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Audiobooks by Charles River Editors

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LoveReading Top 10

  1. The Final Twist Audiobook The Final Twist
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  2. The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War Audiobook The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
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  3. Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking Audiobook Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking
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  4. Win at Work and Succeed at Life: 5 Principles to Free Yourself from the Cult of Overwork Audiobook Win at Work and Succeed at Life: 5 Principles to Free Yourself from the Cult of Overwork
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  5. Left You Dead Audiobook Left You Dead
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  6. Protector: The epic new adventure through the battlefields of ancient Greece Audiobook Protector: The epic new adventure through the battlefields of ancient Greece
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  7. Because of You: The instant Sunday Times bestseller 2020 Audiobook Because of You: The instant Sunday Times bestseller 2020
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  8. The Wife Who Got a Life Audiobook The Wife Who Got a Life
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  9. Covet Audiobook Covet
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  10. The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World Audiobook The Power of Geography: Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World
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Hubble Space Telescope, The: The History and Legacy of the World’s Most Famous Telescope Audiobook

Hubble Space Telescope, The: The History and Legacy of the World’s Most Famous Telescope

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: April 2021

On April 24, 1990, the Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on the Space Shuttle Program’s 35th mission, but this was no ordinary mission. In its payload bay, Discovery was carrying the Hubble Space Telescope, with the objective of putting the telescope into orbit. By the time the Hubble telescope reached orbit, it was already the world’s most famous telescope, but it was also the most scorned. The telescope cost nearly $2 billion more to complete than anticipated, and to make matters worse, the first images it sent back were skewed. When the telescope immediately began transmitting defective images, NASA and the telescope became laughingstocks, literally. In the popular comedy movie Naked Gun 2 1/2, released in 1991, one scene in a café shows a picture of the telescope between pictures of the Titanic and the Hindenburg, implying it was a disaster. It would take three years to launch another space shuttle mission to fix the telescope, and that would be just the first of five servicing missions that have been performed in the 21 years the telescope has been in orbit. However, within about a year of fixing it, the telescope captured images of a major event in the solar system. In July 1994, the telescope provided a firsthand observation of a comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9, breaking apart and slamming into Jupiter. The comet broke into about two dozen pieces, some of them more than a mile wide, and hit the giant planet with the force of millions of atomic bombs. In addition to capturing the streaking comet breaking up and colliding with Jupiter, the telescope captured images of the impact marks that were left on Jupiter’s surface, helping astronomers study Jupiter’s atmosphere and debris left by major impacts.

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Stone Age, The: The History and Legacy of the Prehistoric Period When Humans Started Using Stone Too Audiobook

Stone Age, The: The History and Legacy of the Prehistoric Period When Humans Started Using Stone Too

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: April 2021

A generally accepted figure for the larger Stone Age featuring the first use of stone tools begins at 3.4 million years in the early Paleolithic Age. In a brief interim period of two thousand years following the end of the most recent Ice Age, the Mesolithic period serves as a transition to the Neolithic running from 8700 to 2000 BCE. More conservative estimates place the span of the Stone Age at 2.5 million years, ending around 3000 BCE. Modern dating systems are intended to provide approximate conclusions within large epochs, not pinpoint calendar dates, and shifts of opinion are ongoing. Grouped together, the Stone Age phases for the tripartite Stone Age are drawn from the Greek words Palaios (old) and Lithos (stone). The proliferation of sub-categorizations was designed as a method for studying early humans within a more organized set of chronologies. Before such terms came into use in the eighteenth century, the best available tracing of early man came from the Greek poet Hesiod. His categorization of prehistory followed a scheme through the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Heroic Age, and Iron Age. Such an arrangement is by all appearances more of a reflection of and salute to human mythology gathered by the threads of emerging and past cultures. Something more scientific was required for scholars of the Enlightenment. The solution was provided by Christian J. Thomsen, a Danish antiquarian who relied on a three-part system of identification. In the larger picture of earth’s pre-history, his sequence of Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages gained consensus. The Stone Age’s separation into Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic brought about a clearer dividing line for epochs where humans began to work with metal.

