Audiobooks by Charles River Editors

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  1. The Silence of Scheherazade Audiobook The Silence of Scheherazade
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  2. Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want Audiobook Think Big: Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want
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  3. Appetite: A Memoir in Recipes of Family and Food Audiobook Appetite: A Memoir in Recipes of Family and Food
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  4. A Line to Kill: from the global bestselling author of Moonflower Murders Audiobook A Line to Kill: from the global bestselling author of Moonflower Murders
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  5. Such a Quiet Place Audiobook Such a Quiet Place
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  6. 1979 Audiobook 1979
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  7. The Reckoning: America's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal Audiobook The Reckoning: America's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal
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  8. Land of Big Numbers Audiobook Land of Big Numbers
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  9. Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose Audiobook Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose
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  10. What We Find Audiobook What We Find
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Sacred Animals in Ancient Egypt: The History of the Egyptians’ Different Concepts of Animal Diviniti Audiobook

Sacred Animals in Ancient Egypt: The History of the Egyptians’ Different Concepts of Animal Diviniti

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

To the ancient Egyptians, the gods and goddesses were all around them and could be seen daily in nature. Nearly every animal found in ancient Egypt, both domestic and wild, were associated with a god or goddess, which can be seen in Egyptian art where deities are often depicted with human bodies and animal heads. Or sometimes the deities are portrayed as complete animals. Since deities were associated with certain animals, all animals of a specific species were given divine and protected status. The reverence that ancient Egyptians had for certain animals evolved during the long duration of Pharaonic history until by the Late Period animals of specific species were mummified by the thousands as offerings for their associated deities. For instance, ibises were mummified for the god Thoth, while cats were mummified for the goddess Bastet. Modern archaeologists have uncovered most of the Late Period animal mummies in the region near the modern village of Saqqara, which has become known as the “Sacred Animal Necropolis.” Although most of the animal mummies discovered in the Sacred Animal Necropolis of Saqqara are the thousands of nameless ibises, falcons, crocodiles, and cats, the region was also home to another, more important animal cult. The Serapeum, which housed the mummified remains of the dead Apis bulls, was a much grander burial location than the other sacred animals enjoyed in Saqqara and for good reason – the Apis cult was much more important and enduring than the Late Period animal cults. The Apis cult began early in Egyptian history and gradually rose to prominence until, like the other animal cults, it became the object of popular veneration for all Egyptians. Despite gaining popularity with Egyptians of the lower classes, the Apis cult was also patronized by all of Egypt’s kings, which included foreign kings who wanted to legitimize their rule in the eyes of the Egyptian people.

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Order of Assassins, The: The History and Legacy of the Secretive Persian Sect during the Middle Ages Audiobook

Order of Assassins, The: The History and Legacy of the Secretive Persian Sect during the Middle Ages

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

Like the shinobi, more commonly known as the ninja, the assassin is yet another fabled figure with ancient roots that remains astonishingly relevant to this day. Assassins in the context of contemporary pop culture often conjure up images of brooding, silver-tongued individuals in peak physique, equipped with impeccable style, flawless marksmanship, and exemplary hand-to-hand combat skills. Others visualize strapping, muscular men, their mysterious faces almost entirely obscured by the heavy hoods of their capes, toting quivers, an assortment of daggers strapped to their waists, and glinting blades hidden up their sleeves, a portrayal popularized by the chart-topping video game franchise Assassin's Creed. These invisible executioners lurk soundlessly in the shadows, clocking their target's every move before lunging forth, restraining them with acrobatic stunts and cat-like reflexes, and going in for the kill. But again, like the shinobi, the genuine lore and long-lived legends surrounding the assassin, along with fanciful fabrications stemming from creative liberties taken by modern storytellers, have become so homogenized that the differences between historical and mythical assassins are imperceptible to most. This itself is a pity, given the provocative and riveting history of the Hashashin, the original assassins, because in their case, truth is often stranger than fiction. Known as the Order of Assassins, the Hashashin were not run-of-the-mill hitmen who simply followed the money and exterminated whichever mark was assigned to them by their employers, nor were they unfeeling, vicious butchers who merely pounced on the opportunity to quench their thirst for blood. In reality, the group that became the namesake for assassins and the term assassination consisted of a well-oiled, systematized fraternity of extremist death-dealing agents recruited by the Nizari Ismaili state.

