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Jacobus

Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa Member Since 2009

When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

HELPFUL VOTES
469
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REVIEWS
193
156
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FOLLOWING
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4
  • "A book that you'll have to listen i..."

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    If you think this is a sit-back-and-relax kind of book, you will be disappointed in it. It is not a book that you can listen in one go... but all that said, Diarmaid MacCulloch history of Christianity is probably one of the best works on its history.

    Previous histories would focus on Western Christianity, MacCulloch includes the various forms of Eastern Christianity, orthodox and not so orthodox. This makes it probably one of the most complete histories in the last few decades.

    One thing that does hinder when listening to the book is the conceptualising of the dates and eras. I think Audible can give some or other download that might help with it. MacCulloch also seem to make a few irritating sidelong remarks, about historical figures en situations, that made me wonder what the basis for these remarks are.

    The person reading the book does a decent job of the whole. It is however important to remember that he is reading an academical work.

    This book is meant for academics and people with a big interest in the history of Christianity and the Christiandom throughout the ages.

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    Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Diarmaid MacCulloch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (361)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (194)

    Once in a generation, a historian will redefine his field, producing a book that demands to be read or heard - a product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill. Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity is such a book. Breathtaking in ambition, it ranges back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and covers the world, following the three main strands of the Christian faith.

    Celia says: "Generally quite good"
  • "More than dusting of a few old docu..."

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    During a third year Hebrew class on the Dead Sea Scrolls I took note that the Damascus Document came from a genizah (a room in a Jewish synagogue where mainly worn scrolls and other writings are held) in Cairo. It was a cursory meeting with the Cairo Genizah of the Ben Ezra synagogue.

    At long last, a book that brings the story of the discovery of this genizah and its treasure to the general listener/ reader! As far as I know this is the only popular academical book on this subject.

    Rabbi Glickman does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the story. He gives an overview from its time of discovery in the 1890's (or... perhaps a few centuries earlier) to the current state of the genizah scholarship. This makes this books indispensable for both Jews, Christians and Muslims (not only Jews and Muslims, as the rabbi sometimes seem to imply.)

    When it comes to the reading of the text, Rabbi Glickman's warm voice definitely more than suffices in bringing the intrigues around this discovery to life. However, it seems that he sometimes want to stop at a few awkward places in his sentences. I couldn't decide if he was trying to read to quick and them ran out of breath or if he had overcome a speech impediment. Yet it doesn't take away his warm-hearted invitation to the Cairo Genizah.

    In summary, this book about the discovery and implication of the Cairo Genizah is long overdue. Rabbi Mark Glickman masterly immerse you in almost the next best discovery to the Dead Sea Scrolls.



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    Sacred Treasure - The Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mark Glickman
    • Narrated By Mark Glickman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (74)

    Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in an old Egyptian synagogue - the amazing story of one of the most important discoveries in modern religious scholarship. In 1897, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University stepped into the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, and there found the largest treasure trove of medieval and early manuscripts ever discovered.

    Lisa says: "Not what I thought it would be, but worth it"
  • "Very Insightful, time break with We..."

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    The story of Genghis Khan is not so well-known as other parts of history. Jack Weatherford did us a tremendous service by seeking the man behind the myth. He made the customs of the Mongols easy to understand, ensured heartfelt empathy with the Khan and showed the influence of the Mongols on the whole world. Just to think that paper money, cannons and firearms are part of this nation's gift to humankind!

    I thought Jonathan Davis did an excellent job of narrating this book. I didn't opt out while listening.

    This book comes highly recommended, especially to those who love history and biographical works. The book is a bit of both.

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    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
    (3335)
    Performance
    (1966)
    Story
    (1983)

    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."
  1. Christianity: The First T...
  2. Sacred Treasure - The Cai...
  3. Genghis Khan and the Maki...
  4. .

Carolyn

Carolyn Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 01-17-13 Member Since 2012

I am a bilingual high school teacher. I mostly read non-fiction, especially history, but I am also a sucker for science-fiction and fantasy novels.

