The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the 20th century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.
"A haiku of history"
As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.
"Best narrator - Malcolm Hillgartner"
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles - from the black freedom movement to the South African antiapartheid movement.
For more than 25 years John Thavis held one of the most fascinating journalistic jobs in the world: reporting on the inner workings of the Vatican. His daily exposure to the power, politics, and personalities in the seat of Roman Catholicism gave him a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on an institution that is far less monolithic and unified than it first appears. Thavis reveals Vatican City as a place where Curia cardinals fight private wars, scandals threaten to undermine papal authority, and reverence for the past is continually upended by the practical considerations of modern life.
"A neutral look at inner workings of the Vatican"
Acclaimed Israeli intelligence analyst Avi Melamed has spent more than 30 years interpreting Middle East affairs. His long-awaited Inside the Middle East challenges widely accepted perceptions and provides a gripping and uniquely enlightening guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region. Melamed considers all the major power players in the Middle East, explains the underlying issues, and creates a three-dimensional picture, an illustration that connects the dots and provides a fascinating road map.
"Inflammatory and racist"
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us sapiens? In this bold and provocative audiobook, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here, and where we're going.
"One of the best "histories" around"
13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.
"Spellbinding, Inspiring, Humbling"
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones.
"I look at the world politic and how we got here"
This provocative book has found renewed popularity in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks: Is this the onset of the Crisis - the Fourth Turning - of which the authors predict? Hear it and decide for yourself. An audible.com audio exclusive.
"The grand unified theory of sociology"
As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as 'black rage', historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, 'white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames,' she wrote, 'everyone had ignored the kindling.'
"Good History, Was Hoping For More Insight"
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?
"Pros and Cons of "Why Nations Fail""
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world - from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the 18th century before leading us to the present.
"RESENTMENT OF THE PAST OVERWHELMS PRESENT"
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption.
"An Antidote for Shantaram"
From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind America's high-stakes quest to dominate the skies. Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of Cold War confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering and human achievement against fantastic odds.
"Engrossing tale of the skunk works"
In a world of self-driving cars and big data, smart algorithms and Siri, we know that artificial intelligence is getting smarter every day. Though all these nifty devices and programs might make our lives easier, they're also well on their way to making "good" jobs obsolete. A computer winning Jeopardy might seem like a trivial, if impressive, feat, but the same technology is making paralegals redundant as it undertakes electronic discovery, and is soon to do the same for radiologists.
"Great content and this mechanization IS coming!"
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.
"Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
In Jared Diamond’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion, and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization. Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.
"Interesting subject, not as good as GG&S"
What drug lords learned from big business. How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the $300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.
"Worthy book in the "economics explains X" genre"
What's happening in global politics? As if overnight, many Democrats revolted and passionately backed a socialist named Bernie Sanders; the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union; the vituperative billionaire Donald Trump became the presidential nominee of the Republican party; and a slew of rebellious parties continued to win elections in Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Austria, and Greece. John B. Judis, one of America's most respected political analysts, tells us why we need to learn about the populist movement.
At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush.
"Great book...Everyone should listen to this book!!"
When Helen's partner of 15 years announced without warning that she 'needed to grow', and left in the Toyota, Helen remained in her pyjamas, ordering barbecue chicken, and crying on her cat. After disclosing her foulest thoughts on an XXX app, quitting her job, and receiving bad advice from her discount shrink, she cried again; this time on her beauty therapist, who dared her to go on 100 dates inside a year. Razor took that dare. Naked, funny, and frankly embarrassing – this is the Helen 100.
Helen Garner visits the morgue, and goes cruising on a Russian ship. She sees women giving birth, and gets the sack for teaching her students about sex. She attends a school dance and a gun show. She writes about dreaming, about turning 50 and the storm caused by The First Stone. Her story on the murder of the two-year-old Daniel Valerio wins her a Walkley Award.
As quintessentially British as a plate of fish and chips or a British bulldog, the boxy, utilitarian Land Rover Defender has become an iconic part of what it is to be British. It is said that for more than half the world's population, the first car they ever saw was a Land Rover Defender. It mirrors many of our national traits, stiff upper-lipped and slightly eccentric.
In Shrinking Violets, Joe Moran explores the hidden world of shyness, providing insights on everything from timidity in lemon sharks to the role of texting in Finnish love affairs. As he seeks answers to the questions that shyness poses, he uncovers the fascinating stories of the men and women who were 'of the violet persuasion', from Charles Darwin to Agatha Christie. Joe Moran explores how being shy is a different way of seeing the world that can be both enriching and inspiring.
