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Political Figures

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Mike From Mesa

Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ Member Since 2003

MikeFromMesa

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  • "A worthy final volume in a great bi..."

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    This is the third volume of William Manchester's biography of Winston Churchill. I first read the second volume, about the decade leading up to the German invasion of France, 25 years ago and thought it was so good that I bought and read the first volume. I had, by now, given up hope of ever seeing the third volume, but Mr. Manchester appears to have asked Paul Reid to complete the book and, when I saw it available on Audible, I immediately bought it.

    This book is billed as a biography (and so it is) but Winston Churchill’s life was so intertwined with the British participation in World War II (he served as both Prime Minister and Defense Minister) that this book also serves as a political (not military) history of British involvement in the war as seen through British eyes. There is little military coverage per se but the political decisions behind the military moves are discussed in great detail. While this book covers the period from 1940 through 1965 (beginning where the second volume ended) it is primarily concerned with Churchill’s actions during the war with approximately 90% of the book covering the period up to the end of the war in Europe and his loss of the office of Prime Minister.

    The book’s description of the political views of the Allies, its descriptions of the leaders and their conferences is really first rate. Mr. Reid has added liberal excerpts from the diaries of many of those involved, both Allied and Axis, and the resulting picture of how the war progressed, how the decisions that had to be made were reached and how the various participants reacted to the decisions transcends anything I have read before. I have read many histories of World War II, but all of them spent a great deal of time covering the battles whereas this book dwells primarily on the political decisions to be made and how and why the decisions were reached. The portraits of some of the leaders presented in this book are the best I have seen outside of biographies of those people themselves. The picture of Joseph Stalin, as presented in this book, is very different from that presented in other books, presumably because it is the view of him as seen by Churchill and his aides, not as seen by Soviet Marshalls or allied diplomats and one is drawn to the assumption that Stalin, like all of the other leaders, could present many different faces as needed. Similarly the portraits of people like Harry Hopkins, Cordell Hull, Anthony Eden, Alan Brooke, John Dill and others presented in this book seem much richer than I have seen in other books.

    One of the books on my wish list was Max Hastings’ book “Winston’s War”, but this book is so well done and covers Mr. Churchill’s wartime involvement so well that I am not sure there is anything in Mr. Hastings’ book that would contribute much new and I am now uncertain as to whether or not it is worth buying. I thought I knew the events of the war from my earlier readings, but after reading this book I realized that there was much that either I did not know or which I understood imperfectly. While I do not wish to spoil this book for others I can say that I did not know how fragile the Allied coalition was at times during the war or how much disagreement there was between the British and the US on strategy. Yes, I knew that the US favored a cross-channel invasion and the British wanted to pursue a Mediterranean strategy but I did not know how strong the disagreements were, how dedicated some of the military and political professionals were to one choice or the other or how the final agreements were reached. This book is a treasure trove of information about how and why the political decisions were reached and I recommend it without hesitation to anyone interested in knowing the background behind these decisions. It is one of the finest books on the war that I have ever read.

    The last 10% (or so) of the book covers Churchill’s life after he lost of the office of Prime Minister and after the end of the war. It covers, in considerable detail, his work in opposition to the Labor Party and his efforts to create a “United States of Europe”. While I understood how he, almost alone, understood the coming Nazi menace I was not aware of how he continued to predict the course of political events after the war. His foresight in seeing the coming cold war between the West and the Soviets and his efforts to preserve freedom and security during the late 1940s and early 1950s was new to me. It is also a very personal book and, at the end, I had tears in my eyes at the passing of such a great man.

    The book is read wonderfully by Clive Chafer who does a passable impression of both Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. One reviewer complained that the book is read by an American, but that is only true of the introduction, which is read by the author. The rest of the book is a pleasure to listen to. This is a worthy conclusion to the monumental first two volumes of this trilogy and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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    The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (394)
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    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
  • "Very, very good, but very, very long."

