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History > 21st Century

21st Century

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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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6
  • "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sheri Fink, MD, PhD, published "The Deadly Choices at Memorial" in the New York Times on August 30, 2009. I read it on line, and, when I found an abandoned copy at a Starbucks, I read it again. It was a great article, and I wished for more details - why did the hospitals generators fail? - why didn't the hospital's emergency plan have procedures in place for a catastrophic failure? - why didn't the doctors who administered fatal injections wait for rescue that, in hindsight, was just hours away? That article won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting; and this lengthy book (576 pages on paper) answers those questions, and more.

    Fink has the rare gift of understanding how complex systems work and fail, and the ability to explain them in a lively, intriguing narrative that weaves history, culture, engineering, medicine, medical ethics and people and companies together into a compelling story. She doesn't draw conclusions: she gives the conclusions reached by the government; the American Medical Association; the people that survived Memorial and the family members of those who didn't; law enforcement; expert witnesses; criminal attorneys and civil attorneys; and ethicists.

    As a reader/listener, I reached my own conclusions about why Memorial failed as a physical building, and how and why Dr. Anna Pou, did what she did - she apparently euthanized patients, and was arrested for second degree murder. A grand jury declined to indict Dr. Pou or the two nurses that helped her, years after Katrina.

    Would I have made the same kind of decision in an analogous situation? It's easy to pass moral judgment sitting in my comfortable backyard, well rested, enjoying a Sunday croissant and strong, black coffee. I don't think I would have, especially as to patient Emmett Everett, Sr., but I really don't know.

    Fink's epilogue makes a strong recommendation: guidelines need to be in place for medical priorities when medical resources are short, and those decisions need to be made well before natural or man made mass casualty events happen, not in the middle of a catastrophe.

    The book was so well narrated, I realized I was up at 1 a.m., after repeatedly setting the Audible sleep timer, listening. I had to switch to a book I'd already heard so I could sleep.

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

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    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (522)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
  • "The Fighting Season"

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    Performance
    Story

    In Afghanistan, the fighting season starts in the spring and lasts until the winter snows freezes the land. The Taliban stages firefights, tries to assassinate its enemies, lays Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and sends suicide bombers to crowded marketplaces. US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates' fighting season started on December 18, 2006, with George W. Bush as his Commander-in-Chief, and ended, at Gates' firm insistence, with his long planned retirement from the cabinet of President Barack Obama on July 1, 2011.

    Bush 43 (as Gates referred to in his book, to distinguish him from his father, George H.W. Bush, Bush 41) was the 7th president Gates worked for. Bush 43 dragged Gates from his well loved job as president of Texas A&M, convincing Gates his duty to the country he loves was not finished. Gates was there for the wars in Iraq (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-present); the January 12, 2010 Haitian Earthquake relief effort; the July 2010 Pakistan floods; and the Arab Spring, which began December 18, 2010. These events, and so many others that occurred during his tenure were tumultuous and Gates had to carefully balance resources to succeed with demanding missions.

    Gates was also fighting other battles, particularly against a Congress that was, and remains, indifferent, muddled and sometimes hostile to military needs. Yes, it's great to fund all of those cargo planes that the Air Force didn't ask for and can't even find a place to put, but what the troops really needed in 2007 was Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs). Gates pushed that through, and they saved countless lives. And how about decent hospitals and care for wounded warriors? Canceling boondoggle projects and investing the money to help them heal should been something Congress leapt at, but Gates had to jump so many hurdles he could have qualified for an Olympic track team.

    Gates had a particular dislike for some people he dealt with on a regular basis. I think he would have been grateful if Nancy Pelosi retired and took a vow of silence. He is a firm supporter of Israel, but Benjamin Netanyahu really bugs the hell out of him. George Newbern, the narrator, conveys Gates' unwritten glee when Obama, apparently no fan either, left Netanyahu cooling his heels in the White House while Obama had dinner with his family. Afghan president Hamid Karzai was another issue. Gates didn't particularly like him, but he understood him better than anyone else in either the Bush or Obama administrations.

    Although Gates never had a winter break from his wars, he had strong allies, ardent supporters, and dedicated support from military and civilian Department of Defense employees. His relationship with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was remarkable. They did not always agree, but he admired and respected her statesmanship, and she changed his mind from time to time.

    Gates gratefully acknowledges the Washington Post for exposing deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital that he fought hard to start to fix. He also mentions many, many people, from enlisted soldiers to heads of state, that made what he did possible. "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was a "Yes, I was in charge, but hundreds of people were key and this is who they are and what they did" book, not an ego trip.

