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24 HOURS IN ANCIENT ROME

24 HOURS IN ANCIENT ROME A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There

Earphones Award Winner

by Philip Matyszak | Read by Michael Page

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator Michael Page's English accent and professorial tone highlight the dry humor in this account of one day in ancient Rome. Each chapter follows one person for one hour. Page delivers dialogue with gusto--as exemplified by the spirited scolding of the tavern keeper who tosses out her unruly customers. Characters include a priestess and a prostitute who rues dropping the... Read More

THE ADDRESS BOOK

THE ADDRESS BOOK What Our Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power

by Deirdre Mask | Read by Janina Edwards

Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
History

Janina Edwards narrates this globe-trotting and highly informed work in a fluid style. Edwards acts as a tour guide who leads the listener from India to Haiti, London to Manhattan, and skillfully renders the numerous people the listener meets along the journey. Her performance deftly captures the broad interests and wide-angle lens of the author. Mast uses addresses as a... Read More

THE BLACK CABINET

THE BLACK CABINET The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt

by Jill Watts | Read by Bahni Turpin

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Golden Voice narrator Bahni Turpin delivers "The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics during the Age of Roosevelt." This sweeping history covers the early twentieth century through the end of FDR's administration, including the New Deal and the WPA. Tirelessly, Turpin describes the lives and political careers of educator Mary McLeod Bethune, economist Robert Weaver,... Read More

A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

A BLACK WOMEN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES ReVisioning American History, Book 5

by Daina Ramey Berry, Kali Nicole Gross | Read by Janina Edwards

Beacon Press | Unabridged
History

Janina Edwards delivers these intense narratives of Black women, starting with African women brought to the Americas before 1619 and continuing through late-twentieth-century figures. In compiling these empowering stories of women during 10 historical eras, the authors provide a fast-moving account of how Black women brought here used their ingenuity and connections with other... Read More

CONFIRMATION BIAS

CONFIRMATION BIAS Inside Washington's War Over the Supreme Court, from Scalia's Death to Justice Kavanaugh

by Carl Hulse | Read by Fred Sanders

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Fred Sanders's excellent narration has the serious tone you'd expect in an audio about the high-stakes political wars surrounding recent Supreme Court nominations. As the author describes legislative battles over nominees from Merrick Garland to Brett Kavanaugh, Sanders's seriousness wavers little but is always easy to hear and entirely appropriate for the level of gravitas and... Read More

DEATH BY SHAKESPEARE

DEATH BY SHAKESPEARE Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts

by Kathryn Harkup | Read by Nicky Diss

Bloomsbury Publishing | Unabridged
History

This delightfully macabre audiobook details the reality and science behind the 74 different ways Shakespeare killed his characters. Narrator Nicky Diss's British accent adds authenticity, and her delivery shifts seamlessly between dramatic readings and comprehensive historical examinations. Her leisurely pace allows listeners to savor each morbid detail as the audiobook delves... Read More

THE DEVIANT'S WAR

THE DEVIANT'S WAR The Homosexual vs. the United States of America

by Eric Cervini | Read by Vikas Adam

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Vikas Adam draws the listener in, expertly narrating Cervini's work, which charts the beginning of the gay rights movement in the United States. The work follows the passionate, quirky, and perhaps more than a bit self-involved homophile activist and astronomer Frank Kameny. Delivering a collection of interviews, letters, and court documents, Vikas Adams does an excellent job... Read More

THE FIRE AND THE DARKNESS

THE FIRE AND THE DARKNESS The Bombing of Dresden, 1945

Earphones Award Winner

by Sinclair McKay | Read by Leighton Pugh

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Leighton Pugh gives a masterful narration of this account of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied Forces in February 1945. McKay's work looks at the city and people of Dresden before and during the war, and his account of the bombing is a personal account told by those who survived it. Pugh's voice has a stentorian quality that may remind some of listening to a... Read More

FIRE IN PARADISE

FIRE IN PARADISE

Earphones Award Winner

by Alastair Gee, Dani Anguiano | Read by T. Ryder Smith

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

With his seasoned voice and theatrical timing, narrator T. Ryder Smith presents this comprehensive study of the devastating 2018 Northern California fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed more than 14,000 homes. Smith utilizes dramatic pacing--speeding up during the nail-biting personal stories and slowing down when explaining the fire's causes (Pacific Gas & Electric... Read More

THE GREAT MORTALITY

THE GREAT MORTALITY An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

Earphones Award Winner

by John Kelly | Read by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

John Kelly's richly detailed history of the medieval Black Death was published in 2005 but comes into its own as an audiobook in the age of COVID-19. Critics and readers have criticized Kelly for personifying the plague as a sensate being racing hungrily from town to town and country to country. But with polished elegance, narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies captures the grim ironies... Read More

