Summary: “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Thus begins Jean-Jacques....+
“Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Thus begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s influential 1762 work, On the Social Contract, a milestone of political science, and essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and social science. A progressive work, it inspired world-wide political reforms, most notably the American and French Revolutions, because it argued that monarchs were not divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, in the form of the sovereign, have that all powerful right. On the Social Contract’s appeal and influence has been wide-ranging and continuous. It has been called an encomium to democracy and, at the same time, a blueprint for totalitarianism. Individualists, collectivists, anarchists, and socialists have all taken courage from Rousseau’s controversial masterpiece.
Summary: This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing....+
This is a new reading of the thrilling account of one of the most astonishing feats of exploration and human courage ever recorded.
In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.
Lansing describes how the men survived a 1,000-mile voyage in an open boat across the stormiest ocean in the world and an overland trek through forbidding glaciers and mountains. The book recounts a harrowing adventure, but ultimately it is the nobility of these men and their indefatigable will that shines through.
Summary: With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Germinal chronicles the conflicts,....+
With flawless construction and impeccable detail, Germinal chronicles the conflicts, lusts, and deprivation of life in the coal fields of nineteenth-century France.
A father and three of seven children work brutal hours, facing such hazards as landslides, fire, and poisoned air, to scrape together enough money for food. When their lodger, Étienne, shares ideas of a workers’ revolt, the family gradually embraces his plans. Soon the settlement is aflame with resolve to strike for better wages and working conditions. Savage and horrifying events ensue as miners clash with management and with each other. Where people once merely struggled for food they are now dying of starvation. The hungry wage war against the sated, against the resignation of their peers, and ultimately against hunger itself.
Published in 1885, Germinal helped establish Émile Zola as the leading figure in the French school of naturalistic fiction. This masterpiece has been called one of the ten best novels in the French language.
Summary: The Diary of Anne Frank is read and loved by children throughout the world.....+
The Diary of Anne Frank is read and loved by children throughout the world. Yet few of those readers know what life was really like for the young Jewish girl before and after she wrote her famous diary. Written in a lively yet sympathetic style, Anne Frank’s Story follows Anne Frank from her birth in Germany and her happy childhood in Amsterdam through the years she and her family spent in hiding from the Nazis, to her imprisonment and eventual death in the concentration camp. “This book gives children the opportunity to meet Anne Frank, to know her story and her destiny, and to learn that discrimination in every form is evil and inhuman.”--Buddy Elias, first cousin to Anne Frank
Summary: Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life....+
Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion, following Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar’s conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionnaires, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion.
From penetrating insights into the mind of history’s greatest general to a grunt’s-eye view of the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age, this riveting true account sets a new standard of excellence and detail to which all authors of ancient military history will now aspire.
Summary: Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler's....+
Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler's German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the twentieth century's blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. Shirer’s unforgettable account of the pivotal characters and events of that critical era benefits from his many years as a reporter and his own personal recollections, as well as from the mass of historical documents retrieved from the German Foreign Office. The result is a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany and managed to take the country with him on his mad six-year quest for world domination, only to see it go down in flames in the end.
Summary: In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart:....+
In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart: June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world. Here is the story of three true men--Stephen Langton, William Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh--whose heroic deeds prevailed against the ever deceitful and crafty King John. The freedom and self-rule established by the Magna Charta set a precedent for other movements ever since, from the Declaration of Independence to the United Nations Charter. Newbery Award-winning author James Daugherty gives us the dramatic and sweeping account of this pageantry of history through his inimitable style. This audio edition is sure to thrill and enlighten a new generation of readers.
Summary: Set in the Parisian underworld of the early nineteenth century, Les Misérables....+
Set in the Parisian underworld of the early nineteenth century, Les Misérables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, once an honest peasant, who spent nineteen years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving family. A hardened and bitter criminal upon his release, Valjean is transformed when an act of compassion by a priest he robbed saves him from returning to prison. Changing his identity and his ways, Valjean becomes a successful industrialist and eventually the town mayor. Taking compassion on the poor, he raises the orphaned daughter of a prostitute as his own, never telling her of his shady past. Yet he is haunted by it, still pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert, who does not believe in moral redemption. When Valjean’s daughter, Cosette, falls in love with a young revolutionary, Javert concocts a plot to catch both the lawless peasants and the elusive Valjean once and for all. Full of suspense, romance, and powerful social commentary, this sweeping epic became the gospel of the oppressed and is widely considered one of the greatest French novels of its age.
Summary: Find wisdom and inspiration in one of the greatest adventures ever told.
Find wisdom and inspiration in one of the greatest adventures ever told.