    Gates has Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Degrees in History, and "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" (2014) was written with a historian's eye for complex detail and accuracy. The differences between Bush 43 and Obama as president are stark. Gates got along better with Bush 43, whose previous military service - although limited - made him innately comfortable with the military mindset. Taking an oath to protect and defend your country, knowing that your oath may lead to your death, and then learning how to accomplish that duty in extensive military training fundamentally changes a person, in part, because you learn you must trust your noncommissioned and commissioned officers with your life. Obama is not a veteran, and inherently distrusts senior military officers. Both men are decisive and made decisions Gates didn't always agree with. Obama is analytical and deliberative, where Bush 43 shot from the hip and was too easily influenced by his advisors, including a hawkish Dick Cheney. Obama considers other opinions, but isn't unreasonably swayed by them - which, considering Joe Biden's unique way of seeing the world, is a good thing. Gates opposed Obama's decision to send Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, but applauded both the courageous decision and its results, comparing it to some of the hardest and loneliest decisions made by Abraham Lincoln.

    Gates memoir isn't remotely introspective, but it is clear that by the time he was at the end of his service, he was about to lose it. He cared more personally for the troops than perhaps anyone in a similar position since Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Writing this memoir expressed the frustration and anguish he felt, but couldn't say, as SecDef.

    "Memoirs of a Secretary at War" is 600 pages long, and almost overwhelming in scope. Gates writing style, after 40 years in government, is dry. He jumps from topic to topic, but to be fair, Gates was always jumping from crises to crises. The audio narration was good at differentiating the change in topics. This is a book that I wouldn't have had time to read on text for a very long time, and I'm glad it was available on Audible.

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

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    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (795)
    Story
    (793)

    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • "Living History, Loving History"

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    When you live through history, the big picture - if you think of it at all - is elusive. There are parts of the illustrated history you can imagine but can't see because you're painted in another perspective. NPR, FoxNews, Slate, evangelical Christians, liberal pundits and conservative wonks add pieces to a puzzle scattered across a vast nation.

    I was part of the 48% in California who voted 'no' on Prop 8 - which means I supported marriage equality. I mourned for friends who'd married and had their civil rights taken from them. I listened to the live webcast of "8", with so many people Internet traffic slowed down even crashed in a few places. In June of 2013, I changed my Facebook picture and pretty soon, every Facebook friend I had looked the same: = Our avatars stayed that way until DOMA and Prop 8 were overturned.

    And talk about real excitement: SCOTUSBlog! No waiting for NPR's Nina Totenberg to come out of the Courthouse to explain the decisions. I posted SCOTUSBlog's report to FB, and the virtual celebration was on. Not that I didn't make it a special point to listen to Totenberg's reports later: no one explains the Supreme Court better.

    So, I was and am definitely a supporter of same sex marriage, but other than being one of more than 50 million? 100 million now? that support it, I really only had the most rudimentary idea of how it went from whispers to dreams to possibility to reality.

    I understood how and why United States v. Windsor (2013) 570 US 12 ended up in front of the US Supreme Court: that was a federal tax (IRS) question arising out of a federal law - the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

    But Hollingsworth v Perry (2013) 133 S.Ct. 2652? Why wasn't that a California case? Did Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and later, Jerry Brown have the state constitutional authority to refuse to defend a proposition voted on by a majority of the voters, or even an affirmative obligation not to defend Prop 8? How were the Plaintiffs selected? And why now, not later when more people might have accepted the idea? And, just what was actor/director/civil rights activist Rob Reiner's part in this anyway? And why was there a trial, rather than a Motion for Summary Judgment?

    I already had a pretty good idea of why the conservative Theodore Olson and the liberal David Boies were working together: human rights are human rights, not 'isms'. And - especially for us 'Street Lawyers' (as John Grisham might call us), there's no more idealistic attorney than a constitutional law attorney. Unless, of course, it's the President.

    What fascinated me especially is learning how Olson and Boies worked together to map out a plan, from selecting resilient, optimistic Plaintiffs; identifying qualified experts; taking depositions; opening and closing statements; and establishing a strong record for appeal. Their system of constant balances and critical feedback in preparing questions and arguments - well - it was clearly invaluable and crucial to their preparation.

    "Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality" (2014) by David Boies and Theodore Olson answers the procedural (how it got to the Courts it went to) and substantive (what law was used, and why). Absolutely fascinating. And - as someone who aced constitutional law in law school and has hundreds of hours of training in the same, and is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court - if I were doing law school again, I'd read "Redeeming the Dream" first and last.

