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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA Member Since 2005
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  • "Wonderful"

    Overall
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    Andrew Wilson's book provides a wonderful expansion of the Titanic story. What he's done is gather and organize a series of lives: what happened to the survivors of the wreck? Some found happiness with new life partners they met in the lifeboats; others struggled to make sense of the tragedy, and more than a few committed suicide.

    Wilson does a great job capturing the unique qualities of each person's life and personality. (I do have two criticisms: one is that he sometimes tends to speculate about psychological states that can't be verified; another is the recurrence of the phrase "lay at the bottom of the ocean.") We hear about Jack Thayer, the scion of a main line Philadelphia family; Dorothy Gibson, star of silent film who wrote and acted in her own film about the Titanic within weeks of her arrival in New York; the haunted and reclusive Bruce Ismay, who lost a leg to diabetes; the affable Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon, who spent the rest of their lives trying to justify their escape from the wreck in a lifeboat that held only 12 people; the obsessive Edith Russell, the woman who had a pig-shaped music box, and who was horrified when the film version of "A Night to Remember" showed her wearing a dress she would never have worn; and Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the Titanic, who was only 9 months old at the time of the wreck and who died in 2009.

    Most of the stories are of first-class passengers, with a handful from second-class and virtually no one from third-class. Of course the first-class passengers were more likely to survive and more likely to leave accounts in newspapers and books: by percentage, more first-class men survived the sinking than third-class women and children.

    There's quite a good account of the wreck as well, obviously much shorter and more selective than Walter Lord's narrative. But as he discusses the lives of the survivors, Wilson returns again and again to the story of the sinking to fill in stray details.

    The book is read brilliantly by Bill Wallis, whose gravelly voice sounds like it's been through a few shipwrecks of its own. I found myself holding my breath as Wallis took me through Ismay's appearance before the Senate inquiry in America and the British Wreck Commission inquiry; cringing at the obtuseness of the Duff Gordons during their own time in what became, for them, the dock of public opinion.

    I'm usually listening to three or four audio books at a time, switching between them at different times of day or depending on mood. One of the best things I can say about this enthralling listen is that I set aside all the other titles I was working on till I finished this one.

    More

    Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Andrew Wilson
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (132)

    Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night?

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful"
  • "Compelling and depressing"

    Overall

    This is a horrifying and depressing story, but an important one. Richard Evans is a careful historian, not given to hyperbole and dramatic flourishes, and Sean Pratt matches his tone with a comfortable pace and even tone. Yet in its methodical way, the book lays out a gripping tale.

    One point Evans makes is that the Nazis did NOT come to power democratically; they never won more than about 38% of the popular vote. Their victory was a result of PR, brutal street violence, and "backstairs intrigue," with their participation in the electoral process mostly for show. Once in, they proceeded to infiltrate and dominate every aspect of German society, down to the smallest blue-collar singing club in the smallest rural village. Everything was made to point in the same direction in a massive program of "coordination."

    One of the most depressing aspects of this whole dismal saga, to me, is the way the Nazis were able to take over German culture, science, and higher education. Jewish musicians were fired; "non-Aryan" physicists and biologists were forced out of the universities and out of the country, to the great impoverishment of German science; philosophy was dominated by Martin Heidegger, who fully embraced the Nazi program. Gung-ho college students tore through bookshops and libraries, seizing "anti-German" material and throwing it onto a bonfire.

    The book stops in the spring of 1933, just after the Nazi revolution and before the brown shirts were decimated in the "Night of the Long Knives." The second volume in the trilogy, "The Third Reich in Power," is available on Audible with the same narrator. (I'm going to wait a few weeks before I tackle that one: I need some time to recover from the first volume.)

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    The Coming of the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Richard J. Evans
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (765)
    Performance
    (475)
    Story
    (484)

    There is no story in 20th-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time.