In 1961, Thomas Schelling's The Strategy of Conflict used game theory to radically reenvision the US-Soviet relationship and establish the basis of international relations for the rest of the Cold War. Now, Anne-Marie Slaughter - one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers from 2009 to 2012, and the first woman to serve as director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning - applies network theory to develop a new set of strategies for the post-Cold War world.
For more than two decades, Australia has locked up people who arrive here fleeing persecution - sometimes briefly, sometimes for years. In They Cannot Take the Sky, those people tell their stories in their own words. Speaking from inside detention on Manus Island and Nauru or from within the Australian community after their release, the narrators reveal not only their extraordinary journeys and their daily struggles but also their meditations on love, hope and injustice.
A scientist takes on the distortions and outright lies foisted on the public! Robert G. Williscroft firmly establishes that the sky is not falling. By using scientific research and solid reasoning, he explains some of the most disturbing problems facing our nation including global warming, the safety of nuclear power, the politics of education, and the oxymoron of government efficiency. With a clear message, he discerns what is true from what is merely Chicken Little gibberish.
It's two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in southern Spain and his daughter Chlöe is preparing to leave for university. We find Chris, a local literary celebrity, using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip; cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef, Rick Stein; and, most movingly, visiting famine-stricken Niger for Oxfam.
For decades Americans were vaguely aware that Islamist barbarians were in the deserts of the Middle East and in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, executing "infidels" and raiding villages with unrecognizable names. The Muslim world seemed far away, remote, and irrelevant to our daily lives. Then came the terrorist attack of 9/11, followed by attacks at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, San Bernandino, Orlando, and more. Now terrorists seem to be emerging everywhere, unleashing senseless death and destruction on our nation.
Say the word Israel today and it sparks images of walls and rockets and a bloody conflict without end. Yet for decades the symbol of the Jewish State was the noble pioneer draining the swamps and making the deserts bloom: the legendary kibbutznik. So what ever happened to the pioneers' dream of founding a socialist utopia in the land called Palestine? Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel draws listeners into the quest for answers to the defining political conflict of our era.
In A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order, diplomat Richard Haass argues that since the end of the Cold War, the world has become more disordered. Haass believes the United States should renew its commitment to security and stability.
The United States is addicted to crude oil. In this book, Andrew Price-Smith argues that this addiction has distorted the conduct of American foreign policy in profound and malign ways, resulting in interventionism, exploitation, and other illiberal behaviors that hide behind a facade of liberal internationalism. The symbiotic relationship between the state and the oil industry has produced deviations from rational foreign energy policy, including interventions in Iraq and elsewhere.
Part memoir, part transformational self-help book, Lovelands is a chronicle of Dr Debra Campbell's journey through the rocky terrain of her personal relationships. She offers help to listeners so they can locate, identify and circumnavigate their fault lines. She examines family relationships and their impact on self-esteem and intimacy as well as the reasons for our relationship choices and dysfunctional patterns.
A Night in the Pech Valley is Grant McGarry's account of what it takes to become an Army Ranger and what life is like in the 75th Ranger Regiment. More importantly, it is about an operation in the most dangerous terrain for US forces anywhere in the world. The Pech Valley is surrounded by Taliban-filled mountains on the Pakistan border in the Kunar Province, where the mountain peaks push 10,000 feet.
"RANGER UP! Then buy this book"
Western countries are ignorant of true Islamic values, says Nonie Darwish. Darwish is an Egyptian American, former Muslim human rights activist who is frustrated with mainstream America's talk of tolerance and assimilation. In Wholly Different, Darwish sets non-Muslims straight about tenets of Islam that are incompatible with free society.
"What an eye-opener"
Since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011, reports of terrorist attacks around the world have flooded international media. Syria has become the central battleground for many terrorist groups; those the world often focuses on and has heard much of - such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS and Da'ash, but from here on referred to as ISIL) - and those the world rarely hears about and is unable to make distinctions between others - such as Jabhat Al-Nusra.
Salman Rushdie's Imaginary Homelands is an important record of one writer's intellectual and personal odyssey. The 70 essays collected here, written over the last 10 years, cover an astonishing range of subjects.
Notes from the Sick Room is an investigation into the connections between physical illness and creativity. Although there are a number of books investigating mental illness and creativity, there are very few that concentrate on physical illness - cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and disabilities caused by accidents. Incapacity provides time for contemplation and creativity, yet pain and discomfort detract from inspiration.
Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, Enrique's Journey is the timeless story of families torn apart, the yearning to be together again, and a boy who will risk his life to find the mother he loves.
"Missing Chapter 8 and Epilogue!"
Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.