Let this audio book be your guide as you discover hidden truths embedded in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure. As one of the best-selling books of the last 100 years, and now a blockbuster movie, the magical charm of The Hobbit has delighted millions. But there is a spiritual dimension that will strike an even deeper chord. The Spiritual World of the Hobbit will take you behind the scenes, revealing Tolkien's beliefs and motivations. From there it will walk you step-by-step through the story itself, uncovering powerful themes of providence, mercy, and courage that are as important in our own lives today as they were to the hobbits in Middle-Earth.
As you take a closer look at this timeless tale of good vs. evil, you will be filled with wonder once again. For you will see that at the heart of The Hobbit, Tolkien embedded images of faith and spiritual longing that are sure to inspire us all.
Summary: Rather than celebrating warfare, 50 Battles That Changed The World looks at....+
Rather than celebrating warfare, 50 Battles That Changed The World looks at the clashes the author believes have had the most profound impact on world history. Listed in order of their relevance to the modern world, they range from the ancient past to the present day and span the globe many times over. This book is not so much about military strategy as the implications of the battles that were vital in shaping civilization as we know it. Some of the battles in this book are familiar to us all-Bunker Hill, which prevented the American Revolution from being stillborn, and Marathon, which kept the world's first democracy alive. Others may be less familiar-the naval battle at Diu (on the Indian Coast), which led to the ascendancy of Western Civilization and the discovery of America, and Yarmuk, which made possible the spread of Islam from Morocco to the Philippines. About the Author: William Weir, a former Army combat correspondent and photographer in the Korean War, has written eight previous books, including 50 Weapons that Changed Warfare and 50 Battles that Changed the World. In addition to his Army service, Weir has been a newspaper reporter and a public relations specialist. He is now retired and lives in Guilford, Connecticut with his wife, Anne. About the Narrator: An actor and voice talent, Rick has narrated a wide variety of commercial and corporate work, including a series of webcasts and audiobooks. He lives in Seattle.
Summary: The delicious life of one of the most beloved figures in twentieth-century....+
The delicious life of one of the most beloved figures in twentieth-century American culture. With a swooping voice, an incredible sense of humor, and a passion for good food, Julia Child ushered in the nation’s culinary renaissance. In Julia Child, award-winning food writer Laura Shapiro tells the story of Child’s unlikely career path, from California party girl to coolheaded chief clerk in World War II spy station to bewildered amateur cook and finally to the Cordon Bleu in Paris, the school that inspired her calling. A food lover who was quintessentially American, right down to her little-known recipe for classic tuna fish casserole, Shapiro’s Julia Child personifies her own most famous lessons, that learning how to cook means learning how to live. About the Author: Laura Shapiro is a journalist and historian whose work has appeared in many publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times, and Gourmet. She is the author of Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century and Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America. About the Narrator: Julia Prud'homme has been working as an actress throughout her life. She has acted in stage productions regionally and in New York and L.A., on television in "The Office", "Without A Trace" and "Raines" as well as in many independent films. She also can be seen in a small part in the Nora Ephron film "Julie & Julia" based, in part, on Julia Child's memoir. Julia is especially pleased to narrate this book, as her great-uncle and great-aunt were Paul and Julia Child.
Summary: No one knew it was going to be that bad. World War II killed some 60 million....+
No one knew it was going to be that bad. World War II killed some 60 million people—20 million of them soldiers—and inflicted wounds, bereavement, poverty and suffering on countless others. But such destruction was an impossible to imagine in advance as it was for young pilots-in-training to imagine their coming fiery deaths; or for Jews to foresee their last moments in the gas chambers; or for parents to imagine their children killed by the mortars and bullets and other munitions that factories churned out in such enormous quantities. As impossible, perhaps, as it is for us to imagine a disaster of similar scale in our future.The War presents an unforgettable mosaic of memoirs from soldiers, citizens and historians, detailing the immense tragedy that stretched from the Western Front to the Pacific Theater. About the Author: Clint Willis, Adrenaline Series editor, has been a climber and an armchair mountaineer since he was ten years old. His writing about technology, finance and the outdoors has appeared in more than 100 publications, including Men's Journal, Outside, Rock & Ice and The New York Times, and he is a contributing editor of Forbes ASAP and Worth magazines. He lives with his wife and two sons in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. About the Narrator: Grover Gardner, a Washington, D.C.-based actor, director and audiobook narrator, has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, as well as Resident Director at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. Recently, he has been active in educational theater, directing student productions for local universities, and teaching graduate-level courses in acting and voice-over work. He was named one of Audiofile Magazine’s Golden Voices of 1999 and has received 5 Helen Hayes Award nominations of his work. He has recorded over 450 audiobooks and was named by AudioFile Magazine as one of "Best Voices of the Century."
