AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter

New Reviews: History

Home»Reviews»New Reviews by Category
AFRICAN EUROPEANS

AFRICAN EUROPEANS An Untold History

by Olivette Otele | Read by Olivette Otele

Hachette Audio | Unabridged
History

This is a fascinating listen about a part of history not taught in schools. Olivette Otele does a nice job telling this overlooked history of the presence of Black people in Europe throughout the ages. Although not a professional narrator, Otele nonetheless has a confident and engaging style that keeps listeners wanting to learn more about relationship between Europeans and... Read More

AMERICA AND IRAN

AMERICA AND IRAN A History, 1720 to the Present

by John Ghazvinian | Read by Fred Sanders

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

Fred Sanders's somber tone reflects the complex and conflicted relationship between modern-day Iran and the United States. His precision as a narrator is a good match for the academic nature of this historical examination. Sanders deftly transitions between the perspectives of the two nations throughout a variety of important moments. From the coup in 1953 to the Iranian... Read More

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION

AMERICAN IMMIGRATION Fear, Myth, and Reality

by Jeffrey Engel | Read by Jeffrey Engel

Dreamscape | Unabridged
History

Jeffrey Engel's spirited narration makes this production of his lecture at Southern Methodist University a must-listen for anyone wanting to know more about the foundations of citizenship in the U.S. Designed to uncover the falsehoods that plague our basic understanding of American immigration, Engel's lecture provides thoughtful research and keeps listeners engaged all the way... Read More

THE BOMBER MAFIA

THE BOMBER MAFIA A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

by Malcolm Gladwell | Read by Malcolm Gladwell

Pushkin Industries | Unabridged
History

The prolific author says that this is the first of his books "written to be heard rather than read." Gladwell himself delivers the compelling story of the renegade WWII soldiers who pioneered precision aerial bombing--a tactic that might have saved civilian lives had it been more widely accepted. He narrates with delightful spontaneity and engagement, and the production... Read More

THE BOOKSELLER OF FLORENCE

THE BOOKSELLER OF FLORENCE The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated the Renaissance

by Ross King | Read by James Cameron Stewart

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator James Cameron Stewart's precise diction and cool tone illuminate Ross King's detailed introduction to bookmaking, ink production, parchment and papermaking, and the various methods for distributing books in Renaissance Florence in this engrossing biography of Vespasiano da Bisticci. Fifteenth-century Florence was a city in political turmoil. Vespasiano, born in 1422,... Read More

CLEOPATRA

CLEOPATRA The Queen who Challenged Rome and Conquered Eternity

Earphones Award Winner

by Alberto Angela, Katherine Gregor [Trans.] | Read by Derek Perkins

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Derek Perkins brings the enigmatic Egyptian queen to life in scenes drawn from ancient historians. This extensive volume revealing the background and myths surrounding one of the most famous women in history is aided by Perkins's British intonation and authoritative tone. Cleopatra is not only beautiful and sexy, she also proves to be an equal match to Rome's most... Read More

CREATION STORIES

CREATION STORIES Landscapes and the Human Imagination

by Anthony Aveni | Read by L.J. Ganser

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator L.J. Ganser helps listeners understand the complex, well-researched creation stories that are presented in the five sections of this title. He brings an easy, rolling style to the scientific explanations for the origins of life that are grouped with the cultural ones. Ganser makes sense of a range of answers to our search for meaning. His delivery brings a personal... Read More

THE DAUGHTERS OF YALTA

THE DAUGHTERS OF YALTA The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War

by Catherine Grace Katz | Read by Christine Rendel

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Unabridged
History

This fascinating audiobook changes the focus from three of the men who helped win WWII to their daughters, whose collective efforts were surprisingly helpful to the war effort, particularly at the Yalta Conference in 1945. In attendance were Kathleen Harriman, Sarah Churchill, and Anna Roosevelt, daughters of the U.S. ambassador to Russia, the British prime minister, and the... Read More

EMPIRE OF SILVER

EMPIRE OF SILVER A New Monetary History of China

by Jin Xu | Read by Nancy Wu

Dreamscape | Unabridged
History

Narrator Nancy Wu traces China's use of silver coinage, ingots, and silver-backed paper currency from the 1400s through the 1940s. Wu shifts seamlessly from the English narrative to Chinese terms and concepts. Her attentive delivery flows steadily as the author examines how silver currency has affected China in its commerce throughout Asia and across the globe. The precision of... Read More

THE ENLIGHTENMENT

THE ENLIGHTENMENT The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680-1790

by Ritchie Robertson | Read by Jonathan Keeble

Harper Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Jonathan Keeble's warm voice elucidates the enduring works of the thinkers, writers, and practical philosophers known as "Enlighteners" in this sweeping account of the influential period of Western history between 1680 and 1790. Author Robertson uses literature, particularly fiction, to illuminate the attitudes and philosophies of this period of great intellectual... Read More

FACING THE MOUNTAIN

FACING THE MOUNTAIN A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Earphones Award Winner

by Daniel James Brown | Read by Louis Ozawa

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

Louis Ozawa narrates this true story about Japanese-Americans at home and abroad during WWII. There is little dialogue; thus, Ozawa narrates in a slightly different tone, depending on where and when the story is taking place. He modulates between hope and despair with the deftness of a film composer. Furthermore, when words are spoken, Ozawa slips into a Hawaiian, Japanese, or... Read More

A FATAL THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

A FATAL THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM Murder in Ancient Rome

by Emma Southon | Read by Sophie Ward

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

This unique exploration of homicide in the Roman republic and empire is grimly entertaining, informative, frequently vulgar, and funny time and again. Narrator Sophie Ward has a lovely erudite voice that may seem too gentle for recounting the murders, mutilations, familial cruelty, and grisly assassinations that are the chief topics covered in this eclectic account. At times,... Read More

THE FIRST KINGDOM

THE FIRST KINGDOM

by Max Adams | Read by Kris Dyer

Whole Story Audiobooks | Unabridged
History

Historian Max Adams's well-researched reconstruction of Britain in the dark period following the Roman occupation will fascinate history buffs but probably not draw many audiobook fans. The emphasis here is on detail--the painstaking work of linguists, archaeologists, and other scholars and specialists. The narrative focus, thus, is on relics--"the age of Arthur" hasn't much... Read More

THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY

THE FOLLY AND THE GLORY America, Russia, and Political Warfare 1945-2020

by Tim Weiner | Read by Stefan Rudnicki

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

This audiobook's Pulitzer Prize-winning author chronicles major events in the fifty-year conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, which continues long after the U.S.S.R.'s dissolution in the early 1990s. Narrator Stefan Rudnicki's various Russian and Eastern-European accents give the work a compelling "you-were-there" touch. Beginning in the late 1940s, the Soviet... Read More

FOUR LOST CITIES

FOUR LOST CITIES A Secret History of the Urban Age

by Annalee Newitz | Read by Chloe Cannon

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator Chloe Cannon has a great voice--but not one you'd necessarily choose to describe the dissecting of ancient archaeological sites. Narrator and narrative aren't at odds here, exactly. But neither are they in any way a match. Journalist Annalee Newitz's on-the-spot depictions of Catalhoyuk, Pompeii, Angkor, and Cahokia are close up and personal, and her choices have a... Read More

THE INVENTION OF MIRACLES

THE INVENTION OF MIRACLES Language, Power, and Alexander Graham Bell's Quest to End Deafness

by Katie Booth | Read by Samantha Desz

Simon & Schuster Audio | Unabridged
History

The "invention" in the title refers not just to Bell's inventing the telephone but also to his work in helping the deaf to communicate. The audiobook also explores Bell's darker side, particularly his efforts to stamp out American Sign Language. Samantha Desz offers a solid and at times highly engaging narration. Her steady, pleasing voice helps listeners navigate the often... Read More

ISLAND ON FIRE

ISLAND ON FIRE The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire

by Tom Zoellner | Read by Mirron Willis

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

A slave revolt against brutal conditions on Jamaican sugar plantations in 1831 failed, bringing a violent response, but still contributed to the British Empire's abolition of slavery. Narrator Mirron Willis relates the history with talent and skill,but does so with some distracting oddities in his narration. His pronunciation is often overprecise and overemphasized, and... Read More

JULIAN BOND'S TIME TO TEACH

JULIAN BOND'S TIME TO TEACH A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement

by Julian Bond, Pamela Horowitz[Fore.], Jeanne Theoharis [Intro.], Vann R. Newkirk II [After.] | Read by JD Jackson

Beacon Press | Unabridged
History

JD Jackson narrates the compiled lectures of Julian Bond (1940-2015), founding member of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), board chairman of the NAACP, and history professor for more than 20 years. The lectures follow the sweeping history of the Southern Civil Rights movement from the early 1900s through the 1960s and the Vietnam era. Jackson's deep-voiced... Read More

THE LOST QUEEN

THE LOST QUEEN The Life & Tragedy of the Prince Regent's Daughter

by Anne M. Stott | Read by Anne Flosnik

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator Anne Flosnik delivers an appealing portrait of Princess Charlotte of Wales, 1796-1817--the only child of George IV and Caroline of Brunswick, who hated each other. This fact gives Flosnik much fodder to dramatize since a great deal of Charlotte's life is gleaned from her letters. Flosnik delivers these letters with intuitive skill, revealing a child who dearly wanted... Read More

MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH

MADHOUSE AT THE END OF THE EARTH The BELGICA's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

by Julian Sancton | Read by Vikas Adam

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

With narrator Vikas Adam at the helm, listeners gain extra appreciation for the wonders, bravery, and horrors of the first Western expedition to winter in Antarctica. Written by a journalist and based on diaries, logs, photographs, and other firsthand accounts, the story of the RV BELGICA and its men laid bare includes an unruly, inexperienced crew; poor provisions; language... Read More

