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  1. 9.1 hrs • Mar/21/2017 • Unabridged

    Appointed to conquer the “crime capital of the world,” the first police chief of Paris faces an epidemic of murder in the late 1600s. Assigned by Louis XIV, Nicolas de La Reynie begins by clearing the streets of filth and installing lanterns throughout Paris, turning it into the City of Light.The fearless La Reynie pursues criminals through the labyrinthine neighborhoods of the city. He unearths a tightly knit cabal of poisoners, witches, and renegade priests. As he exposes their unholy work, he soon learns that no one is safe from black magic―not even the Sun King. In a world where a royal glance can turn success into disgrace, the distance between the quietly backstabbing world of the king’s court and the criminal underground proves disturbingly short. Nobles settle scores by employing witches to craft poisons and by hiring priests to perform dark rituals in Paris’ most illustrious churches and cathedrals.As La Reynie continues his investigations, he is haunted by a single question: Could Louis’ mistresses be involved in such nefarious plots? The pragmatic and principled La Reynie must decide just how far he will go to protect his king.From secret courtrooms to torture chambers, City of Light, City of Poison is a gripping true-crime tale of deception and murder. Based on thousands of pages of court transcripts and La Reynie’s compulsive note taking, as well as on letters and diaries, Tucker’s riveting narrative makes the fascinating, real-life characters breathe on the page.

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    City of Light, City of Poison

    Read by Kate Reading
    9.1 hrs • Mar/21/2017 • Unabridged
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  2. 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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  3. 7.3 hrs • Mar/07/2017 • Unabridged

    The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories.Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

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    Blitzed

    Read by Stefan Rudnicki
    7.3 hrs • Mar/07/2017 • Unabridged
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  4. 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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  5. 9.4 hrs • Feb/28/2017 • Unabridged

    Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Batallion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition. Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.

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    Ordinary Men

    Read by Stefan Rudnicki
    9.4 hrs • Feb/28/2017 • Unabridged
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  6. 9.3 hrs • Feb/27/2017 • Unabridged

    What defended the US after the attack on Pearl Harbor, defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and is an essential tool in the fight against terror? Aircraft carriers.For seventy years, these ships remained a little-understood cornerstone of American power. In his latest book, On Wave and Wing, Barrett Tillman sheds light on the history of these floating leviathans and offers a nuanced analysis of the largest man-made vessel in the history of the world.

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    On Wave and Wing

    Read by Peter Berkrot
    9.3 hrs • Feb/27/2017 • Unabridged
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  7. 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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  8. 9.3 hrs • Feb/21/2017

    Featured speeches from past political conventions include candidates, presidents, senators, and members of Congress, mayors, governors, Hollywood celebrities, and more. This product includes such famous addresses as JFK’s acceptance speech, Ronald Reagan and Ted Kennedy’s concession speeches, Mario Cuomo’s “Tale of Two Cities”, and Clint Eastwood’s “Empty Chair,” among others. Produced by the Speech Resource Company and fully narrated by Robert Wikstrom.

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    Historic Moments in Speech: Political Conventions by the Speech Resource Company
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  9. 9.4 hrs • Feb/20/2017 • Unabridged

    James Beard award–winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation’s history. Daisy McAfee Bonner, for example, FDR’s cook at his Warm Springs retreat, described the president’s final day on earth in 1945, when he was struck down just as his lunchtime cheese soufflé emerged from the oven. Sorrowfully, but with a cook’s pride, she recalled, “He never ate that soufflé, but it never fell until the minute he died.”A treasury of information about cooking techniques and equipment, the book includes twenty recipes for which black chefs were celebrated. From Samuel Fraunces’s “onions done in the Brazilian way” for George Washington to Zephyr Wright’s popovers, beloved by LBJ’s family, Miller highlights African Americans’ contributions to our shared American foodways. Surveying the labor of enslaved people during the antebellum period and the gradual opening of employment after Emancipation, Miller highlights how food-related work slowly became professionalized and the important part African Americans played in that process. His chronicle of the daily table in the White House proclaims a fascinating new American story.

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    The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

    Read by Ron Butler
    9.4 hrs • Feb/20/2017 • Unabridged
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  10. 14.8 hrs • Feb/13/2017 • Unabridged

    In tracing the rise of the modern idea of the American “new woman,” Lynn Dumenil examines World War I’s surprising impact on women and, in turn, women’s impact on the war.Telling the stories of a diverse group of women, including African Americans, dissidents, pacifists, reformers, and industrial workers, Dumenil analyzes both the roadblocks and opportunities they faced. She richly explores the ways in which women helped the United States mobilize for the largest military endeavor in the nation’s history. Dumenil shows how women activists staked their claim to loyal citizenship by framing their war work as home-front volunteers, overseas nurses, factory laborers, and support personnel as “the second line of defense.” But in assessing the impact of these contributions on traditional gender roles, Dumenil finds that portrayals of these new modern women did not always match with real and enduring change.Extensively researched and drawing upon popular culture sources as well as archival material, The Second Line of Defense offers a comprehensive study of American women and war and frames them in the broader context of the social, cultural, and political history of the era.

