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ANATOMY OF A SONG

ANATOMY OF A SONG The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop

by Marc Myers | Read by Jonathan Yen

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Oral histories are ideal audiobook material. Jonathan Yen energetically takes the listener on a journey into Myers's list of 45 popular songs released between 1952 and 1991 that changed musical history. Yen has a verve and approachability that is reminiscent of Kasey Kasem counting down the hits. Radio play was everything! Each song is placed in its cultural and historical... Read More

CHURCHILL'S MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE

CHURCHILL'S MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler's Defeat

by Giles Milton | Read by Giles Milton

Macmillan Audio | Unabriged
History

Giles Milton's narration of his history of Britain's guerrilla actions during WWII may not appeal to every ear, but it has a vintage authenticity that no polished reader could match. Sounding gruff and a little hard of hearing, Milton puts forth as if determined to be heard above a barroom roar, or to the back row of a cramped lecture hall. His impossible-but-true tales of... Read More

CIVIL WARS

CIVIL WARS A History in Ideas

by David Armitage | Read by Derek Perkins

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Armitage's scholarly work examines the idea of civil war from ancient Rome to the present day in a text that demands thought and attention. Narrator Derek Perkins takes it at a perfect pace, not too slow but allowing the listener, for the most part, to follow Armitage's arguments and tracing of intellectual connections. Though the audiobook is academic, Perkins reads with... Read More

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES

by Jane Jacobs, Jason Epstein [Intro.] | Read by Donna Rawlins

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Jacobs's once-revolutionary work about urban planning has become a classic. It has only gained in authority since its original publication almost 60 years ago. Jacobs predicts much of the urban dysfunction of the 1970s and the urban renaissance of recent decades. Donna Rawlins's rich alto carries Jacobs's detailed analysis magnificently. Rawlins understands she's reading an... Read More

DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE

DEATH IN YELLOWSTONE Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park

by Lee H. Whittlesey | Read by Stephen R. Thorne

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

In the first audiobook in the genre of cautionary books about major national parks, which include OVER THE EDGE: Death in Grand Canyon and OFF THE WALL: Death in Yosemite, Whittlesey chronicles the more than 300 deaths in Yellowstone. As he focuses on the gruesome and foolhardy, Stephen Thorne, a veteran performer with a clear tenor voice, does everything in his power to... Read More

DODGE CITY

DODGE CITY Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West

by Tom Clavin | Read by John Bedford Lloyd

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

John Bedford Lloyd employs his resonant baritone quite well in narrating this extensively researched biography of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson and how they brought law and order to the infamous town of Dodge City, Kansas, in the 1870s. Giving extensive background information about not only these two men but also their families and their lives before Dodge, the book presents a... Read More

THE ENGLISH AND THEIR HISTORY

THE ENGLISH AND THEIR HISTORY

by Robert Tombs | Read by James Langton

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

This broad, sweeping history of the English from their earliest period to the present is a fascinating audiobook read by James Langton, his voice flowing steadily and fluidly for 43 hours. Topics include the mythology of England's beginnings--including King Arthur, Boudica, Beowulf, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight--and moving through Shakespeare, Gibbon, and Churchill.... Read More

FALLEN GLORY

FALLEN GLORY The Lives and Deaths of the World's Greatest Lost Buildings

by James Crawford | Read by John Lee

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Crawford's history of famous structures--their rise, fall, and remains, real or remembered--gets a skilled but somewhat ill-fitting reading from the talented John Lee. Lee's voice is deep and substantial, clipped almost to excess, but engaging and likable. His pacing is excellent, and he manages commendably the pronunciation of a range of names and references across history and... Read More

FIRST-PERSON AMERICA

FIRST-PERSON AMERICA

by Ann Banks | Read by Tony Kahn

Ann Banks | Unabridged
History

These stories were collected as part of the Federal Writer's Project, a program enacted by FDR in 1935 to help fund unemployed writers during the Great Depression. They tell the tales of frontiersmen and women, many of whom could recall the real Wild West, and those of immigrants hoping to start a new life. What better way to preserve such a unique oral history than an... Read More

HOW TO BE A TUDOR

HOW TO BE A TUDOR A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life

by Ruth Goodman | Read by Heather Wilds

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

If you wear linen undergarments and scrub your armpits briskly each morning, you won't smell as bad after a month without bathing as you might imagine. Historian and author Ruth Goodman knows this because she tried it out, saving us potential social embarrassment while providing both entertainment and education. Narrator Heather Wilds starts out rapid-fire and overenunciated,... Read More

ISTANBUL

ISTANBUL City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World

by Thomas F. Madden | Read by Edoardo Ballerini

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

All cities have souls; Istanbul has the heart of the world beating in its center, according to this affecting audiobook. Its story is the story of civilization, both classical and modern, and whoever controls the city also controls a vital spot on the globe. Narrator Edoardo Ballerini captures the tone of this audiobook with pinpoint accuracy, using a lilt in his assured,... Read More