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Battle of the Persian Gate, The: The History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire’s Last Stand against A Audiobook

Battle of the Persian Gate, The: The History of the Achaemenid Persian Empire’s Last Stand against A

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

Over the last 2,000 years, ambitious men have dreamed of forging vast empires and attaining eternal glory in battle, but of all the conquerors who took steps toward such dreams, none were ever as successful as antiquity’s first great conqueror. Leaders of the 20th century hoped to rival Napoleon’s accomplishments, while Napoleon aimed to emulate the accomplishments of Julius Caesar. But Caesar himself found inspiration in Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), the Macedonian king who managed to stretch an empire from Greece to the Himalayas in Asia by the age of 30. It took less than 15 years for Alexander to conquer much of the known world. Ever since the famous Persian invasions that had been repelled by the Athenians at Marathon and then by the Spartans at Thermopylae and Plataea, Greece and Persia had been at odds. For the past few years they had enjoyed an uneasy peace, but that peace was shattered when, in 334 BCE, Alexander crossed the Hellespont into Persia. He brought with him an army of 50,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry and a navy of over 100 ships, a mixed force of Macedonians, Greeks, Thracians and Illyrians, all chosen for their specific strengths (the Thessalians, for example, were famous cavalrymen). He was still just 22. Darius III, king of Persia at the time of Alexander’s invasion, was no tactical genius, but he was an intelligent and persistent enemy who had been handed the throne just before the arrival of the indomitable Alexander. His misfortune was to face an enemy at the forefront of military innovation and flexibility, a fighting force that he was not equipped to handle, and the unconquerable will of the Macedonian army, fueled by devotion to their daring and charismatic king. 

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The Gran Sasso Raid: The History of the Nazi Operation to Rescue Benito Mussolini from Captivity dur Audiobook

The Gran Sasso Raid: The History of the Nazi Operation to Rescue Benito Mussolini from Captivity dur

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

As Sicily fell and the Allies prepared to press on, Italy’s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, was actually arrested to prevent him from doing further damage. Il Duce still held considerable power in the eyes of many ground-level activists, and if left unchecked, the possibility of violence in the streets was genuine. He was jailed in Campo Imperatore on August 28, 1943, on one of the largest mountains in Central Italy, but when the new Italian government surrendered to the Allies, most of the Italian mainland was still controlled by the Germans, who now pushed out to oppose not just the Western Allies but the Italians. In one tragic move, the Germans attacked the Italians without mercy on all fronts, slaughtering their former allies and taking no prisoners, while the remnants of the Italian military, located on national soil, fought to stop their former allies from the far-reaching south to the last man to allow easy access to British and American troops. Immediately, all dormant anti-Fascist resistance cells sprung up around Italy, organizing a massive movement of armed resistance against the German invaders.   During his dictatorship and World War II, Hitler routinely betrayed alliances, repudiated solemn pacts when it suited him and generally acted without consideration for others, but Mussolini seemed to be the one exception. Hitler seems to have formed few close personal relationships in his life, but his friendship with Mussolini appears to have been genuine, and it would survive military catastrophe and the destruction of the Nazi empire. Thus, when Mussolini finally found himself imprisoned by the Italian authorities and threatened with execution or being handed over to the Allies, Hitler personally authorized a daring mission to rescue the Italian dictator. 

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Aztlán: The History and Mystery of the Aztec’s Ancestral Home Audiobook

Aztlán: The History and Mystery of the Aztec’s Ancestral Home

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Jim Johnston Release Date: July 2021

Unlike the Mayans, the Aztecs are not widely viewed or remembered with nuance, in part because their own leader burned extant Aztec writings and rewrote a mythologized history explaining his empire’s dominance less than a century before the Spanish arrived. Naturally, Cortés and other Spaniards depicted the Aztecs as savages greatly in need of conversion to Catholicism, so while the Mayans are remembered for their astronomy, numeral system, and calendar, the Aztecs have primarily been remembered in a far narrower way, despite continuing to be a source of pride to Mexicans through the centuries. One of the most elusive topics about the Aztecs concern their origins, in particular the city of Aztlán, which is said to be the place from which the Aztecs came. To this day, the physical location of Aztlán has yet to be found, leading to debates about where it could have been, or even whether it was simply a mythological location. For centuries, historians and archaeologists have studied ancient documents and codices in an attempt to physically locate this ancestral city, while other scholars maintain that Aztlán is nothing but an origin myth, and there is not enough evidence in the sources to suggest that it was ever a real place. Many theories about Aztlán have been proposed throughout the centuries, some strongly based on information provided by historical and archaeological evidence. Others are based purely on conjecture. There are even some who have suggested that Aztlán corresponds to the mythical Atlantis based on a series of similarities in the descriptions of both places. For example, Plato described Atlantis as a city built over a lake, just as Aztlán was said to be.

