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Bios & Memoirs > Political Figures

Political Figures

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Cynthia

Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States Member Since 2012

Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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  • "Makes You Forget You Live in the 21..."

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    Until I listened to Doris Kearns Goodwin's "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism" (2013) it didn't occur to me that anyone - other than George Washington - had been 'drafted' into the presidency. I'd assumed that people who become president have a burning desire for the office, and plan and maneuver over many years to get there.

    Theodore Roosevelt, the brilliant, adventurous and beloved scion of a wealthy New York family, positioned himself his whole life to be president. Throughout his life, he was also a prolific and influential conservation and naturalist author. Roosevelt was such a maverick that the Republican Party tried to derail "that cowboy" by making him William McKinley's Vice Presidential running mate for the 1900 election. McKinley was assassinated in 1901, and secretly gleeful, Roosevelt became president.

    William Taft, Roosevelt's long time friend and politically progressive ally, had one life long ambition: the Supreme Court. Taft's judicial decisions in the lower courts and later, the Supreme Court, were well reasoned and supported and are still used today. On the way to becoming Chief Justice in 1921, he was inveigled into the presidency by Roosevelt, and elected in 1908.

    Four years later, Roosevelt wanted the presidency back. His long friendship with Taft had fractured, and Roosevelt's ego split the Republican Party in two. In the 1912 election, Taft, Roosevelt and Democrat Woodrow Wilson ran. With Republican votes split, Wilson won.

    Roosevelt's close relationship with journalists, including Ray Stannard Baker, who wrote "What the United States Steel Corporation Is" (1901) for McClure's Magazine (1893-1929). That lengthy piece, along with Ida Tarbell's groundbreaking "The Standard Oil Company" (1902), described trusts that ruthlessly snuffed out competition and endangered the country's resources. Roosevelt instituted such strong trust-busting reforms, he'd more aptly be a Democrat today. Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" (1906) lead to the "Pure Food and Drug Act" (1906) and what eventually became the FDA. Taft, while much more reserved with the press than Roosevelt, relied on journalists to investigate and publicize one of his main goals as president: tariff reform. Taft didn't get everything he wanted, but he got a lot.

    Taft was a genuinely nice man who hard to make people comfortable, build consensus, and as appointed Governor General of the Philippines, showed an unparalleled empathy and understanding of that culture that enabled him to ensure that country's transition to peace. Roosevelt, however - well, he was dominating, extremely aggressive, pro-war, and hurt people that got in his way. The "Speak softly" part of his motto was aspirational. "The Bully Pulpit" disillusioned me about Roosevelt, whose lionization is even stronger than it was a century ago.

    I listened to Goodwin's "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" (2005) and had trouble with that as an Audible. There were so many people that it was hard to remember who was who, and there's no Audio index. I had a much easier time with the Audible of "The Bully Pulpit". Goodwin 'reintroduced' people that had been mentioned much earlier in her book, and that was enough to remember who they were. I got a little mired in the chapter on Taft and tariffs, and had to listen to it twice to understand the problem and what Taft wanted, but I didn't mind.

    "The Bully Pulpit" is fascinating and accidentally-drive-by-your-freeway exit absorbing. I got so into the book and the vivid descriptions of the people and places, I actually misdated a check "1914" instead of "2014". And Edward Herrmann as a narrator - let's just say that I heard a bushy mustache, waistcoat with a watch fob, and a Panama Straw Boater.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

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    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
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (651)

    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"
  • "One Book Can Change the World"

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    Malala Yousafzai is on a crucial, well publicized and lauded mission to educate children. I expected "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban" (2013) would be An Alarming Book with lots of Depressing Statistics that would make me feel Somewhat Superior in a Privileged Western Way, but Inspired to Help. What I didn't expect was that I would gain respect for a very different culture and enjoy a fascinating, but tragic story.

    The inhabitants of the Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan often use rope-pulley bridges to cross dangerous raging rivers and deep chasms quickly. "I Am Malala" is a fast ride across what has been, for me, an uncrossable gulf.