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Ancient Smyrna: The History and Legacy of the Influential Greek City in Anatolia Audiobook

Ancient Smyrna: The History and Legacy of the Influential Greek City in Anatolia

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: April 2021

Smyrna was one of the various cities that enjoyed brief yet important periods of influence in which they spawned important dynasties, were the scenes of history-changing battles, and were the sites of great advances in philosophy, science, and economics. However, despite the fact it endured in influence for more than 2,000 years, Smyrna never truly gained the reputation of better-known locales in the ancient world. Located on the west coast of what is today the nation-state of Turkey, at its height, Smyrna was a relatively stable and influential Greek city that embraced cultural influences from its Anatolian neighbors. Today, ancient Smyrna is known for being the location of one of the “Seven Churches” of the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, and archaeological and textual studies of the city and its surrounding area reveal that its history and influence go back centuries before the apostle Paul walked through its streets and converted the masses to the new religion of Christianity. Long before Smyrna was a part of the Ionian League, and even before it took on a Greek identity and the name “Smyrna,” the area in and around Smyrna was inhabited by people who were part of various Indo-European cultures and pre-Indo-European cultures of Bronze Age Anatolia. The early people of Anatolian Smyrna had contact with the fabled city of Troy and the Hittites of central Anatolia and were probably part of one of two powerful Indo-European kingdoms in the Late Bronze Age. When the Bronze Age collapse took place after 1200 BCE, the region around Smyrna was affected, but the people continued on and formed closer ties with the Greeks on the other side of the Aegean. Thus, Smyrna eventually became an important Greek city, even as it was ruled by the Lydians, Persians, and finally the Romans. 

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Doggerland: The History of the Land that Once Connected Great Britain to Continental Europe Audiobook

Doggerland: The History of the Land that Once Connected Great Britain to Continental Europe

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: March 2021

Among the most significant water displacement phenomena in the Western world was Doggerland on the northern European continent. The notable inundation occurred in both a steady and eruptive fashion covering a vast stretch of former tundra, a land bridge between today’s British Isles and the European continent. The event brought about the modern English Channel and an expanded North Sea, and unlike the early supercontinents, the inundation of Doggerland took place after the appearance of people. Incrementally submerged since roughly 18,000 years ago as the climate warmed, the patch of sea between Britain and Europe is the subject of much recent scientific scrutiny. Several fields are participating in the inquiry as to how and why the inundation took place, and the nature of the peoples that settled there. This encompasses earliest man to Neanderthals and on through the Mesolithic prototype of the modern European. The sunken plain that has commonly been dubbed Doggerland is based on its highest point, a now submerged island ridge called Dogger Bank. The name has been associated for several centuries with Dutch fishing vessels called Doggers. These two-masted craft fished the area for cod over hundreds of years. Where the island ridge once sat above the water as the last portion to be submerged, the prominent sand bank is now regarded as both a shipping hazard and treasure trove of potential research. Doggerland: The History of the Land that Once Connected Great Britain to Continental Europe examines what the area was like, the processes that led to it being submerged, and ongoing studies of it. 

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Stoicism: The History and Legacy of the Influential Ancient Greek Philosophy Audiobook

