History Audiobooks

The art of well-told history is bringing past eras to life in a way that informs, thrills, and brings it to life. History audiobooks do that in even more intimate and affecting ways by drawing us in with narration, details, and first-hand accounts. If you’re looking for the best history audiobooks, look no further than right here.

The art of well-told history is bringing past eras to life in a way that informs, thrills, and brings it to life. History audiobooks do that in even more intimate and affecting ways by drawing us in with narration, details, and first-hand accounts. If you’re looking for the best history audiobooks, look no further than right here.

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  • Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University
    Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University
    Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University

    Audiobook

    Who Killed Jane Stanford?: A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University

    byRichard White

    In 1885 Jane and Leland Stanford cofounded a university to honor their recently deceased young son. After her husband's death in 1893, Jane Stanford, a devoted spiritualist who expected the university to inculcate her values, steered Stanford into eccentricity and public controversy for more than a decade. In 1905 she was murdered in Hawaii, a victim, according to the Honolulu coroner's jury, of strychnine poisoning. With her vast fortune the university's lifeline, the Stanford president and his allies quickly sought to foreclose challenges to her bequests by constructing a story of death by natural causes. The cover-up gained traction in the murky labyrinths of power, wealth, and corruption of Gilded Age San Francisco. The murderer walked. Deftly sifting the scattered evidence and conflicting stories of suspects and witnesses, Richard White gives us the first full account of Jane Stanford's murder and its cover-up. Against a backdrop of the city's machine politics, rogue policing, tong wars, and heated newspaper rivalries, White's search for the murderer draws us into Jane Stanford's imperious household and the academic enmities of the university. Although Stanford officials claimed that no one could have wanted to murder Jane, we meet several people who had the motives and the opportunity to do so. One of these, we discover, also had the means.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies
    The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies
    The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies

    Audiobook

    The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies

    byPaul Fischer

    A page-turning history about the invention of the motion picture and the mysterious man behind it—detailing his life, work, disappearance, and legacy. The year is 1888 and Louis Le Prince is finally testing his “taker” or “receiver” device for his family on their front lawn. The device is meant to capture ten to twelve images per second on film, creating a reproduction of reality that can be replayed as many times as desired. In an otherwise separate and detached world, occurrences from one end of the globe could now be viewable with only a few days delay on the other side of the world. No human experience—from the most mundane to the most momentous—would need to be lost to history. In 1890, Le Prince was granted patents in four countries ahead of other inventors who were rushing to accomplish the same task. But just weeks before unveiling his invention to the world, he mysteriously disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. Three and a half years later, Thomas Edison, Le Prince’s rival, made the device public, claiming to have invented it himself. And the man who had dedicated his life to preserving memories was himself lost to history—until now. The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures pulls back the curtain and reveals the riveting story of both Louis Le Prince’s life and work, dispelling the secrets that shroud each. This captivating, impeccably researched work presents the never before told history of the motion picture and sheds light on the unsolved mystery of Le Prince’s disappearance.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths
    Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths
    Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

    Audiobook

    Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

    byNatalie Haynes

    “Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!”—Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale The national bestselling author of A Thousand Ships returns with a fascinating, eye-opening take on the remarkable women at the heart of classical stories Greek mythology from Helen of Troy to Pandora and the Amazons to Medea. The tellers of Greek myths—historically men—have routinely sidelined the female characters. When they do take a larger role, women are often portrayed as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil—like Pandora, the woman of eternal scorn and damnation whose curiosity is tasked with causing all the world’s suffering and wickedness when she opened that forbidden box. But, as Natalie Haynes reveals, in ancient Greek myths there was no box. It was a jar . . . which is far more likely to tip over. In Pandora’s Jar, the broadcaster, writer, stand-up comedian, and passionate classicist turns the tables, putting the women of the Greek myths on an equal footing with the men. With wit, humor, and savvy, Haynes revolutionizes our understanding of epic poems, stories, and plays, resurrecting them from a woman’s perspective and tracing the origins of their mythic female characters. She looks at women such as Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother-turned-lover-and-wife (turned Freudian sticking point), at once the cleverest person in the story and yet often unnoticed. She considers Helen of Troy, whose marriage to Paris “caused” the Trojan war—a somewhat uneven response to her decision to leave her husband for another man. She demonstrates how the vilified Medea was like an ancient Beyonce—getting her revenge on the man who hurt and betrayed her, if by extreme measures. And she turns her eye to Medusa, the original monstered woman, whose stare turned men to stone, but who wasn’t always a monster, and had her hair turned to snakes as punishment for being raped. Pandora’s Jar brings nuance and care to the millennia-old myths and legends and asks the question: Why are we so quick to villainize these women in the first place—and so eager to accept the stories we’ve been told? Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America
    The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America
    The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America

    Audiobook

    The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America

    byJavier Sinay

    When Argentine journalist Javier Sinay discovers an article from 1947 by his great-grandfather detailing twenty-two murders that had occurred in Moisés Ville at the end of the nineteenth century, he launches into his own investigation that soon turns into something deeper: an exploration of the history of Moisés Ville, one of the first Jewish agricultural communities in Argentina, and Sinay’s own connection to this historically thriving Jewish epicenter. Seeking refuge from the pogroms of Czarist Russia, a group of Jewish immigrants founded Moisés Ville in the late 1880s. Like their town’s prophetic namesake, these immigrants fled one form of persecution only to encounter a different set of hardships: exploitative land prices, starvation, illness, language barriers, and a series of murders perpetrated by roving gauchos who preyed upon their vulnerability. Sinay, though a descendant of these immigrants, is unfamiliar with this turbulent history, and his research into the spate of violence plunges him into his family’s past and their link to Moisés Ville. He combs through libraries and archives in search of documents about the murders and hires a book detective to track down issues of Der Viderkol, the first Yiddish newspaper in Argentina started by his great-grandfather. He even enrolls in Yiddish classes so he can read the newspaper and other contemporaneous records for himself. Through interviews with his family members, current residents of Moisés Ville, historians, and archivists, Sinay compiles moving portraits of the victims of these heinous murders and reveals the fascinating and complex history of the town once known as the “Jerusalem of South America.” “Sinay acknowledges the impossibility of fully separating legends from facts. . . but his diligence has produced as definitive an account as possible of what actually happened during this bloody period. This nuanced search for truth should have broad appeal.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review "I greatly admire Javier Sinay's enlightening and humane account of his sleuthing―the disinterment of a violent episode of buried history―now no longer forgotten. Its implications resonate far beyond the borders of Argentina." ―Paul Theroux, author of The Mosquito Coast and Under the Wave at Waimea "Part detective story, part family history, The Murders of Moisés Ville: The Rise and Fall of the Jerusalem of South America ― by Buenos Aires journalist Javier Sinay― offers a compelling path to learn more." ―Howard Freedman, Jewish News of Northern California

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The FBI War on Tupac Shakur: The State Repression of Black Leaders from the Civil Rights Era to the 1990s
    The FBI War on Tupac Shakur: The State Repression of Black Leaders from the Civil Rights Era to the 1990s
    The FBI War on Tupac Shakur: The State Repression of Black Leaders from the Civil Rights Era to the 1990s

    Audiobook

    The FBI War on Tupac Shakur: The State Repression of Black Leaders from the Civil Rights Era to the 1990s

    byJohn Potash

    Since the first day after the tragedy was announced, controversy has surrounded the death of rap and cultural icon Tupac Shakur. In this work, preeminent researcher on the topic, John Potash, puts forward his own theories of the events leading up to and following the murder in this meticulously researched and exhaustive account of the story. Never before has there been such a detailed and shocking analysis of the untimely death of one of the greatest musicians of the modern era. The FBI War on Tupac Shakur contains a wealth of names, dates, and events detailing the use of unscrupulous tactics by the Federal Bureau of Investigation against a generation of leftist political leaders and musicians. Based on twelve years of research and including extensive footnotes, sources include over 100 interviews, FOIA-released CIA and FBI documents, court transcripts, and mainstream media outlets. Beginning with the birth of the Civil Rights Movement in America, Potash illustrates the ways in which the FBI and the United States government conspired to take down and dismantle the various burgeoning activist and revolutionary groups forming at the time. From Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcolm X to Fred Hampton, the methods used to thwart their progress can be seen repeated again and again in the 80s and 90s against later revolutionary groups, musicians, and, most notably, Tupac Shakur. Buckle up for this winding, shocking, and unbelievable tale as John Potash reveals the dark underbelly of our government and their treatment of some of our most beloved Black icons.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger
    You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger
    You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger

    Audiobook

    You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger

    byRoger Hall

    With a sharp eye and wry wit, Roger Hall recounts his experiences as an American Army officer assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. First published in 1957 to critical and popular acclaim, his book has become a cult favorite in intelligence circles. The story follows Hall's experiences from a junior officer fleeing a tedious training assignment in Louisiana to his quirky and rigorous OSS training rituals in the United States, England, and Scotland. Quick to pick up on the skills necessary for behind-the-lines intelligence work, he became an expert instructor. But he was only reluctantly given operational duties because of his reputation as an iconoclast. In his droll story-telling style, Hall describes his first parachute jump in support of the French resistance as a comedy of errors that terminated prematurely. His last assignment in the war zone came when William Colby appointed him section head of an operations group that made its way on foot through Sweden. Called one of the funniest and most perceptive works ever written about life in the OSS, the book includes a wealth of unforgettable personalities that Hall encountered over the years.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer's Journey through Greece
    Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer's Journey through Greece
    Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer's Journey through Greece