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

by David Grann | Read by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, Danny Campbell

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook will cause listeners to rethink everything they know about oil, the settlement of the West, and our nation's treatment of Native Americans. The work is so rich that it takes three people to perform it. While Ann Marie Lee has a lovely voice, it's too light for the horror she recounts--the murder of dozens of Osage Indians in the 1920s for the purpose of obtaining... Read More

LARA

LARA The Untold Love Story and the Inspiration for Doctor Zhivago

by Anna Pasternak | Read by Antonia Beamish

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Anna Pasternak, grandniece of Nobel Laureate Boris Pasternak, gives a very personal account of her ancestor's talent, fame, and suffering. Those who love Russian literature and history will find this backstory to the beloved DOCTOR ZHIVAGO to be engaging and informative. Narrator Antonia Beamish's British accent and pleasant alto voice move steadily through the story of Boris... Read More

MARTIN LUTHER KING'S BIBLICAL EPIC His Final, Great Speech

by Keith D. Miller | Read by Andrew L. Barnes

University Press Audiobooks | Unabridged
History

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, last speech isn't one of his most famous. However, Miller argues that it is one of his most important and most radical. Miller dissects the oration, which supports Memphis sanitation workers' fight for better working conditions. Narrator Andrew L. Barnes delivers Miller's comments on King's oratorical techniques and writing in a clear, soft-spoken... Read More

MEDIEVAL EUROPE

MEDIEVAL EUROPE

by Chris Wickham | Read by Derek Perkins

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Wickham's survey of European history from 400 CE to 1500 CE is dense and abstract, assuming both a wide and detailed familiarity with the period. Derek Perkins's narration of the audiobook's often complex sentences uses tone, pauses, and emphasis to elucidate their meaning. Still, both those sentences and the arguments they convey require close attention. He has a fine voice,... Read More

A NATION OF NATIONS

A NATION OF NATIONS A Story of America After the 1965 Immigration Law

by Tom Gjelten | Read by David Colacci

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

As the subtitle suggests, this is a great American immigration story, both in its scope and in its heart, and David Colacci's steady, thoughtful narration does justice to each. Longtime NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten takes a look back at the 50 years since the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act, which did away with national quotas and opened America's borders not only to more... Read More

PRINTER'S ERROR

PRINTER'S ERROR Irreverent Stories from Book History

by Rebecca Romney, J.P. romney | Read by J.P. Romney

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

This collection of strange anecdotes from the history of printing could have just been black-and-white and possibly not read all over. But the Romneys put far too much color in this volume for that to happen. And coauthor J.P. Romney successfully transfers the book's wickedly sarcastic tone to his narration. He slyly uses the writings of important historical characters to bring... Read More

THE RISE OF ATHENS

THE RISE OF ATHENS The Story of the World's Greatest Civilization

by Anthony Everitt | Read by Michael Page

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Michael Page renders Everitt's popular history of ancient Athens and the larger Greek world with fidelity both to the text's overt and implied meanings. His voice often sounds somewhat strained, but is still serviceable and expressive, even likable. He moves briskly and accurately, drawing listeners along. He fits inflection and emphasis to meaning with intelligence,... Read More

STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING

STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

by Ibram X. Kendi | Read by Christopher Dontrell Piper

Novel Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Christopher Dontrell Piper guides listeners through this complex history of racist, assimilationist, and antiracist ideas with a deep voice and clear projection. Weaving together five philosophical biographies--those of Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Angela Davis--the author covers 500 years of racist infiltration of... Read More

THE STORIED CITY

THE STORIED CITY The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save Its Past

by Charlie English | Read by Enn Reitel

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Enn Reitel narrates two parallel stories: one, a history of the city of Timbuktu, a place that has long conjured myths and assumptions in the minds of Westerners; and the other, the 2012 jihadi takeover of the city, which put many thousands of ancient historic manuscripts at risk, prompting librarians to organize the evacuation and hiding of the fruits of this productive... Read More

THUNDER AT THE GATES

THUNDER AT THE GATES The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed America

by Douglas R. Egerton | Read by Sean Crisden

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

The role of the Civil War's black soldiers, often glossed over in history books, is expertly told in this stirring work. Narrator Sean Crisden speaks authoritatively about the men's courage as they risked everything for freedom. Crisden's measured delivery underscores the importance of this book, which mainly tells the story through individual soldiers, revealing their family... Read More

THUNDER IN THE MOUNTAINS

THUNDER IN THE MOUNTAINS Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

by Daniel Sharfstein | Read by Joe Barrett

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Joe Barrett offers an engaging narration of one of the last great battles between the U.S. Army and Native Americans, examined through the lens of competing figures--General Otis Howard and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. The fight was over the control of land and whether treaty obligations would be observed. Barrett's tone exactly fits the author's largely conversational style.... Read More

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