Stoicism: The History and Legacy of the Influential Ancient Greek Philosophy

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: March 2021

Although the school of philosophy started by Socrates and championed by Plato and Aristotle continues to be the most famous, other schools of thought began to branch, including the Epicureans and Cynics. In the 3rd century B.C., Stoicism arose in response to and under the influence of these older schools, combining many of the best theories from each into a more cohesive whole. With a greater flexibility and more practical application to everyday life, Stoicism quickly became a very popular school of thought, a growth made exponential by its introduction to the Romans. Unlike other philosophies, Stoicism could and did appeal to all classes, and two of its most famous practitioners exemplified this perfectly, one a slave and one an emperor. Due to its widespread appeal and application, as well as its compatibility with basic doctrines, Stoicism was often a natural partner in the rise of Christianity, and thus it remained a popular topic throughout European history and into the present day. Indeed, the true endurance of Stoicism comes from its very real ability to transform lives and allow its practitioners to experience a contentment with their lives that can otherwise be hard to achieve. Stoicism: The History and Legacy of the Influential Ancient Greek Philosophy examines how Stoicism developed, what it teaches, and how it affected people over thousands of years. 

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Mandate for Mesopotamia, The: The History and Legacy of British Occupation and Iraq’s Independence a Audiobook

Mandate for Mesopotamia, The: The History and Legacy of British Occupation and Iraq’s Independence a

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: March 2021

Although the League of Nations was short-lived and clearly failed in its primary mission, it did essentially spawn the United Nations at the end of World War II, and many of the UN’s structures and organizations came straight from its predecessor, with the concepts of an International Court and a General Assembly coming straight from the League. More importantly, the failures of the League ensured that the UN was given stronger authority and enforcement mechanisms, most notably through the latter’s Security Council, and while the League dissolved after a generation, the UN has survived for over 70 years.  One of the League’s most lasting legacies was the manner in which it handed over administrative control of land in the Middle East to the victorious Allied Powers, namely France and Britain. The Ottoman Empire quickly collapsed after World War I, and its extensive lands were divvied up between the French and British. While the French gained control of the Levant, which would later become modern day nations like Syria and Lebanon, the British were given mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine. The British Mandate for Palestine gave the British control over the lands that have since become Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, while Mesopotamia covered modern Iraq.  The British, like so many others since, failed to grasp the full complexity of Arab sectarianism and the cross-currents of internal politics, and with a policy premised on their own broad strategic interests, they simply laid the groundwork of future political catastrophe for Iraq and the Middle East in general. Thus, while the intention of the mandate system was to have the administrators peacefully and gradually usher in independent states, and both European powers eventually attempted to withdraw from the region, anyone with passing knowledge of the Middle East’s history in the 20th century knows that the region has seen little peace. 

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Gaius Marius: The Life and Legacy of the General Who Reformed the Roman Army Audiobook

Gaius Marius: The Life and Legacy of the General Who Reformed the Roman Army

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: February 2021

Julius Caesar is still remembered for winning a civil war and helping bring about the end of the Roman Republic, leaving a line of emperors in its place, but it’s quite possible that none of what Caesar did would’ve happened without the template for such actions being set 40 years earlier. At the time, when Caesar was in his teens, war was being waged both on the Italian peninsula and abroad, with domestic politics pitting the conservative, aristocratic optimates against the populist, reformist populares, and this tension ultimately escalated into an all-out war. One of the leading populares was Caesar’s uncle, Gaius Marius, a military visionary who had restructured the legions and extended the privileges of land ownership and citizenship to legionaries on condition of successful completion of a fixed term of service. In the late 2nd century BCE, Marius had waged a successful campaign against several Germanic tribes, and after earning eternal fame in the Eternal City, Marius was appointed a consul several times. In 88 BCE, he entered into conflict with his erstwhile protégé, the optimate Sulla, over command of the army to be dispatched against Mithridates VI of Pontus, a long-time enemy of Rome and its Greek allies.   Ironically, Marius’s reforms had made the legions fiercely loyal to their individual generals rather than the state, which allowed Sulla to march his army against Rome and force Marius into exile. With that, Rome’s first civil war was officially underway, but Sulla’s triumph proved short-lived. Just as Sulla departed for a campaign, Marius returned at the head of a scratch army of veterans and mercenaries, taking over the city and purging it of Sulla’s optimate supporters, and though Marius died in 86 BCE, his party remained in power. 

