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30 DAYS A BLACK MAN

30 DAYS A BLACK MAN The Forgotten Story that Exposed the Jim Crow South

by Bill Steigerwald, Juan Williams [Fore.] | Read by Grover Gardner

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Grover Gardner portrays Pittsburgh reporter Ray Sprigle, who, having darkened his skin by sunburn, became a black man to tour the South in 1948, showing his readers black lives under Jim Crow laws in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Sprigle isn't remembered today, but his writing helped start a national discussion on race that continues today. Bill Steigerwald adds... Read More

AMERICAN ECLIPSE

AMERICAN ECLIPSE A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

by David Baron | Read by Jonathan Yen

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

With verbal aplomb and a jaunty pace, Jonathan Yen deftly narrates this tale of scientific adventure. Every 100 years, a total solar eclipse darkens a path across the United States. In 1878, three notable research parties made extraordinary preparations to witness and measure the event. One was led by an eminent, though egotistical, asteroid hunter who was desperate to lay... 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

THE BEST LAND UNDER HEAVEN

THE BEST LAND UNDER HEAVEN The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny

by Michael Wallis | Read by Michael Wallis

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
History

Prolific historian Michael Wallis offers a detailed account of the ill-fated Donner party framed by a critical look at manifest destiny, the underlying doctrine of nineteenth-century westward expansion. Wallis's research and prose are assets, but his narration doesn't mesh with what's on the page, resulting in a choppy listening experience. Though his gravelly voice conjures... Read More

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

CASTLES

CASTLES Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain

by Marc Morris | Read by Derek Perkins

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

This study of British castles and their history through the seventeenth century is mostly serious, even technical, though with some humorous asides. Derek Perkins narrates with unassuming skill and adeptness; his excellent match of tone, emphasis, and pacing to sense makes the text clear, flowing, and easy to follow, while seeming effortless. His generally grave tone, which... 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

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 FORGOTTEN ISLANDS

THE FORGOTTEN ISLANDS One Man's Voyage Into a Truly Gothic Australia

by Michael Veitch | Read by Michael Veitch

Bolinda Audio | Unabridged
History

This exploration of the islands in the dangerous strait between Australia and Tasmania is made personal by the author's visits or attempted visits to many of them. Hearing his experiences in his own voice--likable, slightly scratchy, with a light Australian accent--is a strong, but not unmixed, plus. He gives the text its proper sense, expression, and emotional... 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 HELLO GIRLS

THE HELLO GIRLS America's First Women Soldiers

by Elizabeth Cobbs | Read by Susan Ericksen

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator Susan Ericksen is the perfect choice for this gem of overlooked history, which tells the story of America's first female soldiers. Known informally as the "hello girls," the 223 women of the United States Signal Corps were the backbone of the nascent telecommunications infrastructure for the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI. Ericksen gives a steady performance,... 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

THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD

THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD Siberian Exile Under the Tsars

by Daniel Beer | Read by Arthur Morey

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Arthur Morey does well in his performance of this history of Siberian exile under the tsars. Spanning the reigns of tsars from Ivan the Terrible to Nicholas II, this audiobook is filled with interesting details from numerous sources. Listeners hear that the region shaped, and was shaped, by the different types of prisoners who were sent there--not only political... 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

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

OCTOBER

OCTOBER The Story of the Russian Revolution

by China Mieville | Read by John Banks

Audible, Inc. | Unabridged
History

This leftist interpretation of the Russian Revolutions of 1917 is given an able narration by John Banks. The audiobook gives a splendid and exciting account of the political and actual battles that transformed Russia from an autocracy under the Romanovs to an autocracy under the Central Committee. Banks's English accent gives a certain authority to the production. His baritone... Read More

ON THIS DATE

ON THIS DATE From the Pilgrims to Today, Discovering America One Day at a Time

by Carl M. Cannon | Read by Dan Woren

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Cannon has a story for every day of the year. Narrator Dan Woren gives the historical anecdotes the feel of a radio feature, like something listeners might have heard from broadcaster Paul Harvey. Some are about famous people like Martin Luther King, Jr. Others tell of less vital but still interesting events, such as the genesis of the emoticon. Other stories, including one on... 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

REMEMBER THE LADIES

REMEMBER THE LADIES Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box

Earphones Award Winner

by Angela P. Dodson | Read by Suzanne Toren

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

To many people, the women's suffrage movement in America begins and ends with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. But the effort was far deeper and older, and this book offers a historical overview that addresses this lack of public appreciation. Suzanne Toren offers an engaging and highly listenable reading. She varies her tone and pacing effectively, keeping... 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

A SOVEREIGN PEOPLE

A SOVEREIGN PEOPLE The Crises of the 1790s and the Birth of American Nationalism

by Carol Berkin | Read by Betsy Foldes Meiman

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

Betsy Foldes Meiman gives a solid narration of this history of four major crises that shaped the American republic in its first decade of existence. Meiman describes how the Whiskey Rebellion, the Genet Affair, the XYZ Affair, and the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts all served to create a sense of American nationalism that took precedence over a primary loyalty to one's... 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 VIETNAM WAR

THE VIETNAM WAR An Intimate History

Earphones Award Winner

by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick [Intro.] | Read by Ken Burns

Random House Audio | Abridged
History

The melancholy tone of Ken Burns's voice exactly suits the mood of this history of the Vietnam War, which precedes his newest documentary, coming to PBS in September 2017. The book takes a nonjudgmental approach, but it's clear the war's outcome was shaped by actions taken decades earlier--as if the result were inevitable. Burns adds no false drama but always reads with a tone... Read More

WHEN THE NEW DEAL CAME TO TOWN

WHEN THE NEW DEAL CAME TO TOWN A Snapshot of a Place and Time with Lessons for Today

by George Melloan | Read by Bob Souer

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

This audiobook suffers from a kind of literary schizophrenia. It is partly a warm and interesting look at a small Indiana town during the Depression. But it also is an economic critique of interventionist government policies, with special contempt for the Federal Reserve. It succeeds in the former but is much less successful with the latter. Narrator Bob Souer offers an... Read More

WORKING CLASS REPUBLICAN

WORKING CLASS REPUBLICAN Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism

by Henry Olsen | Read by Derek Shetterly

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Listeners follow the reasonable argument that by employing sincerity, common sense, and carefully placed enthusiasm, President Reagan successfully attracted both Republican and Democratic voter support. Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, supports a cogent argument that Reagan's enthusiastic admiration for FDR and the New Deal strongly influenced his... 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

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