    Tad Davis says: "Compelling and depressing"
  • "A lively and useful introduction"

    Overall

    "God's Battalions" has the unfortunate subtitle, "The Case for the Crusades." That makes it sound more polemical than it appeared to me as I listened to it. Rodney Stark seems to be arguing, not that the Crusades were a righteous cause, but that the European participants THOUGHT they were a righteous cause, and that we should take their declared motivations seriously. It's not so much pro-Crusades as it is anti-anti-Crusades.

    Stark doesn't think the Crusades were a cynical grab for land and power. By analyzing family connections and financial data, he argues that most people who went on the Crusades did so at tremendous cost, sometimes bankrupting themselves in the process, for little or no material gain. He concludes from this that they truly felt they were participating in a "higher cause."

    Stark's strong suit is using sociological and economic data to fill in the historical picture. Surprisingly, he manages to do this without turning the book into a dry thesis: he sticks to a strong narrative line, filled with battle descriptions, anecdotes, and extensive quotes from letters and other contemporary documents. Most of all, he tries to be specific: which families were involved, which groups participated in pogroms, which factions (Christian and Muslim) set off the conflict, when did accusations of conquest and colonialism first arise.

    The narrative is crafted into a compact and comprehensible outline that makes the book a useful introduction to the subject. Of course, I have to admit, in saying that, that this IS the first book I've read on the subject. I was drawn to it by the liveliness of the writing (and the excellence of David Drummond's narration) more than anything else. Even if Stark's analysis fails to stand up over time, he has included a wealth of information in a concise and very well-organized format.

    More

    God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Rodney Stark
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (50)

    In God's Battalions, award-winning author Rodney Stark takes on the long-held view that the Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims. To the contrary, Stark argues that the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression.

    Tad Davis says: "A lively and useful introduction"
  1. Shadow of the Titanic: Th...
  2. The Coming of the Third R...
  3. God's Battalions: The Cas...
  4. .

A Peek at Cariola's Bookshelf

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Chambersburg, PA USA 159 REVIEWS / 332 ratings Member Since 2005 279 Followers / Following 6
 
Cariola's greatest hits:
  • The Sisters Who Would be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy

    "Attention: Tudor Junkies!"

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    Performance
    Story

    We may all know the fate of Lady Jane Grey, the nine-days queen, but I, for one, knew nothing about her younger sisters, Katherine and Mary. Despite de Lisle's title, none of the three "would be queen" of her own accord. Their claims were promoted by others because their mother, Frances, was the only surviving child of Mary Tudor's second marriage to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. That made Frances, as Henry VIII's niece, a viable heir to the throne, since Henry had specifically excluded the heirs of his elder sister Margaret. When Edward VI died, many still considered his half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, to be bastards. Frances gave up her place in line in favor of her daughter Jane (most likely as part of the deal to marry her into the prominent and ambitious Dudley family). And so began the fate of "the sisters who would be queen." Katherine Grey, a court beauty, was denied Queen Elizabeth's permission to marry the man she loved. They married in secret but were discovered when Katherine's first pregnancy began to show. She spent the rest of her life in the Tower--where her two sons were born. Mary Grey, the youngest sister, a tiny, unattractive, and possibly hunchbacked woman, suffered a similar fate by falling in love with and secretly marrying a man of inferior status.

    De Lisle provides fascinating insights into power, intrigue, jealousy, and the conflicts between public and private lives in the Tudor era. What I appreciated most about the book was the way that it brought together many pieces of Tudor history that had been floating in my brain, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. I hadn't realized, for instance, that the Grey family were descended from the first marriage of Elizabeth Wodeville, wife of Edward IV. And somehow it had escaped me that Guildford Dudley was the brother of Elizabeth's favorite, Lord Robert Dudley--strange indeed that she developed such an affection for one whose father and brother were executed for trying to shift the throne away from her sister Mary and herself.

    The Sisters Who Would Be Queen is a must-read for any afficiando of Tudor England. It's filled with facts, but De Lisle's expert hand makes it an entertaining story as well.

  • Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile

    "Sad but Fascinating Lives"

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    Story

    Julia Fox came up with a fascinating idea in writing a dual biography of the most renowned of Ferdinand and Isabella???s daughters: Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII???s beleaguered queen, and Juana of Castile. The last work of non-fiction that I read (Alison Weir???s bio of Mary Boleyn) was tediously repetitious and digressive, a problem I???ve found with many historical biographies. Fox, however, has avoided that pitfall, creating an engaging and highly readable narrative.

    Katherine and Juana have been reduced over time almost to caricatures, Katherine as the stubbornly Catholic wife who refused to let Henry go, and Juana as a wife so obsessed with her husband that his affairs and early death drove her to madness. But Fox shows that there was much more to each woman, and that, to a great extent, the restrictions of gender and the machinations of the men around them caused their downfalls. She details Katherine???s role as an ambassador concerned with the interests of both Spain and England, as well as her diplomacy and finesse in dealing with Henry. Fox does an admirable job of presenting fairly the events with which most readers will be familiar: her penurious widowhood following the death of Prince Arthur; the dispensation to marry Henry; the many miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths; her displacement by Anne Boleyn. In the case of Juana, Fox???s research demonstrates that existing letters and reports from those permitted to see her following her confinement for madness demonstrate that she behaved sanely and graciously. Fox contends that her husband and father schemed to keep her from exercising sovereignty over Castile, Ferdinand in particular unwilling to give up what he had jointly ruled with Isabella after she died and left the crown to Juana, her eldest daughter.

    Through no fault of the author???s, the space devoted to the sisters is not balanced 50/50, simply because there is less documentation of Juana???s life. Near the end, Fox poses a fascinating question: What would have happened if the sisters??? roles had been reversed???if Katherine, so good at diplomacy, had been Queen of Castile, and if Juana, who produced six children (two emperors and four queens) had been Henry???s wife?

  • Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford

    "Too Much Speculation"

    Overall

    Maybe it's just that I know too much about the Tudors already . . . I learned little new about Jane Boleyn or the court of Henry VIII from listening to this book. The author relays a lot of familiar information and many familiar scenes that are peripheral to Jane's story. For example, she provides a lengthy description of the meeting of two kings on the Field of the Cloth of Gold--then tells us that there is no evidence that Jane Parker was there, but she MIGHT have been. She uses this strategy--something that true scholars would reject--over and over again to make her subject more important and interesting. Someone totally unfamiliar with the Tudors who isn't looking for expert scholarship might enjoy the book, but I was disappointed. I have it in hardback as well but am donating it to my local library. Kudos to Rosalind Landor, however, who is always a fine reader of English history and novels.

  • Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais

    "Fascinating Story--Victoriana"

    Overall
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    Story

    Effie Gray was only twelve when she met the celebrated young art critic John Ruskin in 1841. A friendship developed, and within a few years, he proposed; the two married when Effie was nineteen, Ruskin 29. Effie imagined the two of them as the perfect couple, her social charm as asset to his brilliance. But on their wedding night, something went terribly wrong. Despite her innocence, Effie knew that there had to be more to marriage than taking walks along the riverbank: Ruskin either would not or could not consummate their union. In a letter to her parents, she wrote:

    "He alleged various reasons, hatred to children, religious motives, a desire to preserve my beauty, and finally this last year he told me his true reason... that he had imagined women were quite different to what he saw I was, and that the reason he did not make me his Wife was because he was disgusted with my person the first evening 10th April 1848."

    Ashamed, Effie remained in the marriage for six years before formally filing for an annulment. She was subjected to a physical examination to verify her chastity and humiliated by Ruskin's testimony that "though her face was beautiful, her person was not formed to excite passion. On the contrary, there were certain circumstances in her person which completely checked it." The doctor who examined her declared that she was normal in every way; it has been speculated that Ruskin might have been repelled by his wife's pubic hair, or that she was menstruating. As one would expect, the case created a scandal in Victorian England.