MI9

MI9 A History of the Secret Service for Escape and Evasion in World War Two

by Helen Fry | Read by Helen Lloyd

Blackstone Audio | Unabridged
History

Helen Lloyd's narration of this fascinating audiobook about the British intelligence agency MI9 mirrors the calm intensity of its operatives. Author Helen Fry has written a comprehensive history of the organization that rescued Allied fighters who were trapped in enemy territories during WWII. Details remained largely untold due to Britain's Official Secrecy Act, which muzzled... Read More

NINE DAYS

NINE DAYS The Race to Save Martin Luther King Jr.'s Life and Win the 1960 Election

by Paul Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick | Read by Bill Andrew Quinn

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Steady-voiced Bill Andrew Quinn narrates this in-depth reporting on a moment in history like a newscaster--he is clear, concise, accentless, and engaged. Martin Luther King, Jr., the emerging nonviolent leader of the Civil Rights movement, is jailed in Atlanta for nine tense, terrifying days. Quinn brings to life not only Dr. King's days in prison but also the political... Read More

ON JUNETEENTH

ON JUNETEENTH

by Annette Gordon-Reed | Read by Karen Chilton

Recorded Books | Unabridged
History

Karen Chilton narrates this audiobook, which blends the history of Juneteenth with the personal experiences of the author, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. While Juneteenth is now observed nationally, the holiday's origins are firmly placed in Texas. On June 19, 1865, years after the Emancipation Proclamation and months after the official end of the Civil... Read More

ROBERT E. LEE AND ME

ROBERT E. LEE AND ME A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause

by Ty Seidule | Read by Ty Seidule

Macmillan Audio | Unabridged
History

Ty Seidule is a West Point history professor, not an actor or even a professional narrator, but his outrage makes up for this lack of virtuosity. As a boy in Virginia, Seidule put all of mankind on a scale of one to ten, rating Lee an eleven--with Jesus coming in at five. But the study of history flipped the boy in love with the Lost Cause into one of its fiercest critics. He... Read More

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle

by Kristen Green | Read by Karen White

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Karen White's direct, serious narration fits the tone of Green's vital work on the multigenerational impact of racist policies. In 1951, a Black high school student in Virginia led a protest against school segregation. This action established the momentum that led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated U.S. schools. Yet in Prince Edward County,... Read More

STAMPEDE

STAMPEDE Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike

Earphones Award Winner

by Brian Castner | Read by Brian Castner

Random House Audio | Unabridged
History

This dramatic history of the Klondike Gold Rush--narrated by author Brian Castner--grips you from the first minutes. Castner is a compelling storyteller both on the page and as the voice for this audiobook. As narrator, he is as skilled and resourceful as a voice actor. And what a story he has to tell. The rush of unseasoned fortune seekers to one of the harshest and most... Read More

THREE ORDINARY GIRLS

THREE ORDINARY GIRLS The Remarkable Story of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Became Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assassinsand WWII Heroes

by Tim Brady | Read by David de Vries

HighBridge Audio | Unabridged
History

Narrator David de Vries takes a straightforward approach to this journalistic account of how three teenagers--sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen and friend Jo Schaft--became actively involved with the Nazi resistance movement based in Haarlem, The Netherlands. De Vries's expressive delivery emphasizes the girls' improvisational training as they learned to lie, steal, plant... Read More

WOMEN AND GENDER IN ISLAM

WOMEN AND GENDER IN ISLAM Historical Roots of a Modern Debate

by Leila Ahmed, Kecia Ali [Fore] | Read by Soneela Nankani

Tantor Media | Unabridged
History

Narrator Soneela Nankani forthrightly presents this canonical text on Middle Eastern Arab women. For those who enjoy academic explorations of gender, identity, and nationalism, this is an exciting presentation of an insightful work. Nankani approaches the material with the steadiness of a lecturer. Her pace is measured and precise. She does use emphasis whenever possible to... Read More

WORK

WORK A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots

by James Suzman | Read by Nicholas Guy Smith

Penguin Audio | Unabridged
History

With task and job automation ever more dramatically on the human horizon, James Suzman, a Cambridge University fellow, offers a grand, grandiose yet scholarly history of work, in all its meanings, from humans' beginnings through current times. Nicholas Guy Smith, a charming Brit, provides a clear and measured narration. The text does, however, meander, becoming a bit tedious,... Read More

YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN

YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN

by Amanda Frost | Read by Dana Stoutenburg

Beacon Press | Unabridged
History

Narrator Dana Stoutenburg delivers this important audiobook in a compelling and thoughtful tone that matches its content. Frost analyzes more than 200 years of examples in which individuals and groups have been deprived of their civil and political rights and even had their citizenship stripped. The work asks listeners to consider what it means to be American and how... Read More

Search by Range

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.

envelope

AudioFile Newsletter

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.

×

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 ×