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Mike From Mesa

Mike From Mesa Member Since 2003

MikeFromMesa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Manchester, Paul Reid
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer, Paul Reid
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
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    Spanning the years 1940 to 1965, Defender of the Realm, the third volume of William Manchester’s The Last Lion, picks up shortly after Winston Churchill became prime minister - when his tiny island nation stood alone against the overwhelming might of Nazi Germany. The Churchill portrayed by Manchester and Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning-fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action.

    Mike From Mesa says: "A worthy final volume in a great biography"
  • "Very thorough history."

    Overall

    I am not the target audience for this book. Evans says, in the preface, that his target are those who know little or nothing of this period and I have been reading about the lead-up to World War II for most of my adult life starting with Shirer's The Rise And Fall of the Third Reich (a book Evans does not think much of).

    I had not expected to learn very much new, but found how wrong I was about that. The first 1/3 of the book involves the period from the start of the Bismarck period through the end of World War I and does not involve any of the familiar names (Hitler, Goering, Gobbles, Hess, Himmler, etc). It does give the background that provided the fertile ground that allowed the Nazi movement to find purchase. In doing so the author shows that the Nazi beliefs in anti-Semitism, anti-Marxism, anti-socialism, their disdain for democracy, their belief in pan-Germanism and their desire to find extra living space in the East were not new to German culture or beliefs, but had been around for a long time. And this foundation does much to explain the speed with which the Nazi movement gained ground and grew. The remainder of this volume deals with the Nazis themselves, their allies, their opponents, their climb to power and the individuals involved.

    I have only two complaints about this book. The first concerns the author's decision to make no moral judgments about the morality of the Nazi actions. While I understand the desire to create a history that deals with facts rather than emotions, this decision seems to me to often ignore how basically evil the events being described were. The second complaint is with the uninspired reading by Sean Pratt. Most of the reading is monotone and, even more annoying, his reading contains pauses in the middle of sentences which have no contextual meaning and serve only to break-up the logical flow of thought.

    But these are minor concerns. I am waiting for Audible to add the next volume of this history.

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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
    (766)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (485)

    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"
  • "Interesting book"

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    Hitlerland is a collection of individual recollections and anecdotes about the period from 1930 through the start of US involvement in World War 2. While it is full of interesting information, and contains much that I never knew before about the period, it is worth mentioning that it is not a serious history of the period. Rather it centers on the observations of various observers, mostly reporters, about events during the period and how they reported the rise of the Nazis.

    It is thoroughly enjoyable and I found myself reluctant to stop listening, but in the end left me feeling that there was not much real history in the book. If you would like an interesting "gossip" piece about the period, this is your book. If you are looking for something serious, you might want to look elsewhere.

    I gave it 4 stars because I was expecting something "meatier" than this, but I would stress that it is very interesting and Robert Fass' reading is first class. I am not sure that the classification "light book" can be reasonably applied to anything written about this terrible period of history, but if it can, then this book is qualifies and is first class. I do not mean to suggest that this book treats the period lightly, but only that it is not a period history like Richard J Evans' The Third Reich In Power.

    More

    Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Andrew Nagorski
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (88)

    Hitler’s rise to power, Germany’s march to the abyss, as seen through the eyes of Americans—diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors, Olympic athletes—who watched horrified and up close. By tapping a rich vein of personal testimonies, Hitlerland offers a gripping narrative full of surprising twists—and a startlingly fresh perspective on this heavily dissected era.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Interesting book"
  1. The Last Lion: Winston Sp...
  2. The Coming of the Third R...
  3. Hitlerland: American Eyew...
  4. .

A Peek at Cariola's Bookshelf

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Chambersburg, PA USA 159 REVIEWS / 332 ratings Member Since 2005 280 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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    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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    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"

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    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.

Darwin8u

Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2011

A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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  • "Both a Monster and a Clown"

    24 of 25 helpful votes

    This book is amazing. In it, Arendt struggles with three major issues: 1) the guilt and evil of the ordinary, bureaucratic, obedient German people (like Eichmann) who contributed to the attempted genocide of the Jewish people, 2) the complicity of some jews in the genocide (through organization, mobilization, passive obedience, and negotiations with the Nazis, 3) the logical absurdity the Eichmann and Nuremberg Trials, etc.