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    The Second Line of Defense

    Read by Susan Hanfield
    14.8 hrs • Feb/13/2017 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.7 hrs • Feb/07/2017 • Unabridged

    A witty, irreverent tour of history’s worst plagues―from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio―and a celebration of the heroes who fought themIn 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the mysterious dancing plague. In late-nineteenth-century England an eccentric gentleman founded the No Nose Club in his gracious townhome―a social club for those who had lost their noses, and other body parts, to the plague of syphilis for which there was then no cure. And in turn-of-the-century New York, an Irish cook caused two lethal outbreaks of typhoid fever, a case that transformed her into the notorious Typhoid Mary.Throughout time, humans have been terrified and fascinated by the diseases history and circumstance have dropped on them. Some of their responses to those outbreaks are almost too strange to believe in hindsight. Get Well Soon delivers the gruesome, morbid details of some of the worst plagues we’ve suffered as a species, as well as stories of the heroic figures who selflessly fought to ease the suffering of their fellow man. With her signature mix of in-depth research and storytelling, and not a little dark humor, Jennifer Wright explores history’s most gripping and deadly outbreaks, and ultimately looks at the surprising ways they’ve shaped history and humanity for almost as long as anyone can remember.

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    Get Well Soon

    Read by Gabra Zackman
    7.7 hrs • Feb/07/2017 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.3 hrs • Feb/07/2017 • Unabridged

    A highly original history, tracing the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day.We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and what it isn’t, have a long and contested history, from its fraught origins in republican Rome to debates in early modern Europe down to the present day. Defining the term is an acutely political act: whether a war is “civil” often depends on whether one is a ruler or a rebel, victor or vanquished, participant or foreigner. Likewise, calling any particular conflict a civil war can shape its outcome by determining whether other nations choose to get involved or stand aside. So it has been in our own nation’s history: from the American Revolution (commonly referred to as a civil war while it was waged) to the US “Civil War” to the Second Gulf War—in each, pivotal decisions on the part of outside powers turned on precisely such shifts of perspective.In Civil Wars, the eminent historian David Armitage offers an invaluable illumination of this vexing subject. By touching on certain signal instances in Western thought—the poetry of Lucan, the political theory of Thomas Hobbes, the so-called Lieber Code produced during our own civil war, to name a few—he creates a “genealogy” of our sometimes contradictory notions about civil war. The result has much to tell us about how this intellectual inheritance has shaped the political fortunes of our uneasy world and how we might think about this form of violence in the future.From the Balkans to Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and most recently Syria, civil conflict has exploded of late. Across the West, politics itself looks ever more like civil war by other means. At such a charged time, this book’s unique perspective on the origins and dynamics of a phenomenon still shaping our world is sure to prove indispensable in the ongoing effort to grapple with what has come to seem an eternal problem.

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    Civil Wars

    Read by Derek Perkins
    7.3 hrs • Feb/07/2017 • Unabridged
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  13. 3.4 hrs • Feb/01/2017 • Unabridged

    April 13, 1970. Two hundred thousand miles from Earth and counting, an explosion rips through Jim Lovell’s spacecraft. The crippled ship hurtles toward the moon at three times the speed of sound, losing power and leaking oxygen into space.Lovell and his crew were two days from the dream of a lifetime—walking on the surface of the moon. Now they will count themselves lucky to set foot on Earth again.From “Houston, we’ve had a problem” to the final tense moments at Mission Control, Lost in Outer Space takes listeners on the unbelievable journey of Apollo 13 and inside the minds of its famous and heroic astronauts. This is an up-close-and-personal look at one of the most thrilling survival stories of all time.

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    Lost in Outer Space

    Read by George Newbern
    3.4 hrs • Feb/01/2017 • Unabridged
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  14. 9.0 hrs • Jan/31/2017 • Unabridged

    Their story was almost forgotten by history. Now known as the Wereth Eleven, these brave African-American soldiers left their homes to join the Allied effort on the front lines of WWII. As members of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, they provided crucial fire support at the Siege of Bastogne. Among the few who managed to escape the Nazis’ devastating Ardennes Offensive, they found refuge in the small village of Wereth, Belgium. A farmer and supporter of the Allies took the exhausted and half-starved men into his home. When Nazi authorities learned of their whereabouts, they did not take the soldiers prisoner, but subjected them to torture and execution in a nearby field.Despite their bravery and sacrifice, these eleven soldiers were omitted from the final Congressional War Crimes report of 1949. For seventy years, their files—marked secret—gathered dust in the National Archive. But in 1994, at the site of their execution, a memorial was dedicated to the Wereth Eleven and all African-American soldiers who fought in Europe.Drawing on firsthand interviews with family members and fellow soldiers, The Lost Eleven tells the complete story of these nearly forgotten soldiers, their valor in battle, and their tragic end.

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    The Lost Eleven

    Read by Kevin Kenerly
    9.0 hrs • Jan/31/2017 • Unabridged
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  15. 14.3 hrs • Jan/31/2017 • Unabridged

    The millennium between the breakup of the western Roman Empire and the Reformation was a long and hugely transformative period—one not easily chronicled within the scope of a few hundred pages. Yet distinguished historian Chris Wickham has taken up the challenge in this landmark book, and he succeeds in producing the most riveting account of medieval Europe in a generation.Tracking the entire sweep of the Middle Ages across Europe, Wickham focuses on important changes century by century, including such pivotal crises and moments as the fall of the western Roman Empire, Charlemagne’s reforms, the feudal revolution, the challenge of heresy, the destruction of the Byzantine Empire, the rebuilding of late medieval states, and the appalling devastation of the Black Death. He provides illuminating vignettes that underscore how shifting social, economic, and political circumstances affected individual lives and international events. Wickham offers both a new conception of Europe’s medieval period and a provocative revision of exactly how and why the Middle Ages matter.

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    Medieval Europe

    Read by Derek Perkins
    14.3 hrs • Jan/31/2017 • Unabridged
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  16. 7.8 hrs • Jan/31/2017

    Every four years on January 20, the president of the United States is sworn into office. Most often following a hard-fought campaign season, the voters determine the number of electoral votes each candidate is awarded and the winner takes the oath of office given by the chief justice of the United States. The Inaugurations is a compilation of every inauguration speech given by the newly sworn-in president, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt through Donald J. Trump.

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