Narrator Maxwell Hamilton brings a youthful energy and tone to this far-reaching history of the ultra-secret 1950s-60s C.I.A. U-2 spy plane program. The story takes the listener from its early testing in Nevada's Area 51 to the Soviet capture of U-2 pilot Gary Powers and the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. Hamilton's voice tenses with apprehension and then... Read More
Carrington MacDuffie narrates this work of creative nonfiction. As the author researched the history of a quilt that had traveled from South Carolina to Rhode Island, she managed to trace the American slavery system south to north, and back again. Due to lack of documentation, May had to imagine lives for the enslaved people she found through the quilt, while the lives of their... Read More
This audiobook is part travelogue and part historical examination of the movement of humans into North America. Author and narrator Craig Childs blends the two effectively, making listeners feel they are part of the journey. His easygoing delivery sounds more like a conversation than a reading, especially in the first-person portions of the audiobook. In the scientific... Read More
Zora Neale Hurston's previously unreleased work offers a rare glimpse of the experiences of the last surviving person to have been taken from Africa, brought to the United States as a slave, and then freed. Capturing the dialect, accent, and intonation of Cudjo Lewis, then living in Alabama, presents a challenging task for narrator Robin Miles, who must deliver one of the... Read More
We talk a great deal about jobs. Now comes an audiobook about the places where the jobs come. And go. The author has written a marvelous history of the physical and intellectual effect that factories have had on the United States and the world, especially the fear and wonder that factories have inspired over their approximately 300-year history. Narrator Stephen Bowlby... Read More
Narrator Kimberly Farr's confident, conversational tone draws listeners into the tense world of Jim Crow-era Florida, making the arrogance of those in power and the pain they inflicted that much more tangible. In 1957, the wealthy white Blanche Bosanquet Knowles was raped in her home and described her assailant as a "husky Negro." Although the notoriously racist local sheriff... Read More
Corrie James narrates Miranda Kaufmann's well-researched history of a little-known aspect of England in the Tudor Age. Kaufmann, a senior research fellow at the University of London's Institute of Commonwealth Studies, delves into Tudor England and the position of blacks in that society. James matter-of-factly delivers the detailed individual accounts and anecdotes of the... Read More
Fred Sanders gives this historical work a solid narration. The history of the Cherokee Nation from the War of Independence through the Civil War is one of upheaval and great struggle. Eventually, the Nation had its own civil war within the tribe at the same time that Unionists and Secessionists tore the U.S. apart in what is now Oklahoma. Focusing on the lives of Major Ridge... Read More
This audiobook presents narrator Arthur Morey with a unique set of vocal challenges as its Native American names are daunting. A gifted narrator, he handles the material admirably. Chief Seattle was a member of the Suquamish tribe. The scant written record of his life provided author David M. Buerge with his own challenges. Virtually all the historical material pertaining to... Read More
Malcolm Hillgartner's bass pitch and stately American tone sound like the mid-twentieth century, and this is a very mid-twentieth-century story. In late 1945, immediately after engineering the Allied victories in WWII, Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall was directed by President Harry S. Truman to lead a special mission to China to negotiate a coalition government between... Read More
Peter Forbes provides an impeccable narration of the shocking 1908 murder of an elderly Glasgow woman. Forbes highlights the rush to judgment to convict the most convenient suspect, Oscar Slater, a Jewish immigrant who was a professional gambler. The case drew the attention of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the iconic fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Forbes skillfully... Read More
Steven Crossley gives a near-perfect narration of Hett's well-written and researched account of how the German experiment in democracy, the Weimar Republic, came to be replaced by the Nationalist Socialists, the Nazis. What struck this reviewer is that all the parties involved seem to have favored statism--a centrally controlled government. The Weimar Republic really was... Read More
Jacques Roy delivers what most listeners will consider an effective narration of author Richard Rhodes's history of the advances from wood to coal, from steam to internal combustion engines, and from whale oil to electricity and nuclear power. Roy's pace is not quite as brisk and focused as Rhodes's, but it's a good listening pace, and he blends into the narrative over time.... Read More
Most Americans are not so familiar with French history; if they know Francis I at all, it's as the patron of Leonardo da Vinci. But this audiobook shows how he deliberately moved France into the Renaissance, setting it on the road to modernity. In an era of great leaders--his contemporaries were Henry VIII of England and Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire--Francis held his own.... Read More
Syrian-American journalist Alia Malek examines Syria through its history, her family's history, and accounts of the burgeoning conflict that is now taking place there. Narrating her own work, Malek describes life on her grandmother's apartment block in Damascus as well as her views on the looming danger. In juxtaposition, she makes comparisons to other places in the region she... Read More
At nearly 18 listening hours, this history of China's relationships with Britain and the United States in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries might seem a bit esoteric, intended only for history buffs. But Mark Deakins's flawless narration of Platt's epic story deserves the widest possible audience, if for no other reason than it makes perfectly clear why the... Read More
With a critical yet darkly amusing approach, King explores the Native American experience with Europeans and their North American descendants over the last five centuries. Narrator Lorne Cardinal, who is a highly regarded person of Cree heritage, nails the audiobook's delivery with a deep pitch and a slightly raspy timbre. King delves into popular culture, treaties and law,... Read More
Could the current disintegration of society, seen in public shaming and hardening opinions, lead to totalitarianism? Author Daniel Kalder looks at dictators' writings and their effects. Narrator Chris Ciulla delivers Kalder's survey of dictator literature, delighting in the author's mocking tones. The discussion starts with Vladimir Lenin, whom he dubs an "armchair terrorist,"... Read More