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Heaven’s Gate: The History and Legacy of Marshall Applewhite’s Notorious Doomsday Cult Audiobook

Heaven’s Gate: The History and Legacy of Marshall Applewhite’s Notorious Doomsday Cult

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: January 2021

On paper, the extraordinarily unorthodox ideology spouted by Heaven's Gate ranks near the top of the list of most outlandish end-of-the-world prophecies, and it was built on a blend of Christian, Gnostic, supernatural, New Age, and extraterrestrial lore. Although the cult did not speak in Christian terms, it was clearly apocalyptic, and its belief system was a strange mix between science fiction and the basic message of Revelation. The cult’s leader, Marshall Applewhite, and his female companion, Bonnie Nettles, concluded that they were the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:3-4: “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the Earth.” Applewhite believed the Earth would be transformed and renewed, and that evil entities (not beasts, but in this case, aliens) called Luciferans conspired against humanity. In his view, the elect members of Heaven's Gate would be taken up to a spaceship when the hour came. The opportunity to join the Rapture arrived with the passing of comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. Applewhite told his congregation that a spaceship was following the comet, and that the event would mark the closure of the gates of Heaven, making the spaceship the last opportunity to leave Earth. Over the course of three days, 39 members committed ritual mass suicide, all dressed identically, to be taken up by the UFO.  Heaven’s Gate: The History and Legacy of Marshall Applewhite’s Notorious Doomsday Cult chronicles the notorious cult and the mass suicide. 

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Qatna: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Syrian Kingdom during the Bronze Age Audiobook

Qatna: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Syrian Kingdom during the Bronze Age

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: January 2021

The Early Bronze Age in the Near East (c. 3300-2100 BCE) was an era of significant cultural, political, and scientific development. At the same time, city-states became empires, gaining hegemony over the region, and then collapsed, sending Mesopotamia and the Levant into political chaos. The Sumerians were the dominant ethnic group during the first part of the Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia, and the Semitic Akkadians followed them, with the language of the latter became the lingua franca of the Near East for more than a millennium. However, as the Early Bronze Age transitioned into the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2100-1550 BCE), new ethnic groups came to prominence that would once more change the region’s political composition. These groups ushered in a new era where the Near East’s cultural and economic focus shifted from southern Mesopotamia to central and northern Mesopotamia and the Levant. The primary ethnic group that led this transition was the Amorites, who were originally a collection of nomadic Semitic tribes from the deserts of Arabia. When the Amorites began steadily infiltrating the cities and states of Mesopotamia and Syria around 2000 BCE, they brought a new way of conducting geopolitics in the region while adopting many centuries-old Mesopotamian and Levantine traditions regarding religion literacy and other aspects of culture. The legendary Hammurabi (r. circa 1792-1750 BCE) descended from the Amorites and most famously established the First Dynasty of Babylon, but other rulers named Hammurabi also reigned in Mari, Assyria, Yamhad, and Qatna. The Kingdom of Qatna, named for the primary city in the kingdom, was located on the other Amorite states’ geographical periphery in the northern Levant but was still a significant participant in the Near East’s geopolitical system during the Middle Bronze Age.

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Ottoman-Russian Wars of the 18th Century, The: The History of the Conflicts that Strengthened Russia Audiobook

Ottoman-Russian Wars of the 18th Century, The: The History of the Conflicts that Strengthened Russia

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: January 2021

In the wake of taking Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire would spend the next few centuries expanding its size, power, and influence, bumping up against Eastern Europe and becoming one of the world’s most important geopolitical players. It was a rise that would not truly start to wane until the 19th century, and in the centuries before the decline of the “sick man of Europe,” the Ottomans frequently tried to push further into Europe. Some of those forays were memorably countered by Western Europeans and the Holy League, but the Ottomans’ most frequent foe was the Russian Empire, which opposed them for both geopolitical and religious reasons. From negotiations to battles, the two sides jockeyed for position over the course of hundreds of years, and the start of the fighting may have represented the Ottomans’ best chance to conquer Moscow and change the course of history. The Ottoman-Russian Wars of the 18th Century: The History of the Conflicts that Strengthened Russia and Led to the Decline of the Ottoman Empire looks at the various origins of the belligerence, how the battles went, and how they influenced both empires’ histories.