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    The first part of Edmund Morris' biography of Theodore Roosevelt is absolutely wonderful. This volume covers Mr Roosevelt's life from his birth through his selection as Vice President under McKinley and McKinley's assassination and is long enough, at 26, hours to cover everything of importance. While this is not the first Roosevelt biography that I have read it is the first that has covered all of the relevant parts of his early life with what seems like completeness.

    Theodore Roosevelt led an extraordinarily varied life – young naturalist and student of animal life, Harvard student, New York assembly man, corruption fighting reformer, Civil Service Commissioner in Washington, cattleman in the Dakota Territory, Police Commissioner in New York, assistant Secretary of the Navy, mayor of New York City, Rough Rider and more and all of it comes to life in the wonderful writing of Mr Morris and the flawless narration of Mark Deakins. While parts of his life seem incongruous (for example his ability to be both a nature conservationist while, at the same time, engaging in hunting trips to kill wild animals and mount their heads and skins at his house) we need to remember that this occurred well more than 100 years ago and was perfectly in line with the common views of his day. What stands out above all are his enormous energy, his quick and subtle thinking and his absolute honesty. It is easy to see why he was so popular with the voters while, at the same time, so unpopular with some of the political class of his own party. His rise to power, given the unhappiness of some of the powerful politicians of his day, seems remarkable.

    Mr Morris' writing of Theodore Roosevelt is largely positive, but not fawning. He writes about both the positive and negative sides of Mr Roosevelt's habits, views and opinions and his writing seems well balanced. However there is also a tendency to attribute the motives Mr Roosevelt's opponents to either meanness or greed and he (Mr Morris) seems unwilling to believe that those opponents might have held honest views which just were at odds with those of Mr Roosevelt. It is not enough to spoil the book but, while listening, I kept thinking to myself that perhaps the person in question honestly believed that Mr Roosevelt was wrong.

    This is a very long book. All three volumes, in Audible format, add up to about 77 hours. While that length itself seems long it seemed even longer when compared to some of the other popular political biographies – Ron Chernow's biography of George Washington is about 42 hours, David McCullough's biography of John Adams is about 30 hours, H W Brand's biography of Ulysses Grant is about 28 hours, Jean Edward Smith's biography of FDR is about 33 hours and so on. As I said, this is a very long book. To find a comparably long biography one has to look at William Manchester's 3 volume biography of Winston Churchill which, at about 133 hours, eclipses even this book.

    While listening to the Audible book I kept thinking that the book might have benefited from some judicious editing but I could never really put my finger on anything that should have been left out. It is long, but all of the information seems to be important, interesting or both. While 77 hours seems very long perhaps it is necessary for a life so varied, intense and central to the history of the US and the world. Theodore Roosevelt's life deserves a great biography and has found it in this book.

    Highly recommended for those interested in history during the beginning of the 20th century.

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    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Edmund Morris
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
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    Described by the Chicago Tribune as "a classic," The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt stands as one of the greatest biographies of our time. The publication of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt on September 14th, 2001, marked the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt becoming president.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Very, very good, but very, very long."
  • "A different view of Camelot"

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    I have been looking for a balanced history of the time of the Kennedy brothers for a long time. Although I was too young to vote in 1960 when John Kennedy ran for President, I was old enough to be serving in the US military so I remember the Presidential campaign and his Presidency very well. And, like most people who were adults at the time, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard about his assassination in Dallas, Texas as well as the assassination of Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, California.

    I thought that histories of the Kennedy Presidency written shortly after the assassinations of John and Robert tended to lack objectivity and to be more paeans of praise than real histories and that those written during the 1980s tended to be revisionist and overly critical focusing on conspiracy theories, long on innuendo but short on facts. I bought this book because I felt that perhaps the 40+ years since the assassinations was enough time for historians to have gained the necessary objectivity to view the events of the period more dispassionately and write in a more balanced fashion.

