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  • 3
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  • 10
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  • In the Shadow of the Sword

  • The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire
  • By: Tom Holland
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 367
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 361

The evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement. In this exciting and sweeping history - the third in his trilogy of books on the ancient world - Tom Holland describes how the Arabs emerged to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion in a matter of decades, overcoming seemingly insuperable odds to create an imperial civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A vivid, illuminating trip through late antiquity

  • By Philo on 11-01-15

Tackles A Difficult Subject Masterfully

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

The rise of Islam is often only told in the context of a religious revolution that is somehow unrealated to the political realities of the era. This book does include this aspect of the story, but also goes to great lengths to show the context that allowed a small people group to take over much of the ancient world.

  • Henry V

  • The Warrior King of 1415
  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
  • Length: 25 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83

This insightful look at the life of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt casts new light on a period in history often held up as legend. A great English hero, Henry V was lionized by Shakespeare and revered by his countrymen for his religious commitment, his sense of justice, and his military victories. Here, noted historian and biographer Ian Mortimer takes a look at the man behind the legend and offers a clear, historically accurate, and realistic representation of a ruler who was all too human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Accessible, grounded, enjoyable

  • By Brent Weeks on 04-10-18

Retrospective Look of Henry V

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

Wonderful critical look of a popular historical figure that brushes aside myths and popular lengends. Narrator was wonderful as well!

  • The Zimmermann Telegram

  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 637
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 631

In the dark winter of 1917, as World War I was deadlocked, Britain knew that Europe could be saved only if the United States joined the war. But President Wilson remained unshakable in his neutrality. Then, with a single stroke, the tool to propel America into the war came into a quiet British office. One of countless messages intercepted by the crack team of British decoders, the Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message from Berlin inviting Mexico to join Japan in an invasion of the United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Interesting

  • By Carolyn on 01-17-13

British Master Race?

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

Reviewed: 12-15-17

A little all over the place. Felt like I was listening to British propaganda about the greatness of the Britsh people rather than an account about the effects of this Telegram.

  • The Rise and Fall of Alexandria

  • Birthplace of the Modern Mind
  • By: Justin Pollard, Howard Reid
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 566

Founded by Alexander the Great and built by self-styled Greek pharaohs, the city of Alexandria at its height dwarfed both Athens and Rome. It was the marvel of its age, legendary for its vast palaces, safe harbors, and magnificent lighthouse. But it was most famous for the astonishing intellectual efflorescence it fostered and the library it produced. If the European Renaissance was the "rebirth" of Western culture, then Alexandria, Egypt, was its birthplace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good listen

  • By Jeffrey on 10-02-08

A Great Listen

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

Seemlessly transitions between the politics of the age to the interestly advances pioneered by the inhabitants.

  • The Storm Before the Storm

  • The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
  • By: Mike Duncan
  • Narrated by: Mike Duncan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,404
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,149
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,131

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, the Romans refused to allow a single leader to seize control of the state and grab absolute power. The Roman commitment to cooperative government and peaceful transfers of power was unmatched in the history of the ancient world. But by the year 133 BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, albeit a bit dry

  • By Aria on 11-14-17

Mike Duncan Is Back Again!

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

Brought me back to the days of listening to this podcast in the middle of my astronomy class as my fellow classmates slept around me.

  • Why Gettysburg Mattered: 150 Years Later (Bonus Material: The Gettysburg Address)

  • By: Allen C. Guelzo
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett, Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 938
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 826
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 831

The Battle of Gettysburg – the turning point of the American Civil War – would, in the words of one staff officer, stand “like Waterloo, conspicuous in the history of all ages."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Historical Snapshot

  • By Jami on 07-18-13

Great

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

Great summary of this part of the Civil War and this battle's meaning for the nation.

  • Augustus

  • The Life of Rome's First Emperor
  • By: Anthony Everitt
  • Narrated by: John Curless
  • Length: 15 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 778
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 782

Caesar Augustus has been called history's greatest emperor. It was said he found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. With a senator for a father and Julius Caesar for a great-uncle, he ascended the ranks of Roman society with breathtaking speed. His courage in battle is still questioned yet his political savvy was second to none. He had a lifelong rival in Mark Antony and a 51-year companion in his wife, Livia. And his influence extended perhaps further than that of any ruler who has ever lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ancient biographies are hard

  • By Orson on 09-29-10

Great Listen

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

Only suggestion is to at least listen to it at 1.15 speed. Great beginning highlights the man known as Rome's first Emperor.

  • The Templars

  • The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors
  • By: Dan Jones
  • Narrated by: Dan Jones
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,011
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,002

In 1307, as they struggled to secure their last strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Templars fell afoul of the vindictive and impulsive king of France. On Friday, October 13, hundreds of brothers were arrested en masse, imprisoned, tortured, and disbanded amid accusations of lurid sexual misconduct and heresy. They were tried by the Vatican in secret proceedings. But were they heretics or victims of a ruthlessly repressive state?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpected

  • By Protogere on 10-30-17

Templar Knights with English Tangents

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

Amazing story with some random tangents centered on England which are a little out of place.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful