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AMERICAN RASCAL

AMERICAN RASCAL How Jay Gould Built Wall Street's Biggest Fortune

by Greg Steinmetz | Read by Feodor Chin

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

It may be a reflection of our own unsettled times that so many recent audiobooks have featured rogues, pirates, swindlers, and other unprincipled figures in American history. Jay Gould, the most predatory of the notorious robber barons who flourished after the Civil War, raided railroads and built his fortune on ruthless stock market practices--many illegal today, others not.... Read More

THE BROKEN CONSTITUTION

THE BROKEN CONSTITUTION Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America

by Noah Feldman | Read by Noah Feldman

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrating his remarkable history of Lincoln's transformation of the Constitution before and during the Civil War, Noah Feldman sounds like a diligent and accomplished scholar. With his strong voice and clear enunciation, the Harvard Law professor emphasizes important points with vocal intensity that serves his writing well. Feldman says Lincoln took actions that broke the... Read More

DANGEROUS RHYTHMS

DANGEROUS RHYTHMS Jazz and the Underworld

by T.J. English | Read by JD Jackson

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrating this deeply researched account of early-twentieth-century musicians and organized crime, JD Jackson's engagement gives his performance a "you-are-there" quality that is absolutely infectious. The swagger in his masculine voice sounds at home in the nightclubs and vice districts the author describes, but it's an understated swagger that doesn't seek attention as much... Read More

DEVIL-LAND

DEVIL-LAND England Under Siege, 1588-1688

Earphones Award Winner

by Clare Jackson | Read by Emma Gregory

Penguin Audio UK | Unabridged
History

Emma Gregory's rich, magisterial voice has made her a popular narrator for many fictional melodramas, sagas, epic fantasies, and conspiracy tales. Here those elements combine as she recounts one tumultuous century in British history. Gregory is a commanding and expansive presence as she oversees the clash of armies and the fall of kings and governments. British history is seen... Read More

EMPIRE OF SAND

EMPIRE OF SAND How Britain Made the Middle East

by Walter Reid | Read by Derek Perkins

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

At 15 hours, this fine audiobook history of the West's role in shaping Middle Eastern politics--and more importantly, its geography--takes a fresh look at some familiar names, including T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, and Woodrow Wilson. Derek Perkins is, as always, a flawless narrator, and few could equal the range of skills required here. Many threads come together in this... Read More

ESPANA

ESPANA A Brief History of Spain

by Giles Tremlett | Read by Luis Soto

W.F. Howes | Unabridged
History

This well-researched and very listenable history of Spain is a solid choice for students, travelers, and anyone else with an interest in that most colorful and ravishing of lands. Luis Soto's elegant narration is history as it should be heard--roiling and melodic. The Spanish names are rendered with grace and precision, the shabbier elements of Spain's history--the Inquisition,... Read More

THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE

THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris

by Colin Jones | Read by Sasha Higgins

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

This hour-by-hour reconstruction of a single historical day gathers force and immediacy with Sasha Higgins's passionate delivery. On July 28, 1794, a spontaneous uprising overthrew Maximilien Robespierre, the French Revolution's most radical leader, and the next day he followed so many of his opponents to the guillotine. Thus ended the Revolution. This momentous day becomes a... Read More

A HISTORY OF DELUSIONS

A HISTORY OF DELUSIONS The Glass King, a Substitute Husband, and a Walking Corpse

by Victoria Shepherd | Read by Antonia Bath

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook is based on a popular BBC podcast with the same title. It's not an audio edit of that program but, rather, a rewrite and re-recording of some of the show's noteworthy case studies. Antonia Bath provides a you-are-there narration as the audiobook lurches through the centuries, digging through archival reports of delusional behavior. With her clipped British... Read More

THE KING'S SHADOW

THE KING'S SHADOW Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for the Lost City of Alexandria

by Edmund Richardson | Read by Julian Elfer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Julian Elfer's pleasant British-accented voice and smooth delivery lend themselves to easy absorption of the fascinating story. A British deserter in 1820s India wanders improbably to Afghanistan, obsessed with finding lost cities founded by Alexander the Great. Part of Elfer's talent is to shift his tone subtly to fit the text. Describing foolhardy absurdities early on, he... Read More

LOST HEIRS OF THE MEDIEVAL CROWN

LOST HEIRS OF THE MEDIEVAL CROWN The Kings and Queens Who Never Were

by J.F. Andrews | Read by Roger Clark

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

"Listeners, beware. There are very few happy endings in store," our narrator warns in his introduction to this history of medieval English royals who never made it to the throne. It's a colorful but bloody series of tales. Roger Clark's powerful, richly enunciated narration would in bygone centuries have distinguished him as a bard or court chronicler--and he serves that... Read More

PICASSO'S WAR

PICASSO'S WAR How Modern Art Came to America

by Hugh Eakin | Read by Mack Sanderson

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Mack Sanderson's timbre is reminiscent of the classic broadcasters' voices--mellow and richly masculine, with a pleasing rumble in the lower registers. As the author recounts how cutting-edge modern art came to America, Sanderson's voice glides over behind-the-scenes narrative that features many familiar and many more unfamiliar names. Picasso and other modernists were slow to... Read More

THE SHORTEST HISTORY OF THE SOVIET UNION

THE SHORTEST HISTORY OF THE SOVIET UNION

by Sheila Fitzpatrick | Read by Robin Siegerman

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Robin Siegerman gives a most winsome narration of this historical overview of the Soviet Union. Fitzpatrick covers the history from before the Revolution of 1917 through civil war, collectivization, forced industrialization, the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, and many other, often traumatic, occurrences and eras through the Russia of today. As a student in the U.S.S.R. in the... Read More

SPARE PARTS

SPARE PARTS The Story of Medicine Through the History of Transplant Surgery

by Paul Craddock | Read by Paul Craddock

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

It's really a pity that Paul Craddock's wide-ranging jaunt through the twisty medical history of transplant surgery isn't matched by a skilled narrator. Craddock's gentle English voice is appealing, but his pacing is stilted and awkward, and it's all too slow. He delves into the personalities, quacks, and science of skin, blood, tooth, kidney, and lung transplants. It can be a... Read More

WHO KILLED JANE STANFORD?

WHO KILLED JANE STANFORD? A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University

by Richard White | Read by Christopher P. Brown

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Christopher Brown delivers a straightforward narration of this audiobook, which is subtitled "A Gilded Age Tale of Murder, Deceit, Spirits and the Birth of a University." The story features Jane Stanford, a most eccentric woman who was cofounder of Stanford University (1885) with her husband and who steered the institution after his death in 1893. Jane Stanford was murdered in... Read More

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