    Pashtuns have lived in the stunningly beautiful Swat Valley for more than 2300 years. Malala is a proud member of the Pashtun tribe, who are fierce fighters, culturally bound to welcome guests, and have traditions of marriage handed down for centuries. When Malala was born in Mingora, her father Ziauddin, was delighted - although tribal custom means only the birth of a boy is celebrated. Ziauddin was determined to give Malala and the other girls in Swat an education.

    Swat is almost entirely conservative, traditional Muslims. Men and women are kept separated after puberty, people pray five times a day, and work outside the home is not encouraged for women. That doesn't mean that the Koran says that women shouldn't be educated - in fact, it says the exact opposite. (And let's not forget that jobs weren't encouraged for women in the Western World until 60 or so years ago.)

    After 9/11, the Taliban arrived in Swat and took effective control of the area from an impotent and absentee Pakistani government. In their fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran, there is no dancing, no television, no song, and women are to be illiterate. When I read this book, I realized that the Taliban is to Islam what Westboro Baptist Church is to Christians - really out there, aching for jihad or crusade, and not actually representative of either religion.

    Malala learned to love learning, and to love school - especially when the Taliban took it from her. She became the voice of girls who wanted to learn by blogging, and then by appearing as an education advocate on television. She was prominently featured by the New York Times in a documentary "Class Dismissed" (2009). I remember that well - it was the first NY Times documentary I watched.

    Malala and her family never thought, as a child, that she was in danger. "Who would shoot a child?" everyone said. They underestimated the desperation of fundamentalists who find their beliefs - and therefore, their power - challenged. The Taliban shot her in the head on October 9, 2012. On October 9, 2013, she answered the question she'd been asked right before the assassination attempt: "Who is Malala Yousafzai?" with this book.

    I will leave the political analysis and sociological critique to other reviewers who have handled that so adeptly already. To me, this is a really good book. I'm sure Christina Lamb, the co-author, contributed greatly to that. Malala has been attending school and has had multiple surgeries in the last year, and she could not have had the time to do everything.

    I am sure this book will end up on school reading lists, alongside "The Diary of a Young Girl" (Anne Frank, 1947, posthumous). Teachers, please don't mar a wonderful story by making your students find only 'One True Meaning.' For Marie Arana, writing a reverent review of "I Am Malala" for the Washington Post on October 11, 2013, this book meant something more global and less personal. We both found profound meaning in this book - but the meanings, while complementary, were different.

    Finally, this book worked better for me as an Audible than in text. Mentally, reading excerpts, I tripped over Pashto and Urdu pronunciations - which would have distracted me from the book. Archie Panjabi sounds young, and her narrative as a 16 year old works.

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    I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (682)
    Story
    (685)

    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..."
  • "Golden Horde/Platinum Listen"

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    Universal free education. Widespread literacy. Secular government. Freedom of religion. Ambassadors from other countries. Translators and interpreters. Diplomatic immunity. A consumer-driven economy. Free trade agreements. Huge technological advances in communications. Paper money based on precious metals and gem reserves. Pensions for military veterans, and lifelong benefits for survivors of those killed in action. Support for scholars. Doctors and lawyers. Laws that applied equally to the rulers as well as the ruled. A Supreme Court. Meticulous record keeping, using complex mathematics and calculators. Multiculturalism. An empire bigger than North and Central America, combined.

    The Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan and his grandson, Kubla Khan - and lesser known Great Khans - was astonishingly advanced, especially in contrast to Europe, which at the time, was mired in futile attempts - The Crusades - to 'free' the Holy Lands from Muslims.

    I knew that Genghis Khan was an innovative military leader who both invented and eschewed conventional warfare. Genghis Khan created the "decimal" system of soldiers of 10 soldiers to a 'squad', which is still used in modern military. A 'company' was 10 squads; a battalion was 10 'companies' . . . and so on. The term "decimal" is author Jack Weatherford's term; the other terms are mine, analogizing to modern military organizational structure. At the same time, Genghis Khan used innovative military weapons - including gun powder - and improved on existing weapons. His tactics - like waging war on multiple fronts, feinting defeat, and skilled infiltrators - are common today, but unique 900 years ago. Psychological warfare was a key part of Genghis Khan's military success - he encouraged stories of Mongol brutality and ruthlessness to encourage surrender.