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Cochise: The Life and Legacy of the Famous Apache Chief Audiobook

Cochise: The Life and Legacy of the Famous Apache Chief

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: January 2021

Among all the Native American tribes, the Spanish, Mexicans, and Americans learned the hard way that the warriors of the Apache were perhaps the fiercest in North America. Based in the Southwest, the Apache fought all three in Mexico and the American Southwest, engaging in seasonal raids for so many centuries that the Apache struck fear into the hearts of all their neighbors. What is reliably documented about Cochise is that the violence he participated in during the 1860 and 1870s was preceded by years of attempted peaceful negotiations with the intruding settlers. His approach to compromise resulted in a portion of the Butterfield Overland Mail route to cross a portion of territory in which his group was dominant. He sought peace with compromise and diplomacy, and as a result of his diplomacy and his fearlessness in battle, he became the leader of the Chokonenband of the Chiricahua Apache. While most often referred to as “Chief,” the word is not in the Apache language - he was the leader, and the Apache culture demanded he would remain so until another warrior proved superior. As diplomacy became more difficult, Cochise became more pressured in the defense of his territory in southeast Arizona. Reared in the nomadic Apache lifestyle and the cultural trait of raiding, Cochise turned his primary targets away from the hated Mexicans south of the border to intruding Anglos north of the borderlands. The name Cochise became so widely known throughout Arizona Territory that it became indiscriminately linked with all depredations both large and small. It was, in fact, an unfair linkage of Cochise to the abduction of a young boy and the subsequent confrontation between him and an Army lieutenant named “Bascom'' that secured both their names in Arizona history and launched the Apache Wars, a series of conflicts that lasted long after Cochise’s death.

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Ancient Yamhad: The History and Legacy of Syria’s First Great Kingdom Audiobook

Ancient Yamhad: The History and Legacy of Syria’s First Great Kingdom

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: January 2021

The creative impetus of organized society in the Fertile Crescent initially came from southern Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians introduced writing and other hallmarks of civilization to the region just before 3000 BCE, but in less than 1,000 years, things changed dramatically. Mesopotamia experienced the rise and fall of the Sumerian based dynasty in Uruk in the early 3rd millennium BCE, followed by the Akkadian Dynasty in the mid-3rd millennium, and the Third Dynasty of Ur in the late 3rd millennium. Each of these dynasties claimed hegemony over large parts of Mesopotamia during the apogees of their power, with the Ur III Dynasty even expanding its influence (but not control) into Syria and Persia. However, when these great regional powers collapsed, it created a vacuum in which new city-states would form, grow, and repeat the process. The city-states that were in the middle of Mesopotamia would either reap the benefits of this process by taking land and cities, or they would experience the pitfalls by being conquered or destroyed, but those on the periphery had a unique perspective and experience. In the late 3rd millennium, the Kingdom of Yamhad, which was located in northern Syria, sat just outside Mesopotamia but was close enough to play an important role in the geopolitical situation in both regions. Due to archaeological limitations and a lack of primary texts discovered in the primary Yamhad city of Halab, the story of Yamhad has been told primarily through texts from neighboring cities, but the image of Yamhad that emerges is one of a powerful Middle Bronze Age state whose kings were politically shrewd and orientated towards trade and diplomacy over war. Yamhad was strong enough to resist the encroachment of Hammurabi and Babylon, but it eventually succumbed to the powerful and bellicose Hittites. Even still, well after the Kingdom of Yamhad was destroyed, elements of its culture continued to influence the Levant, and particularly Syria.

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