    Fortunately, a happier future was in store. Effie had posed for Ruskin's friend, the artist John Everett Millais, who accompanied the couple on a trip to Scotland. The two fell in love and were married a year after the annulment was granted. Fagence devotes the first half of her biography to the scandal, but the second details Effie's 42-year marriage, which, despite some losses and difficulties, was a happy one. Effie continued to model for Millais (as did her siblings, her eight children, and later their grandchildren), and "Everett," as she called him, eventually earned great success as a painter, as well as a baronetcy. But her one disappointment was that the queen would not receive "a divorced person" at court. It seemed she would never quite shake the scandal of NOT being a wife to Ruskin. And Ruskin, who apparently never learned when not to speak, publicly blamed Effie for 'ruining' Millais's potential as an artist, the necessity of feeding a family turning him to a more lucrative style.

    Cooper does an admirable job of presenting this slice of Victorian scandal and a peek into the world of art. We learn not only about the three persons mentioned in her lengthy title, but also about her travels in Italy, the elder Ruskins, Effie's family in Scotland, the Millais children, and the friends who stood by her. I did find the second half a bit confusing at times, partly because of the profusion of Johns, Georges, Sophias and Effies, but also because of the author's tendency to jump back and forth through time.

Saud

Saud United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2007

Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

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  • "Much needed"

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    I have been searching for a decent documentation of the history of modern Russia for quiet a while, and this audiobook delivers. It explores the philosophies, inner movements and conflicts that Russia had gone through. If you're interested in exploring the history of Russia in an unbiased, academic way, look no further.

    More

    A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark Steinberg
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    It's difficult to imagine a nation with a history more compelling for Americans than Russia. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, this was the nation against which we measured our own nation's values and power and with whom war, if it ever came, could spell unimaginable catastrophe for our planet.Yet many Americans have never had the opportunity to study Russia in depth, and to see how the forces of history came together to shape a future so different from the dreams of most ordinary Russian people, eager to see their nation embrace Western values of progress, human rights, and justice.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not story-telling but history-telling at its best"

What's Trending in European:

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    State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 (






UNABRIDGED) by Dominic Sandbrook Narrated by David Thorpe

    State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Dominic Sandbrook
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
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    (11)
    Performance
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    Story
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    In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the Sixties had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish Seventies had been forgotten.

    Robert F. Jablon says: "STATE OF EXCELLENCE"
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)
    The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Brad S. Gregory

    The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Brad S. Gregory
    Overall
    (10)
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    It still takes a major effort of historical imagination to enter the minds of those who lived during the Reformation Era; who were willing to suffer martyrdom or martyr others for what we would regard as minor doctrinal differences. These 36 lectures are designed to take you inside the minds of those who supported the Reformation and those who resisted it.

  • 4.9 (10 ratings)
    Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979 (






UNABRIDGED) by Dominic Sandbrook Narrated by David Thorpe

    Seasons in the Sun: The Battle for Britain, 1974-1979

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    • By Dominic Sandbrook
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
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    Performance
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    In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the '60s had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish '70s had been forgotten.

    Mr G. says: "First rate social and political history"
  • 4.5 (3223 ratings)
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (






UNABRIDGED) by William L. Shirer Narrated by Grover Gardner

    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
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    Performance
    (2286)
    Story
    (2294)

    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.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
  •  
  • 4.3 (1518 ratings)
    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric Metaxas Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1518)
    Performance
    (992)
    Story
    (1012)

    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.

    Alan says: "Very Moving"
  • 4.3 (552 ratings)
    Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour (






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    Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lynne Olson
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    Here is the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, Averell Harriman, and John Gilbert Winant. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and a reluctant American public to support the British at a critical time.