    Audiobook

    Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer's Journey through Greece

    byMark Haskell Smith

    In ancient Athens, thousands would attend theatre festivals that turned writing into a fierce battle for fame, money, and laughably large trophies. While the tragedies earned artistic respect, it was the comedies—the raunchy jokes, vulgar innuendo, outrageous invention, and barbed political commentary—that captured the imagination of the city. The writers of these comedic plays feuded openly, insulting one another from the stage, each production more inventive and outlandish than the last, as they tried to win first prize. Of these writers, only the work of Aristophanes has survived and it’s only through his plays that we know about his peers: Cratinus, the great lush; Eupolis, the copycat; and Ariphrades, the sexual deviant. It might have been the golden age of Democracy, but for comic playwrights, it was the age of Rude Talk. Watching a production of an Aristophanes play in 2019 CE and seeing the audience laugh uproariously at every joke, Mark Haskell Smith began to wonder: what does it tell us about society and humanity that these ancient punchlines still land? When insults and jokes made thousands of years ago continue to be both offensive and still make us laugh? Through conversations with historians, politicians, and other writers, the always witty and effusive Smith embarks on a personal mission (bordering on obsession) exploring the life of one of these unknown writers, and how comedy challenged the patriarchy, the military, and the powers that be, both then and now. A comic writer himself and author of many books and screenplays, Smith also looks back at his own career, his love for the uniquely dynamic city of Athens, and what it means for a writer to leave a legacy.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History
    The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History
    The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

    Audiobook

    The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

    byLewis Buzbee

    A book can open an entire world of experience or provide a recipe for meatloaf. Either is wonderful to Lewis Buzbee, who has spent much of his life in bookstores as a bookseller, a sales representative, and a customer. In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore—the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in gradeschool. Interwoven throughout is a fascinating historical account of the bookseller trade—from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach's famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., that led to the extraordinary effort to publish and sell James Joyce's Ulysses during the 1920s. Rich with anecdotes, Buzbee offers a delightful look at bookstores past and present. For those who relish the enduring pleasures of spending an afternoon finding just the right book, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is the perfect choice.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Who Killed the 20th Century’s Greatest Spy?
    Who Killed the 20th Century’s Greatest Spy?
    Who Killed the 20th Century’s Greatest Spy?

    Audiobook

    Who Killed the 20th Century’s Greatest Spy?

    bySimon Parkin

    When Ashraf Marwan fell to his death from the balcony of a London flat, he took his secrets with him. Was he working for Egypt or Israel? And did the revelation of his identity lead to his murder?

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln's Vital Rival
    Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln's Vital Rival
    Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln's Vital Rival

    Audiobook

    Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln's Vital Rival

    byWalter Stahr

    From an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling biographer, a timely reassessment of Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable Secretary of the Treasury: a leading proponent for black rights both before and during his years in cabinet and later as Chief Justice of the United States. Salmon P. Chase is best remembered as a rival of Lincoln’s for the Republican nomination in 1860—but there would not have been a national Republican Party, and Lincoln could not have won the presidency, were it not for the vital groundwork Chase laid over the previous two decades. Starting in the early 1840s, long before Lincoln was speaking out against slavery, Chase was forming and leading antislavery parties. He represented fugitive slaves so often in his law practice that he was known as the attorney general for runaway negroes, and he furthered his reputation as an outspoken federal senator and progressive governor of Ohio. Tapped by Lincoln to become Secretary of the Treasury, Chase would soon prove vital to the Civil War effort, raising the billions of dollars that allowed the Union to win the war, while also pressing the president to emancipate the country’s slaves and recognize black rights. When Lincoln had the chance to appoint a chief justice in 1864, he chose his faithful rival, because he was sure Chase would make the right decisions on the difficult racial, political, and economic issues the Supreme Court would confront during Reconstruction. Drawing on previously overlooked sources, Walter Stahr sheds new light on a complex and fascinating political figure, as well as on the pivotal events of the Civil War and its aftermath. Salmon P. Chase tells the forgotten story of a man at the center of the fight for racial justice in 19th century America.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • Watergate
    Watergate
    Watergate

