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  • The History of the Peloponnesian War

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Thucydides
    • Narrated By Pat Bottino

    The Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 B.C. and continued intermittently for 27 years. It pitted the all-powerful land force of Sparta and its allies against the supremely powerful naval force of Athens. Thucydides actually participated in this conflict, a war that he realized would have a greater influence on the history of Greece than any other. He vividly narrates exciting episodes and carefully describes tactical aspects of the war, and also provides illuminating character profiles.

    Roger says: "The beginning of modern history"
    "Got Me Past the Greek Names"

    I tried to read this years ago and got bogged down in the Greek names. Somehow, it is easier to "hear" than to "see" them, and this long but informative narration made it so much simpler to understand for me. Carefully attend to the politicians' speeches. They are frighteningly modern in their rhetoric, so human nature has not changed much in a couple of millennia. I think everyone involved in war, public policy or history should read this.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Arcadia

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tom Stoppard
    • Narrated By Kate Burton, Mark Capri, Jennifer Dundas, and others

    Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia merges science with human concerns and ideals, examining the universe’s influence in our everyday lives and ultimate fates through relationship between past and present, order and disorder and the certainty of knowledge. Set in an English country house in the year 1809-1812 and 1989, the play examines the lives of two modern scholars and the house's current residents with the lives of those who lived there 180 years earlier.

    M. W. Roberts says: "Great production"
    "Even in Arcadia..."

    This dramatization is not quite the playwright's original text, but it takes some helpful artistic liberties that describe scenes and make the unspoken parts of the play flow easily within the dialogue. As far as the play, Stoppard is a master of transforming life's circumstances into math problems. He ruined statistical probability and chance in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." He bashed Zeno's Paradox and geometry in "Jumpers." Now thermodynamics and Mandelbrot's fractals fall victim to the wit and genius of Stoppard; telling his love stories and the tragi-comedic foibles of life through the ages, using sex as the chaotic "strange attractor" that ruins the Newtonian universe. I listened to this dramatization, then read the play, then listened again with even more enjoyment. A friend of mine listened to the dramatization before attending a recent performance in New York, and he said that the audio "preview" greatly enhanced his enjoyment of the play itself. Even if you don't know one thing about entropy or self-similarity, this rendition will provide a delightful brain-teaser.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 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

    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."
    "Don't Miss the Afterword!"

    Within my filtered and stilted education for matters historical, the Mongols were painted as a genuine barbarian horde. This retelling of the empire as the first great multinational trans-denominational corporation is fascinating! Even better, the story of the research itself is like a detective novella. This really helps me understand the torch that lit the bonfire of the Renaissance.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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