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38.7 hrs • May/12/2015 • Unabridged
The long-awaited new novel by America’s master playwright and activist—a radical reimagining of our history and our hopes and fearsForty years in the making, The American People embodies Larry Kramer’s vision of his beloved and accursed homeland. As the founder of ACT UP and the author of Faggots and The Normal Heart, Kramer has decisively affected American lives and letters. Here, as only he can, he tells the heartbreaking and heroic story of one nation under a plague, contaminated by greed, hate, and disease yet host to transcendent acts of courage and kindness.In this magisterial novel’s sweeping first volume, which runs up to the 1950s, we meet prehistoric monkeys who spread a peculiar virus, a Native American shaman whose sexual explorations mutate into occult visions, and early English settlers who live as loving same-sex couples only to fall victim to the forces of bigotry. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton revel in unexpected intimacies, and John Wilkes Booth’s motives for assassinating Abraham Lincoln are thoroughly revised. In the twentieth century, the nightmare of history deepens as a religious sect conspires with eugenicists, McCarthyites, and Ivy Leaguers to exterminate homosexuals, and the AIDS virus begins to spread. Against all this, Kramer sets the tender story of a middle-class family outside Washington, DC, trying to get along in the darkest of times.The American People is a work of ribald satire, prophetic anger, and dazzling imagination. It is an encyclopedic indictment written with outrageous love.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital RentalCDAlso: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.5 hrs • Mar/15/2015 • Unabridged
The Age of Louis XIV is the biography of a period (1648–1715) that Spengler considered the apex of modern European civilization. “Some centuries hence,” Frederick the Great correctly predicted to Voltaire, “they will translate the good authors of the age of Pericles and Augustus.” Those authors are lovingly treated here: Pascal, Racine, and Boileau, Madame de Sévigné, Madame de la Fayette, and above all the philosopher-dramatist Molière, who so memorably exposed the vices and hypocrisies of the age.Central to the book is the “Sun King” himself, Louis XIV. Louis XIV ruled France for over seventy years, longer than almost any European ruler in history. He is the subject of a character study that runs through seven chapters, revealing the flesh and blood beneath the purple and the crown. He is seen at his worst in his struggle with Jansenists and Huguenots, at his best in his patronage of literature and art, and at his most human in his love affairs with Henrietta Anne of Orléans, Louise de La Vallière, Madame de Montespan, and Madame de Maintenon.From France the narrative passes to the Netherlands, and after pausing to examine the domestic idylls of Vermeer, shows the Dutch opening their dikes to save their land from Louis XIV and sending William of Orange to become king of England and a leader of the European alliance against Louis’ hegemony. In England we contemplate the heyday of virtue under the Puritans and study the strange character of Cromwell. We see Milton’s passionate career as part of the vain effort to prevent the Stuart Restoration. We find Charles II, the “Merry Monarch,” with more manners than morals, attend boisterous Restoration plays; we skim the diaries of Evelyn and Pepys; and we follow Jonathan Swift from genius to insanity.Crossing the North Sea we trace the tragic heroism of Charles XII of Sweden and the attempt of Peter the Great to lead Russia from barbarism to civilization. We accompany the noble Sobieski of Poland as he rescues Vienna from the Turks. We visit Italy and Spain. We see the Jews proscribed and impoverished in Europe but rising to riches in Amsterdam and following Sabbatai Zevi in a desperate hope of regaining Palestine and freedom.All this forms the background for the “intellectual adventure” of the European mind in its passage from superstition, mythology, and intolerance to education, science, and philosophy, for this was the age when Newton and Leibniz gave simultaneous birth to calculus, when Newton bound the planets and the stars with a chain of universal gravitation. Toward the end of the volume the authors revert to their favorite subject, philosophy, and devote a full chapter, with love and care, to Spinoza. The book ends with the sunset of Le Roi Soleil: Louis punished for his aggressions by a swarm of enemies gathering around him; fighting till his people are destitute and disillusioned, till his treasury and his heart are empty; dying defeated and repentant, begging his grandson and successor not to imitate his taste for splendor and war; and followed in his funeral by the insults of the crowd.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental37.1 hrs • Aug/01/2014 • Unabridged
