Love audio books & reading reviews
Tales of strength, disaster, delight, and integrity in war time Poland are spun through the lives of the family who inhabited the "ark" of the Warsaw zoo. Beautifully read and not to be missed.
When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw - and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts.
During the 1950s, the big fear was nuclear war. From the Soviet Union's perspective, having a communist stronghold so close to the American border was a dream come true. By the early 1960s, there was a strong undercurrent of tension between the Americans and the Soviets. Aside from the disastrous loss of life and dignity at the Bay of Pigs, something else happened. The line was firmly drawn in the sand. The world was on the brink of nuclear war.
Although many denied it, a giant ocean liner was dying. The superstitious nodded their heads, knowing her fate had already been sealed. The freezing Atlantic crept up to the forecastle head as the massive vessel, with all her lights aglow, slowly, almost imperceptibly, sank at the bow.
Soon after WWII, U.S. statesman Dean Acheson warned that creating Israel on land already inhabited by Palestinians would "imperil" both American and all Western interests in the region. Despite warnings such as this one, President Truman supported establishing a Jewish state on land primarily inhabited by Muslims and Christians.
The United States of America will have gone through a lot of changes by the time the 183rd Congress rolls around. Roy H. Milleson speculates from a 1960's perspective.
The horrid acts of Auschwitz concentration camp really need no introduction. It is nearly impossible to discuss this topic with someone who does not know at least a few points about it. The acts, if applied to any other context, may be restricted to the older populous, but even children grow up knowing about the genocide of World War II.
"don't even give it a thought !"
Before and since its official closure in 1985, historic US 66 became associated with the deserts, Indians, and cowboys of the Southwest; the "Okies" of the Great Depression; and the millions of vacationers who took to the highway in their streamlined automobiles and found adventure on the open road from the late 1940s to the 1970s.
This is the story of how a handful of geeks and mavericks dragged the computer out of corporate back rooms and laboratories and into our living rooms and offices. It is a tale not only of extraordinary innovation and vision but also of cunning business deals, boardroom tantrums and acrimonious lawsuits.
Andrew Morton tells the story of the feckless Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor; his American wife, Wallis Simpson; the bizarre wartime Nazi plot to make him a puppet king after the invasion of Britain; and the attempted cover-up by Churchill, General Eisenhower, and King George VI of the duke's relations with Hitler.
In captivating detail, Stevenson provides a fast-paced, hour-by-hour narration from the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 to the final 90-minute mission. In addition to discussing the incredible rescue itself, Stevenson also covers the political backdrop behind the hijacking, especially Ugandan President Idi Amin's support for the hijackers, which marked one of the first times a leader of a nation had backed terrorist activities.
The summer of 1916 was brutally hot, driving thousands to the Jersey Shore to indulge in the newfangled activity of swimming in the ocean, and a good swimmer could strut his stuff in front of an appreciative audience. But happiness turned to horror as a killer invaded this idyllic scene - with never a warning and showing no mercy to its victims.
"White sharks are your friends"
The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins.
"I'll never look at Monopoly or any game the same."
In six weeks during April and May 1915, as World War I escalated, Germany forever altered the way war would be fought. On April 22, at Ypres, German canisters spewed poison gas at French and Canadian soldiers in their trenches; on May 7, the German submarine U-20, without warning, torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians; and on May 31, a German Zeppelin began the first aerial bombardment of London and its inhabitants.
"Lots of good information"
Lusitania: She was a ship of dreams, a microcosm of the last years of the waning Edwardian Era and the coming influences of the 20th century. When she left New York on her final voyage, she sailed from the New World to the Old. Yet an encounter with a primitive German U-Boat sent her and her gilded passengers to their tragic deaths.
Throughout this lively and concise historical account of Mao Zedong's life and thought, Rebecca E. Karl places the revolutionary leader's personal experiences, social visions and theory, military strategies, and developmental and foreign policies in a dynamic narrative of the Chinese revolution. She situates Mao and the revolution in a global setting informed by imperialism, decolonization, and third worldism, and discusses worldwide trends in politics, the economy, military power, and territorial sovereignty.
This moment-by-moment account of a major airplane crash on a beautiful and treacherous mountainside puts the reader at the pilot's side, describing the flight, its catastrophic ending, and the aftermath.
A unique collection of historic recordings covering the events of 1915, from the first Zeppelin raids to the ultimate failure at Gallipoli. In this selection of authentic eyewitness accounts, survivors describe the sinking of the Lusitania; the author Compton McKenzie remembers the Gallipoli disaster; and Violet Bonham Carter pays tribute to Rupert Brooke, who died en route to that campaign.
"The First Full Year of War"
On the night of January 30, 1945, the Sixth Army Ranger Infantry Battalion staged the most miraculous and sensational rescue in our history. This is the story of the American Prisoners of War who had to endure 33 months of torture, starvation, and a march to the death that only some survived.
The meeting of world leaders at Bretton Woods in 1944 was the only time countries from around the world agreed to overhaul the structure of the international monetary system. The system they set up presided over the longest, strongest, and most stable period of growth the world economy has ever seen.
In October 1969, Captain William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments - some 6,000 men - crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
"The Best Read about Vietnam Combat Bases!"
Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea's Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi) - South Korea's most famous actress - and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country's most famous filmmaker.
"Completely riveting and stupefyingly informative."
There are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and so dramatically as at the Battle of Midway. At dawn of June 4, 1942, a rampaging Japanese navy ruled the Pacific. By sunset, their vaunted carrier force (the Kido Butai) had been sunk and their grip on the Pacific had been loosened forever. In this absolutely riveting account of a key moment in the history of World War II, one of America's leading naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, paints an unforgettable portrait of ingenuity, courage, and sacrifice.
"A unique tale of tactical wars"
Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
"Do you believe in miracles??"
Under the leadership of her fearless skipper, Captain Gene Fluckey, the Barb sank the greatest tonnage of any American sub in World War II. At the same time, the Barb did far more than merely sink ships-she changed forever the way submarines stalk and kill their prey.
This is a gripping adventure chock-full of "you-are-there" moments. Fluckey has drawn on logs, reports, letters, interviews, and a recently discovered illegal diary kept by one of his torpedomen.
For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China two full years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.
"The ill fated chang kai-shek"
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story behind the story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.
On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright's Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why?
General George S. Patton, Jr., died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years, there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident - and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton will take listeners inside the final year of the war and recount the events surrounding Patton's tragic demise, naming names of the many powerful individuals who wanted him silenced.
"Really Disappointing and not about what you think."
On October 14, 1943, 600 Jews imprisoned in Sobibor, a secret Nazi death camp in eastern Poland, revolted. They killed a dozen SS officers and guards, trampled the barbed wire fences, and raced across an open field filled with anti-tank mines. Against all odds, more than three hundred made it safely into the woods. Fifty of those men and women managed to survive the rest of the war. In this edition of Escape from Sobibor, fully updated in 2012, Richard Rashke tells their stories
"Great book about an awful period in Jewish history"
By the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Baby boomers were taking to the roads in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not comfort, and Ford didn’t offer what these young drivers wanted. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari lorded over the European racing scene, crafting beautiful, fast sports cars that epitomized style.
"A Very Entertaining Audiobook"
In this collection of essays, Walter Isaacson reflects on the lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, and various other interesting characters he has chronicled as a biographer and journalist. The people he writes about have an awesome intelligence, in most cases, but that is not the secret of their success.
"Enjoyable and Insightful - Get it"
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously called December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." History would prove him correct; the events of that day - when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor - ended the Great Depression, changed the course of FDR's presidency, and swept America into World War II. In Pearl Harbor, acclaimed historian Steven M. Gillon provides a vivid, minute-by-minute account of Roosevelt's skillful leadership in the wake of the most devastating military assault in American history. FDR proved both decisive and deceptive, inspiring the nation....
"How everything became suddenly very simple"
More than a million listeners have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the can't-stop-listening work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....
"Frightening, Powerful, Deeply Thought-provoking."
Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.
"A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.
"Superb in so many ways"
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, historian Barbara Tuchman brings to life the people and events that led up to World War I. This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of Kings and Kaisers and Czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed...and how horrible it became.
One of the most admired nonfiction writers of our time retells the story of one truly fabulous year in the life of his native country - a fascinating and gripping narrative featuring such outsized American heroes as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, and yes Herbert Hoover, and a gallery of criminals (Al Capone), eccentrics (Shipwreck Kelly), and close-mouthed politicians (Calvin Coolidge). It was the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things and came of age in a big, brawling manner. What a country. What a summer. And what a writer to bring it all so vividly alive.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author’s words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."
