AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter

New Reviews: History

Home»Reviews»New Reviews by Category

THE APPARITIONISTS A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost

by Peter Manseau | Read by Jefferson Mays

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

Narrator Jefferson Mays delivers this carefully researched record of the early days of photography as though it were choice fiction. When William H. Mummler began his sideline in photography in 1862, he noticed a ghostly image in one of his photographs. In Mummler's society it was fashionable to dabble in spiritualism, and he began offering his "spirit photographs" to the... Read More

AUSTRALIAN HEROINES OF WORLD WAR ONE

AUSTRALIAN HEROINES OF WORLD WAR ONE Gallipoli, Lemnos and the Western Front

by Susanna de Vries | Read by Deidre Rubenstein

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
History

The Australian nurses and reporters in this eye-opening history remind us of the bravery and hardship of all wartime nurses, who often work with little recognition and suffer worse conditions than battlefield doctors. Narrator Deidre Rubenstein offers a stalwart reading that matches the fortitude of the eight women whose diaries the book is written from. One wishes that author... Read More

AUSTRALIA'S MOST UNBELIEVABLE TRUE STORIES

AUSTRALIA'S MOST UNBELIEVABLE TRUE STORIES

by Jim Haynes | Read by Jim Haynes

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
History

Australian time once went metric. Not really--but a news show tried to convince Aussies of it one April Fool's Day. Radio personality Jim Haynes has some weird Australiana to share with listeners, and he does so with good cheer. Colorful characters, such as a war hero who didn't even know his own past, abound. Sometimes, Haynes just wants to familiarize listeners with... Read More

BACARDI AND THE LONG FIGHT FOR CUBA

BACARDI AND THE LONG FIGHT FOR CUBA The Biography of a Cause

by Tom Gjelten | Read by Robertson Dean

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Gjelten mixes a smooth cocktail of histories--of the Bacardi family, their rum company, and Cuba--and Robertson Dean's delivery of that mix both pleases and holds the listener's interest. With his deep, soft voice and subdued tone, he comes across as nearly whispering, but his delivery is not soporific. His intelligent interpretation consistently brings out the author's meaning... Read More

BALLAD OF THE ANARCHIST BANDITS

BALLAD OF THE ANARCHIST BANDITS The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Epoque Paris

by John Merriman | Read by Peter Ganim

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook looks beyond the opulence of Paris in the Belle poque, exploring the civil unrest--and ultimately extreme violence--brought on by political corruption, worker exploitation, and deep class divides. With narrator Peter Ganim's buttery smooth voice and excellent French pronunciations, the present day fades away, and early 1900s Paris comes alive. Ganim evokes images... Read More

BLACK CLOUD

BLACK CLOUD The Deadly Hurricane of 1928

by Eliot Kleinberg | Read by Lee Ann Howlett

Eliot Kleinberg | Unabridged
History

Narrator Lee Ann Howlett uses a compassionate tone for this story of the 1928 hurricane that killed 2,500 people in the Caribbean and Florida. Howlett enhances Kleinberg's in-depth research of diaries, newspapers, and weather service and Red Cross information. Most fascinating is his use of personal recollections. Howlett's skill with these makes for emotional listening,... Read More

CODE GIRLS

CODE GIRLS The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

by Liza Mundy | Read by Erin Bennett

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Erin Bennett splendidly narrates this account of the many women who--as cryptographers, stenographers, mathematicians, and linguists--contributed greatly to the Allies' victory in WWII. Their ability to decipher/decode German and Japanese military and diplomatic communications in a relatively short period of time provided vital intelligence that was key to beating back and... Read More

THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN

THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

by Jim DeFede | Read by Ray Porter

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

As the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were occurring, 38 flights already en route to the U.S. were forced to reroute to a small airport in Gander, Newfoundland, due to the closing of U.S. airspace to incoming air traffic. Narrator Ray Porter's deep voice clearly and effectively recounts the story of how the community of Gander welcomed the stranded passengers with... Read More