    This book centers on the relationship of the brothers during their time in office and especially during the time of John's Presidency. The central idea of the book, as described in the introduction, is that Robert's actions as Attorney General led directly to the events in Dallas and his brother's death. To describe the events and their linkages to the assassination the book covers the details of John's Presidency in a good deal of detail and, for me, that seems to be one of the main issues with the Audible version. Meetings between mafia Dons, labor leaders, high level US government officials, Soviet officials, Cuban exiles and the like are described and quotes from these meetings are used liberally. While the events and the quotes may well be accurate, the Audible reader is given little information concerning the source of the quotes. Perhaps there are footnotes in the print version of this book but nothing in the Audible version indicates where the quotes came from. However Mr Mahoney's credentials as the Kennedy Scholar Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts seem above reproach and I assume the quotations are valid. Given that, the conclusions one are drawn to are hard to avoid.

    This book is dense with facts, meetings, events and quotes and normally I would suggest that such an event rich book would be better understood in print where it is easier for readers to return to the previous paragraph to re-read something. In fact I found myself rewinding 30 seconds or more frequently to make sure I understood who was saying what, but the events themselves are fresh enough in my memory to have compensated for the lack of a print version and I found myself listening to hours at a time when I would normally have been doing something else. In fact I finished this book in less than 3 full days. Given it's length that gives some indication as to how the story and the narration held me.

    Both John and Robert Kennedy are presented as real people with both foresight and limitations and the descriptions seem fair and real. Given the material being discussed (assassination attempts against Fidel Castro, collusion and communication with the Mafia and the stories behind both the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, among others), what we see is a very different view of Camelot that detracts from the highly burnished view that many people have of the Kennedy Presidency. I should also mention that this is not a book about who killed John Kennedy. The book, through quotes, follows several threads involving individuals and groups who threatened to kill him, but makes no judgment concerning who may have actually done it. It does, however, have something to say about the judgment of the Warren Commission about a single shooter.

    The final section of the book describes the change in Robert Kennedy after he left the office of Attorney General, ran for the U.S. Senate, became an opponent of the Viet Nam war and ran for the Presidential nomination. Of particular interest to me was the change and growth he underwent as he became more aware of the plight of the poor and neglected. The Robert Kennedy that appeared in 1969 seems like a very different Robert Kennedy from the one involved in the Kefauver Committee hearings in the 1950s.

    The narration by Peter Altschuler is very good and well suited to the contents. The events described in this book may be at variance with many people's current views of the Kennedys but I think the book is very well done and well worth reading. I recommend it although some parts of it may be hard to listen to, especially for those whose view of the period was formed by the legend of Camelot.

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    The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard D. Mahoney
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (13)

    Books about the Kennedys are legion. Yet missing until now has been the exploration of the bond between Jack and Bobby, and the part that it played in their rise and fall. Richard D. Mahoney gives us Jack and Bobby in all their hubris and humanity, youthfulness and fatalism. Here is American history as it unfolds. The Kennedy Brothers is a fresh and masterful account of the men whose legacy continues to hold the American imagination.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A different view of Camelot"
  1. The Last Lion: Winston Sp...
  2. The Rise of Theodore Roos...
  3. The Kennedy Brothers: The...
  4. .

A Peek at Scott's Bookshelf

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Scarborough, ON, Canada 62 REVIEWS / 163 ratings Member Since 2006 4 Followers / Following 4
 
Scott's greatest hits:
  • Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House

    "A balanced account of the W and Cheney White House"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    First off, I'll admit I was no fan of George W Bush yet still the man intrigued me. Could he really be as dumb, arrogant, and stubborn as his persona suggests? Well, according to this well written account of his White House years, the answer is yes and no. This is a nicely nuanced portrait of the Bush and Cheney partnership that really only lasted he first term of the presidency. All of Bush's failings are in display here and the author links these in subtle ways with W's character flaws. At the same time, this is hardly a hatchet job. Undeniably the Bush presidency was a time of monumental challenges, some of Bush and Cheney's own making, some not. The influence of each man on the other is depicted in an almost Shakespearian tragic way as initial successes lead to epic failures and estrangement. A compelling read that will likely not satisfy hard core Bush apologists or detractors, this is well worth the read for anyone seeking a better understanding of he partner ship that made he White House tick.

  • Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

    "Comprehensive...but a bit dry"

    Overall

    Bought this book as I was intrigued by the subject. The author approaches his subject in a very scholarly way but it does read more like an extended encyclopedia entry than an engrossing picture of the man. Have to say that I did not enjoy the narrator whose style was very ponderous.

