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A (VERY) SHORT HISTORY OF LIFE ON EARTH

A (VERY) SHORT HISTORY OF LIFE ON EARTH 4.6 Billion Years in 12 Pithy Chapters

by Henry Gee | Read by Henry Gee

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Once past the earth's geophysical origins and the eventual rise of single-cell organisms, paleontologist Henry Gee presents a pithy, fascinating account of the stages of biological evolution. He's a deliberate, engaged narrator whose slow pacing will require adaptation. This and creative background music and sound effects (dinosaur sounds?) create a meditative and friendly... Read More

ALL THE KNOWLEDGE IN THE WORLD

ALL THE KNOWLEDGE IN THE WORLD The Extraordinary History of the Encyclopedia

by Simon Garfield | Read by Tim Bentinck

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

British actor Tim Bentinck narrates this remarkably witty and pithy audiobook with a sense of informed fun. He has a fine ability to mimic. Americans, French people, and Germans all are nicely emulated, and his restrained glee suits the encyclopedia maven Garfield's writing. He paces his delivery intelligently. Chock-a-block with factoids, this audiobook traces how knowledge... Read More

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy's Forgotten Crisis

Earphones Award Winner

by Adam Hochschild | Read by Jonathan Todd Ross

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Not every audiobook offers pleasurable listening, and narrator Jonathan Todd Ross has a particular gift for making topics of narrow interest—liquid rocket propellants, for example—palatable for general listeners. Few eras in American history are as unpalatable as that ignited by WWI and extending into the 1920s, a time when unchecked racism, union opposition, and patriotic... Read More

EMPIRES OF THE NORMANS

EMPIRES OF THE NORMANS Makers of Europe, Conquerors of Asia

by Levi Roach | Read by Luke Thompson

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

The violent, complex history of the medieval Normans in France, England, Italy, and the Middle East and their outsize, indelible mark on history make for a remarkable story. Yet it's Norman history that the mouse in ALICE IN WONDERLAND reads to soaked characters as "the driest thing I know." Narrator Luke Thompson works hard to avoid drying out the listener by bringing a... Read More

IN THE SHADOW OF THE GODS

IN THE SHADOW OF THE GODS The Emperor in World History

by Dominic Lieven | Read by John Lee

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator John Lee is the companion one might choose for this survey of empires across the world and through history: how they rose, how they thrived or failed, how they ended, and the functions of an emperor or empress. His excellent deep-toned voice and crisp British accent are backed by the intelligence to express the text's meaning lucidly and gracefully and the talent and... Read More

MAGNIFICENT REBELS

MAGNIFICENT REBELS The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self

Earphones Award Winner

by Andrea Wulf | Read by Julie Teal

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

This superb audiobook will surely rank among this year's finest histories and literary studies. British actress Julie Teal brings elegance and grace to popular historian Andrea Wulf's lively account of the unconventional group of authors, poets, and intellectuals who congregated in Jena, Germany, in the 1790s and early 1800s, and together inaugurated the modern romantic idea of... Read More

NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT

NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920s America

by Greg King, Penny Wilson | Read by Armando Riesco

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

With the enthusiastic delivery of an entertainment news anchor, narrator Armando Riesco emphasizes the shocking and obsessive elements of one of the most sensational crimes of all time. In 1924, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two promising and privileged 19-year-old scions of Chicago wealth, intricately planned the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a 14-year-old boy. Riesco... Read More

OCEANS OF GRAIN

OCEANS OF GRAIN How American Wheat Remade the World

by Scott Reynolds Nelson | Read by Jason Arnold

OrangeSky Audio | Unabridged
History

With an announcer's clarity, Jason Arnold narrates a history that reminds us that bread is older than writing. He conveys a lot of information as he traces ancient bread routes and the trade that grew along them. Arnold's tone shows hints of fascination with the ways European powers were built on grain. Scott Reynolds Nelson reveals the connection between grain and historic... Read More

OUR MAN IN TOKYO

OUR MAN IN TOKYO An American Ambassador and the Countdown to Pearl Harbor

Earphones Award Winner

by Steve Kemper | Read by Dan Woren

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

The listener, of course, knows the catastrophe that's ahead. But this dramatic audio history of Japan's rising militarism in the 1930s, based on American Ambassador Joseph Grew's extensive diaries, confirms the Hitchcockian theory that suspense is generated not by surprise, but by expectation. Narrator Dan Woren is, as always, matchless. Given a narrative so powerfully built... Read More

PAPYRUS

PAPYRUS The Invention of Books in the Ancient World

by Irene Vallejo, Charlotte Whittle [Trans.] | Read by Sophie Robert

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook's subtitle--"The Invention of Books in the Ancient World"-- describes this work better than its title. This history of books moves from the oral tradition to scrolls to codices and recounts how those lay the foundation for Western culture. The author's anecdotal style and short chapters translate well to audio. Sophie Robert offers an able and pleasing narration.... Read More

PERSONALITY AND POWER

PERSONALITY AND POWER Builders and Destroyers of Modern Europe

by Ian Kershaw | Read by Matt Bates

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

With studied detachment, narrator Matt Bates takes listeners through a roster of this past century's world shakers: Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Churchill, a dozen in all, eleven men and one woman, Margaret Thatcher. Bates, who is familiar to listeners of Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom novels, is sonorously, elegantly British, and a master of articulation. He smoothly... Read More

RUSSIA

RUSSIA Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921

by Antony Beevor | Read by Rob Heaps

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Rob Heaps's precise enunciation and steady pacing result in a splendid narration of these detailed accounts of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and the ensuing civil war that resulted in the establishment of Soviet power. Drawing on numerous firsthand accounts and other sources, Beevor's history is one that will be enjoyed by history buffs, especially those intrigued by Russia.... Read More

THE SEWING GIRL'S TALE

THE SEWING GIRL'S TALE A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America

by John Wood Sweet | Read by Gabra Zackman

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Gabra Zackman narrates this meticulous account of the first rape trial in post-Revolutionary War (1793) New York City. Seventeen-year-old seamstress Lanah Sawyer is graced with manners, some education, and a dose of naïveté. Upon being raped, Lanah, with her stepfather's support, brings suit against Harry Bedlow, a notorious rake and cheat, and member of the moneyed class.... Read More

THE UKRAINIANS

THE UKRAINIANS The Story of How a People Became a Nation, Fifth Edition

by Andrew Wilson | Read by Stefan Rudnicki

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Listeners will notice the skepticism in Stefan Rudnicki's voice as he narrates some beliefs about Ukrainian history, like the theory that Attila the Hun was Ukrainian. The story illustrates the wide range of conflicting views that exist about the nation's past. Mostly, his deep voice clearly navigates about a thousand years of history, with author Andrew Wilson paying special... Read More

UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY

UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY South Africa after Apartheid

by Evan Lieberman | Read by Daniel Henning

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

As Evan Lieberman takes stock of South Africa's progress with democracy, Daniel Henning narrates with personal emotion. To provide context, the audiobook begins before the end of apartheid. But Lieberman's focus is the election of 2019, during which he found much inequality and disaffection. Henning brings alive the grumbles of voters, people's recollections of living with fear... Read More

WE REFUSE TO FORGET

WE REFUSE TO FORGET A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power

Earphones Award Winner

by Caleb Gayle | Read by Caleb Gayle

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook reminds us that those who precede us are often forgotten--or their stories are never told from their perspective. The Black Creek Nation, whose history includes the ownership of slaves and the granting of full citizenship to Black tribespeople, is one such group. Their gripping history, including conflict both internal and external, is delivered with passion by... Read More

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