DEATH IN THE AIR

DEATH IN THE AIR The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City

Earphones Award Winner

by Kate Winkler Dawson | Read by Graeme Malcolm

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Scottish-born narrator Graeme Malcolm reads this inventive mix of true crime, social history, political cover-up, and environmental exposé with just the right mix of traditional British verve and stoicism. For five days in early December 1952, a heavy, yellow, noxious fog descended upon the city of London. The air was so thick with the ash and residue of a cheap coal called... Read More

DEFINING MOMENTS IN BLACK HISTORY

DEFINING MOMENTS IN BLACK HISTORY Reading Between the Lies

by Dick Gregory | Read by James Shippy

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Comic Dick Gregory doesn't so much set the record straight as spin his interpretations of recent history through his firsthand lens and a handful of conspiracy theories. James Shippy proves to be the perfect narrator for such tale-spinning with a deep, resonant voice that delivers Gregory's prose rhythmically and tonally on cue. At times, when Gregory slides into full-on... Read More

THE EVANGELICALS

THE EVANGELICALS The Struggle to Shape America

by Frances FitzGerald | Read by Jacques Roy

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

American Christian fundamentalism is older than the country itself, and the marriage between fundamentalism and right-wing politics is more than a century old. This audiobook by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Frances Fitzgerald (FIRE IN THE LAKE) explores the movement's history, showing that it is far from a recent phenomenon. Jacques Roy offers a capable, even... Read More

FANTASYLAND

FANTASYLAND How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

by Kurt Andersen | Read by Kurt Andersen

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Andersen traces the historical roots of what he calls the American obsession with defying reality. He provides a myriad of examples--from the magical thinking of religious founders who believed Satan walked among us to the marvels of the circus and carnival worlds and the contemporary political fantasies that got Donald Trump elected president. As narrator, Andersen owns the... Read More

THE FIRES OF BABYLON

THE FIRES OF BABYLON Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting

by Mike Guardia | Read by Johnny Heller

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Guardia's audiobook, narrated by Johnny Heller, presents an informative picture for the military history buff. It's an examination of the Battle of 73 Easting--a crucial initial tank battle during Operation Desert Storm--as told by the soldiers who fought in it. In this conflict, the 12 American tanks of Eagle Troop, the lead element of the U.S. VII Corps, advanced into Iraq... Read More

A FORCE SO SWIFT

A FORCE SO SWIFT Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949

by Kevin Peraino | Read by Paul Michael

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

The Communist revolution in China posed a dilemma for the United States: Recognize the de facto ruling regime, or continue to support the failing Nationalist Party? The year 1949, a pivotal time in this debate, is the primary focus of this work. Paul Michael delivers an able reading of this historical examination. His even tone underscores the gravity of the political... Read More

THE FUTURE IS HISTORY

THE FUTURE IS HISTORY How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

by Masha Gessen | Read by Masha Gessen

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Gessen narrates her own work in this production, which focuses on four individuals who were born when Communism fell in the Soviet Union. Gessen sees their lives as being illustrative of how the "oligarchic corruptocracy" of the Soviet Union was replaced by an "oligarchic corruptocracy" of post-Soviet Russia. Plus ça change, plus la mème chose . . . Gessen, a native speaker of... Read More

GHOST EMPIRE

GHOST EMPIRE

by Richard Fidler | Read by Richard Fidler

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
History

Australian radio broadcaster Richard Fidler personalizes this history of the Byzantine Empire by framing it within his and his son's contemporary travels. He seems especially invested in their experiences and the history of the places they visit, so it makes sense that he himself reads. His voice is strong and expressive. His fairly heavy Australian accent may distract North... Read More

THE GHOST SHIP OF BROOKLYN

THE GHOST SHIP OF BROOKLYN An Untold Story of the American Revolution

by Robert P. Watson | Read by Bob Hess

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Few listeners will recognize the small part of the Revolutionary War that this audiobook examines. A decommissioned ship, the HMS JERSEY, was one of three packed with wounded and sick American patriots, who were kept below deck in the holds with little food or water by the British. Narrator Bob Hess describes in gruesome detail the suffering experienced by these American... Read More

THE GREAT QUAKE

THE GREAT QUAKE How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet

by Henry Fountain | Read by Robert Fass

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Robert Fass's narration of this audiobook may remind listeners of when their ancestors told stories to remember great disasters. Fass uses an evenhanded reporting style, enhancing the story of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and letting the magnitude of the events shock and awe listeners. And the facts are overwhelming: a 9.2 magnitude 'quake, five minutes of shaking, 100-foot... Read More

THE HOME FRONT

THE HOME FRONT Life in America During World War II

by | Read by Martin Sheen

Audible, Inc. | Audio Program
History

Audible's original audio-documentary is broken into stand-alone episodes, all narrated by the award-winning actor Martin Sheen. Life in America during the Second World War is experienced through the disparate voices of contemporary Americans who remember it and by the analyses of distinguished historians. The scope of the project is broad, covering such topics as how the war... Read More

THE HOUSE OF GOVERNMENT

THE HOUSE OF GOVERNMENT A Saga of the Russian Revolution

by Yuri Slezkine | Read by Stefan Rudnicki

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Yuri Slezkine's massive work concerns the Russian Revolution and the Soviet social and governmental experience. This history is organized around the context and framework of "The House on the Embankment"--a large apartment complex in which Party faithful lived, shuffling their units of occupancy based on their evolving standing within the Party. The steady and confident Stefan... Read More

HUE 1968

HUE 1968 A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam

by Mark Bowden | Read by Joe Barrett

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
History

From the author of BLACK HAWK DOWN comes an audiobook on the Tet Offensive, a battle that had a profound effect on the American effort in Vietnam and that continues to shape our political and military systems today. The audiobook is a concise, detailed history that uses new documents and research to enlighten the record. Narrator Joe Barrett's voice, always scratchy, careworn,... Read More

THE INTERNATIONALISTS

THE INTERNATIONALISTS How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World

by Oona A. Hathaway, Scott J. Shapiro | Read by Amanda Carlin

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

Often the greater challenge for an audiobook narrator isn't the delivery but the comprehension of a text. Would you accept the argument that a 1928 international agreement against waging war--an agreement you've probably never heard of, and one violated almost immediately by the Japanese in Korea--substantially improved the chances of maintaining peace thereafter? Very likely... Read More

LAST HOPE ISLAND

LAST HOPE ISLAND Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War

by Lynne Olson | Read by Arthur Morey

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

On the heels of this summer's release of the film DUNKIRK comes an audiobook that tells the story of how Great Britain became the last refuge of European leaders who had lost their countries to the Nazis during WWII. Narrator Arthur Morey approaches this audiobook with an unemotional, no-nonsense voice that doesn't leave room for characters or enthusiastic retellings of... Read More

NEVER CAUGHT

NEVER CAUGHT The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave

by Erica Armstrong Dunbar | Read by Robin Miles

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

Ona Judge was a mixed-race slave in the Mount Vernon household of George and Martha Washington until she escaped in 1796, three years before the president's death. Robin Miles gives voice to this remarkable woman, who was pursued by the Washingtons but eventually found freedom in New Hampshire. Miles's reading is straightforward and unadorned, mirroring Dunbar's journalistic... Read More

ONE HOT SUMMER

ONE HOT SUMMER Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858

by Rosemary Ashton | Read by Corrie James

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

The summer of 1858 proved to be the hottest, rankest summer on record in London. Narrator Corrie James takes listeners down the polluted Thames, giving them the ambiance and odors of Victorian England. The focus on three prominent citizens, Darwin, Dickens, and Disraeli--coupled with Parliament's attempt to solve the problem of the stench emanating from London's major... Read More

ONE NATION UNDER GOLD

ONE NATION UNDER GOLD How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries

by James Ledbetter | Read by Jonathan Yen

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Gold has glittered in the eyes of Americans--including policy makers--since the Carolina gold rush in the nation's early days. Jonathan Yen's narration carries a bit of that fever, sharing the excitement of gold seekers in California as well as the fervor of political discussion. His voice effectively evokes figures such as John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Richard Nixon. The author... Read More

PALE RIDER

PALE RIDER The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World

by Laura Spinney | Read by Paul Hodgson

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Paul Hodgson's narration is engrossing, even as he conveys a lot of statistics and scientific information about the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. The outbreak is believed to have been deadlier than WWI, with more than 50 million deaths. Author Laura Spinney reminds listeners of the forgotten killer and traces epidemics back through history to ancient Iraq and Greece. As the... Read More