  • The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    "An entertaining peek behind the red curtain"

    Overall
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    Any additional comments?

    A fascinating look into the inner workings of the Supreme Court. Lots of interesting tidbits about the court, its justices, and how their personalities and politics influence their decisions. Toobin focuses mainly on the justices serving in the 1980's through the appointment of John Roberts as Chief Justice. For casual watchers of the court you will find lots to like - equal parts analysis of some of the more important decisions over the past 30 years, biography, and insider anecdotes - all told within the context of shifting political trends. I found it all very entertaining and informative but those interested in the history of the court or in depth legal analysis of landmark rulings should look elsewhere.

  • Governator: From Muscle Beach to His Quest for the White House, the Improbable Rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger

    "Balanced"

    Overall

    A fairly balanced take on Schwarzenegger, from his childhood, bodybuilding days, to Hollywood and the Governor's mansion. Doesn't shy away from the controversies while at the same time is a bit sensationalist at times though that is probably warranted given the subject. The author's inherent fondness for his subject shines through.

Chrissie

Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 07-02-13 Member Since 2011
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  • "The guy is amazing!"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th US president. There are several charts ranking the US presidents and in all that I have seen he places fourth or fifth from the top. Lincoln, Washington and FDR, they are the ones that sit at the top. Jefferson and Theodore vie for the fourth position depending on which chart you look at. Maybe for this reason I can convince you to read this trilogy, written by Edmund Morris. This book is the last of the trilogy. In my view they must all be read together. The trilogy reads like one book. Although the last does cover previous incidents in his life, it does this summarily with the assumption that you have read the previous books. To understand the true marvel of the man you must read all three books, which are in chronological order. It is in the details that you learn of his character. For me it is his character, not only his deeds as President, which makes him such a remarkable person. This is the second, and I believe the strongest reason, to read these books, ie to meet the man. At the end, when I knew he would die soon, I was in tears. Well, my eyes were damp, but I do not cry when I read sad books. What a man! A vituperative bully and a pain in the butt, but moral and hardworking and a cyclone of energy, and he always tried to do the right thing….. even if it wasn’t to his own advantage.

    The first two books had little about his relationship with those in his family. That you find in this book, in good measure! His charting of the Amazon is found in this book too. In addition, you are given fascinating details concerning WW1. I believe that had he been president, rather than Woodrow Wilson, he may have been able to change the course of history. Just maybe. He was a tremendous negotiator, having received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in ending the Russo-Japanese War. He knew on a personal level almost all of the leaders.

    There are paragraphs where I don’t understand the reasoning behind or the import of the lines or the conclusions drawn. Some words used are not the most typical, plenipotentiary rather than ambassador, is one example that threw me at first. Particularly if you are listening, there are parts where you must pay close attention and sometimes rewind. There are names and ideas quickly thrown at you, and the narrator who is excellent (Mark Deakins), speaks rather quickly. As I pointed out in my review of the first book of the trilogy, the voice he uses for Theodore is absolutely perfect! You can hear this for yourself by listening to the real Theodore on You-Tube. Deakins’ French isn’t perfect, but understandable. You hear that he is an American speaking French, and he does pronounce some of the French cities wrong.

    I really did love learning about Teddy. You are making a huge mistake if you think this book is just too long and not worth your time. It is a delightful read, filled with humor and sadness…… and lots of interesting facts!

    **********************

    Thoughts while reading:

    Read carefully the GR book description. Look what I have ahead of me. Marvelous! AND, yes, a bad narrator can perhaps wreck a good book. The narrator of the second book, Jonathan Marosz, really was terrible. The minute I start listening to this, the third volume narrated by Mark Deakins, I began laughing again. YAY for Mark Deakins! I enjoy good non-fiction books that make you laugh, that teach you and are so very interesting.

