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Kansas-Nebraska
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  • 159
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  • 15
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  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

  • An Indian History of the American West
  • By: Dee Brown
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,552
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,311
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,313

Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century uses council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions. Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Easy to Listen To, Difficult to Hear About

  • By J.B. on 04-12-16

Classic, but

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-19

The cliff notes version of the clash of civilizations in North America. But why does Dee’s prose have to be read by Grover. Anybody but Grover!!!

  • American Colossus

  • The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900
  • By: H. W. Brands
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 23 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

The three decades after the Civil War saw a wholesale shift in American life, and the cause was capitalism. Driven by J. P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and oth­ers like them, armies of men and women were harnessed to a new vision of massive industry. A society rooted in the soil became one based in cities, and legions of immigrants were drawn to American shores. Brands portrays the stunning trans­formation of the landscape and institutions of American life in these years.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 8 Thoughts on 'American Colossus'

  • By Joshua Kim on 06-10-12

Brands 20,000 Feet View

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-11-18

As always Brands is face paced. He picks the themes that make a good story, not always good history. Hey he leans left like his pal Richard, but as long as you know this it’s ok. He rolls out some old tropes based on flawed sources. You’d think his undergrad slaves could search those out?

The narrator is top notch.

  • Frederick Douglass

  • Prophet of Freedom
  • By: David W. Blight
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 36 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

As a young man, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence, he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Biography

  • By Adam Shields on 10-22-18

The Best of Everything Audible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-18

Let’s face it, some history doesn’t fit the audio format well. FD’s story is tailor made for it. When told by a great author like Mr. Blight and so wonderfully narrated, the combination is sublime.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Nature's Metropolis

  • Chicago and the Great West
  • By: William Cronon
  • Narrated by: Jonah Cummings
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

In this groundbreaking work, William Cronon gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America's most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly dull

  • By Gregory on 04-06-18

Moving

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-09-18

As we approach the 30 year anniversary of Cronon’s masterpiece I can only ponder how little has changed since 1991. Thousands of Chicagos repeated across the planet as Greed marches unmercifully along.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Prairie Fires

  • The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • By: Caroline Fraser
  • Narrated by: Christina Moore
  • Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539

Millions of fans of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spoiler Alert: Do Not Read If You Don’t Want Your Childhood Memories Destroyed

  • By Leslie on 03-05-18

Prairie Thunderstorm Engaging with a Tornado of Bias.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-18

If you are like me the first item with an audio title is the narration. It is very well presented. Despite a few pronunciation glitches, for example Pierre, the production is enjoyable to listen to.

Fraser’s presentation is not for the faint of heart Little House fairy tale reader so be ready for a bumpy ride if you are.

This is a dual bio of Wilder and Lane set against a heavy dose of historical backdrop. And almost immediately this is where Fraser goes off the rails. She will recover at times and I stuck with her because the topic is so interesting to me.

Fraser is no historian and it shows. She makes many mistakes that sometimes appear to be just sloppy work. While others are clearly set piece to support a bias. For which she has many.

I gather from a quick look at her other work she has done some environmental writing. And she brings this to Little House as subtle as a Hurricane

The Homestead Act, homesteading and westward expansion are fundamental to the story. A clear understanding is obviously the foundation to the entire work. Fraser brings her environmental focus like a crusade into the story. The Ingalls and Wilders were simply duped into a “scam,” destined to fail because the Homestead Act was a failure and then were complicit in fraud and get this - climate change. Yes Almanzo with his two row sulky plow caused global climate change induced drought.

With that the reader may ask if Fraser has a grasp on 19th century agricultural practices, as this would form another foundation to the story? Well no, she doesn’t. For example, she will indict Almanzo as committing fraud in his HA claim because he left. She ignores the fact that a homesteader had six months to occupy said claim & this was because they would have had no crop or supplies to support the stock.

Almanzo, according to Fraser, committed fraud by lying about his age on the HA application. This being another example of how terrible the process was. Here we have a clear case of ‘fraud’ on her part. It would be difficult to see it otherwise. The records are clear and can be easily checked with NARA docs.

Almanzo’s age issue was Wilder and Lane playing with facts decades later. This is well known and Fraser knows that Lane in particular is fast and loose with facts. But we have to get the fraud angle worked in somehow.

Little picture things are sprinkled throughout. For example, a “Missouri posse” fought a “proxy war” in “squatter Kansas.” Boy that’s a lot to unpack. A posse is a legal group raised by a sheriff. She does like a posse and will use the word incorrectly multiple times. The Missourian’s were most often called Bushwackers. The era known as Bleeding Kansas was not a “proxy war.” I am not sure what her “squatter” context even is. But there is no historical one for it. I imagine it is another bias against the entire settlement process.

