clear his name. Now that they in turn are dead, Kimmel’s grandsons continue the struggle. For them, 2016 is a pivotal year.With unprecedented access to documents, diaries, and letters, and the family’s cooperation, Summers’ and Swan’s search for the truth has taken them far beyond the Kimmel story—to explore claims of duplicity and betrayal in high places in Washington.A Matter of Honor is a provocative story of politics and war, of a man willing to sacrifice himself for his country only to be sacrificed himself. Revelatory and definitive, it is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this pivotal event.

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    A Matter of Honor

    12.0 hrs • Nov/15/2016 • Unabridged
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  10. 14.3 hrs • Nov/01/2016 • Unabridged

    Violent, provocative, shocking. Call them what you will … but don’t call them open and shut.Did Lizzie Borden murder her own father and stepmother? Was Jack the Ripper actually the Duke of Clarence? Who killed JonBenet Ramsey? America’s foremost expert on criminal profiling and twenty-five-year FBI veteran John Douglas, along with author and filmmaker Mark Olshaker, explores those tantalizing questions and more in this mesmerizing work of detection. With uniquely gripping analysis, the authors reexamine and reinterpret the accepted facts, evidence, and victimology of the most notorious murder cases in the history of crime, including the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Zodiac Killer, and the Whitechapel murders. Utilizing techniques developed by Douglas himself, they give detailed profiles and reveal chief suspects in pursuit of what really happened in each case. The Cases That Haunt Us not only offers convincing and controversial conclusions, it deconstructs the evidence and widely held beliefs surrounding each case and rebuilds them—with fascinating, surprising, and haunting results.

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    The Cases That Haunt Us

    14.3 hrs • Nov/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  11. 5.7 hrs • Oct/31/2016 • Unabridged

    Patrimony, a true story, touches the emotions as strongly as anything Philip Roth has ever written. Roth watches as his eighty-six-year-old father—famous for his vigor, his charm, and his repertoire of Newark recollections—battles with the brain tumor that will kill him. The son, full of love, anxiety, and dread, accompanies his father through each fearful stage of his final ordeal, and, as he does so, discloses the survivalist tenacity that has distinguished his father’s long, stubborn engagement with life. Philip Roth is hailed by many as the reigning king of American fiction. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, this memoir about love, survival, and memory is one of his most intimate books, but also one of his most intellectually vigorous. Patrimony is Roth’s elegy to his father, written with piercing observation and wit at the height of his literary prowess.

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    Patrimony

    5.7 hrs • Oct/31/2016 • Unabridged
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  12. 12.2 hrs • Oct/01/2016 • Unabridged

    The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through the book’s evocative landscapes, familiar and foreign, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that’s paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist’s office in suburban New Jersey, a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire, a church in London’s West End, or a tiny desert settlement in Israel’s occupied West Bank.

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    The Counterlife

    12.2 hrs • Oct/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  13. 9.7 hrs • Oct/01/2016 • Unabridged

    At the dawn of the twentieth century, a small but determined band of barrel jumpers risked their lives in one of the world’s most wondrous waterfalls. Only a few survived.By turns a family drama and an action-adventure story, The Age of Daredevils chronicles the lives of the men and women who devoted themselves to the extraordinary sport of jumping over Niagara Falls in a barrel—a death-defying gamble that proved a powerful temptation to a hardy few.Internationally known in the 1920s and ’30s for their barrel-jumping exploits, the Hills were a father-son team of daredevils who also rescued dozens of misguided thrill seekers who followed them over the edge. The publicity surrounding the Hills’ spectacular feats ushered in tourism, making Niagara Falls the nation’s foremost honeymoon destination, but ultimately set Red Hill Jr. on a perilous path to surpass his father’s extraordinary leaps into the void.Like the works of Jon Krakauer and David McCullough, The Age of Daredevils explores the primal force of fear and the thirst for adventure that drive humans to the brink of death to see if they can somehow escape

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    The Age of Daredevils

    9.7 hrs • Oct/01/2016 • Unabridged
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  14. 2.3 hrs • Sep/06/2016 • Unabridged

    In quest of the unpublished manuscript of a martyred Yiddish writer, the American novelist Nathan Zuckerman travels to Soviet-occupied Prague in the mid-1970s. There, in a nation straightjacketed by totalitarian Communism, he discovers a literary predicament, marked by institutionalized oppression, that is rather different from his own. He also discovers, among the oppressed writers with whom he quickly becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre and poignant adventures, an appealingly perverse kind of heroism.The Prague Orgy, consisting of entries from protagonist Nathan Zuckerman’s notebooks recording his sojourn among these outcast artists, completes the Nathan Zuckerman series. It provides a startling ending to Roth’s intricately designed magnum opus on the unforeseen consequences of art.