"Like a Collection of TAL Episodes"
Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on, and followed, and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church's spokesman on camera, and his infamous 'exploding tomato' clip was seen by millions around the world.
"The Church of Intimidation, Deviousness and Evil"
In 1971 Paulette Cooper wrote a scathing book about the Church of Scientology. Desperate to shut the book down, Scientology unleashed on her one of the most sinister personal campaigns the free world has ever known. The onslaught, which lasted years, ruined her life and drove her to the brink of suicide. The story of Paulette's terrifying ordeal is told in full for the first time in The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.
"A "CHURCH" THAT IS DESTRUCTIVE. INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY"
In July 1995, San Jose Mercury-News reporter Gary Webb found the Big One - the blockbuster story every journalist secretly dreams about - without even looking for it. A simple phone call concerning an unexceptional pending drug trial turned into a massive conspiracy involving the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, L.A. and Bay Area crack cocaine dealers, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
"Great insight to history"
Late one evening investigative journalist Bastian Obermayer receives an anonymous message offering him access to secret data. Through encrypted channels he then receives documents showing a mysterious bank transfer for $500 million in gold. This is just the beginning. Obermayer and fellow Süddeutsche Zeitung journalist Frederik Obermaier find themselves immersed in a secret world where complex networks of shell companies help to hide people who don't want to be found.
"World's offshore finance mapped; big names named"
Martin Meredith has revised this classic history to incorporate important recent developments, including the Darfur crisis in Sudan, Robert Mugabe’s continued destructive rule in Zimbabwe, controversies over Western aid and exploitation of Africa’s resources, the growing importance and influence of China, and the democratic movement roiling the North African countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.
"Africa: Land of Hope and Horror"
In this book Satter tells the story of the apartment bombings and how Boris Yeltsin presided over the criminalization of Russia, why Vladimir Putin was chosen as his sucessor, and how Putin has suppressed all opposition while retaining the appearance of a pluralist state. As the threat represented by Russia becomes increasingly clear, Satter's description of where Russia is and how it got there will be of vital interest to anyone concerned about the dangers facing the world today.
Will there be war with China? This book provides the most complete and accurate assessment of the probability of conflict between the United States and the rising Asian superpower. Equally important, it lays out an in-depth analysis of the possible pathways to peace. Written like a geopolitical detective story, the narrative encourages listener interaction by starting each chapter with an intriguing question that often challenges conventional wisdom.
"Interesting policy book ???"
From Mark Bowden, internationally best-selling and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and the preeminent chronicler of the actions of our military and special forces writing today, comes an intensely gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. With unprecedented access to key sources and his great gift for storytelling, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
"Bowden is great as usual, but the narrator sucks"
In this eloquent challenge to the reigning wisdom on globalization, Dani Rodrik reminds us of the importance of the nation-state, arguing forcefully that when the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Combining history with insight, humor with good-natured critique, Rodrik’s case for a customizable globalization supported by a light frame of international rules shows the way to a balanced prosperity as we confront today’s global challenges in trade, finance, and labor markets.
"Better late than never"
The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.
"Great book ruined by bad narration"
Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House.
In Cuban Revelations, Marc Frank offers a first-hand account of daily life in Cuba at the turn of the 21st century, the start of a new and dramatic epoch for islanders and the Cuban diaspora. A US-born journalist who has called Havana home for almost a quarter century, Frank observed in person the best days of the revolution, the fall of the Soviet Bloc, the great depression of the 1990s, the stepping aside of Fidel Castro, and the reforms now being devised by his brother.
More than seven decades after the end of the Second World War, the era of the Nazi hunters is drawing to a close as they and the hunted die off. Their saga can now be told almost in its entirety. After the Nuremberg trials and the start of the Cold War, most of the victors in World War II lost interest in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. Many of the lower-ranking perpetrators quickly blended in with the millions who were seeking to rebuild their lives in a new Europe, while those who felt most at risk fled the continent.
"Best on subject"
Japan has always seemed a puzzle to most westerners - so modern, so industrialized, yet somehow so different. Japanese Society and History seeks to initiate westerners to the learning process of making Japan seem a little less mysterious and a little more understandable. This book walks readers through some of the important features of Japanese society to help readers begin slowly forming a more complete picture of Japan.
"Lots of interesting information and easy to follow"
Paul Collier reveals that 50 failed states - home to the poorest one billion people on earth - pose the central challenge of the developing world in the 21st century. The book shines much-needed light on this group of small nations, largely unnoticed by the industrialized West, that are dropping further and further behind the majority of the world's people, often falling into an absolute decline in living standards.
"no easy fix"