Keystone South Dakota is not at 9,100 ft elevation. Google can be a friend to an author’s fact checker. Although I doubt one was used, a history undergrad intern would have caught most of this.

When covering the move from Wisconsin to Mo/Ks she will use 1850’s overland travel as an example. The Wilders were not going 3,000 miles across unsettled land on a trail of tears covered in burials. It was 1869 in settled Iowa and Missouri.

It is unfortunate we have another title in the Little House pantheon that comes at it from a literary point. Fraser would have done well to stick hard and fast to her area of expertise. I found these sections interesting, but always there is the “can I trust this on a subject I am less knowledgable in?”

Even more unfortunate is the Little House fan who wants to more and uses Fraser exclusively will take this as history. It most certainly is not and note Amazon did not classify it in that category.

If one wants to learn Wilder and her times, Pioneer Girl would be a much better source. Then one could read other secondary sources on areas of interest. For example, Edwards, Homesteading the Plains will show you that it was neither a “failure” or a “fraud.”

145 of 166 people found this review helpful

  • What Hath God Wrought

  • The Transformation of America, 1815 - 1848
  • By: Daniel Walker Howe
  • Narrated by: Patrick Cullen
  • Length: 32 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 685
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 680

In this addition to the esteemed Oxford History of the United States series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the Battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era of revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated America's expansion and prompted the rise of mass political parties.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic content, faulty narration

  • By Ary Shalizi on 04-12-11

What you really need to know..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-24-17

Another great history in the Oxford series. A synthesis of secondary sources w some primary to add color. Of course, many will call it ‘revisionist’ but all ‘history’ is written in light of the present. How can one not think of the present when reading about Jackson? How can one not wonder what if Polk had not been elected?

  • The Best and the Brightest

  • By: David Halberstam
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 37 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398

Using portraits of America's flawed policy makers and accounts of the forces that drove them, The Best and the Brightest reckons magnificently with the most important abiding question of our country's recent history: Why did America become mired in Vietnam, and why did we lose? As the definitive single-volume answer to that question, this enthralling book has never been superseded. It is an American classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Preparation for Ken Burns

  • By Chiefkent on 06-12-17

Still Relevant Today

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-17

The harder those in power protest about the press, the more corrupt they are. And the more often they attempt to wrap themselves in the flag. Sound familiar?

What to understand Vietnam, read this, Elseburg & Sheehan.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Mantle of Command

  • FDR at War, 1941-1942
  • By: Nigel Hamilton
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR's masterful-and underappreciated-command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes listeners inside FDR's White House Oval Study - his personal command center - and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Placing Roosevelt a the center of WW2 strategy

  • By Greg on 08-30-15

Revisionism without the support.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-17

Hamilton main thesis here is that North Africa in 42 was all FDR. Unfortunately the argument is weak and one gets lost in all the basic factual errors along the way.

In addition, the subtitle should be "WSC a study in failure". While stumbling along, Hamilton revels in letting us know Churchill liked to drink. Who knew?

Simply put FDR agreed with WSC, for nothing more than politics- mid terms at that, over his own service chiefs and Torch was born. Good thing he went along, as it was the best option and saved his 'broad front non political generals' a war altering defeat in France in 43.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blitzed

  • Drugs in Nazi Germany
  • By: Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside - translator
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419

The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping best seller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops; resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One Reich, One God, One Dealer

  • By Tim on 03-13-17

Rewrite History!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-17

Hitler's drug use has been long known. You can go all the way back to Trever-Roper for Morell's use of "28 substances." Nevertheless, conventional historians have discounted the impact this would obviously have had. The question is only a matter of degree. Unfortunately Ohler, a dreaded non professional historian, overplays his hand with the melodramatic flair, and will be discounted by the mainstream just like the reports of Hitler's doctor, as a quack!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Light on Life

  • The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom
  • By: B.K.S. Iyengar, John J. Evans, Douglas Abrams
  • Narrated by: Patricia Walden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418

Yoga's popularity is soaring, but its widespread acceptance as an exercise for physical fitness and the recognition of its health benefits have not been matched by an understanding of the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development that the yogic tradition can also offer. In Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar explains this new and more complete understanding of the yogic journey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audible, please give us more like this book

  • By Pamela on 07-21-11

The Wisdom of Iyengar

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-24-16

Love to listen while I work on my yoga practice. The narration is also well done. There are no shortcuts!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful