In a somber, authoritative voice, narrator Arthur Morey reveals what Founding Fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams might think of today's American society. This audiobook, written by historian Joseph Ellis, focuses on the modern practice of twisting the Constitution to suit various political agendas. The Founding Fathers were men who were... Read More
Arthur Morey narrates as if he's simply telling a story, and he puts the story first. Direct and engaging, matching sound and sense and controlling emphasis and pacing with effortless naturalness, he's like a knowledgeable friend talking directly to us, clearly and without affectation. Ujifusa's novelistic history of the early to mid-nineteenth-century China trade; how certain... Read More
This audiobook is an amazing piece of work. Narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies's delivery could only have been made better with snippets of the punk songs that inspired a generation to defy the tyranny of the East Berlin regime in the 1980s. Davies provides a sincere narration. While Americans enjoyed the music of the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and others, young East Berliners lived... Read More
Ralph Lister's British accent gives an academic tone to this impressively detailed account of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, then in the USSR, now Ukraine. Delving into the events of that incident and the heroic actions of the plant's staff and others who extinguished the nuclear inferno, Plohky provides background on how the Soviet government, particularly its party... Read More
This audiobook demonstrates that history is often more interesting than fiction. Narrator L.J. Ganser tells the true story of a group of Allied prisoners who escaped from a WWI POW camp. Ganser recounts the previously untold details of how this group of men overcame long odds to break out of Holzminden, a German prison camp under the control of an brutal commander. Ganser's... Read More
If you think the country is divided now, then this entertaining audiobook might give you pause. It tells the story of the violence that erupted on the floor of Congress in the run-up to the Civil War. Joanne B. Freeman, Yale professor and noted lecturer, narrates her own book using her classroom experience to accentuate what's important. Freeman's voice is clear and accessible,... Read More
Brad Meltzer utilizes his skills as a thriller novelist to great effect in this true story of a plot to kidnap or even kill George Washington in the early years of the American Revolution. Scott Brick adds to the enjoyment with a gripping narration. Mensch and Meltzer's pacing and straightforward writing style adapt well to audio. Brick, in turn, makes the pages come alive. He... Read More
Patrick Lawlor gives a crisp and exuberant narration of Jauhar's concise overview of the human heart. The result is a fascinating examination of our historical, emotional, and clinical relationship with this most vital organ. The simple title describes the audiobook perfectly; listeners are provided a detailed history of how we once thought of the heart as the center of all... Read More
This tripartite history looks at the lives of Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and John Calhoun of South Carolina. Eric Martin does well in narrating how these three were able for decades to hammer out compromises that allowed the competing interests of the North and South to maintain the Union and work somewhat together to complete the work of the... Read More
Author and narrator Mary Beard takes the listener on an worldwide tour of human and divine representation in art throughout history. Beard's style is reminiscent of a classroom lecture or the audio track of a documentary. Her command of her subject is obvious in her authoritative but casual approach. While her narration is sometimes marked by the slight hoarseness of a dry... Read More
There's something uniquely soothing and enlightening about listening to this excellent history of the long struggle for Catholic emancipation in Britain and Ireland under the reign of King George III and his successors. The issues are safely remote, rooted in ancient prejudices and interparty rivalries that are centuries removed from our own. Steven Crossley is a highly... Read More
Even a full century on, listening to this history of the final months of WWI demands a certain fortitude as the ear takes in the awful toll of weariness, squalor, and endless, pointless slaughter. Probably this is a title primarily for history and WWI buffs. The narrative is compelling, well researched, and dramatically told, illuminating a less familiar stage of the great war.... Read More
Jeff Goldblum delivers a unique performance of this intriguing tale about a special house. Whether you like or dislike the result will depend on how you react to Goldblum's idiosyncratic approach. First, the plot, written by a former U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic: It's an imaginative and engaging account of Europe's modern history as revealed by a gorgeous Prague... Read More
For some listeners, this audiobook may be as dry as America was supposed to be when Prohibition was the law of the land. Others may appreciate this carefully researched, provocative account of an era when a noble experiment failed catastrophically. Ambrose focuses on Mabel Willebrandt, U.S. assistant district attorney and Prohibition zealot, and on Pauline Sabin, society lady... Read More
This superb account of the desperate battle of the U.S. Marines at the Chosin reservoir in Korea in December 1950 is given an excellent narration by David Pittu. The audiobook's title comes from Sun-Tzu's name for the type of battle in which an army facing annihilation must engage. The story of how the Marines of the 1st Marine Division and soldiers of the U.S. Army's 3rd and... Read More
