Thailand, Laos, and Burma have been known as the "Golden Triangle" because of their historically prominent role in the drug trade. For centuries, these countries have produced the opium that has attracted traders from Europe and elsewhere. Economics, religion, and politics combine to make this area not only important but also, to the western mind, exotic.
Germany is historically one of the most important of all nations. Since emerging from its days as a Roman province, Germany (including Prussia) has had a central role in European affairs. It has reached the heights in art, music, literature, and political power, yet it's also reached the depths in humiliating military defeat and partition. This presentation reviews the broad sweep of German history.
By the end of World War I, Britain had promised control of Palestine to both Arabs and Jews. Each of these peoples claimed a longstanding right to the same piece of land, and violence was inevitable. This presentation examines how and why this magical land has become a virtual war zone.
"outstanding slice of history and politics"
This island was once a clearinghouse for importing slaves into the New World. It later became one of the world's few remaining bastions of Marxism, proclaiming socio-economic equality. In both forms, Cuba has played a unique and dramatic role in American affairs. This presentation focuses on Cuba's economic and social upheaval, with special attention to how this has affected the United States.
"Not so hot"
A cluster of five countries, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, are commonly referred to as Central America. Although these nations differ in their histories and politics, they share at least one factor; they have been caught up in the turmoil of America's foreign policy in this region. This audiobook depicts the chain of events that have led to the Central America we view on television.
"Struggling Central America"
Since Marco Polo, the fabled markets of China have drawn the West like a magnet. This ancient culture has been colonized by foreign powers, buffeted by war and revolution, yet China remains one of the most constant of international influences. It is a sleeping giant. Many fear, and some welcome, its awakening. This presentation examines both the changing and constant face that China has offered to the world.
"Excellent summary of China's history"
With a culture dating back to at least 700 B.C., West Africa has a long and rich history. British influence after the 16th century, and especially in the 18th century, changed the region's course. By 1967, Nigeria was at war with itself, with the "Republic of Biafra" produced in Nigeria's eastern region. Over a million people perished. This is the story of Nigeria's struggle, which typifies the history and outlook of the West African region.
"Interesting but out of date."
The "southern cone" of South America has a vibrant yet checkered history. Argentina in 1920 was a productive and wealthy nation, yet by the 1980s was reduced to virtual third world status. Chile has a long history of internal strife, usually with representative politics until authoritarians seized power in 1973. Chile was influenced by Spanish conquerors; Argentina's Italian and German immigrants made it the most "European" of any South American country.
"Important History, No Better Audiobook"
Colombia in the 1980s became known for its role in the illegal drug trade, and for political instability and violence caused by this problem. But much of this is a recent development in Colombia's history that began in the 1530s, when Spain conquered local Indian kingdoms. This is the story of how Spain's "new Granada" evolved into Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and modern Colombia.
"A good outline for further study"
Central Europe's ancient civilizations have long been dominated by empires: The Roman Empire; the Habsburg Empire, based in Austria; and more recently, the Soviet Communists. But the decline of communism in the late twentieth century has unleashed old resentments, rivalries, and ambitions that have caused yet more war in this troubled region.
Recent events have made it clear that the Soviet Union is not a monolith; it's a collection of nationalities, many with serious objections to union. The demise of communism holds great promise and great danger not only for the Soviets, but for the world. This audiobook examines how the region's long history led to modern reality.
The "isle of poets and scholars" has known almost constant warfare for centuries. In 1920, it was divided into North and South; yet this purely political solution left a religious and cultural schism intact. This presentation follows Ireland's tragic course from St. Patrick to Britain's imposition of direct rule in 1974.
Strategically located, the Philippine Islands have been one of the keys to American policy in the Pacific. But this loose island chain has a better history, vacillating between oppression and rebellion. America's military installations here ensure that she will be caught in any Filipino conflict.
"not about the Philippines exactly"
The lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea contain some of the oldest cultures on Earth. Italy and the other countries of Europe and North Africa have played a central role in various expanding empires, and also in shrinking fortunes. This presentation explores the broad sweep of history in one of the cradles of civilization.