THE HABSBURGS

THE HABSBURGS To Rule the World

by Martyn Rady | Read by Simon Bowie

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

The centuries fly by in this fine audiobook history of the Habsburg family. Rady's evenhanded story is enhanced by narrator Simon Bowie's steady, well-paced delivery. Bowie is a new voice to audiobook listeners, an ideal voice for comprehensive histories like this one, which is elegant but unaffected, mellow but brisk. The story is Europe's own, one of war, revolution, and... Read More

HEROES

HEROES The Greek Myths Reimagined

by Stephen Fry | Read by Stephen Fry

Chronicle/ Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Stephen Fry's clever, plummily presented reimaginings of the ancient tales about Greek heroes is perfect for anyone who has noticed that the original stories read like soap operas on a godly scale. They specialize in eye-rolling plots full of conniving, illegitimacy, affairs, jealousy, feuds, and mistaken identities. Plus, some innocent folks whose goodness must be... Read More

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

HOW DID WE GET HERE? From Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump

by Robert Dallek | Read by Rick Adamson

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Historian Robert Dallek, no Donald Trump fan, looks back at twentieth-century chief executives to see if he can make sense of how we ended up with Donald Trump's presidency. Narrator Rick Adamson captures the author's conversational tone as he paints vivid portraits of everyone from Teddy Roosevelt, with his "insatiable need for attention," to Ronald Reagan, who was... Read More

IN THE WAVES

IN THE WAVES My Quest to Solve the Mystery of a Civil War Submarine

by Rachel Lance | Read by Rebecca Lowman

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Rebecca Lowman splendidly narrates this account of the first successful combat submarine, the H.L. HUNLEY. The story begins with the Confederate sub's attack on a Federal warship, the USS HOUSATONIC, in February 1864. When the HUNLEY was finally found in Charleston Harbor in 1995, it was discovered that her hull had not been significantly damaged. So what caused it to sink? As... Read More

THE INVENTION OF YESTERDAY

THE INVENTION OF YESTERDAY A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection

by Tamim Ansary | Read by Tamim Ansary

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Ansary's world history is oddly personal, not merely information and explanation, but also persuasion and argument, woven with his theories and interpretations. The writing is marked by an informal, even jocular, tone, which is carried through in his performance. His narration is not slickly professional; his voice is slightly hoarse and nasal, and his phrasing sometimes... Read More

ISLAND STORIES

ISLAND STORIES An Unconventional History of Britain

by David Reynolds | Read by Philip Stevens

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Philip Stevens admirably narrates this often acerbic, quite witty, and always trenchant audiobook. His smooth style amplifies the accomplishment of Reynolds's revisionist text, which argues that no matter what timeframe one examines--the past, present, or future--Brexit has put the archipelago of islands that is the UK in a muddle. He almost gleefully handles the ironic tone... Read More

THE LAST SOLDIERS OF THE COLD WAR

THE LAST SOLDIERS OF THE COLD WAR The Story of the Cuban Five

by Fernando Morais Robert Ballantyne [Trans.], Alex Olegnowicz [Trans.] | Read by René Ruiz

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

René Ruiz does a splendid job narrating this fascinating history. Listeners will be engaged by this detailed work about the spy ring of 14 men and women, known as the Wasp Network, who were sent by Cuban intelligence to infiltrate anti-Castro groups in Florida in the 1990s. The ring was eventually found out, and several of its members sentenced to long prison sentences. The... Read More

NOT A GENTLEMAN'S WORK

NOT A GENTLEMAN'S WORK The Untold Story of a Gruesome Murder at Sea and the Long Road to Truth

by Gerard Koeppel | Read by Daniel Thomas May

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Aboard the American sailing ship HERBERT FULLER in 1896, the captain, his wife, and the second mate were murdered with an ax for no discernible reason, and the killer remains unknown. Actor Daniel Thomas May narrates this tale in the authoritative tone of a newscaster, which works well when he delivers the author's own words. However, when the author quotes from contemporary... Read More

ONE MIGHTY AND IRRESISTIBLE TIDE

ONE MIGHTY AND IRRESISTIBLE TIDE The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924-1965

by Jia Lynn Yang | Read by Laural Merlington

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Laural Merlington conveys a sense of urgency as she recounts the contentious history of immigration reform in twentieth-century America. The years between 1924 and 1965 brought unprecedented change to immigration policies, moving from the overtly racist Immigration Act of 1924 to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which finally made it possible for Asian,... Read More