    Audiobook

    Watergate

    byGarrett M. Graff

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * “Do we need still another Watergate book? The answer turns out to be yes—this one.” —Len Downie, Jr., The Washington Post * “Dazzling.” —Douglas Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review From Garrett​ Graff, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky, comes the first definitive narrative history of Watergate—“the best and fullest account of the crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)—exploring the full scope of the scandal through the politicians, investigators, journalists, and informants who made it the most influential political event of the modern era. In the early hours of June 17, 1972, a security guard named Frank Wills enters six words into the log book of the Watergate office complex that will change the course of history: 1:47 AM Found tape on doors; call police. The subsequent arrests of five men seeking to bug and burgle the Democratic National Committee offices—three of them Cuban exiles, two of them former intelligence operatives—quickly unravels a web of scandal that ultimately ends a presidency and forever alters views of moral authority and leadership. Watergate, as the event is called, becomes a shorthand for corruption, deceit, and unanswered questions. Now, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Garrett M. Graff explores the full scope of this unprecedented moment from start to finish, in the first comprehensive, single-volume account in decades. The story begins in 1971, with the publication of thousands of military and government documents known as the Pentagon Papers, which reveal dishonesty about the decades-long American presence in Vietnam and spark public outrage. Furious that the leak might expose his administration’s own duplicity during a crucial reelection season, President Richard M. Nixon gathers his closest advisors and gives them implicit instructions: Win by any means necessary. Within a few months, an unsteady line of political dominoes are positioned, from the creation of a series of covert operations code-named GEMSTONE to campaign-trail dirty tricks, possible hostage situations, and questionable fundraising efforts—much of it caught on the White House’s own taping system. One by one they fall, until the thwarted June burglary attracts the attention of intrepid journalists, congressional investigators, and embattled intelligence officers, one of whom will spend decades concealing his identity behind the alias “Deep Throat.” As each faction slowly begins to uncover the truth, a conspiracy deeper and more corrupt than anyone thought possible emerges, and the nation is thrown into a state of crisis as its government—and its leader—unravels. Using newly public documents, transcripts, and revelations, Graff recounts every twist with remarkable detail and page-turning drama, bringing readers into the backrooms of Washington, chaotic daily newsrooms, crowded Senate hearings, and even the Oval Office itself during one of the darkest chapters in American history. Grippingly told and meticulously researched, Watergate is the defining account of the moment that has haunted our nation’s past—and still holds the power to shape its present and future.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Lincoln and the Fight for Peace
    Lincoln and the Fight for Peace
    Lincoln and the Fight for Peace

    Audiobook

    Lincoln and the Fight for Peace

    byJohn Avlon

    A groundbreaking, revelatory history of Abraham Lincoln’s plan to secure a just and lasting peace after the Civil War—a vision that inspired future presidents as well as the world’s most famous peacemakers, including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a story of war and peace, race and reconciliation. As the tide of the Civil War turned in the spring of 1865, Abraham Lincoln took a dangerous two-week trip to visit the troops on the front lines accompanied by his young son, seeing combat up close, meeting liberated slaves in the ruins of Richmond, and comforting wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. The power of Lincoln’s personal example in the closing days of the war offers a portrait of a peacemaker. He did not demonize people he disagreed with. He used humor, logic, and scripture to depolarize bitter debates. Balancing moral courage with moderation, Lincoln believed that decency could be the most practical form of politics, but he understood that people were more inclined to listen to reason when greeted from a position of strength. Ulysses S. Grant’s famously generous terms of surrender to General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox that April were a direct expression of the president’s belief that a soft peace should follow a hard war. While his assassination sent the country careening off course, Lincoln’s vision would be vindicated long after his death, inspiring future generations in their own quests to secure a just and lasting peace. As US General Lucius Clay, architect of the post-WWII German occupation, said when asked what guided his decisions: “I tried to think of the kind of occupation the South would have had if Abraham Lincoln had lived.” Lincoln and the Fight for Peace reveals how Lincoln’s character informed his commitment to unconditional surrender followed by a magnanimous peace. Even during the Civil War, surrounded by reactionaries and radicals, he refused to back down from his belief that there is more that unites us than divides us. But he also understood that peace needs to be waged with as much intensity as war. Lincoln’s plan to win the peace is his unfinished symphony, but in its existing notes, we can find an anthem that can begin to bridge our divisions today.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age
    Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age
    Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age

    Audiobook

    Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age

    byDennis Duncan

    Most of us give little thought to the back of the book—it's just where you go to look things up. But as Dennis Duncan reveals in this delightful and witty history, hiding in plain sight is an unlikely realm of ambition and obsession, sparring and politicking, pleasure and play. In the pages of the index, we might find Butchers, to be avoided, or Cows that sh-te Fire, or even catch Calvin in his chamber with a Nonne. Here, for the first time, is the secret world of the index: an unsung but extraordinary everyday tool, with an illustrious but little-known past. Charting its curious path from the monasteries and universities of thirteenth-century Europe to Silicon Valley in the twenty-first, Duncan uncovers how it has saved heretics from the stake, kept politicians from high office, and made us all into the readers we are today. We follow it through German print shops and Enlightenment coffee houses, novelists' living rooms and university laboratories, encountering emperors and popes, philosophers and prime ministers, poets, librarians and—of course—indexers along the way. Revealing its vast role in our evolving literary and intellectual culture, Duncan shows that, for all our anxieties about the Age of Search, we are all index-rakers at heart—and we have been for eight hundred years.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Fifties: An Underground History
    The Fifties: An Underground History
    The Fifties: An Underground History