An engrossing volume on the Italian Renaissance by Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Will DurantThe fifth volume of Durant’s acclaimed Story of Civilization, The Renaissance chronicles the history of Italy from 1304 to 1576. In this masterful work, listeners will encounter the poets Petrarch and Boccaccio, the fathers of the Renaissance; the paintings, sculptures, and architecture of Milan, Florence, and Venice; the life and accomplishments of Leonardo Da Vinci; the Catholic church and the popes of Avignon and Rome; the politicians and philosophers of Italy, including the Borgia family, Julius II, and Machiavelli; the Italian Wars, the conflicts with France, and the country’s decline.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.5 hrs • Mar/01/2014 • Unabridged
The third volume of Will Durant’s Pulitzer Prize–winning series, Caesar and Christ chronicles the history of Roman civilization and of Christianity from their beginnings to 325 AD. In this masterful work, listeners will learn about: • the Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy • the birth of the Roman Republic and the beginnings of Roman law • the great reigns of Caesar and Antony • the people of Rome—the artisans, tradesmen, and scientists • the places of Rome’s great empire • the beginnings of Christianity and its growth • the rise of Constantine and the fall of the empireAvailable Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental39.0 hrs • Jan/15/2014 • Unabridged
This is an extensive collection of short essays and other pieces by C. S. Lewis that have been brought together in one volume for the first time. As well as his many books, letters, and poems, Lewis also wrote a great number of essays and shorter pieces on various subjects. He wrote extensively on Christian theology and the defense of faith but also on various ethical issues and on the nature of literature and storytelling. In this essay collection we find a treasure trove of Lewis’ reflections on diverse topics.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental37.6 hrs • Aug/01/2013 • Unabridged
How is it that the small continent of Europe, with its rich multiplicity of cultures and traditions, has managed to exert so profound an influence on the rest of the world? Roberts’ sweeping and entertaining history notes the paradoxical effect, for good and ill, on everything touched by those Western values that originated in Europe. Beginning with its Paleolithic origins and the early civilizations of the Aegean, Roberts traces the development of the European identity over the course of thousands of years, ranging across empires and religions, economics, science, and the arts. Antiquity, the age of Christendom, the Middle Ages, early modern history, and the old European order are all surveyed in turn, with particular emphasis given to the turbulent twentieth century.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental37.9 hrs • May/01/2013 • Unabridged
Earning spot #11 on National Review’s list of the Best Nonfiction Books of the Century, this fast-paced, all-encompassing narrative history covers the great events, ideas, and personalities of the six decades following the end of World War I, and offers a full-scale—if controversial—analysis of how the modern age came into being and where it is heading. Beginning on May 29, 1919, when photographs of the solar eclipse confirmed the truth of Einstein’s theory of relativity, Johnson goes on to describe Freudianism, the establishment of the first Marxist state, the chaos of “Old Europe,” the Arcadian twenties, and the new forces in China and Japan. Also discussed are Karl Marx, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt, Gandhi, Castro, Kennedy, Nixon, the ’29 crash, the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s New Deal, and the massive conflict of World War II.Available Formats: MP3 CD36.7 hrs • Apr/02/2013 • Unabridged
A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and bestselling author David Stockman David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big-government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today’s national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here—and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental38.3 hrs • Apr/01/2013 • Unabridged
Winston Churchill is an icon of modern history. From a very young age, Churchill believed he was destined to play a great role in the life of his nation, and he determined to prepare himself for the task. Roy Jenkins shows in fascinating detail how Churchill educated himself for greatness, how he worked out his livelihood through writing as well as his professional life in politics, and how he situated himself at every major site or moment in British imperial and governmental life. His parliamentary career was like no other, with its changes of party allegiance, its troughs and humiliations, its triumphs and peaks. In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins’ unparalleled command of Britain’s political history and his own high-level government experience provide a nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject. Exceptional in its breadth of knowledge and distinguished by a penetrating intelligence, this is one of the finest political biographies of our time.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.0 hrs • Aug/01/2012 • Unabridged