HELPFUL VOTES
55
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REVIEWS
22
21
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FOLLOWING
21
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  • "Very Interesting"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    Before I found this book, I'd never heard of the Zimmerman telegram. Being Canadian, we never went into great detail on why the Americans entered the First World War - we were involved once Britain was involved. However, once I listened to other Barbara W. Tuchman books (The Proud Tower and The Guns of August), I knew I had to listen to this one too, and it didn't disappoint me.

    Although this is not a particularly long audiobook, especially in the realm of nonfiction, that doesn't mean it isn't detailed. In fact, it gives practically a day-by-day account of some of the most critical periods and plenty of background to understand who the players are and what their motivations were. It is fascinating to listen to and it gives you a really good sense of the state of the world in early 1917 - the Germans moving to unrestricted submarine warfare, the French running out of energy, the British running out of money, the Mexicans caught in a series of coups, the Americans failing to understand why no one would agree to a negotiated peace. All of the backroom negotiations, intelligence operations, and diplomatic unease made for a really engaging story. And although you know from the start that the Americans will get involved, somehow there is still a sense of suspense in the telling where you wonder whether Mexico will attack Texas and the Germans will win in Europe after all.

    The narration in this book by Wanda McCaddon was excellent. She can pronounce all of the foreign-language words (primarily German and Spanish) well, one of my personal irks with a lot of audiobook narrators, and in general reads at a good pace with great voice changes to represent individual speakers.

    Filled with information from diaries and official records, this book makes you feel like you know the people involved well and that you understand why they are making the decisions they are. For such a small incident, really, in the overall view of the war, it makes for an interesting story with far-reaching consequences that affect how the world is today. Although I don't have a huge interest in American history, this was so much more than just a story about how they came into the First World War. It's about Germany, Britain, Mexico just as much as it is about the US, and Tuchman does a great job of showing the events from all those perspectives. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWI history, Woodrow Wilson, and/or stories of diplomatic intrigue.

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    The Zimmermann Telegram

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Barbara W. Tuchman
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (184)

    In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States.

    Mike From Mesa says: "US entry to World War I"

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    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

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    The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
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    Overall
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    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    John Mertus says: "A pleasure in listening"
  • 4.3 (1208 ratings)

    The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • 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."
  • 4.4 (1097 ratings)

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

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

    John says: "Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
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  • 4.6 (711 ratings)

    A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
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    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
  • 4.5 (593 ratings)

    The Second World War: The Grand Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
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    This volume of Churchill's history of the Second World War recounts the events of 1941 surrounding America's entry into the War, Hitler's march on Russia, and the alliance between Britain and America.

    John M says: "Fascinating and Insightful"
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    The Second World War: Alone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Winston Churchill
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
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    Story
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    "After the first forty days we were alone," writes Churchill. This edition is part two of Churchill's own abridgement of his original six-volume history of the Second World War.

    Amazon Customer says: "the rest of the story"
  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John McWhorter
    • Narrated By John McWhorter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (360)
    Story
    (357)

    A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

    Mike says: "Great for casual linguists"
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
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    Story
    (2144)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
  • The Decisive Battles of World History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gregory S. Aldrete
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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.

  • Battle: The Story of the Bulge

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Toland
    • Narrated By Dan Butler
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Battle: The Story of the Bulge, John Toland's first work of military history, recounts the saga of beleaguered American troops as they resisted Hitler's deadly counter offensive in World War II's Battle of the Bulge - and turned it into an Allied victory. It is a gripping work, painstakingly researched and imbued with such vivid detail that listeners will feel as though they themselves witnessed these events. This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in this tumultuous era of our world's history.

    Joseph says: "Wonderful Account"
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  • The Story of Human Language

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

    "unknown" says: "Fascinating!"
  • Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Doug Ordunio
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (710)
    Performance
    (539)
    Story
    (550)

    Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.

    Jeremy says: "Informing, Interesting, and Boring all in one"
  • My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ari Shavit
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
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    Story
    (99)

    Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family's story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts.

    Jodi Singer says: "Detailed history of Israel, leading to today"
  • 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
    (3335)
    Performance
    (1966)
    Story
    (1983)

    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."
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  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2376)
    Performance
    (1122)
    Story
    (1127)

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”

    Tina says: "Another wonderful Bryson"
  • The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (130)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Yu-Chin says: "Offers excellent objective perspective!"
  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Anderson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (149)

    Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabiadefinitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed. Sweeping in its action, keen in its portraiture, acid in its condemnation of the destruction wrought by European colonial plots, this is a book that brilliantly captures the way in which the folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.

    Charles Fred Smith says: "The "Real" Story"
  • The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (143)
    Story
    (145)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
  • D-Day: History in an Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 33 mins)
    • By Rupert Colley
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    Midnight, Tuesday 6 June 1944: The beginning of D-Day, the operation to invade Nazi-occupied Western Europe and initiate the final phase of World War II. A vast undertaking, it involved 12,000 aircraft and an amphibious assault of almost 7,000 vessels. 160,000 troops would cross the English Channel during Operation Overlord, paving the way for more than three million allied troops to enter France by the end of August 1944.

  • Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Peter Harmsen
    • Narrated By George Backman
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    This deeply researched book describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers, while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and, often, victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world.

  • If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II - One American Officer's Riveting True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By George Wilson
    • Narrated By Brian Keeler
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    George Wilson has garnered much acclaim for this shattering and enlightening memoir. Detailing his odyssey from July, 1944 until the following summer, If You Survive is a startling first-person account of the final year of World War II. Wilson was the only man from his original company to finish the war. As a Second Lieutenant, he went ashore at Utah Beach after the D-Day invasion amidst burned vehicles, sunken landing craft, and broken fortifications.

  • 50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Steven Pressman
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    In early 1939, few Americans were thinking about the darkening storm clouds over Europe. Nor did they have much sympathy for the growing number of Jewish families that were increasingly threatened and brutalized by Adolf Hitler's policies in Germany and Austria. But one ordinary American couple decided that something had to be done. Despite overwhelming obstacles - both in Europe and in the United States - Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus made a bold and unprecedented decision to travel into Nazi Germany in an effort to save a group of Jewish children.

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  • The Illuminati's Greatest Hits: Deception, Conspiracies, Murders, and Assassinations by the World's Most Powerful Secret Society

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Frank White
    • Narrated By Mysti Jording
    Overall
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    Born through Adam Weishaupt, in 1776, the secret society group known as the Illuminati have been wreaking havoc on the world ever since. They have fomented wars and have manipulated events from behind the shadows to diabolically implement their agenda of a new world order. People have heard of the Illuminati through popular culture, but most brush off their existence as nothing more than some "conspiracy theory" hatched by conspiracy theorists without doing any valid research that would perhaps discount their existence.

  • A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Michael Axworthy
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
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    Although frequently vilified, Iran is a nation of great intellectual variety and depth, and one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Its political impact has been tremendous, not only on its neighbors in the Middle East but also throughout the world. From the time of the prophet Zoroaster, to the powerful ancient Persian Empires, to the revolution of 1979, the hostage crisis, and the current standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Michael Axworthy vividly depicts the nation’s rich history.

  • Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence Schrad
    • Narrated By Noah Michael Levine
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    Russia is famous for its vodka, and its culture of extreme intoxication. But just as vodka is central to the lives of many Russians, it is also central to understanding Russian history and politics. In Vodka Politics, Mark Lawrence Schrad argues that debilitating societal alcoholism is not hard-wired into Russians' genetic code, but rather their autocratic political system, which has long wielded vodka as a tool of statecraft. Through a series of historical investigations stretching from Ivan the Terrible through Vladimir Putin, Vodka Politics presents the secret history of the Russian state itself.

  • Supreme Commander: MacArthur's Triumph in Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Seymour Morris
    • Narrated By Charles Constant
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    He is the most-decorated general in American history - and the only five-star general to receive the Medal of Honor. Yet Douglas MacArthur’s greatest victory was not in war but in peace. As the uniquely titled Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, he was charged with transforming a defeated, militarist empire into a beacon of peace and democracy - "the greatest gamble ever attempted", he called it.

    Walter Scott says: "Compelling book in an pleasant voice"
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