    That being said - as a reader/listener Olson and Boies sounded like lawyers who'd swallowed Black's Law Dictionary and were slowly regurgitating it. That's a good thing for the US Supreme Court and law students, but not so good for folks who didn't find Cliff Sloan and David McKean's "The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall and the Battle for the Supreme Court" (2009) edge-of-your-seat fascinating. (That's the history of Marbury v. Madison (1803) 5 U.S. 137.)

    So, my recommendation if the paragraph above doesn't apply to you: start from Chapter 8 on Audible - 7 on paper, and listen to the rest after if you are so inclined. And get "8" on Audible, because it's just that d***ed good.

    I was so tempted - and so wanted - to give this book 5's across the board, because 'What a Great Story!' It's just not that well written or narrated - Rob Reiner, where are you?

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

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    Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Boies, Theodore B. Olson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United Statesissued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California's discriminatory Proposition 8, thereby reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson - who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore - joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day.

    A. Moose says: "Wonderfully engrossing and often emotional book"
  1. Five Days at Memorial: Li...
  2. Duty: Memoirs of a Secret...
  3. Redeeming the Dream: The ...
  4. .

A Peek at Roy's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1701
 
Beaumont, TX, United States 273 REVIEWS / 471 ratings Member Since 2005 532 Followers / Following 0
 
Roy's greatest hits:
  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

    "Great Read"

    Overall

    Tim Wu, a scholar of technology, innovation and cyberspace has produced a very informative book which is timely in many ways. He relates in detail how communication technology has been guided by the profit motive and political actions during the last century and the current era. I have heard some of these stories before, but not in this context. If you are interested in or concerned about the direction that electronic media is taking in the US, this is the book for you. It is not light reading, but well worth the time spent. I found the first few chapters a little tedious largely because they were not covering what I was I thought were my interests. After a while, however, I realized what Wu was saying and by the last third of the book he had "my earlobes in his hands." I would, however, recommend that you listen to the Audible recording of Wu's earlier book, "Who Controls the Internet?", first for background. This book will fill in the details and more. Well written and accessible. Marc Vietor's narration is excellent.

  • Too Big to Fail

    "We Got to Get Some Foam on the Runway"

    Overall

    Too Big to Fail is Sorkin's telling of the global economic meltdown and the formation of TARP. This is some fine journalism and wonderful writing. Even if you don't follow all of the characters (which you probably will), just listening along with give you a feel and understanding of what was at stake and what was accomplished. Certainly, I found the characters humanized and now appreciate the struggles that Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson faced. I appreciate what these men and others did to bring stability to the economy.

    This book is well written and read. The research is great. If you are old enough you may see the Keystone cops running the streets. Lets just hope that the outcomes benefit us as much as the book informs and entertains.

  • Obama's Wars

    "Woodward Does a Service"

    Overall

    First, read this book if you like Obama and if you don't. The insights are worth the effort for those who are news junkies and those who are just interested in what has taken place in the country. I might say that the book is best thought of as an essay on the lonliness of command. For listeners - listen for the patterns and insights that will be gained - the impressions are most informative. The writing is Bob Woodward, the reading of Boyd Gaines is very good - over all there is insight here for those willing to take time. Draw your own conclusions about Obama.

  • How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle

    "Many Insights"

    Overall

    This is one book that will give "ah ha" moments, but there are some "oh my gosh" moments here too. Each chapter is a stand alone discussion of a particular conflict and how it was resolved. A high point for me was the revealing section on WWII in the Pacific. This book lends value to the reader because it looks solely at how particular encounters were ended and what motivated the end. There are a lot of insights to be gained from this approach and analysis. This is, above all, a thoughtful volume - well written, informative, and professional read by the author himself.