Summary: Richard Wurmbrand, born on March 24, 1909, was a Romanian Christian minister....+
Richard Wurmbrand, born on March 24, 1909, was a Romanian Christian minister of Jewish descent. He was a youth during a time of anti-Semitic activity in Romania, but it was later, after becoming a believer in Jesus Christ as Messiah, and daring to publicly say that Communism and Christianity were not compatible, that he experienced imprisonment and torture for his beliefs. After serving five years of a second prison sentence, he was ransomed for $10,000. After spending time in Norway and England, he and his wife Sabina, who had also been imprisoned, emigrated to America and dedicated the rest of their lives to publicizing and helping Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. He wrote more than eighteen books, translated into more than 60 languages, the most widely known being "Tortured for Christ." He founded the international organization, Voice Of The Martyrs, which aids Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith. Wurmbrand died on February 17, 2001. Recording obtained and published by Rick Sheridan.
Summary: Sir Alexander Fleming (August 6, 1881 - March 11, 1955) was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist.....+
Sir Alexander Fleming (August 6, 1881 - March 11, 1955) was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. He wrote many articles on bacteriology, immunology, and chemotherapy. His best-known discoveries are the enzyme lysozyme in 1923 and the antibiotic substance penicillin from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928, for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain. The following is from a 1950 talk he gave on the development of antibiotics.
Summary: JRR Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor....+
JRR Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor best known as the author of fantasy works like "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings." Listen as Tolkien reads "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," "The Mewlips," "The Hoard," "Perry-The-Winkle," and "The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon." Also included is a reading of "A Elbereth Gilthoniel" in Elvish and "The Road Goes Ever On," sung by William Elvin with music by Donald Swann.
Summary: Along with historical narrative, hear rare recordings of some of the most people....+
Along with historical narrative, hear rare recordings of some of the most people in history, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Edward Gladstone, Guiglielmo Marconi, William McKinley, Leo Tolstoy, William Booth, Pope Leo Xlll, Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Dr. Frederick Cook, and William E. Peary. Recording obtained and published by Rick Sheridan.
Summary: James Ramsay MacDonald, (October 12, 1866 - November 9, 1937) was a British statesman who....+
James Ramsay MacDonald, (October 12, 1866 - November 9, 1937) was a British statesman who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, leading a Labour Government in 1924, and from 1929 to 1931, and a National Government from 1931 to 1935. The following is a 1929 political broadcast discussing peace and unemployment. George V, born on June 3, 1865, was the King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from May 6, 1910, until his death on January 20, 1936. The following 1932 recording is the first royal Christmas Day broadcast, which started an annual tradition. Edward VIII (June 23, 1894 - May 28, 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from January 20 to December 11, 1936. The following is the December 11, 1936 broadcast to the nation and the Empire, explaining his decision to abdicate the throne so that he might marry his love, Wallis Simpson, an American. Stanley Baldwin (August 3, 1867 - December 14, 1947) was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars. The following is from a 1937 speech extolling the virtues of British life versus German Nazi life. Neville Chamberlain (March 18, 1869 - November 9, 1940) was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. When Adolf Hitler continued his aggression by invading Poland, Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War. The following is a September 1938 recording regarding the Munich Agreement. George VI (December 14, 1895 - February 6, 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India, and the first Head of the Commonwealth. His life is the basis for the Academy Award winning movie, “The King’s Speech,” featuring actors Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. The following is a broadcast on D-day, June 6, 1944.
Summary: Hear seven minutes of a 1959 interview with Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung on....+
Hear seven minutes of a 1959 interview with Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung on the BBC program, “Face to Face,” hosted by John Freeman. This probing interview with Jung, considered the world’s greatest psychiatrist, provides a rare glimpse into his personal viewpoints and sheds insight into his pioneering work. Afterward, Jung was taken aback at the unexpectedly positive response from the general public. This strong interest in his work inspired Jung to write his final work, “Man and His Symbols,” his theory of the symbolism of dreams, explained in lay terms so as to be accessible to all who would come seeking answers. About the Author: Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is often considered the first modern psychologist to state that the human psyche is "by nature religious" and to explore it in depth.
Summary: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859 – July 7, 1930) was a Scottish physician....+
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859 – July 7, 1930) was a Scottish physician and author, best-known for his Sherlock Holmes stories--considered milestones in the crime fiction genre--and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works included science fiction stories and fantasy novels, most notably “The Lost World,” as well as, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. The following 1930 recording is from a talk on creating Sherlock Holmes, and spiritualism.
Summary: Along with historical narrative, hear rare recordings of some of the most people....+
Along with historical narrative, hear rare recordings of some of the most people in history, including James J. Corbett, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell, Emperor Franz Joseph, Gen. John J. Pershing, Edward H. Sothern, Rudolph Valentino, President Coolidge with Charles Lindbergh, Billy Sunday, and Rudyard Kipling. Recording obtained and published by Rick Sheridan.