    Until I listened to Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" (2004), I had no idea who Genghis Khan was, beyond his military skill. I spent a good part of the book wondering why, with advanced courses in European, Chinese and Russian history, I had essentially missed a crucial empire. In the Afterward, I found out: I am too old.

    During China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) a Chinese/Mongolian version of "The Secret History of the Mongols" (~1240, author unknown) was used to teach Chinese scholars the Mongolian language. It gradually stopped being used, and by the 19th century, there were very few copies. The first definitive English translation was Harvard-Yenching Institute's translation (Francis Woodman Cleaves, 1982). Urgunge Onon's 2001 translation is much more readable. Both are scholarly, often cited works. From 1924 to 1990, the Soviet Union controlled Mongolia and did its best to eradicate evidence of other civilizations, and kept the rest of the world from the country. Exactly who Genghis Khan was, how the Mongol Empire started, and how it thrived was hidden for almost 700 years.

    Weatherford's "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" opened a new civilization and a new perspective for me. Definitely worth the listen.

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    Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3672)
    Performance
    (2265)
    Story
    (2285)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
  1. The Bully Pulpit: Theodor...
  2. I Am Malala: The Girl Who...
  3. Genghis Khan and the Maki...
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A Peek at Linda Lou's Bookshelf

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Cave Creek, AZ USA 188 REVIEWS / 1166 ratings Member Since 2007 118 Followers / Following 5
 
Linda Lou's greatest hits:
  • The Sisters Who Would be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy

    "WELL-RESEARCHED & ENTERTAINING"

    Overall

    After having read a half dozen books on Lady Jane Grey's extremely short reign as Queen of England, it's refreshing to finally come across one where her place in history is kept in its proper perspective. And the bios of her two much more interesting sisters is an added bonus. The narrator's voice is perfect for this kind of book, moving the story along at just the right pace. Almost nothing has been written on Jane's sister Kathryn and what little on Mary made more of her disability than the remarkable woman herself. The author provides a well-researched historical account of three tragic lives which is both informative and entertaining.

  • The Duchess

    "OUTSTANDING! MUCH BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!"

    Overall

    If I'd read this book before seeing the movie starring Keira Knightley, the film would have been a serious disappointment, being the usual Hollywood fluff, merely a excuse for sumptuous costumes and sets. This book shows us that Princess Diana came by her neuroses legitimately. Her ancestor, Lady Georgiana Spencer, suffered from eating disorders, a gambling addiction, substance abuse, and many other psychological afflictions. She was totally out of control financially, having no respect for money. Although she gained political success in England, it was due more from her need for attention than any real feelings for social change. The film makes it out like her husband was some kind of monster who forced into extramarital affairs and out-of-wedlock children but the Duke was more patient with her than a lot of men. (Prince Charles put up with Diana's nonsense about a long as he could before he realized that his wife would not make a stable Queen Consort). Like Princess Diana, Lady Georgiana set the tone for fashion among her peers and subjects and was generally loved by the people. But both women were neurotic, irresponsible, and immature. If not for her untimely death, Diana would have self-destructed if she'd continued on like her ancestor. This is a great book, well-research and insightful. Georgiana's life was NOT the stuff of Hollywood. As with the former Princess of Wales, it was a tragic and tortured life.

  • A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland

    "AMERICAN PRESIDENT" OR "AMERICAN PIMP"?!"