THE PRINCESS AND THE PROPHET

THE PRINCESS AND THE PROPHET The Secret History of Magic, Race, and the Moorish Muslims in America

by Jacob S. Dorman | Read by Chris Ruen

Beacon Press | Unabridged
History

Narrator Chris Ruen does a masterful job of illuminating these historical archives. He also manages to make them interesting. Listeners are treated to an in-depth exploration of the man known as Nobel Drew Ali, founder of the Moorish Science Temple and movement in the early twentieth century, which was a precursor to the Nation of Islam in the U.S. It's a good thing Ruen put so... Read More

SWEET TASTE OF LIBERTY

SWEET TASTE OF LIBERTY A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America

by W. Caleb McDaniel | Read by Paul Heitsch

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

With a historian's dispassionate clarity and a bit of irony, narrator Paul Heitsch, delivers the singular story of Henrietta Wood, a free Black woman who was living and working in Cincinnati in 1853 when she was kidnapped, taken south, and sold "down the river" to a Mississippi plantation owner. Wood went on to return home after the Civil War, regain her freedom, and raise a... Read More

AN UNLADYLIKE PROFESSION

AN UNLADYLIKE PROFESSION American Women War Correspondents in World War I

Earphones Award Winner

by Chris Dubbs | Read by Bernadette Dunne

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook fills a major gap in the history of war correspondents during WWI, and Bernadette Dunne offers a narration that matches its importance. That's not to say she presents a pompous, overly inflated effort; rather, she matches her tone and pacing to fit the text, keeping the narrative flowing and listeners engaged. For example, her voice is even during much of the... Read More

WASHINGTON'S END

WASHINGTON'S END The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle

by Jonathan Horn | Read by Arthur Morey

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

Arthur Morey's narration qualities are especially valuable here, where the narrative lacks a sustained thread. Historians rarely place much emphasis on the later years of George Washington. The American Cincinnatus turned his back on power and returned to his farm. But in the tone of a close confidant, Morey shares a history more like that of the later Michael Corleone, who... Read More

WHAT WE INHERIT

WHAT WE INHERIT A Secret War and a Family's Search for Answers

by Jessica Pearce Rotondi | Read by Jessica Pearce Rotondi

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Rotondi does well narrating her account of how the death of a family member in Vietnam affected three generations of her family. In March 1972, Rotondi's Uncle Jack went missing during a bombing run in Laos. Rotondi's account of how her family searched for any information about what happened to him is a testament to determination. This reviewer had a family member who died in... Read More

WILMINGTON'S LIE

WILMINGTON'S LIE The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

by David Zucchino | Read by Victor Bevine

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

Narrator Victor Bevine confidently guides listeners through a little-known period of American history with obvious parallels to current concerns about racism and white supremacy. In November 1898, the relatively integrated port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was set ablaze by white supremacists seeking to terrorize Black citizens and overthrow the elected government.... Read More

THE WOMEN WITH SILVER WINGS

THE WOMEN WITH SILVER WINGS The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

by Katherine Sharp Landdeck | Read by Gabra Zackman

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

During WWII, more than a thousand American women aviators ferried planes across the U.S. from factories to military locations. Narrator Gabra Zackman employs an unpretentious voice that is suitable for this account of ordinary women who were committed to doing extraordinary things in their time. Zackman adds a touch of flair when describing Jacqueline Cochran, one of the two... Read More

WOMEN'S WAR

WOMEN'S WAR Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War

by Stephanie McCurry | Read by Teri Schnaubelt

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Teri Schnaubelt gives a brisk and energetic narration of this look at the role of women in the American Civil War. McCurry notes how women, free and enslaved, Northern and Southern, were active participants in furthering the goals of whatever side they supported. The challenge of how to deal with supposed noncombatants/civilians has always been a part of warfare and leads to... Read More

THE YEAR 1000

THE YEAR 1000 When Explorers Connected the World- and Globalization Began

by Valerie Hansen | Read by Cynthia Farrell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Cynthia Farrell's approach to this serious subject is lighter than one might expect. Sometime around the year 1000, Norsemen (and a few women) crossed from Greenland to what is now Canada. This audiobook marks that achievement as the first time goods and ideas could--at least, theoretically--travel around the world from the Americas to Europe, Africa, and Asia,... Read More

THE YEAR OF PERIL

THE YEAR OF PERIL America in 1942

by Tracy Campbell | Read by Paul Heitsch

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

"On the ground, by God, on the ground!" said FDR of planes destroyed at Pearl Harbor, and narrator Paul Heitsch's own voice mixes rage and regret, hitting each word as a distinct note. Thus, he presents the hinge year of 1942 with an agonizing uncertainty we have forgotten. Campbell shatters the sentimentality that has forgiven the Greatest Generation for segregating its... Read More

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