PRISONER IN HIS PALACE

PRISONER IN HIS PALACE Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid

by Will Bardenwerper | Read by Danny Campbell

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

This audio production explores the many layers of a historical figure who is considered thoroughly evil. The person in question is Saddam Hussein, the longtime Iraqi despot, as seen by the Super 12, the American military policemen assigned to guard him in the period leading up to his trial for war crimes in 2006. Narrator Danny Campbell convincingly voices the soldiers, who... Read More

QUEENS OF THE CONQUEST

QUEENS OF THE CONQUEST

by Alison Weir | Read by Julia Franklin

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

Alison Weir's newest sweeping history recounts the stories of the five Norman queens of England and Europe, beginning with Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror in 1066, and ending with Empress Maud in 1154. As suits a regal history, narrator Julia Franklin adopts a highborn tone to her narration. She reads at a graceful pace with appropriate pauses so listeners... Read More

THE RISE AND FALL OF ADAM AND EVE

THE RISE AND FALL OF ADAM AND EVE

by Stephen Greenblatt | Read by Stephen Hoye

Audible, Inc./ Brilliance Audio | Unabridged
History

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stephen Greenblatt takes a crack at determining why the Genesis story of Adam and Eve has remained so durable. Narrator Stephen Hoye delivers Greenblatt's exploration as if it were an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Digging into Eve's apple-eating original sin and the human misery and misogyny that resulted, Greenblatt asks, "How does something made up... Read More

THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION A New History

by Sean McMeekin | Read by Pete Larkin

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

The year 1917 was pivotal in Russian history as revolutionary events changed the political landscape entirely. McMeekin's new history, written in the centennial year of the Russian Revolution, takes a fresh look at this tumultuous period in Russia. Narrator Pete Larkin's crisp articulation and resonant voice greatly complement McMeekin's study. Despite the audiobook's serious... Read More

SCANDINAVIANS

SCANDINAVIANS In Search of the Soul of the North

by Robert Ferguson | Read by Michael Page

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator Michael Page brings his full complement of language gifts to the task of narrating this wide-ranging audiobook. His ability to read Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish adds to the richness of his performance. The text mixes history, memoir, and personal reflection with numerous interviews and detailed descriptions of the region. Page's English accent works perfectly in his... Read More

THE TEMPLARS

THE TEMPLARS The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors

Earphones Award Winner

by Dan Jones | Read by Dan Jones

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

You maybe haven't encountered Dan Jones, the TV documentary guide for "Secrets of Britain's Great Castles" and author of "The Hollow Crown." And THE TEMPLARS is only the second of his books that he's narrated. But his performance here confirms Jones's rising status as a popular historian: academic, British, and a wee bit droll, but always crisp and to the point and, above all... Read More

THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR

THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR

by Svetiana Alexievich, Richard Pevear [Trans.] Larissa Volokhonsky [Trans.] | Read by Julia Emelin, Yelena Shmulenson, Alan Lewis Rigman, Alan Winter

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Julia Emelin and Yelena Shmulenson both give sublime performances of this exceptional work by Nobel laureate Alexievich. This compilation of WWII reminiscences by female veterans of the Red Army was first published nearly 35 years ago and was controversial for its unvarnished view of the war, with the author even being sued for slander a number of years later. These women... Read More

THE WORLD REMADE

THE WORLD REMADE America in World War I

Earphones Award Winner

by G.J. Meyer | Read by Rob Shapiro

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

G.J. Meyer's fascinating and controversial history of U.S. involvement in WWI is ably served by Rob Shapiro's fully engaged narration. Meyer, the author of many books, including a well-received 2006 examination of the war's effects on Europe, is a journalist rather than an historian. He has a great feel for plot and character study as well as a thought-provoking point of view... Read More

Search by Range

Get our Newsletter
Connect with AudioFile
envelope

AudioFile Newsletter

Sign up to receive FREE email newsletters from AudioFile. Get audiobook recommendations and reviews straight to your inbox.

×

Thank you for signing up.

×

Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×