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    This is a well-researched, enlightening and entertaining account of the life of the 22nd (AND 24th) President. But it is horrible indictment on this country's political machinations and the unequal rights for women in the late 19th century. The fact that President Cleveland fathered a child out of wedlock is not nearly as shocking as his conduct after the fact. He tried to destroy the lives of a respected widow and the child of his body. His treatment and continued abuse he heaped on his "baby mama" was unconscionable even by our current and less stringent standards. It's sad to see that, at any time in the history of this nation, that a man guilty of rape, kidnapping, fraud, slander, liable, and lies could be elected to the highest office in the land. Here, Grover Cleveland is exposed as the sociopath that he was. Not only did he rape a woman before he won the White House, he married his 21 year-old ward when he was 48. The disturbing thing about the latter offense is that Cleveland had bounced the beautiful baby girl of his BFF on his sloppy fat knees and later lusted for her until she barely reached the age of consent. In the meantime, the politicians and this country's citizens brushed the rape under rug, labeling it "a consensual act perpetrated while a young man was sowing wild oats" (Grover was almost 40 years old at the time of the assault, a Sheriff, and respected lawyer - hardly a testosterone-fueled teenage). Nor did any find it inappropriate for a world leader to marry a young woman over whom he'd excercised a great deal of power and control since the day she wa born. His "courtship" began with extravagant gifts as soon as the girl was born and continued when he became her ward at age 11. (Ewww! Just thinking about it made me throw up in my mouth!!! ­čĹÄ­čśž He even held his wedding to his "PYT" (pretty young thing) in the White House!!! Fast forward 100 years or so when President William Clinton was damn near run out of that same venerable building over an admittedly consenting, albeit unattractive, female intern and a Havana cigar ­čśÄ. I don't get it. But YOU should get this book! It is highly informative and very entertaining considering the subject matter - The President if a the United States - is probably the most boring thing an author can choose. Unless it's a fictional character like Martin Sheen's role in "West Wing", most of our presidents are rather forgettable unless they got assassinated in office or were involved in a major sex scandal.

    NOTE: The only thing that prevented me from giving this book 5-stars is after listening to well written book for 10 hours, it suddenly goes awry with an overly long uninteresting court case which seems to be "gavel to gavel" in boring testimony).

  • Isabella: The She-Wolf of France

    "Book AND Price Should Be Abridged"

    Overall

    I got this book for the Audible $7.95 membership fee. If I'd paid $40, I would be the "The She-Wolf of America! Weir is out of her league with this ambitious project, better left to writers like Antonia Fraser. Weir ruins the book by summing up the 21 hour foray in the first 30 minutes. The book could have been a mere 4 hours if the writer didn't wast so much time on minutiae. For example, spend a lot of time on Isabella's birth date, going from 1291 to 1298, then back again, like the reader will check her facts at the Hall of Records. She quotes whole sermons, speeches, letters, TOMBSTONES, in ad nauseum. She claims that Isabella was a "debauched Jesebel", yet never tells what the queen did to deserve these labels. We get indepth descriptions of rooms in every palace and estate in Christendom in mind-numbing detail but we never get a real picture of what Isabelle looked like, other than "beautiful". No hair color, height, weight, etc. Weir admits that very little is known about the French princess' life prior to coming to England so she compensates by devoting almost 10 hours on her husband's homosexual liaisons. Isabella may deserve a place in history for driving her husband from the throne but hardly compares to Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria. If you really want to learn of Isabella's exploits, check out "The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England" by Antonia Fraser for a lot less money, with a big bonus of the bios of every English monarch from William The Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II. Or just read Isabella's bio at Wikipedia.org which is what I was forced to do after this confusing hodgepodge. "She-Wolf" Not so much. Isabella was no Elizabeth Bathory. Unless you want to stick a pencil in your neck, spend your money on a good meal with friends!

What's Trending in Political Figures:

  • 4.8 (268 ratings)
    Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert A. Caro Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (162)

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.

    George says: "Superb!"
  • 4.8 (263 ratings)
    Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert A. Caro Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (169)

    Master of the Senate carries Lyndon Johnson's story through one of its most remarkable periods: his 12 years, from 1949 to 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson's brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history.

