This story of Australian heroism during the early, and very dark, days of WWII is narrated ably by its author, who is also an actor. Veitch's well-researched tome tells the story of one Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron that took on the Japanese who were planning to continue their advance south from New Guinea into Australia. Veitch's diction is clear, and his delivery... Read More
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
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
Unlike many audiobooks that chronicle an era of history and get mired in details, Monte Reel's superb behind-the-scenes chronicle of the history of the CIA, the U-2 spy plane, and the saga of Francis Gary Powers reads like a thriller. The book succeeds in audio because of narrator Paul Michael's use of varying deliveries--from a staccato newsreel style for the various... 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
Narrator Pam Ward couldn't have provided more contrast between her delivery and this audiobook's title. Her sprightly, exuberant style shines a bright vocal light on what is otherwise a dark, troubling story. Ostensibly the story of the asylum on Roosevelt Island, then called Blackwell's Island, in New York's East River, it's really a tale of what nineteenth-century society did... Read More
The author assumes too much listener familiarity with the often intensely complex story of the Crusader kingdoms that flourished in the Middle East after the first Crusade, flooding the first part of his book with names, places, and dates. Narrator Julian Elfer's clarity, intelligence, and excellent pronunciation of all those names and places help, but, sadly, he simply reads a... Read More
JD Jackson capably narrates this simultaneously erudite and concise primer on African-American revolutionary thought. In reviewing the history of the past century, Kelley focuses on radical thinkers and movements as they relate to the meaning and practice of individual freedom. In doing so, he delves into the complexity of race, class, and gender, exploring why revolution has... Read More
If diversion guides your choice of audiobooks, this wayward history of Germany will suit every mood. Whether driving, doing dishes, or dropping off into a nap, this irreverent, digressive narrative will hold you, or release you. James Cameron Stewart, though thoroughly British, or maybe because of that, proves the perfect narrator, holding a nice balance between erudition and... Read More
Narrator Tom Perkins gives this rich and dense audiobook about the Gulf of Mexico a well-paced narration. He captures the tone (serious and pointed), the voice (informed), and the argument (the Gulf needs attending) with aplomb. Author Davis brings a broad brush to this panoramic work, which explores the meaning of the Gulf Coast's history. The well-documented environmental... 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
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
To write a good history, the author must be scholarly and a good storyteller. In this case, the author is both, and that makes this work on presidential leadership eminently suited to audio. The four men profiled--Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson--differed greatly in what shaped their leadership styles. The audio publisher chose to use... Read More
Narrator Rob Shapiro's deep voice and calm tone holds listeners' attention throughout Krist's discussion of three public figures who influenced the growth of the city of Los Angeles--which was originally smack in the middle of a desert. Shapiro's first-class performance is simply superb. The history revisits themes addressed in the modern classic film CHINATOWN, with Jack... 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
Narrator Karen Chilton draws listeners into the life story of an African-American man of wealth who enjoyed fine Washington dinner parties but eventually was restricted to segregated lunch and locker facilities at his workplace. Daniel Murray (1861-1925) reached the position of assistant librarian at the Library of Congress, only to be demoted as conditions deteriorated for... 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
The daughter of an unmarried Jewish courtesan, Sarah Bernhardt (18441923), and the daughter of Italian troubadours, Eleonora Duse (18581924), became the most famous actresses of their day. Amanda Carlin's performance offers a treasure trove of anecdotes revealing the not-so-secret feud between them. Bernhardt was as flamboyant offstage as she was mesmerizing on it. She kept a... Read More
The authors take listeners on a trip down memory lane to review dubious, often dangerous, medical cures of the past. Their skeptical eyes examine teething powders that contained mercury, radium toothpaste, and lobotomies, to name a few. Hillary Huber narrates from a modern perspective--cynicism and sarcasm are ever present in her voice. Her delivery is a good fit for the... 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
Suzanne Toren gives a splendid display of her narration talents in this account of the famine of 1932-33 in Ukraine. The Ukrainians call this the "Holodomor," and for many Robert Conquest's HARVEST OF SORROW, published in 1986, was their introduction to this horrible event. Applebaum had access to sources and documents unavailable some 30 years ago, and this work will probably... Read More
Grover Gardner narrates this account of Sherman's March to the Sea with his usual excellence. The audiobook emphasizes the social impact of this 1864 event as much as it does the military aspects of the campaign. Listeners follow detailed accounts of the lives of several Union participants. Major General John Logan and Mother Bickerdyke serve as notable examples of certain... Read More
The novel UNCLE TOM'S CABIN is widely credited with galvanizing Northern opposition to slavery in the run-up to the Civil War. Critics dismissed it as overly dramatic and exaggerated. Now author Jared Brock tells the even more captivating story of Josiah Henson, the former slave who inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write her novel. Ryan Vincent Anderson offers a solid... Read More
The disappearance in 1587 of 115 men, women, and children who settled on Roanoke Island in North Carolina is the subject of this audiobook. Narrator David Lawrence transports listeners on their harrowing journey using excellent phrasing and rhythm to explain, with few collaborating artifacts, what historians think happened. The author, who admits to being obsessed with the... Read More
Around 1860, three men decided to create a faster way to deliver mail throughout the United States. This audiobook tells the story of the famed Pony Express from its beginning to its end only 18 months later. Narrator John Pruden turns this slice of American history into an entertaining performance filled with men of legend such as Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and even... Read More
Narrator Derek Perkins adds British charm to this history, which is based on extant books, manuscripts, and letters from approximately 500 to 1500 CE. While the West was languishing in darkness, Asia was thriving with commerce, scholarship, and a cosmopolitan sensibility. Buddhism and Islam were major influences, the former with strings of monastic centers and traveling monks,... Read More
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