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World

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Jean

Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States Member Since 2010

I am an avid eclectic reader.

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  • "A different viewpoint"

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    Margaret Macmillan is Canadian historian who is teaching at Oxford University. She is the great-granddaughter of David Lloyd George, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister. I recently read Max Hastings “Catastrophe 1914”. He and Macmillan are coving the same nine months leading up to the war. Hasting covered the role of general staff of rival governments showing a step by step documentation leading up to war. MacMillan on the other hand covers the diplomats and politicians showing step by step how they had avoided war numerous time and why this occasion they failed. Even though Macmillan’s book is scholarly it is very readable. She has the ability to evoke the world at the beginning of the 20th Century, when Europe had gone 85 years without a general war between great powers. In these years there was an explosion of production, wealth and a transformation in society and the way people lived. Food was better and cheaper, dramatic advances in hygiene and medicine, faster communications including cheap public telegraphs. Macmillan asks “why would Europe want to throw it all away?” In the middle of the book Macmillan considers the larger context within which the final approach to war occurred. She is good at painting the intellectual background of “social Darwinism.” The author does a good job dealing with the July crisis and distributes the responsibility widely. It was created by Serbia irresponsibility, Austrian vengefulness, and the “Blank check” the Kaiser issued to Vienna. She recognizes how Britain’s, French and especially Russian actions exacerbated the crisis and rejects the view that this was a German pre-emptive strike, a “flight forward” from domestic strife into war, while arguing that German politics recklessly and knowingly risked war. I think she is right on both counts. Macmillan makes it clear wars are not inevitable there are always choices. Richard Burnip did an excellent job narrating this 32 hour book. This book is a must for anyone interested in WWI history.

    More

    The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Margaret MacMillan
    • Narrated By Richard Burnip
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (157)

    From the best-selling and award-winning author of Paris 1919 comes a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, a fascinating portrait of Europe from 1900 up to the outbreak of World War I.

    Jean says: "A different viewpoint"
  • "outstanding"

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    I have spent the past three years reading everything I can get my hands on about world war one. Now that we are on the brink of the one hundredth anniversary of the Great War many new books are coming to market. “Catastrophe 1914” is one of them. In 1930 Sir Winston Churchill wrote “No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening”. Max Hastings’s book addresses only the last six months of 1914. The book is well researched and Hastings draws on a wide range of documents and firsthand account to chronicle the events. The major strength of the book is how Hastings portrays the principal characters, not as stereotype but as real human beings with as many flaws as virtues. The author uses excellent narrative skill as he provides the wide-lens approach to the broad political and economical environment, but he also pays close attention to the details of his characters and their lives that makes for a human story. As you read the book you can see how the author rejects the long held academic theories about the war. He goes step by step and destroys the myths about the war’s beginning, and briefly destroys the theories about the consequence of the wars ending and also about what if German had won. Hasting sketches the steps by which Europe descended into war, he does not break new historiographical ground but rather skillfully outlines evidence by several generations of scholars into a readable narrative that is highly understandable to the lay reader. The author covers both the Western and Eastern fronts of the war as they were entirely different wars being fought at the same time. Hastings held me spellbound throughout the book. If you are interested in WWI history this is an excellent book to provide you with understanding and insight as well as wet your appetite for more. Simon Vance did an excellent job narrating the long book.

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    Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Max Hastings
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (121)

    From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of the outbreak of World War I - from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battlesthat occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches.

    Jean says: "outstanding"
  • "Mongol Queens"

    Overall

    I read the first book on Genghis Khan and now on the Mongol Queens. This is a good book all women should read this and find out how much more freedom the women had under the Mongol rule compared to Islam and in Europe. The long term effects of the Mongol was very interesting. The information provided in this book gives a different view of history compared to the standard European view we were taught in school. So much new information has been discovered recently. Great history told in an interesting fashion.

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    The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (90)

    The Mongol queens of the 13th century ruled the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors cut a section from The Secret History of the Mongols, leaving a single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: “Let us reward our female offspring.” Only this hint of a father’s legacy for his daughters remained of a much larger story.