    Chris says: "An excellent clear history"
  • 4.8 (105 ratings)
    Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert A. Caro Narrated by Grover Gardner

    Means of Ascent: The Years of Lyndon Johnson

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert A. Caro
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (94)

    Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson continues - one of the richest, most intensive, and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true story of the fiercely contested 1948 senatorial election.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: ""If You Do Everything, You'll Win""
  • 4.8 (35 ratings)
    Born Again: What Really Happened to the White House Hatchet Man (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Colson Narrated by Jon Gauger

    Born Again: What Really Happened to the White House Hatchet Man

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Charles Colson
    • Narrated By Jon Gauger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
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    Story
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    In the 1970s, against the backdrop of the explosive Watergate scandal, Charles Colson revealed the story of his own search for meaning during the tumultuous investigations that led to the collapse of the Nixon administration. A convicted former special counsel to the president, Colson paradoxically found new life - not with success and power, but while in national disgrace and serving a prison sentence.

    Cindy says: "Great Read"
  •  
  • 4.8 (24 ratings)
    Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin's Journey to Faith, Family, and Freedom (






UNABRIDGED) by Allen West, Michele Hickford Narrated by Allen West

    Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin's Journey to Faith, Family, and Freedom

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Allen West, Michele Hickford
    • Narrated By Allen West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
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    Over the course of the past few decades, Allen West has had many titles bestowed on him, among them Lt. Colonel, U.S. Representative, "Dad", and Scourge of the Far Left. He rose from humble beginnings in Atlanta where his father instilled in him a code of conduct that would inform his life ever after. Throughout his years leading troops, raising a loving family, serving as Congressman in Florida's 22nd district, and emerging as one of the most authentic voices in conservative politics, West has never compromised the core values on which he was raise.

    Josh says: "Inspiring and heartfelt."
  • 4.8 (19 ratings)
    Letter from Birmingham Jail (






UNABRIDGED) by Martin Luther King, Jr. Narrated by Dion Graham

    Letter from Birmingham Jail

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
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    Story
    (17)

    April 16th, the year is 1963. Birmingham, Alabama, has had a spring of nonviolent protests known as the Birmingham Campaign, seeking to draw attention to the segregation against blacks by the city government and downtown retailers. The organizers longed to create a nonviolent tension so severe that the powers that be would be forced to address the rampant racism head on. Recently arrested was Martin Luther King, Jr.... It is there in that jail cell that he writes this letter; on the margins of a newspaper he pens this defense of nonviolence against segregation.

    Emily says: "Great audio of historical document"
  • 4.9 (11 ratings)
    Che: La Vida Por Un Mundo Mejor [A Life for A Better World (Texto Completo)] (






UNABRIDGED) by Pacho O'Donnell Narrated by Walter Krochmal

    Che: La Vida Por Un Mundo Mejor [A Life for A Better World (Texto Completo)]

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Pacho O'Donnell
    • Narrated By Walter Krochmal
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    Performance
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    Story
    (7)

    Vivimos tiempos de conf├║sion e incertidumbre, que requieren una profunda reflexi├│n y la puesta al d├şa de algunas ideas que permitan concebir el futuro de otra forma, Ernesto Guevara (1928-1967), el Che, se propuso pensar la realidad desde otro ├íngulo y actuar de acuerdo con esas ideas hasta dar su vida por ellas. Su rostro es, pese al tiempo transcurrido desde su muerte, un s├şmbolo universal de rebeld├şa e inconformismo.

    Juan says: "Documento hist├│rico insuperable"
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)
    Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Darlow, Barbara Bray Narrated by Brian Bascle

    Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Darlow, Barbara Bray
    • Narrated By Brian Bascle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "Short-est Way to Learn about the Modern Day Saudia"
  • 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
    Overall
    (730)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (651)

    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"
  • Hard Choices (






UNABRIDGED) by Hillary Rodham Clinton Narrated by Kathleen Chalfant, Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Hard Choices

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Narrated By Kathleen Chalfant, Hillary Rodham Clinton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (198)

    Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed.

    Cynthia says: "Senior Stateswoman in need of Editor"
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (






UNABRIDGED) by Malala Yousafzai Narrated by Archie Panjabi

    I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (682)
    Story
    (685)

    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..."
  • Augustus: First Emperor of Rome (






UNABRIDGED) by Adrian Goldsworthy Narrated by Derek Perkins

    Augustus: First Emperor of Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Adrian Goldsworthy
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Caesar Augustus's story, one of the most riveting in western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord, whose only claim to power was as the heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him "a boy who owes everything to a name," but in the years to come the youth outmaneuvered all the older and more experienced politicians and was the last man standing in 30 BC.