    Audiobook

    The Fifties: An Underground History

    byJames R. Gaines

    A bold and original argument that upends the myth of the Fifties as a decade of conformity to celebrate the solitary, brave, and stubborn individuals who pioneered the radical gay rights, feminist, civil rights, and environmental movements, from historian James R. Gaines. In a fascinating and beautifully written series of character portraits, The Fifties invokes the accidental radicals—people motivated not by politics but by their own most intimate conflicts—who sparked movements for change in their time and our own. Among many others, we meet the legal pathfinder Pauli Murray, who was tortured by both her mixed-race heritage and her “in between” sexuality. Through years of hard work and self-examination, she turned her demons into historic victories. Ruth Bader Ginsberg credited her for the argument that made sex discrimination illegal, but that was only one of her gifts to 21st-century feminism. We meet Harry Hay, who dreamed of a national gay-rights movement as early as the mid-1940s, a time when the US, Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany viewed gay people as subversives and mentally ill. And in perhaps the book’s unlikeliest pairing, we hear the prophetic voices of Silent Spring’s Rachel Carson and MIT’s preeminent mathematician, Norbert Wiener, who from their very different perspectives—she in the living world, he in the theoretical one—converged on the then-heretical idea that our mastery over the natural world carried the potential for disaster. Their legacy is the environmental movement. The Fifties is a dazzling and provocative work of history that transforms our understanding of a seemingly staid decade and honors the pioneers of gay rights, feminism, civil rights, and environmentalism. The book carries the powerful message that change actually begins not in mass movements and new legislation but in the lives of de-centered, often lonely individuals, who learn to fight for change in a daily struggle with themselves.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning
    The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning
    The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning

    Audiobook

    The Last Slave Ship: The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning

    byBen Raines

    The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day—by the journalist who discovered the ship’s remains. Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the Clotilda became the last ship in history to bring enslaved Africans to the United States. The ship was scuttled and burned on arrival to hide evidence of the crime, allowing the wealthy perpetrators to escape prosecution. Despite numerous efforts to find the sunken wreck, Clotilda remained hidden for the next 160 years. But in 2019, journalist Ben Raines made international news when he successfully concluded his obsessive quest through the swamps of Alabama to uncover one of our nation’s most important historical artifacts. Traveling from Alabama to the ancient African kingdom of Dahomey in modern-day Benin, Raines recounts the ship’s perilous journey, the story of its rediscovery, and its complex legacy. Against all odds, Africatown, the Alabama community founded by the captives of the Clotilda, prospered in the Jim Crow South. Zora Neale Hurston visited in 1927 to interview Cudjo Lewis, telling the story of his enslavement in the New York Times bestseller Barracoon. And yet the haunting memory of bondage has been passed on through generations. Clotilda is a ghost haunting three communities—the descendants of those transported into slavery, the descendants of their fellow Africans who sold them, and the descendants of their American enslavers. This connection binds these groups together to this day. At the turn of the century, descendants of the captain who financed the Clotilda’s journey lived nearby—where, as significant players in the local real estate market, they disenfranchised and impoverished residents of Africatown. From these parallel stories emerges a profound depiction of America as it struggles to grapple with the traumatic past of slavery and the ways in which racial oppression continue to this day. And yet, at its heart, The Last Slave Ship remains optimistic—an epic tale of one community’s triumphs over great adversity and a celebration of the power of human curiosity to uncover the truth about our past and heal its wounds.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Seven Games: A Human History
    Seven Games: A Human History
    Seven Games: A Human History

    Audiobook

    Seven Games: A Human History

    byOliver Roeder

    Checkers, backgammon, chess, and Go. Poker, Scrabble, and bridge. These seven games, ancient and modern, fascinate millions of people worldwide. In Seven Games, Oliver Roeder charts their origins and historical importance, the arcana of their rules, and the ways their design makes them pleasurable. Roeder introduces thrilling competitors, such as evangelical minister Marion Tinsley, who across forty years lost only three games of checkers; Shusai, the Master, the last Go champion of imperial Japan; and an IBM engineer who created a backgammon program so capable at self-learning that NASA used it on the space shuttle. He delves into the history and lore of each game: backgammon boards in ancient Egypt, the Indian origins of chess, how certain shells from a particular beach in Japan make the finest white Go stones. Roeder explores why games, seemingly trivial pastimes, speak so deeply to the human soul. He introduces an early philosopher of games, the aptly named Bernard Suits, and visits an Oxford cosmologist who has perfected a computer that can effectively play bridge, a game as complicated as human language itself. Throughout, Roeder tells the compelling story of how humans, pursuing scientific glory and competitive advantage, have invented AI programs better than any human player, and what that means for the games—and for us.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation
    The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation
    The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation

    Audiobook

    The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation

    byRosemary Sullivan

    Less a mystery unsolved than a secret well kept... Using new technology, recently discovered documents and sophisticated investigative techniques, an international team—led by an obsessed retired FBI agent—has finally solved the mystery that has haunted generations since World War II: Who betrayed Anne Frank and her family? And why? Over thirty million people have read The Diary of a Young Girl, the journal teen-aged Anne Frank kept while living in an attic with her family and four other people in Amsterdam during World War II, until the Nazis arrested them and sent them to a concentration camp. But despite the many works—journalism, books, plays and novels—devoted to Anne’s story, none has ever conclusively explained how these eight people managed to live in hiding undetected for over two years—and who or what finally brought the Nazis to their door. With painstaking care, retired FBI agent Vincent Pankoke and a team of indefatigable investigators pored over tens of thousands of pages of documents—some never before seen—and interviewed scores of descendants of people familiar with the Franks. Utilizing methods developed by the FBI, the Cold Case Team painstakingly pieced together the months leading to the infamous arrest—and came to a shocking conclusion.  The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation is the riveting story of their mission. Rosemary Sullivan introduces us to the investigators, explains the behavior of both the captives and their captors and profiles a group of suspects. All the while, she vividly brings to life wartime Amsterdam: a place where no matter how wealthy, educated, or careful you were, you never knew whom you could trust.  Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Righteous Troublemakers: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America
    Righteous Troublemakers: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America
    Righteous Troublemakers: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America

    Audiobook

    Righteous Troublemakers: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America

    byAl Sharpton

    “This is the time. We won’t stop until we change the whole system of justice.” —Reverend Al Sharpton In the summer of 2020, Reverend Al Sharpton stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, preparing to give the keynote address of theGet Your Knee Off Our NecksCommitment March. He noticed an older man in the crowd wearing a button from Dr. King’s 1963 march. The man told Sharpton that he had, in fact, been to the original March on Washington. “And,” he said, “I’ll keep coming back until we see justice.” While the mainstream media may know the major names of the movement, there are countless lesser-known heroes like this man who “keep coming back,” fighting the good fight to advance equal justice for all. Whether working in civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA rights, or in environmental justice, they heed the call when no one else is listening, often risking their lives and livelihoods in the process. Righteous Troublemakers shines a light on everyday people called to do extraordinary things—like Pauli Murray, whose early work inspired Thurgood Marshall, Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus months before Rosa Parks did the same, and Gwen Carr, whose private pain in losing her son Eric Garner stoked her public activism against police brutality. Sharpton also gives his personal take on more widely known individuals, revealing overlooked details, historical connections, and a perspective informed by years of working in the social justice movement. At the same time, this book details the tumultuous year following George Floyd’s murder, with Sharpton delivering an up close and personal look at the behind-the-scenes work that forced today’s national reckoning on race. Here, he reveals his relationship with the Floyd family, the emotional moments that impacted him most, and why his work—and ours—isn’t finished, all while offering timeless lessons about the enduring strength and moral courage of the American people. For anyone who wants to be a changemaker or believes that truth and justice are worthwhile pursuits, Righteous Troublemakers is as inspirational as it is essential. Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook. Also, don't miss Reverend Sharpton's previous book, Rise Up: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads. Michael Eric Dyson calls it "a gift from Al Sharpton to us.”

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll
    Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll
    Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll

    Audiobook

    Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll

    byLenny Kaye

    “We have performed side-by-side on the global stage through half a century…. In Lightning Striking, Lenny Kaye has illuminated ten facets of the jewel called rock and roll from a uniquely personal and knowledgeable perspective.”  –Patti Smith An insider’s take on the evolution and enduring legacy of the music that rocked the twentieth century Memphis, 1954. New Orleans 1957. Philadelphia 1959. Liverpool, 1962. San Francisco 1967. Detroit 1969. New York, 1975. London 1977. Los Angeles 1984 / Norway 1993. Seattle 1991. Rock and roll was birthed in basements and garages, radio stations and dance halls, in cities where unexpected gatherings of artists and audience changed and charged the way music is heard and celebrated, capturing lightning in a bottle. Musician and writer Lenny Kaye explores ten crossroads of time and place that define rock and roll, its unforgettable flashpoints, characters and visionaries, how each generation came to be, how it was discovered by the world. Whether describing Elvis Presley’s Memphis, the Beatles’ Liverpool, Patti Smith’s New York or Kurt Cobain’s Seattle, Lightning Striking reveals the communal energy that creates a scene, a guided tour inside style and performance, to see who’s on stage, along with the movers and shakers, the hustlers and hangers-on, and why everybody is listening.  Grandly sweeping and minutely detailed, informed by Kaye’s acclaimed knowledge and experience as a working musician, Lightning Striking is an ear-opening insight into our shared musical and cultural history, a carpet ride of rock and roll’s most influential movements and moments. Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe
    The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe
    The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe

    Audiobook

    The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe

    byMatthew Gabriele

    "Traveling easily through a thousand years of history, The Bright Ages reminds us society never collapsed when the Roman Empire fell, nor did the modern world did wake civilization from a thousand year hibernation. Thoroughly enjoyable, thoughtful and accessible; a fresh look on an age full of light, color, and illumination." —Mike Duncan, author of Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality—a brilliant reflection of humanity itself. The word “medieval” conjures images of the “Dark Ages”—centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. The Bright Ages recasts the European Middle Ages for what it was, capturing this 1,000-year era in all its complexity and fundamental humanity, bringing to light both its beauty and its horrors.  The Bright Ages takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. We look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, and the genius of Hildegard and the power of queens. We begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante—inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy—writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today.   The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world “lit only by fire” but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics.   Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail
    Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail
    Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail

    Audiobook

    Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed or Fail

    byRay Dalio

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “A provocative read...There are few tomes that coherently map such broad economic histories as well as Mr. Dalio’s. Perhaps more unusually, Mr. Dalio has managed to identify metrics from that history that can be applied to understand today.” —Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times From legendary investor Ray Dalio, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Principles, who has spent half a century studying global economies and markets, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order examines history’s most turbulent economic and political periods to reveal why the times ahead will likely be radically different from those we’ve experienced in our lifetimes—and to offer practical advice on how to navigate them well. A few years ago, Ray Dalio noticed a confluence of political and economic conditions he hadn’t encountered before. They included huge debts and zero or near-zero interest rates that led to massive printing of money in the world’s three major reserve currencies; big political and social conflicts within countries, especially the US, due to the largest wealth, political, and values disparities in more than 100 years; and the rising of a world power (China) to challenge the existing world power (US) and the existing world order. The last time that this confluence occurred was between 1930 and 1945. This realization sent Dalio on a search for the repeating patterns and cause/effect relationships underlying all major changes in wealth and power over the last 500 years. In this remarkable and timely addition to his Principles series, Dalio brings readers along for his study of the major empires—including the Dutch, the British, and the American—putting into perspective the “Big Cycle” that has driven the successes and failures of all the world’s major countries throughout history. He reveals the timeless and universal forces behind these shifts and uses them to look into the future, offering practical principles for positioning oneself for what’s ahead.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Myths of Meritocracy: A Revisionist History Anthology
    The Myths of Meritocracy: A Revisionist History Anthology
    The Myths of Meritocracy: A Revisionist History Anthology

    Audiobook

    The Myths of Meritocracy: A Revisionist History Anthology

    byMalcolm Gladwell

    From Pushkin Industries, The Myths of Meritocracy is a compendium of audio essays focusing on one of Malcolm Gladwell's obsessions --- education. From the LSAT to student council elections, Gladwell explores why we often reward the wrong people and upends traditional thinking around how education should work.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases
    Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases
    Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases

    Audiobook

    Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases

    byLydia Kang

    A very timely history of disease outbreaks, from the authors of Quackery: stories of outbreaks (and their patient zeros), plus chapters on the science, culture, and cures for different types of epidemics and pandemics. Popular reading on a timely topic.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • On Coaching: The Against the Rules Anthology
    On Coaching: The Against the Rules Anthology
    On Coaching: The Against the Rules Anthology

    Audiobook

    On Coaching: The Against the Rules Anthology

    byMichael Lewis

    Journalist and bestselling author Michael Lewis takes a searing look at what's happened to fairness. It feels like there's less of it every day---whether it comes to lending practices, college admissions, professional sports, or psychological well-being. Who are the people trying to level the playing field, and are they making an impact? In this anthology from Pushkin Industries, Lewis looks at the rise in coaching in American life, bringing his trademark insight and wry humor to the stories of (in)equality today.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Mary Magdalene: Women, the Church, and the Great Deception
    Mary Magdalene: Women, the Church, and the Great Deception
    Mary Magdalene: Women, the Church, and the Great Deception

    Audiobook

    Mary Magdalene: Women, the Church, and the Great Deception

    byAdriana Valerio

    From one of Italy’s most renowned historians of religion, an exciting new portrait of one of Christianity’s most complex—and most misunderstood—figures: Mary Magdalene Jesus’ favorite and most devoted disciple? A prostitute shunned from her community? A symbol of female leadership and independence? Who really was Mary Magdalene, and how does her story fit within the history of Christianity, and that of female emancipation? In this meticulously researched, highly engaging book, Adriana Valerio looks at history, art, and literature to show how centuries of misinterpretation and willful distortion—aimed at establishing and preserving gender hierarchies—have stripped this historical figure of her complexity and relevance. By revealing both the benign and the pernicious misrepresentations of Mary Magdalene, this thought-provoking essay reaffirms the central role played by women in the origins of Christianity and their essential contribution to one of the founding experiences of Western thought and society.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler
    Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler
    Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler

    Audiobook

    Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler

    byDavid McKean

    As German tanks rolled toward Paris in late May 1940, the US Ambassador to France, William Bullitt, was determined to stay put, holed up in the Chateau St. Firmin in Chantilly, his country residence. Bullitt told the president that he would neither evacuate the embassy nor his chateau. As German forces closed in on the French capital, Bullitt wrote the president, "In case I should get blown up before I see you again, I want you to know that it has been marvelous to work for you." As the fighting raged in France, across the English Channel, Ambassador to Great Britain Joseph P. Kennedy wrote to his wife Rose, "The situation is more than critical. It means a terrible finish for the allies." David McKean's Watching Darkness Fall will recount the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals—London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow—in the years prior to World War II. In many ways they were America's first line of defense and they often communicated with the president directly, as Roosevelt's eyes and ears on the ground. Unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany's Third Reich.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Into the Zone: Essays on Opposites and Borders
    Into the Zone: Essays on Opposites and Borders
    Into the Zone: Essays on Opposites and Borders

    Audiobook

    Into the Zone: Essays on Opposites and Borders

    byHari Kunzru

    From Pushkin Industries, Into the Zone is a collection of essays about opposites and how borders are never as clear as we think. With a novelist's eye for the unexpected, author Hari Kunzru takes listeners around the world, meeting philosophers and punk musicians, New Age gurus and space explorers, to investigate the gray zone between life and death, public and private, black and white, and more. Originally created as a podcast, this new audiobook expands on how history happens through antagonism and includes a new foreword and afterword.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876
    To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876
    To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876

    Audiobook

    To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876

    byBret Baier

    #1 New York Times Bestseller Fox News Channel’s Chief Political Anchor illuminates the heroic life of Ulysses S. Grant "To Rescue the Republic is narrative history at its absolute finest. A fast-paced, thrilling and enormously important book." —Douglas Brinkley An epic history spanning the battlegrounds of the Civil War and the violent turmoil of Reconstruction to the forgotten electoral crisis that nearly fractured a reunited nation, Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Republic dramatically reveals Ulysses S. Grant’s essential yet underappreciated role in preserving the United States during an unprecedented period of division. Born a tanner’s son in rugged Ohio in 1822 and battle-tested by the Mexican American War, Grant met his destiny on the bloody fields of the Civil War. His daring and resolve as a general gained the attention of President Lincoln, then desperate for bold leadership. Lincoln appointed Grant as Lieutenant General of the Union Army in March 1864. Within a year, Grant’s forces had seized Richmond and forced Robert E. Lee to surrender. Four years later, the reunified nation faced another leadership void after Lincoln’s assassination and an unworthy successor completed his term. Again, Grant answered the call. At stake once more was the future of the Union, for though the Southern states had been defeated, it remained to be seen if the former Confederacy could be reintegrated into the country—and if the Union could ensure the rights and welfare of African Americans in the South. Grant met the challenge by boldly advancing an agenda of Reconstruction and aggressively countering the Ku Klux Klan.  In his final weeks in the White House, however, Grant faced a crisis that threatened to undo his life’s work. The contested presidential election of 1876 produced no clear victory for either Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden, who carried most of the former Confederacy. Soon Southern states vowed to revolt if Tilden was not declared the victor. Grant was determined to use his influence to preserve the Union, establishing an electoral commission to peaceably settle the issue. Grant brokered a grand bargain: the installation of Republican Hayes to the presidency, with concessions to the Democrats that effectively ended Reconstruction. This painful compromise saved the nation, but tragically condemned the South to another century of civil-rights oppression. Deep with contemporary resonance and brimming with fresh detail that takes readers from the battlefields of the Civil War to the corridors of power where men decided the fate of the nation in back rooms, To Rescue the Republic reveals Grant, for all his complexity, to be among the first rank of American heroes.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Evergreen Ape: The Story of Bigfoot
    Evergreen Ape: The Story of Bigfoot
    Evergreen Ape: The Story of Bigfoot

    Audiobook

    Evergreen Ape: The Story of Bigfoot

    byDavid Norman Lewis

    The Pacific Northwest has always been home to unusual folktales, bizarre legends, and strange goings ons. From the countless UFO sightings and the dense rainforests of Oregon and Washington, to the sprawling network of Shanghai tunnels interlaced beneath the cities, the region is rife with stories of the unexplained and the unnatural. In Evergreen Ape, David Lewis takes a closer look at the origins of the Pacific Northwest's most beloved and elusive cryptid: Bigfoot. Drawing from newspaper reports, local American Indian legends, and stories passed down from settlers in the 1800s, Lewis explores the true stories that created the modern monster. Discover the various manifestations of the legend and the way he has interacted with society, then read about popular hikes in the area where he has supposedly been spotted, and step onto the path of finding Bigfoot yourself.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol
    Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol
    Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

    Audiobook

    Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol

    byMallory O'Meara

    “At last, the feminist history of booze we’ve been waiting for!” —Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colors and fruity flavors—these are the Girly Drinks. From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist? With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
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