    In this book (and the original 'New Yorker' essays it came from) Hannah Arendt isn't going for easy, cliché answers. She isn't asking rhetorical or weightless questions. While some of her positions might not be fully supportable, the very act of asking tough questions (that don't fall into easy boxes) is a gift to humanity. Arendt's tactic of giving no one an automatic free pass, while also not allowing people like Eichmann to become cartoonish characters of evil, allows her the room to push the idea that the potential for evil exists not just in dark, scary places, but in well-lit, and very efficient bureaucracies and we all (even Israel) might be asked to push or pull a lever if we aren't paying close attention.

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    Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Hannah Arendt
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
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    Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt's authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared in The New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative - an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the 20th century.

    Darwin8u says: "Both a Monster and a Clown"

What's Trending in European:

  • 4.9 (11 ratings)
    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
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    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)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    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

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Dominic Sandbrook
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    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 (3227 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
    (3227)
    Performance
    (2290)
    Story
    (2297)

    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 (1522 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
    (1522)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (1016)

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






UNABRIDGED) by Lynne Olson Narrated by Arthur Morey

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

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lynne Olson
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (311)

    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
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (212)

    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
    (3227)
    Performance
    (2290)
    Story
    (2297)

    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
    (1522)
    Performance
    (996)
    Story
    (1016)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2273)
    Performance
    (1653)
    Story
    (1651)

    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"
  • 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"
  •  
  • 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
    (127)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (113)

    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"
  • 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.

  • 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
    (129)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (119)

    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 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
    (275)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (250)

    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"
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  • 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
    (447)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (377)

    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"
  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (






UNABRIDGED) by Barbara W. Tuchman Narrated by Nadia May

    A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Nadia May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (763)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (336)

    The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and the exquisitely decorated Books of Hours; and on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world of chaos and the plague.

    E. Smakman says: "Gripping, once you get into it"
  • The Age of Faith, Volume 4 (






UNABRIDGED) by Will Durant Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki

    The Age of Faith, Volume 4

    • UNABRIDGED (61 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Will Durant
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    The fourth volume in Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, The Age of Faith surveys the medieval achievements and modern significance of Christian, Islamic, and Judaic life and culture. Like the other volumes in the Story of Civilization series, this is a self-contained work, which at the same time fits into a comprehensive history of mankind. It includes the dramatic stories of St. Augustine, Hypatia, Justinian, Mohammed, Harun al-Rashid, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, and many more.

    Benoibe says: "Unparalleled Genius, Artist and Sage."
  • The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Seth Lerer

    The History of the English Language, 2nd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Seth Lerer
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    This course offers an overview of the English language that is literary, historical, cultural, political, and scientific in its scope and designed to give you greater insight into the written and spoken word.The lectures provide a thorough understanding of the history of the English language - from its origins as a dialect of the Germanic-speaking peoples through the literary and cultural documents of its 1,500-year span to the state of American speech today.

    Ken says: "Fascinating and informative"
  • Breve Storia di Napoleone Bonaparte vol.2 audiolibro: Campagne d’Italia e d’Egitto: [Short History of Napoleon Bonaparte vol.2: Italian and Egyptian Campaign] (






UNABRIDGED) by Francesco De Vito Narrated by Lorenzo Visi

    Breve Storia di Napoleone Bonaparte vol.2 audiolibro: Campagne d’Italia e d’Egitto: [Short History of Napoleon Bonaparte vol.2: Italian and Egyptian Campaign]

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Francesco De Vito
    • Narrated By Lorenzo Visi
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Nel secondo volume della serie “Breve Storia di Napoleone Bonaparte” si ripercorrono le tappe fondamentali delle due campagne militari che portarono al successo del giovane comandate francese e alla creazione del suo mito. Nella campagna d’Italia, combattuta tra il 1796-1797, Napoleone dimostrò abili capacità strategiche e grandi doti condottiere.

  • 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.

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