  •  
  • 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
    (1514)
    Performance
    (1272)
    Story
    (1306)

    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"
  • 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
    (480)
    Performance
    (411)
    Story
    (407)

    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.

    E. A. says: "A Master of Biography"
  • 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
    (177)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (155)

    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"
  • 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
    (132)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (110)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
    (1897)
    Performance
    (846)
    Story
    (855)

    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"
  • Truman (






UNABRIDGED) by David McCullough Narrated by Nelson Runger

    Truman

    • UNABRIDGED (54 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (304)

    Hailed by critics as an American masterpiece, David McCullough's sweeping biography of Harry S. Truman captured the heart of the nation. The life and times of the 33rd president of the United States, Truman provides a deeply moving look at an extraordinary, singular American.

    Edith says: "Fascinating"
  • 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
    (976)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (832)

    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. JeffersonÔÇÖs 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"
  • Washington: A Life (






UNABRIDGED) by Ron Chernow Narrated by Scott Brick

    Washington: A Life

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1670)
    Performance
    (1154)
    Story
    (1151)

    In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

    ButterLegume says: "A sad day when my book was done!"
  • Richard the Lionheart - England's Crusader King: Just the Facts, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Alison Hardwick Narrated by Simon Brooks

    Richard the Lionheart - England's Crusader King: Just the Facts, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 2 mins)
    • By Alison Hardwick
    • Narrated By Simon Brooks
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Richard the Lionheart remains one of England's most famous kings. His statue stands proudly outside the Houses of Parliament, yet who was Richard? Was there more to him than we see depicted in modern media - the great, missing king from the Robin Hood films who was always having his throne threated by his younger brother John! Or was Richard not worthy of the legend that seems to have been built up around his name?

  • 41: Inside the Presidency of George H. W. Bush (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Nelson, Barbara Perry Narrated by Gregg A. Rizzo

    41: Inside the Presidency of George H. W. Bush

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Michael Nelson, Barbara Perry
    • Narrated By Gregg A. Rizzo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This audiobook draws on interviews with senior White House and Cabinet officials conducted under the auspices of the Bush Oral History Project (a cooperative effort of the University of Virginia's Miller Center and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation) to provide a multidimensional portrait of the first President Bush and his administration.

  • Augustus: First Emperor of Rome (






UNABRIDGED) by Adrian Goldsworthy Narrated by Derek Perkins

    Augustus: First Emperor of Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Adrian Goldsworthy
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Caesar Augustus's story, one of the most riveting in western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord, whose only claim to power was as the heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him "a boy who owes everything to a name," but in the years to come the youth outmaneuvered all the older and more experienced politicians and was the last man standing in 30 BC.

  • The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonetta Barras Narrated by Ronald Clarkson

    The Last of the Black Emperors: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jonetta Barras
    • Narrated By Ronald Clarkson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A gripping, informative, and balanced assessment of a commanding and perplexing American politician - the first by a black journalist.

  •  
  • 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)
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    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    To paraphrase the note from the translator, The Celebrated Crimes of Alexandre Dumas p├Ęre was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language - has minced no words - to describe violent scenes of violent times. In this, the fifth 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. In the years immediately following the fall of Napoleon, many people in Germany, particularly young people, were eagerly anticipating the coming of liberal government. Much to their dismay, the autocratic governments existing before the war were not only re-established, but put great energy to ensuring that a liberal revolution would never happen. Karl-Ludwig Sand, a young German student, became convinced that Kotzebue was the key figure in this wave of repression. He made up his mind to kill the man, and kill him he did.

  • 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
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    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
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA's wide┬şspread 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.

    Tad Davis says: "Nixon HAD no defense"
  • 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)

    ┬źZhizn' Arseneva┬╗ - avtobiograficheskiy roman. Eta kniga "udivlyaet glubinoy myisli, obostrennoy pamyatlivostyu, hudozhestvennyim artistizmom, redkoy literaturnoy kulturoy". ┬źZhizn 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.