The Nazis' sweep through Europe during WWII was seen as inevitable by many. Yet, as this compelling audiobook contends, Hitler's rise to power was more of a propaganda victory using smoke and mirrors and aided by complicit government officials and industrialists who threw themselves in with the rising National Socialist party. Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner serves as a wry social... Read More
With a compelling blend of healthy skepticism and personal admiration, listeners follow author Merve Emre's fascinating in-depth look at the mother-daughter partnership behind the ubiquitous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality test often used in business. Fortunately for listeners, narrator Ellen Archer has been perfectly matched to this performance. She is consistently... Read More
This impressive, and impressively long, audiobook features stories of U.S. presidents who have brought the nation into war. Those decisions were never easy, even after Pearl Harbor, and the author's point is that each chief executive had to parry pressure from Congress, the press, and public opinion in order to successfully navigate each conflict. Narrator Fred Sanders... Read More
In 1869, John Wesley Powell, a Civil War veteran who lost an arm in the Battle of Shiloh, guided a group of mostly inexperienced adventurers on the first navigation of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This ten-month expedition is the most engaging part of Ross's story, and the inimitable bass of narrator Stefan Rudnicki carries the narrative along with the swift... Read More
Ackroyd's sweeping history of London focuses on everything "gay and queer." Will Watt's no-nonsense narration is spectacularly even as he recounts the myriad instances of homosexual and lesbian activities and proclivities, as well as the laws and customs of the city from the Roman period until the present. Watt's mastery of a multitude of British accents shines as he ranges... Read More
This audiobook, based on newly released archival material, helps to explain, in part, why the war in Vietnam became the morass it was. The documents reveal that Henry Kissinger, the supposed architect of peace, actually caused the war to be extended by thousands of lives and millions of dollars. Narrator Jeff Bottoms sets the perfect tone for this indictment of the lead U.S.... Read More
With dramatic timing, narrator Susie Berneis enthralls and disgusts with a thorough look at how poisons were used to beautify, maim, and kill kings, queens, mistresses, and children. This audiobook recounts stories of how this was done and who did it. Berneis's rhythm is so dramatic that listeners almost expect to hear a drumroll at the end of her delivery. Many times doctors'... Read More
The audiobook, as most audiophiles would agree, is an enhancement of the imagining powers of the listener. That's doubly true for histories, which as much as fantasy or science fiction require the evocation of an alternate world whose thinking and social customs are often alien to our own. A case in point is this history of Paris, vividly and eloquently written by one of the... Read More
Hannah Jewell, who dubs herself a time-traveling fangirl journalist, does not mince words as she presents women's lives across time, culture, and country. Narrator Rachael Beresford gives Jewell's brief accounts and cheeky humor full expression. While the title touts 100 unknown women, listeners will likely recognize figures such as Sappho, Hatshepsut, and Josephine Baker,... Read More
Sometimes the smallest slice of history can be re-created as a rip-roaring audiobook. That's especially true if narrator John Eastman is aboard, smartly supplying dialects from all levels of British society. The eponymous ship is at the heart of the most daring escape in Australian penal history, which, considering Australia's background, is saying something. Drawn from the... Read More
Secret messages in train stations, radioactive dust sprinkled on shoes--these sound like props in a spy novel, but they're part of the genuine spycraft that forms the backdrop of this masterful tale of a real-life double agent. It doesn't hurt that narrator John Lee's voice recalls Sean Connery in the classic James Bond movies as he introduces Oleg Gordievsky, a high-ranking... Read More
Listening to Stephen Fry is always a treat, and this audiobook makes the treat even sweeter. Frequently joined by a number of historians, authors, and reenactors, Fry seems to be having a wonderful time recounting some of the fascinating arcana of the ostensibly tightly wound Victorian Era. With whimsical music to mark the short, informative, and entertaining chapters, Fry... Read More
Narrator Erin Bennett is the steely voice explaining how much evidence was ignored in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. She does not shirk while describing the explicit nature of the allegations against Thomas, which are now far ranging--from discussions of pornographic viewing habits in the office to sexual harassment allegations and... Read More
While General George Washington's winter encampment at Valley Forge was the grim low point of the American Revolution, this fine audiobook history of those trying months and the pivotal battles that followed will grip listeners as no other chapter in American history can. Jeremy Bobb is a steady, highly skilled narrator who is reminiscent of David McCullough in the... Read More
Andrew Eiden deftly delivers the author's examination of a popular literary genre through the lens of history. Through books, movies, and more, noted historian Poole traces the roots of modern horror to a singular event that shaped the world forever: WWI. His thesis is that the barbarism of war never fades. With his earnest intensity, Eiden sounds like an energetic history... Read More
Gerard Doyle does well in narrating this account of the aftermath of WWI. Beginning with the negotiations that brought about the armistice of November 11, 1918, this account portrays the end of the conflict from the perspectives of a number of individuals. The devastation of the war drastically changed Western civilization, and the postwar optimism for a better world was short... Read More
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