Gillian

Gillian Austin, TX, United States 02-05-14

SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

HELPFUL VOTES
76
ratings
REVIEWS
42
42
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
4
8
  • "This is Real World, Not Exercise"

    1 of 1 helpful votes

    I'd just listened to a heavy work, over 24 hours, and wanted something short and engaging. When I found this, I figured it would do well for my mood.
    What I got was a punch in the gut.
    Looking back, I went in god-awfully glib: This is short! This is, even better, free! This is perfect!
    It was a descent into the madness and memories of that horrific day and the days that followed. I was suddenly transported back to days of weeping and stuffing Oreos into my mouth, all in an attempt to release the terrible grief and fear of all that I (and most of the country) was feeling.
    The tapes start with people simply living their lives, going through their day, with a blip or two occurring on the radars of their awareness. It grows into a gnawing fear and dread. We get to experience things just as they do, hearing oddities from cockpits, trying to understand, then trying to take actions to control what they soon start figuring out is a completely out of control situation. The line, "Does anybody know why there's smoke in lower Manhattan?" about killed me. Follow up with, in trying to get a bead on lost planes, someone saying, "Look out the window. Do you see it flying low?" and then "Yeah, it just dropped like 800 feet!" with the second plane going into the WTC, and I was flat-out sick.
    There is some misinformation that the controllers deal with; there is audio from NORAD and the "This is real world, not exercise!"; there is horror, dread, and some extraordinarily calm people doing the impossible.
    There were plenty of times that I wanted to shout at them to just get the planes out of the air, but who knew then what we know now? The fact that decisions were made so quickly and with such finality is mind-blowing, especially when so many different towers were involved. And though the last four minutes of the recording are tinny and difficult to understand, they're worth listening to. They pretty much sum up everything that became part of our American culture.
    It's strange. I work with teen-aged girls who were only toddlers when 9-11 happened. These tapes would mean nothing to them. But for anybody who watched their television sets in a trance-like horror on that day, I strongly suggest the quick listen. Warning, though: if you felt even an iota of anything that remotely suggests your humanity back then, you will most likely, even now at this late date, feel something pretty powerful.
    Personally, I'm going to sit and stare at the wall for a while, wipe some tears away...

    More

    The Voices of 9-11: The Story of the FAA and NORAD Response to the September 11, 2001, Attacks

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Various
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    Included here is a selection of recordings of Federal Aviation Administration, Defense Department, and American Airlines communications from September 11, 2001. You will hear air traffic controllers, military aviation officers, airline and fighter jet pilots, as well as two of the hijackers, during two hours of that historic morning.

    Gillian says: "This is Real World, Not Exercise"

What's Trending in 21st Century:

  • 4.5 (4320 ratings)
    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Lewis Narrated by Jesse Boggs

    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
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    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jill says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
  • 4.3 (3471 ratings)
    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer Narrated by Holter Graham

    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
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    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • 4.4 (1900 ratings)
    Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (






UNABRIDGED) by John Heilemann, Mark Halperin Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris

    Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Heilemann, Mark Halperin
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    Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.

    Joe says: "Best Audiobook of 2010!"
  • 4.4 (1180 ratings)
    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Wright Narrated by Alan Sklar

    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
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    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
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  • 4.3 (400 ratings)
    The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (






UNABRIDGED) by Jake Tapper Narrated by Rob Shapiro

    The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor

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    At 6:00 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 U.S. troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly 400 Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war's deadliest battles for U.S. forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere 14 miles from the Pakistan border, the U.S. abandoned and bombed the camp.

    Jason says: "A must read!"
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    They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

    James says: "Interesting and well paced, though poorly narrated"
  • 4.3 (296 ratings)
    The Greatest Trade Ever: How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History (






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    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
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    In 2006, hedge fund manager John Paulson realized something few others suspected--that the housing market and the value of subprime mortgages were grossly inflated and headed for a major fall. Paulson's background was in mergers and acquisitions, however, and he knew little about real estate or how to wager against housing. He had spent a career as an also-ran on Wall Street. But Paulson was convinced this was his chance to make his mark. He just wasn't sure how to do it....

    David says: "Better Books Now Available"
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Lewis Narrated by Jesse Boggs

    The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael Lewis
    • Narrated By Jesse Boggs
    Overall
    (4320)
    Performance
    (1797)
    Story
    (1816)

    Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.

    Jill says: "Finally, I understand what happened!"
  • Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert M. Gates Narrated by George Newbern, Robert M. Gates

    Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert M. Gates
    • Narrated By George Newbern, Robert M. Gates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Performance
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    From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.

    Jean says: "Yoda speaks"
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer Narrated by Holter Graham

    No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3471)
    Performance
    (3106)
    Story
    (3136)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (






UNABRIDGED) by Evan Osnos Narrated by Evan Osnos, George Backman

    Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Evan Osnos
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    Story
    (28)

    As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    Sam says: "Important stories from contemporary China."
  •  
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (






UNABRIDGED) by Sheri Fink Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Sheri Fink
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (517)
    Story
    (522)

    In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.

    Cynthia says: "Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
  • The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence Wright Narrated by Alan Sklar

    The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1180)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (469)

    This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
  • Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (






UNABRIDGED) by Jeremy Scahill Narrated by Tom Weiner

    Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jeremy Scahill
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (285)

    From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, Scahill speaks to the CIA agents, mercenaries, and elite Special Operations Forces operators who populate the dark side of American war-fighting. He goes deep into al Qaeda-held territory in Yemen and walks the streets of Mogadishu with CIA-backed warlords. We also meet the survivors of US night raids and drone strikes - including families of US citizens targeted for assassination by their own government - who reveal the human consequences of the dirty wars the United States struggles to keep hidden.

    Lanlady says: "fantastic book -- and disturbing"
  • The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Mazzetti Narrated by Richard Ferrone

    The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Mazzetti
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (104)

    Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Mazzetti examines secret wars over the past decade, tracking key characters from the intelligence and military communities across the world. Among the characters we meet in The Way of the Knife are a young CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played; an Air Force test pilot who fired the first drone missile in the Nevada desert; and a chain-smoking Pentagon official who ran an off-the-books spying operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Dennis says: "Telling us what the government and media won't."
  •  
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric Blehm Narrated by P.J. Ochlan

    The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eric Blehm
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (202)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (179)

    The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy - and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate, for the first time, a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice.

    Cory says: "Great story about the rise of Karzai."
  • We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency (






UNABRIDGED) by Parmy Olson Narrated by Abby Craden

    We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Parmy Olson
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (324)

    In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers.

    Adam K says: "Awesome book. Felt like a hacker fiction novel!"
  • The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Kent Narrated by Dan Woren

    The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Steven Kent
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.

    Sean says: "Repetitive but interesting"
  • Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death (






UNABRIDGED) by Jim Frederick Narrated by Corey Snow

    Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jim Frederick
    • Narrated By Corey Snow
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (36)

    This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment - a unit known as the Black Heart Brigade. Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country's most dangerous location at its most dangerous time.

    Vygramul says: "Difficult story, well read"
  • WAR: Visionary Tales of Human Conflict from the Middle East (






UNABRIDGED) by Rory Patrick Allen Narrated by Commodore James

    WAR: Visionary Tales of Human Conflict from the Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Rory Patrick Allen
    • Narrated By Commodore James
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    I have lived in the Middle East for 25 years now, and the constant undercurrent of these conflicts is ever present.

  • Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today (






UNABRIDGED) by Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus Narrated by Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford

    Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story…and Why It Matters Today

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Edouard Kayihura, Kerry Zukus
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis, Rosalind Ashford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines. In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter.

  • Dear Leader (






UNABRIDGED) by Jang Jin-Sung Narrated by Daniel York

    Dear Leader

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Jang Jin-Sung
    • Narrated By Daniel York
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Dear Leader contains astonishing new insights about North Korea which could only be revealed by someone working high up in the regime. It is also the gripping story of how a member of the inner circle of this enigmatic country became its most courageous, outspoken critic. Jang Jin-sung held one of the most senior ranks in North Korea's propaganda machine, helping tighten the regime's grip over its people.

  • Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality (






UNABRIDGED) by David Boies, Theodore B. Olson Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

    Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David Boies, Theodore B. Olson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United Statesissued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California's discriminatory Proposition 8, thereby reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. Redeeming the Dream is the story of how David Boies and Theodore B. Olson - who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore - joined forces after that titanic battle to forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day.

    A. Moose says: "Wonderfully engrossing and often emotional book"
  •  
  • Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution (






UNABRIDGED) by Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz Narrated by Holter Graham

    Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Laurence Tribe, Joshua Matz
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

    Jean says: "An unbias view of the Court"
  • Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (






UNABRIDGED) by Evan Osnos Narrated by Evan Osnos, George Backman

    Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Evan Osnos
    • Narrated By Evan Osnos, George Backman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    Sam says: "Important stories from contemporary China."
  • Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals (






UNABRIDGED) by Richard Rashke Narrated by Ken Kliban

    Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America's Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Richard Rashke
    • Narrated By Ken Kliban
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    John “Iwan” Demjanjuk was at the center of one of history’s most complex war crimes trials. But why did it take almost sixty years for the United States to bring him to justice as a Nazi collaborator? The answer lies in the annals of the Cold War, when fear and paranoia drove American politicians and the U.S. military to recruit “useful” Nazi war criminals to work for the United States in Europe as spies and saboteurs, and to slip them into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy.

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