    I just wonder, if Theodore had been re-elected into presidency in 1913, would he / could he have averted WW1? He was perhaps the only one capable of doing this. It is utterly fascinating to watch the lead up to the war. Colonel Roosevelt, as he was called after his presidency, was present at King Edward VII's funeral. Everybody was there. Fascinating. And damn I was laughing at what he says to the kings, leaders, dignitaries and even the Pope while in Europe in 1910.

    I just want to say I am loving this.

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    Colonel Roosevelt

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Edmund Morris
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (113)
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    Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. When he toured Europe in 1910 as plain “Colonel Roosevelt,” he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their palaces. “If I see another king,” he joked, “I think I shall bite him.”

    Chrissie says: "The guy is amazing!"

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    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
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    George says: "Superb!"
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    Chris says: "An excellent clear history"
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    Ibn Saud grew to manhood living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, a life that had changed little since the days of Abraham. Equipped with immense physical courage, he fought and won, often with weapons and tactics not unlike those employed by the ancient Assyrians, a series of astonishing military victories over a succession of enemies much more powerful than himself. Over the same period, he transformed himself from a minor sheikh into a revered king and elder statesman, courted by world leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt.

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    Story
    (662)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (






UNABRIDGED) by Doris Kearns Goodwin Narrated by Suzanne Toren

    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1489)
    Performance
    (1251)
    Story
    (1283)

    On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.

    Jeremiah Duncan says: "Beautiful, Heartbreaking, and Informative"
  • Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas (






UNABRIDGED) by Edward Klein Narrated by Lars Mikaelson

    Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Edward Klein
    • Narrated By Lars Mikaelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (99)

    In this highly anticipated follow-up to his blockbuster New York Times bestseller The Amateur, former New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief Edward Klein delves into the rocky relationship between the Obamas and the Clintons. An old-school reporter with incredible insider contacts, Klein reveals just how deep the rivalry between the Obamas and the Clintons runs, with details on closed-door meetings buttressed by hundreds of interviews.

    DS Ells says: "Fascinating!"
  •  
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism (






UNABRIDGED) by Doris Kearns Goodwin Narrated by Edward Herrmann

    The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (633)
    Story
    (633)

    Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

    Cynthia says: "Makes You Forget You Live in the 21st Century Good"
  • John Adams (






UNABRIDGED) by David McCullough Narrated by Nelson Runger

    John Adams

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1870)
    Performance
    (824)
    Story
    (832)

    McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

    Davis says: "An outstanding biography"
  • Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Arnold Schwarzenegger Narrated by Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang, Arnold Schwarzenegger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (506)

    Chronicling his embodiment of the American Dream, Total Recall covers Schwarzenegger's high-stakes journey to the United States, from creating the international bodybuilding industry out of the sands of Venice Beach, to breathing life into cinema's most iconic characters, and becoming one of the leading political figures of our time. Proud of his accomplishments and honest about his regrets, Schwarzenegger spares nothing in sharing his amazing story.

    Russell says: "Totally Worth It"
  • Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises (






UNABRIDGED) by Timothy F. Geithner Narrated by Timothy F. Geithner

    Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Timothy F. Geithner
    • Narrated By Timothy F. Geithner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (136)

    On January 26, 2009, during the depth of the financial crisis and having just completed five years as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy F. Geithner was sworn in by President Barack Obama as the 75th Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. Now, in a strikingly candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, Geithner takes listeners behind the scenes during the darkest moments of the crisis.

    Jean says: "Gripping"
  •  
  • The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents (






UNABRIDGED) by Ronald Kessler Narrated by Michael Bybee

    The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ronald Kessler
    • Narrated By Michael Bybee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    From New York Times best-selling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler, The First Family Detail tells eye-opening, behind-the-scenes stories from Secret Service agents about presidents and their families.

    Eva Rose says: "This was very, very interesting!"
  • The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It (






UNABRIDGED) by John W. Dean Narrated by Joe Barrett

    The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John W. Dean
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA's wide­spread surveillance program, the scandal has taken on new significance. Yet remarkably, four decades after he was forced to resign, no one has told the full story of Nixon's involvement in Watergate.

    brian says: "New information for an old case."
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (






UNABRIDGED) by Walter Isaacson Narrated by Nelson Runger

    Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (402)

    Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us - an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings. In best-selling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself.