    Kimberley says: "Amazing History"
  1. The War That Ended Peace:...
  2. Catastrophe 1914: Europe ...
  3. The Secret History of the...
  4. .

C. Telfair

C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2006

Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

HELPFUL VOTES
1019
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208
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2
  • "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"

    10 of 10 helpful votes

    In "The Importance of Being Earnest," Oscar Wilde's very upright English aristocrat Lady Bracknell says something like " I hate arguments; they are so often convincing."

    Well, this book is a convincing and not-altogether-welcome argument, but an important and sobering one nevertheless. Using rock-solid evidence from lots of sources (modern and historical), Robert Kaplan tells us why we shouldn't dismiss geography as a determiner of politics simply because technology has made the world so "small". Our assumption that the whole world would be democratic if it just had the chance and the right example has tripped the US (and others) up most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. The overturn of oppressive governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and potentially Syria may not be turning out the way we thought/hoped they would either.

    So, woe to those who don't know or heed the lessons of history and the enormous influence that geography has always had on the peoples of the world! I suppose this should be self-evident, but it wasn't made clear in the history classes I took.

    Many of the theories of geopolitical history and warfare are quite detailed and scholarly and will be more than some readers wish to explore. The lessons, though, seem to me to be essential in understanding not only the past but in preparing for the future.

    These truths may be unpalatable and frightening for those of us who believe that, at heart, all human beings basically think alike and want the same things. I suspect Kaplan's more realistic and more cautionary view of the world is correct, and we should all hear about it.

    I was often uncomfortable listening to this, but I recommend it highly for those who want a clear-eyed view of what may be coming in the future!

    More

    The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"

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UNABRIDGED) by Thomas Hager Narrated by Stephen Hoye

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    • By Thomas Hager
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    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
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UNABRIDGED) by Sir Winston Churchill Narrated by Christian Rodska

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    Churchill's history of the Second World War is, and will remain, the definitive work. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction.

    John M says: "Brilliant! Only Churchill could have done this."
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    The Second World War: Alone (






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    • By John Toland
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UNABRIDGED) by Jared Diamond Narrated by Doug Ordunio

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    • By Jared Diamond
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UNABRIDGED) by Matthew Brzezinski Narrated by Charles Stransky

    Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivals That Ignited the Space Age

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Matthew Brzezinski
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  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East (






UNABRIDGED) by Scott Anderson Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

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    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
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    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
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UNABRIDGED) by Ari Shavit Narrated by Paul Boehmer

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    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
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    Jan Ziff says: "Great book - unbearable narration"
  • Proof: The Science of Booze (






UNABRIDGED) by Adam Rogers Narrated by Sean Runnette

    Proof: The Science of Booze

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Adam Rogers
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
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    Performance
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    A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of alcohol, sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains. Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what's actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for 10,000 years. Distillation is a 2,000-year-old technology - invented by a woman - that we're still perfecting today.

  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Standage Narrated by Sean Runnette

    A History of the World in 6 Glasses

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tom Standage
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Performance
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    Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period. A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola.

    Stoker says: "Fun and Informative"
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  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (






UNABRIDGED) by Ishmael Beah Narrated by Ishmael Beah

    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ishmael Beah
    • Narrated By Ishmael Beah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Performance
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    This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.

    B. Bunt says: "Author's voice"
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (






UNABRIDGED) by Jack Weatherford Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford

    Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (2180)

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

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
  • The Decisive Battles of World History  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Gregory S. Aldrete

    The Decisive Battles of World History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gregory S. Aldrete
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (55)

    Throughout history, military engagements have altered the course of historical events. In these 36 dynamic lectures, Professor Aldrete leads you in discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world. Across 4,000 years of history, you'll explore nearly 40 key military engagements, from the milestone battles of Western civilization to their counterparts in the Middle East, India, and Asia.