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The Kingdom of Moab: The History of the Ancient Kingdom that Fought Against the Israelites’ Invasion Audiobook

The Kingdom of Moab: The History of the Ancient Kingdom that Fought Against the Israelites’ Invasion

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

The Biblical-era Kingdom of Moab was located primarily in modern Jordan, but we do not know precisely when it came into being. However, by the tenth century BCE, a proto-Moabite kingdom was extant. We are also not sure about the roots of the Moabite name. The etymology of the name Moab is not completely clear and according to Jewish tradition, the name stems from the Semitic word for father, 'abi.' Therefore, the name means 'from my father.' Since the name Moabites, and presumably the culture they represented, disappeared from the area during the Persian era, the concept of a Moabite area refers mainly to the Iron Age, and to a lesser extent, the Bronze Age. Our primary written source on Moab is the Hebrew Bible and as we will see, they played a particular rhetorical role for Biblical authors. However, we have Egyptian and even Moabite sources to cross with the Hebrew Bible; therefore, we have a better picture of Moab than of most middling kingdoms of the time. Nonetheless, our image is partial and limited. The Kingdom of Moab: The History of the Ancient Kingdom that Fought Against the Israelites’ Invasion of Canaan examines the knowns and unknowns about the Moabites, from Biblical descriptions of them to what archaeologists have discovered. 

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Ancient Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities Audiobook

Ancient Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities

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

People associate the story of ancient Jericho with walls, and for those who are Biblically inclined, they think of the walls that God brought tumbling down to the sound of trumpets. For historians who are more archaeologically oriented, it may suggest the prehistoric walls uncovered by Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger between 1907 and 1911. To modern societies, walls suggest the division between people and defenses erected out of hatred and mistrust. However, while the story of Jericho does indeed involve walls, they represented something far different than that. More than anything else, ancient Jericho was a point of convergence between cultures, kingdoms, religions, and societies. The reality of that ancient city, possibly the oldest city in human history, was nothing like the story presented in the Bible. Jericho: The History and Legacy of One of the World’s Oldest Cities examines the knowns and unknowns about the ancient city, along with its long history over nearly 12,000 years. 

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Homo habilis: The History of the Archaic Hominins and Their Use of Stone Tools Audiobook

Homo habilis: The History of the Archaic Hominins and Their Use of Stone Tools

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

One of the earliest species of the genus Homo to be discovered is Homo habilis, which basically means “handy man.” The name comes from the belief at the time of its discovery that this species was the first to start using stone tools. The first fossils to be uncovered in Olduvai Gorge were from the same stratigraphic layer as simple stone tools. Fossils of the crania and postcranial skeleton for this species have been found in both eastern and southern Africa and date to around 2.5–1.6 million years ago. Given the gradual changes that take place in evolution, Homo habilis shares a number of characteristics that are similar to the genus Australopithecus, such as in the postcranial elements. That said, the size and shape of the Homo habilis skull are markedly different. The size of the brain is much larger relative to the size of the body, being around 680 cc. In order to house a larger brain, the skull features a more vertical frontal bone, creating a more vertical forehead. The brow ridges that sit on the lower portion of the frontal bone are also reduced in size. Other reductions in the face include reduced prognathism and a reduction in the size of the premolars and molars. Postcranial elements display clear signs of bipedalism, such as the large toe being in line with the other toes instead being off to the side as they are in modern apes. Furthermore, the arches of the foot are present, allowing the full weight of the body to be supported and act as a shock absorber when walking. The leg bones are also longer than in Australopithecus, but Homo habilis retained long arms. Other primitive features include hand and finger bones that would have made climbing in the trees easier. The robustness of the finger bones is more comparable to those of modern apes than humans.

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The History of Asian Immigrants in the United States during the 20th Century Audiobook

The History of Asian Immigrants in the United States during the 20th Century

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

The story of early Asian immigration to the United States is also one about race legislation and discrimination at a time when global populations were moving with more frequency and merging ahead of their ability to practically assimilate. The greatest involuntary migration in history took place as some 12.5 million black African crossed the Atlantic as slaves.[1] In the New World, the advent of abolition created a knock-on labor crisis that was filled in many instances by contract or indentured labor from India and China while at the same time opportunist migration was taking place from the old cultures of Asia and Europe to the New World and the emerging European colonies. The first Asian immigrant group to make landfall in North America, besides those that crossed the land bridge many thousands of years ago, were the Chinese. The first documented presence of Chinese in the United States were those that landed in the ship Pallas on August 9, 1785 in the port of Baltimore. The ship was owned and operated by Captain John O’Donnell who sailed her regularly between the East Coast and various ports in China, and this, his last voyage, left his crew stranded in the United States. Three among them were Chinese and thirty-three were lascars whose home ports were scattered across South Asia. O’Donnell married and settled on an estate on the outskirts of Baltimore that he named Canton in fond memory of a lifetime of mercantile engagement with the coast of China. A record exists of a petition to Congress submitted by the three Chinese for funds to return home although not of any monies paid. The fate of the three Chinese and thirty-three lascars is unknown.