    Jeremy says: "Great read. Some areas disjointed, but solid bio."
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (






UNABRIDGED) by Jon Meacham Narrated by Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham

    Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jon Meacham
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann, Jon Meacham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (831)
    Story
    (819)

    In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion and Franklin and Winston brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.

    Darwin8u says: "A Man and Biography Relevant to Our Day"
  • Karl-Ludwig Sand: Celebrated Crimes, Book 5 (






UNABRIDGED) by Alexandre Dumas Narrated by Robert Bethune

    Karl-Ludwig Sand: Celebrated Crimes, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Robert Bethune
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The novelist has spared no language—has minced no words—to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the fourth of the series, Dumas tells the story of Karl-Ludwig Sand, a man little known to the English-speaking world, but famous among German speakers; he was the man who assassinated August von Kotzebue, a vigorous advocate of Russia's interests and the interests of the Austrian Empire.

  • The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents (






UNABRIDGED) by Ronald Kessler Narrated by Michael Bybee

    The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ronald Kessler
    • Narrated By Michael Bybee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    From New York Times best-selling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler, The First Family Detail tells eye-opening, behind-the-scenes stories from Secret Service agents about presidents and their families.

    Eva Rose says: "This was very, very interesting!"
  • The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It (






UNABRIDGED) by John W. Dean Narrated by Joe Barrett

    The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John W. Dean
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA's wide­spread surveillance program, the scandal has taken on new significance. Yet remarkably, four decades after he was forced to resign, no one has told the full story of Nixon's involvement in Watergate.

    brian says: "New information for an old case."
  • Zhizn' Arsen'eva (






UNABRIDGED) by Ivan Bunin Narrated by Vjacheslav Gerasimov

    Zhizn' Arsen'eva

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ivan Bunin
    • Narrated By Vjacheslav Gerasimov
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    «Zhizn' Arseneva» - avtobiograficheskiy roman. Eta kniga "udivlyaet glubinoy myisli, obostrennoy pamyatlivostyu, hudozhestvennyim artistizmom, redkoy literaturnoy kulturoy". «Zhizn Arseneva» - roman-psihoanaliz po suti, obrazets slovesnogo masterstva - po forme. Roman bez syuzheta, bez intrigi. Roman, gde osnovnoe vnimanie sosredotocheno na neosyazaemyih yavleniyah dushi, ee tihom i skryitom roste.

  •  
  • George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots (






UNABRIDGED) by Dave Richard Palmer Narrated by Lynn Benson

    George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dave Richard Palmer
    • Narrated By Lynn Benson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    From 1775 through 1777, George Washington and Benedict Arnold were America's two most celebrated warriors. Their earlier lives had surprisingly parallel paths. They were strong leaders in combat, they admired and respected each other, and they even shared common enemies. Yet one became our greatest hero and the other our most notorious traitor. Why? Author and military historian Dave Palmer reveals the answer: character.

  • Bad Ass Presidents: America's Military Leaders from Washington to Roosevelt (






UNABRIDGED) by Nicholas L. Vulich Narrated by Chuck McKibben

    Bad Ass Presidents: America's Military Leaders from Washington to Roosevelt

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 54 mins)
    • By Nicholas L. Vulich
    • Narrated By Chuck McKibben
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ever wanted to know more about the American presidents, but were unsure where to look? Bad Ass Presidents follows the life of America's warrior presidents. Forget Bush, forget Obama - they're a bunch of pussies compared to these guys.

  • Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine (






UNABRIDGED) by Daniel Halper Narrated by Harvey Betancourt

    Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Daniel Halper
    • Narrated By Harvey Betancourt
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Weekly Standard editor Daniel Halper provides a meticulously researched account of the brilliant calculations, secret deals, and occasionally treacherous maneuverings that led to the Clintons' return to political prominence. In the 12 years since the Clintons left the White House, they have gone from being virtually penniless to multi-millionaires, and are arguably the most popular politicians in America - respected and feared by Republicans and Democrats alike.

    MPH says: "Hearsay is not Evidence"