    IRP says: "Excellent Course- Needs Battle Maps"
  • The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven Pressfield Narrated by Malcolm Hillgartner

    The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Steven Pressfield
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
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    Story
    (26)

    June 5, 1967: The fearsome, Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army and its 1000 tanks are massed on Israel's southern border. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army is shelling the much smaller nation from the north. And to the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt's President Nasser has declared that the Arab world's goal is no less than "the destruction of Israel."

    Andy from FL says: "As close to being there as you can get"
  • The Last Voyage of Colombus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition (






UNABRIDGED) by Martin Dugard Narrated by John McDonough

    The Last Voyage of Colombus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Martin Dugard
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    Overall
    (0)
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    New York Times best-selling author Martin Dugard writes the first account of Columbus’s little-known last voyage. Columbus’ famed 1492 expedition wasn’t his last. After tough times, he was given one more chance. But this voyage didn’t have the fortuitous accidents of 1492. Instead it brought a shipwreck and more violence and mutiny than ever before - pushing an aging explorer to his limit.

  • Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them (






UNABRIDGED) by John McCain, Mark Salter Narrated by George Wilson

    Hard Call: Great Decisions and the Extraordinary People Who Made Them

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John McCain, Mark Salter
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    Overall
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    In this insightful study, John McCain and Mark Salter examine the qualities that define great decisions. They also identify inspiring people who have engaged in difficult decision-making. Ranging from the political judgments made by Abraham Lincoln to the athletic trials faced by swimmer Gertrude Ederle, each chapter of Hard Call illustrates an exceptional choice made in challenging circumstances.

  • The Great Retreat of 1914: From Mons to the Marne (






UNABRIDGED) by Spencer Jones Narrated by Philip Franks

    The Great Retreat of 1914: From Mons to the Marne

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Spencer Jones
    • Narrated By Philip Franks
    Overall
    (0)
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    August 1914: In the sweltering heat, the fate of Europe hangs in the balance. Germany is hurling her forces into a carefully planned invasion of Belgium and France. Bound by an 1839 treaty to protect Belgium from any invader, Britain came to its defence. With the British Expeditionary Force numbering just 120,000 men, and dwarfed by the vast manpower of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II remains unfazed by this ‘contemptible little army'. But the BEF was, man for man, the best trained army in Europe.

  • 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
    (0)
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    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.

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  • Off the Edge of the Map: Marco Polo, Captain Cook, and 9 Other Travelers and Explorers That Pushed the Boundaries of the Known World (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Rank Narrated by Kevin Pierce

    Off the Edge of the Map: Marco Polo, Captain Cook, and 9 Other Travelers and Explorers That Pushed the Boundaries of the Known World

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Rank
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
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    (2)

    An exciting new audiobook on the greatest explorers in history and how their discoveries shaped the modern world. Whether it is Rabban Bar Sauma, the 13th-century Chinese monk commissioned by the Mongols to travel West form a military alliance against the Islam; Marco Polo, who opened a window to the East for Europe; or Captain James Cook, whose maritime voyages of discovery created the global economy of the 21st century, each of these explorers had an indelible impact on the modern world. This audiobook will look at the 11 greatest explorers in history.

  • The Nile: A Journey Downriver through Egypt’s past and Present (






UNABRIDGED) by Toby Wilkinson Narrated by Peter Ganim

    The Nile: A Journey Downriver through Egypt’s past and Present

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Toby Wilkinson
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    Renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson leads us through space as much as time: From the river's mystical sources (the Blue Nile which rises in Ethiopia, and the White Nile coursing from majestic Lake Victoria); to Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple; the fertile Delta; Giza, home of the Great Pyramid, the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World; and finally, to the pulsating capital city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the Nile.

  • Struggle without End (






UNABRIDGED) by Ranginui Walker Narrated by Michael Keir Morrissey

    Struggle without End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Ranginui Walker
    • Narrated By Michael Keir Morrissey
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    This is Dr. Ranginui Walker's best-selling history of Aotearoa, New Zealand, from a Maori perspective. Since the mid-nineteenth century, Maori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination. In this book Dr. Walker provides a uniquely Maori view, not only of the events of the past two centuries but beyond to the very origins of Maori people.

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