Janet Song narrates the author's explanation of a unique Chinese social phenomenon--significant numbers of educated, single Chinese women who are choosing independence over marriages defined by traditional gender roles. The Chinese government's one-child policy created long-standing gender inequality. As this imbalance grew, so did, for the first time, the number of only female... Read More
This audiobook history of the first shots of the American Revolution will stir you to your patriotic roots. Author Daughan is anything but impartial, and his account of British intransigence and miscalculation is tempered by Mike Chamberlain's steady, evenly paced delivery. Chamberlain tends to parcel out his sentences, a little like reciting Anglo-Saxon poetry. But his... Read More
This book was originally published in 1962. While the history of the Civil Rights movement largely focuses on the nonviolent protests of its many great leaders, Williams details his position at the time that African-Americans should be prepared to fight for their freedom. Narrator John Riddle's deep voice and light drawl capture Williams's words as he recounts attacks upon... Read More
Chris Kipiniak gives a clear, meticulous performance of this historical audiobook about the origins of modern America. The "Inc." in the title is apt--this is a history that contrasts with what many listeners may have learned. Conventional history posits that the New World was founded on a search for religious freedom; Butman and Targett's audiobook suggests that motivations... Read More
Narrator Susan Nezami moves listeners through images of the conflict in Syria that may have numbed us on the nightly news. She begins somberly with the unrest that grew in 2011, telling listeners in precise detail how the nation was turned upside down. Nezami is a strong narrator who recounts current events through the lives of four real-life people, used as main characters.... Read More
The title of this audiobook sounds as though it should be about war or global politics or something else grand. But while Gaddis draws his examples from war and great political issues, the conclusions he draws about how to plan strategically can be applied to everyday life. As Gaddis is discussing such noteworthies as the Greek general and statesman Pericles, narrator Mike... Read More
With energy and focus, James Anderson Foster does a yeoman's job narrating this one-time classified study of the missteps, miscalculations, and misinformation that led to one of the most divisive chapters in American history. First published by the NEW YORK TIMES in 1971, THE PENTAGON PAPERS created an immediate sensation in detailing how the military and political brain trusts... Read More
Ever-improving precision in engineering has been the key to industrial growth from the start of the Industrial Age to today. Author/narrator Simon Winchester chronicles this progression in a series of profiles. Each section focuses on a single individual, such as Henry Royce of Rolls-Royce and Frank Whittle, who invented the turbojet engine. Winchester's writing style is... Read More
History buffs and royal watchers alike will be intrigued by Deborah Cadbury's account of how Queen Victoria craftily influenced royal dynasties to increase British power throughout Europe. Narrator Charlotte Strevens's sophisticated narration of actual royal letters and diaries supporting the historical facts engages listeners with the writers' majestic, glittering, and... Read More
Cornel West is joined by an all-star cast of actors and actresses who breathe life into some familiar and some unfamiliar works by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in this powerful audiobook production. Each narrator manages to channel the cadence and style of King but not in a way that is derivative. Instead, they uniquely blend their own vocal abilities with the well-known... Read More
Stoll's analysis of what ails Appalachia is given an unremarkable narration by Brian Sutherland. Stoll, a professor of history at Fordham University, has written both a history of the factors that have led to Appalachia--and more specifically, West Virginia--being what it is, as well as his ideas for how its predicament can be improved. Some have seen this work as a response to... Read More
Don't you wish you could hear RFK deliver one of his speeches today? Wouldn't it be even better if you understood the context of his words on a national or international scale? With this audiobook, you can. James Lurie narrates this collection of Kennedy's speeches, augmented by commentary from other historians and public figures, published upon the 50th anniversary of his... Read More
With a tone of gravitas, Rob Shapiro narrates this detailed critical history of Israel's seventy-year clandestine war against state-supported terrorism, suicide bombings, and tangled Middle Eastern politics. Based on hundreds of on-the-record interviews, exclusive access to secret files, and years of frontline journalism, the audiobook takes listeners behind the scenes to the... Read More
There's a decidedly irreverent tone to historian Matthew Kneale's account of Rome's repeated sackings, a focus that allows him to compress 24 centuries of Roman history into a concise 13 listening hours. Narrator Neil Gardner's London refinements have their own edge of estuary roughness, and together author and reader are an inspired match, their sometimes horrific tale... Read More
A dual narration such as this one--with the author beginning and concluding the audiobook--can be tricky. The voice of the author settles independently on the listener. The tone of the work is carried on by the narrator. In this case, the hand-offs come off smoothly, and both author and narrator gracefully deliver the theme that we've been through dark times before (Alien and... Read More
Narrator Paul Michael Garcia adeptly evokes the hardships and unrelenting cold experienced by those exploring the ends of the earth. In 1909, three expeditions set out to conquer the North and South Poles, as well as the so-called "pole of altitude." Ernest Shackleton falls short in the south, but his team claims the magnetic pole and a new "furthest south" record. Robert Peary... Read More
The Watergate, a multi-building site that includes a hotel, an office building, and an apartment complex, played a role in two presidential impeachment dramas. It was the site of the infamous Democratic headquarters break-in in 1972, and it was home to Monica Lewinsky in 1998. Narrator Bronson Pinchot delivers a low-key reading that lets this heady mixture of Washington gossip,... Read More
Let us recommend your next great audiobook!
No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.
If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.