    Susan says: "If we are together nothing is impossible"
  • 4.4 (452 ratings)
    The Modern Scholar: The Anglo-Saxon World (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael D. C. Drout

    The Modern Scholar: The Anglo-Saxon World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael D. C. Drout
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    Had the Angles and Saxons not purposefully migrated to the isles of the Britons and brought with them their already-well-developed use of language, Angelina Jolie may never have appeared in the movie Beowulf. Professor Michael D.C. Drout is at his best when lecturing on the fascinating history, language, and societal adaptations of the Anglo-Saxons.

    Matthew says: "Amazingly good"
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (






UNABRIDGED) by William L. Shirer Narrated by Grover Gardner

    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
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    Performance
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    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.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric Metaxas Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Eric Metaxas
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1518)
    Performance
    (992)
    Story
    (1012)

    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.

    Alan says: "Very Moving"
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (






UNABRIDGED) by Erik Larson Narrated by Stephen Hoye

    In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erik Larson
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
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    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....

    Patrick says: "compelling father-daughter story"
  • Great Minds of the Medieval World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Dorsey Armstrong

    Great Minds of the Medieval World

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
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    Story
    (2)

    In this gallery of extraordinary minds, you’ll encounter the leading lights of a world-shaping era, including figures such as Maimonides, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, and Francesco Petrarch. Professor Armstrong goes to great lengths to bring these historic figures to life, revealing both the great intellectual contributions and the personal strivings, challenges, and triumphs of some of history’s most remarkable human beings.

  •  
  • Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Suzanne M. Desan

    Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Suzanne M. Desan
    Overall
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    Performance
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    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.

    Monte Johnston says: "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
  • The Hiding Place (






UNABRIDGED) by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill Narrated by Wanda McCaddon

    The Hiding Place

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (249)

    At one time, Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that she had a story to tell. For the first 50 years of her life, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to her. She was a spinster watchmaker living contentedly with her sister and their elderly father in the tiny house over their shop in Haarlem. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. But with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, everything changed....

    Christina says: "My new guilty pleasure"
  • The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Jennifer Paxton

    The Story of Medieval England: From King Arthur to the Tudor Conquest

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jennifer Paxton
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
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    Story
    (117)

    These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.

    Jake says: "I was happily surprised!"
  • The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 (






UNABRIDGED) by William Manchester, Paul Reid Narrated by Clive Chafer, Paul Reid

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

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (375)

    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
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  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris (






UNABRIDGED) by David McCullough Narrated by Edward Herrmann

    The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1070)
    Performance
    (763)
    Story
    (768)

    The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

    John says: "Priceless! Best book I've read in years"
  • The Foundations of Western Civilization  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Thomas F. X. Noble

    The Foundations of Western Civilization

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (34)

    What is Western Civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.

    Tyler says: "Excellent course!"
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephen Greenblatt Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen Greenblatt
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (844)
    Performance
    (723)
    Story
    (719)

    Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late 30s took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles.

    Ethan M. says: "Very compelling history, a less compelling thesis"
  • The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Jones Narrated by Clive Chafer

    The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Jones
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (210)

    The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.

    Troy says: "Excellent Narrative History"
  • Children of the Mill: True Stories from Quarry Bank (






UNABRIDGED) by David Hanson Narrated by John Lightbody

    Children of the Mill: True Stories from Quarry Bank

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By David Hanson
    • Narrated By John Lightbody
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Mill - set in early 19th-century Cheshire - was Channel 4's biggest drama launch of 2013, and captivated viewers with the tales of the lives of the young girls and boys in a northern mill. Focusing on the apprentices at Quarry Bank Mill, David Hanson's book uses a wealth of first-person source material including letters, diaries, and mill records, to tell the stories of the children who lived and worked at Quarry Bank throughout the 19th century.

  • Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Farquhar Narrated by Enn Reitel

    Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Farquhar
    • Narrated By Enn Reitel
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Scandal! Intrigue! Cossacks! Here the world's most engaging royal historian chronicles the world's most fascinating imperial dynasty: the Romanovs, whose 300-year reign was remarkable for its shocking violence, spectacular excess, and unimaginable venality. In this incredibly entertaining history, Michael Farquhar collects the best, most captivating true tales of Romanov iniquity. Secret Lives of the Tsars captures all the splendor and infamy that was Imperial Russia.

    Daniel Burgon says: "A good introduction to the Romanovs"
  • To the Shores of Antarctica [Russian Edition] (






ABRIDGED) by Georgy Kublitsky Narrated by Mikhail Bolduman, Evgeny Samojlov, Ivan Kudryavtsev, Yakov Smolensky, Rostislav Plyatt, Alexey Kubatsky, Georgy Vitsin

    To the Shores of Antarctica [Russian Edition]

    • ABRIDGED (57 mins)
    • By Georgy Kublitsky
    • Narrated By Mikhail Bolduman, Evgeny Samojlov, Ivan Kudryavtsev, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jekspedicii Bellinsgauzena i Lazareva sovershila odno iz samyh znachitel'nyh geograficheskih issledovanij. Za vremja plavanija suda oboshli vokrug vsego antarkticheskogo materika. Byli otkryty i naneseny na kartu desjatki novyh ostrovov, sobrany unikal'nye estestvenno-nauchnaja i jetnograficheskaja kollekcii, sdelany prevoshodnye zarisovki vidov Antarktiki i obitajushhih tam zhivotnyh.

  • Chasing Venus (






UNABRIDGED) by Andrea Wulf Narrated by Robin Sachs

    Chasing Venus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Andrea Wulf
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On a summer's day in June 1761, astronomers all over the world cast their eyes to the sky to witness a rare astronomical event: the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. It was one of the most important collaborations of scientific history, as by racing to different points around the world and comparing results, these men hoped to unlock the key to one of the most pressing questions of the Enlightenment: the distance between the Earth and the sun, which would allow them to calculate the dimensions of our solar system.

  •  
  • France on the Brink, Second Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Fenby Narrated by Robert Blumenfeld

    France on the Brink, Second Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jonathan Fenby
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A renowned journalist shows us France as never before seen, and the view will chill and electrify anyone who loves - or loves to hate - the country that not only defined culture but gave us the word itself. The traditional leader in the arts, letters, cuisine, and fashion, France embodies universally admired ideals of political expression and personal freedom. But France's heritage, combined with its glorious history, has also created delusions of grandeur - the Gaullist conviction that France will always be an "exception".

  • Great Minds of the Medieval World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Dorsey Armstrong

    Great Minds of the Medieval World

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In this gallery of extraordinary minds, you’ll encounter the leading lights of a world-shaping era, including figures such as Maimonides, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter Abelard, and Francesco Petrarch. Professor Armstrong goes to great lengths to bring these historic figures to life, revealing both the great intellectual contributions and the personal strivings, challenges, and triumphs of some of history’s most remarkable human beings.

  • How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan McMillan Narrated by Robert Blumenfeld

    How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dan McMillan
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The Holocaust is the defining event of the twentieth century and perhaps all of modern history. Yet for too long, we have ignored the vital question of how and why such a monstrous event could have happened at all. Now, in How Could This Happen, historian Dan McMillan distills the existing Holocaust research into a cogent explanation of the genocide’s causes, revealing how a once progressive society like Germany could commit murder on such a massive scale.

  • Churchill and Empire: A Portrait of an Imperialist (






UNABRIDGED) by Lawrence James Narrated by Michael Healy

    Churchill and Empire: A Portrait of an Imperialist

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lawrence James
    • Narrated By Michael Healy
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    One of our finest narrative historians, Lawrence James has written an illuminating, genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill that focuses solely on his contradictory relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th century serving in conflicts in India, South Africa, and the Sudan, his attitude toward the Empire was the Victorian paternalistic approach - at once responsible and superior.

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