"Long, but never boring"
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail.
"See you in the winner's circle"
A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.
At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians - many of them young women from small towns across the South - were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains.
"Important story of this secret city"
Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.
"What a great book."
Beatleness explains how the band became a source of emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual nurturance in fans’ lives, creating a relationship that was historically unique. Looking at that relationship against the backdrop of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War, political assassinations, and other events of those tumultuous years, the audiobook critically examines the often-heard assertion that the Beatles changed everything.
"Love the Beatles!!!"
Few events have had a more profound impact on the social and cultural upheavals of the Sixties than the psychedelic revolution spawned by the spread of LSD. This audiobook for the first time tells the full and astounding story - part of it hidden till now in secret Government files - of the role the mind-altering drug played in our recent turbulent history and the continuing influence it has on our time. And what a story it is, beginning with LSD’s discovery in 1943 as the most potent drug known to science.
"Enjoyable but unstructured"
Forget what you think you know about the Mafia. After reading this book, even life-long mob aficionados will have a new perspective on organized crime. Informative, authoritative, and eye-opening, this is the first full-length book devoted exclusively to uncovering the hidden history of how the Mafia came to dominate organized crime in New York City during the 1930s through 1950s.
A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race—not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively. Ever since the Enlightenment, race theory and its inevitable partner, racism, have followed a crooked road, constructed by dominant peoples to justify their domination of others. Filling a huge gap in historical literature that long focused on the non-white, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, tracing not only the invention of the idea of race but also the frequent worship of “whiteness” for economic, social, scientific, and political ends.
"Destroys the myth that race is about skin color"
In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly 20 years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in.
"Informative and moving."
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.
"An Excellent Read"
Could history repeat itself, with one giant entity taking control of American information? Most consider the Internet Age to be a moment of unprecedented freedom in communications and culture. But as Tim Wu shows, each major new medium, from telephone to cable, arrived on a similar wave of idealistic optimism only to become, eventually, the object of industrial consolidation profoundly affecting how Americans communicate.
"Very interesting history, biased conclusions"
When it first appeared, A Rumor of War brought home to American readers, with terrifying vividness and honesty, the devastating effects of the Vietnam War on the soldiers who fought there. And while it is a memoir of one young man's experiences and therefore deeply personal, it is also a book that speaks powerfully to today's students about the larger themes of human conscience, good and evil, and the desperate extremes men are forced to confront in any war.
Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.
"A really interesting listen"
With an introduction read by Max Hastings. A companion volume to his best-selling ‘Armageddon’, Max Hastings’ account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history. Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria.
"Great Book; Very Poor Presentation!!"
On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.
"Superb narrative history"
From day one, the truth behind JFK's assassination has been mired in controversy and dispute. The Warren Commission, established just seven days after Kennedy's death, delved into the who, what, when, and where of the tragedy, and over the course of the following year compiled an 889-page report that arrived at the now widely contested conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin. In Who Really Killed Kennedy?, Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D., provides listeners with the ultimate JFK assassination theory book.
"Illuminates Questions without Concrete Answers"
In A Thousand Lives, the New York Times best-selling memoirist Julia Scheeres traces the fates of five individuals who followed Jim Jones to South America as they struggled to first build their paradise, and then survive it. Each went for different reasons - some were drawn to Jones for his progressive attitudes towards racial equality, others were dazzled by his claims to be a faith healer. But once in Guyana, Jones' drug addiction, mental decay, and sexual depredations quickly eroded the idealistic community.
Mark Lane tried the only US court case in which the jurors concluded that the CIA plotted the murder of President Kennedy, but there was always a missing piece: How did the CIA control cops and secret service agents on the ground in Dealey Plaza? How did federal authorities prevent the House Select Committee on Assassinations from discovering the truth about the complicity of the CIA? Now, Mark Lane tells all in this explosive new book.
"Bold, Direct and Controversial, As Always"
From 1933 to 1945, the Gestapo was Nazi Germany's chief instrument of counter-espionage, political suppression, and terror. Jacques Delarue, a saboteur arrested by the Nazis in occupied France, chronicles how the land of Beethoven elevated sadism to a fine art. The Gestapo: A History of Horror draws upon Delarue's interviews with ex-Gestapo agents to deliver a multi-layered history of the force whose work included killing student resisters, establishing Aryan eugenic unions, and implementing the Final Solution.
"Once read never fogotten!!"