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    The Prague Orgy

    2.3 hrs • Sep/06/2016 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.8 hrs • Aug/07/2016 • Unabridged

    At a time when the hottest issue in US immigration law is the proposed action by President Obama to protect from deportation as many as five million illegals in the United States, the John Lennon case takes on special relevance, notwithstanding the passage of forty years since he was placed in deportation proceedings. This is John and Yoko’s incredible story, as told by the lawyer who fought in the front lines.In 1972 President Richard M. Nixon learned that John Lennon was visiting the United States. Nixon was told that Lennon’s continued presence here could be catastrophic to his plan for reelection. Lennon, who had just made an appearance before an audience of fifteen thousand young fans at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, was rumored to be planning to join Jerry Rubin to lead a series of rock music rallies to “Dump Nixon” in anticipation of the 1972 Republican National Convention. The special significance of the 1972 convention was the fact that this would be the first national election in which the voting age was reduced from twenty-one to eighteen, adding five to ten million new prospective voters. Nixon was not popular with this young group. Lennon was.Indeed, Senator Strom Thurmond had just written a Dear John letter to Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell, suggesting that deporting Lennon quickly would be an “appropriate countermeasure.” John Mitchell was the head of CREEP, the Committee to Reelect the President, whose day job was as attorney general, in charge of deporting illegal aliens. Following the Watergate-style advice of his legal counsel, John Dean, Nixon decided to “use the available political machinery to screw our political enemies” and proceeded in earnest to deport Lennon and his artist wife, Yoko Ono.Lennon and Ono consulted Leon Wildes, an expert in the field of immigration law, about the reason for their visit: their efforts to locate and secure custody of Kyoko, Yoko’s American eight-year-old child by a prior marriage. American courts had granted Lennon and Ono custody, and Ono’s prior husband violated the order to produce the child in court as ordered. Notwithstanding the Lennons’ humanitarian requests, extensions of stay as visitors were denied, the Lennons were placed in strict deportation proceedings, and the US commissioner of immigration instructed the Immigrant and Naturalization Service (INS) not to adjudicate the “outstanding artists” applications filed for Lennon and Ono by Wildes until after the Lennons were deported.Wildes kept the Lennons here for five years, despite the efforts of the government to deport them. During all that time, the Nixon administration invariably claimed that the Lennons were being treated like all other aliens and that it had no authority to make exceptions to their strict enforcement and removal of deportable aliens. Wildes invoked the power of the federal courts to discover the existence of the “non-priority program,” a hidden program authorizing the INS to defer the removal of illegals who might sustain serious hardship if removed. Wildes’ success in securing copies of thousands of applications granted such non-priority status ultimately resulted in the grant of that humanitarian remedy to Lennon. Lennon was eventually also granted lawful permanent residence status, overcoming the effects of his old British marijuana conviction.Although Wildes did not even know who John Lennon and Yoko Ono were when he was originally retained, he developed a close relationship with them both during the five-year period he represented them and thereafter.

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    John Lennon vs. the USA

    7.8 hrs • Aug/07/2016 • Unabridged
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  16. 5.6 hrs • Jul/05/2016 • Unabridged

    E. B. White is best known for his children’s books, such as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. A columnist for the New Yorker for over half a century and co-author of The Elements of Style, White hit his stride as an American literary icon when he began publishing his One Man’s Meat columns from his saltwater farm on the coast of Maine.In E. B. White on Dogs, his granddaughter and manager of his literary estate, Martha White, has compiled the best and funniest of her grandfather’s essays, poems, and letters depicting over a dozen of his various canine companions. Included here are favorite essays such as “Two Letters, Both Open,” “Bedfellows,” and many others, as well as some of White’s little-known “Notes and Comment” pieces covering dog shows, sled dog races, and the trials and tribulations of city canines. This is a book for those who recognize a good sentence and a masterful turn of a phrase; for E. B. White fans looking for more from their favorite author; and for dog lovers who may not have discovered the wit, style, and compassion of this most distinguished of American essayists.

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    E. B. White on Dogs

    5.6 hrs • Jul/05/2016 • Unabridged
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