Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.
"Glad I finally decided to read it"
The Brothers Karamazov tells the stirring tale of four brothers: the pleasure-seeking, impatient Dmitri; the brilliant and morose Ivan; the gentle, loving, and honest Alyosha; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov: shy, silent, and cruel. The four unite in the murder of one of literature's most despicable characters - their father. This was Dostoevsky's final and best work.
"Narration not to everyone's taste"
In this masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn has orchestrated thousands of incidents and individual histories into one narrative of unflagging power and momentum. Written in a tone that encompasses Olympian wrath, bitter calm, savage irony, and sheer comedy, it combines history, autobiography, documentary, and political analysis as it examines in its totality the Soviet apparatus of repression from its inception following the October Revolution of 1917.
"Not for the feint of heart"
Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.
"Superb - Review of Both Volume I & Volume II"
The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
In this final volume of a towering work that is both literary masterpiece and living memorial to the untold millions of Soviet martyrs, Solzhenitsyn's epic narrative moves to its astounding and unforseen climax. We now see that this great cathedral of a book not only commemorates those massed victims but celebrates the unquenched spirit of resistance that flickered and then burst into flame even in Stalin's "special camps."
"Great Art smashes Tyranny"
This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets' "Destructive-Labor Camps" and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear.
"Important book, great author, wonderful narrator"
One of the classic volumes of autobiography, My Early Life is a lively and colourful account of a young man's quest for action, adventure and danger. Churchill's schooldays are undistinguished, but he is admitted to Sandhurst and embarks on a career as a soldier and a war correspondent, seeing action in Cuba, in India, in the Sudan - where he took part in the battle of Omdurman, of which he gives us a stirring account - and finally in South Africa.
"The Adventures of a Glow Worm"
1799. As the British Army fights its way through India toward a diabolical trap, the young and illiterate private Richard Sharpe must battle both man and beast behind enemy lines, in an attempt to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive his French allies out of India.
"Believe the Hype!"
The history of China is as rich and strange as that of any country on earth. Yet for many, China’s history remains unknown, or known only through the stylized images that generations in the West have cherished or reviled as truth. With his command of character and event - the product of 30 years of research and reflection in the field - Spence dispels those myths in a powerful narrative. Over four centuries of Chinese history, Spence fashions the astonishing story of the effort to achieve a modern China.
"Great Read, Difficult Chinese"
It's 1809 and the powerful French juggernaut is sweeping across Spain. Lieutenant Sharpe is newly in command of the demoralized, distrustful men of the 95th Rifles. He must lead them to safety - and the only means of escape is a treacherous trek through the enemy-infested mountains of Spain.
"Historical Fiction at it's best."
Here is one of those rare novels, the first in an epic series, that completely transports the listener to an unforgettable time and place in history. At Talavera in July of 1809, Captain Richard Sharpe, bold, professional, and ruthless, prepares to lead his men against the armies of Napoleon into what will be the bloodiest battle of the war.
"Great and you don't have to have read the others"
From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change.
"Awesome magisterial book, defective audio"
This superbly told story brings to life one of the most remarkable rulers––and men––in all of history and conveys the drama of his life and world. The Russia of Peter's birth was very different from the Russia his energy, genius, and ruthlessness shaped. Crowned co-Tsar as a child of ten, after witnessing bloody uprisings in the streets of Moscow, he would grow up propelled by an unquenchable curiosity, everywhere looking, asking, tinkering, and learning, fired by Western ideas.
All effective debaters, whether they know it or not, employ Aristotle's 3 basic principles of effective argument that form the spine of Rhetoric. In Poetics, Aristotle draws a dramatic distinction between poetry and history. This collection also includes Aristotle's body of work that has come to be identified as Logic.
In the History of the World, Updated, J. M. Roberts has revised his monumental previous work, History of the World, taking into account the great range of discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of text have been rewritten, addressing events as recent as the relationship between the Arab and Western worlds in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
"Comprehensive world history"
The paths of treachery lead Sharpe's company to join the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, to take on the Mahratta horde. Sharpe must survive the carnage and live to tell the tale of what will be remembered as one of the greatest battles of the 19th century.
"Great story - Poor narration quality"
When Orwell went to England in the 30's to find out how industrial workers lived, he not only observed but shared in their experiences. He stayed in cramped, dreary lodgings and subsisted on the scant, cheerless diet of the poor. He went down into the coal mines and walked crouching, as the miners did, through a one- to three-mile passage too low to stand up in. He watched the back-breaking, dangerous labor of men whose net pay then averaged $575 a year.
"An Interesting Social Commentary"
In 1936, George Orwell went to Spain to report on the civil war and instead joined the P.O.U.M. militia to fight against the Fascists. In this now justly famous account of his experience, he describes both the bleak and the comic aspects of trench warfare on the Aragon front, the Barcelona uprising in May 1937, his nearly fatal wounding just two weeks later, and his escape from Barcelona into France after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed.
"Excellent book, marred by narration"
Viewed as too libelous to print in England until 1968, the title essay in this collection reveals the abuse Orwell experienced as a child at an expensive and snobbish boarding school and offers insights into his lifelong concern for the oppressed. "Why I Write" describes Orwell's sense of political purpose, and the classic essay "Politics and the English Language" insists on clarity and precision in communication in order to avoid the Newspeak later described in 1984.
"Superb collection of essays, very well read"