First published in 1776, this work is the classic statement of economic liberalism or the policy of laissez-faire and is widely considered on of the hundred greatest books of all time. Several fundamental principles or “axioms” were introduced in this work, including the division of labor, supply and demand, and free market capitalism as some of the most obvious. Smith’s political economy is primarily individualistic: self-interest is the incentive for economic action. However, he shows that universal pursuit of self-interest contributes to the public interest, a concept probably best encapsulated by John F. Kennedy when he remarked, “a rising tide raises all boats.”Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental37.0 hrs • Aug/01/2012 • Unabridged
Paul Dombey is a wealthy shipping merchant and formidable patriarch who runs his family with the same cold calculation he applies to his business. Evaluating his children’s worth by what he thinks they can add to his bottom line, he dotes on the son he hopes to make his heir, while neglecting his affectionate elder daughter. But through his pride and selfishness, Dombey is sowing the seeds of his own destruction. Once his heart is broken, can it finally be redeemed? A sensitive family drama infused with social and moral commentary, Dombey and Son combines grim psychological realism with Dickens’ faith in the redemptive power of love.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.4 hrs • Jul/01/2012 • Unabridged
This second volume in William Manchester’s three-volume biography of Winston Churchill challenges the assumption that Churchill’s finest hour was as a wartime leader. During the years 1932–1940, he was tested as few men are. Pursued by creditors (at one point he had to put up his home for sale), he remained solvent only by writing an extraordinary number of books and magazine articles. He was disowned by his own party, dismissed by the BBC and Fleet Street and the social and political establishments as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the British and French pusillanimous policy of appeasement. Manchester tracks with new insights this complex, fascinating history without ever losing sight of Churchill the man, a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.8 hrs • May/20/2012 • Unabridged
From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change. Schama’s approach, weaving in and out of private and public lives in the fashion of a novel, brings us closer than we have ever been to the harrowing and seductive French Revolution.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.7 hrs • Apr/01/2009 • Unabridged
This acclaimed national bestseller is the definitive work on Che Guevara, the dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revolution. Anderson traces Che’s extraordinary life from his comfortable Argentine upbringing to the battlefields of the Cuban revolution, from the halls of power in Castro’s government to his failed campaign in the Congo and his assassination in the Bolivian jungle. With unprecedented access to personal archives, government documents, and rare interviews, Anderson reveals many details of Che’s life that have long been cloaked in secrecy and intrigue. Meticulously researched and full of exclusive information, Che Guevara illuminates as never before this mythic figure who embodied the high-water mark of revolutionary Communism as a force in history.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital Rental36.7 hrs • Jun/01/2008 • Unabridged
With a wealth of fancy and an irrepressible high spirit, this beloved adventure story pokes fun at the exaggerated social and literary conventions of Cervantes’ day. Driven mad by reading too many chivalric romances, Don Quixote decks himself out in rusty armor and a cardboard helmet, determined to become a knight-errant and roam the world righting wrongs. He persuades the practical Sancho Panza to become his squire, and his inspiration on his quest is the peasant girl Aldonza, whom he idealizes as his queen of love and beauty, Dulcinea. From his first fighting encounter with a score of windmills to his climactic confrontation with a victorious enemy, Don Quixote’s feeble mind and heroic heart have earned him a place as one of the best-loved characters in fiction. A work consistently ranked among the greatest in all of literature, Don Quixote de la Mancha has inspired and influenced a host of notable writers over the past four centuries.Available Formats: Download, MP3 CD, Digital RentalLoading more titles...
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