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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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" 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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