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Queen Zenobia of Palmyra: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Levant’s Most Famous Queen Audiobook

Queen Zenobia of Palmyra: The History and Legacy of the Ancient Levant’s Most Famous Queen

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

Although the ancient world was for the most part a patriarchal place, more than a few women rose to prominence and were able to exert political power. Hatshepsut (ruled 1479-1458 BCE) was ruler of Egypt’s mighty New Kingdom, and nearly 1,500 years later the more famous Cleopatra VII (reigned 51-30 BCE) was the regent of the Nile Valley. Many other women in Babylon, Assyria, Greece, and Rome played significant roles as regents for their young sons and occasionally as the true power behind the throne. Of these rulers, one of the most significant females in late antiquity was Zenobia, who for just a few short years in the late 3rd century CE ruled the wealthy merchant city of Palmyra. During her time as ruler, Zenobia extended Palmyra’s boundaries from its very circumscribed location in the Syrian desert to that of a full-fledged empire that included most of the Levant, Egypt, and part of Anatolia. Despite living in a man’s world, Zenobia was able to come to power and eventually challenge the Roman Emperor Aurelian (r. 270-275) through a combination of intelligence, guile, and some luck. Zenobia’s immediate impact was her direct challenge to the political authorities in both Rome and Persia. Before Zenobia, Palmyra had a fair degree of autonomy, but it was essentially a Roman client state. Palmyra’s stability and wealth were also dependent upon the various dynasties that ruled Persia: the Persians could attack Palmyra from the desert to the east or they could simply stop the trade routes, thereby destroying the city-state’s wealth. Zenobia sought to establish Palmyra as a power in its own right so that it would no longer be a pawn in the constant wars between Rome and Persia. In Zenobia’s eyes, Palmyra was a true equal of the Romans and Persians and should be given an equal place at the geopolitical table when it came to diplomacy and trade.

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Operation Gunnerside: The History and Legacy of the Allied Mission to Sabotage Nazi Germany’s Nuclea Audiobook

Operation Gunnerside: The History and Legacy of the Allied Mission to Sabotage Nazi Germany’s Nuclea

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

When the Nazis’ quest for a nuclear weapon began in earnest in 1939, no one really had a handle on how important nuclear weapons would prove to war and geopolitics. The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, along with the Cold War-era tests and their accompanying mushroom clouds, would demonstrate the true power and terror of nuclear weapons, but in the late 1930s these bombs were only vaguely being thought through, particularly after the successful first experiment to split the atom by a German scientist. The nuclear age itself was in its infancy, barely 35 years old, but within a few short years the advent of nuclear war loomed over the world and the prospect of a malign dictatorship winning the nuclear race kept Allied leaders awake at night. When the Allies learned the Nazis had a heavy water plant in occupied Norway, they considered various ways to stop it. Bombing raids by the Royal Air Force (RAF) were not practical since they lacked the required accuracy, so it seemed that the only way to slow down or stop the supply of heavy water to the Nazi nuclear program was to mount a commando-style raid on the plant. This would mean sending a handful of men against a well-defended target deep in occupied territory, but the need to interrupt the supply of heavy water was all too clear, even if the means of achieving this was less so. The British turned to the only organization capable of planning and executing such a mission: the Special Operation Executive (SOE), a secret group formed in 1941 with the express purpose of sending in agents to cause mayhem in German-occupied Europe. What resulted was one of the most remarkable raids of World War II, under the name Operation Gunnerside. 

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Milgram Experiment, The: The History and Legacy of the Controversial Social Psychology Experiment Audiobook

Milgram Experiment, The: The History and Legacy of the Controversial Social Psychology Experiment

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

“Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?' – Stanley Milgram  Among psychology experiments, one of the most famous was based on studies into society’s willingness to conform to orders. In the wake of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials, where various Nazis defended their actions by insisting they were simply following orders, various psychologists began to study just how far people were willing to go to listen to authority, even when the authority’s orders were morally dubious. Stanley Milgram oversaw a series of studies in which participants from all kinds of backgrounds were led to believe that they were administering shocks to strangers, and despite the fact that the orders became more severe, the participants continued to administer the shocks, even at levels that could have been deadly. While the study was influenced in part by the Holocaust and people responded to the results with analogies to that genocide, one of the participants himself wrote to Milgram, “While I was a subject in 1964, though I believed that I was hurting someone, I was totally unaware of why I was doing so. Few people ever realize when they are acting according to their own beliefs and when they are meekly submitting to authority.” The Milgram Experiment: The History and Legacy of the Controversial Social Psychology Experiment looks at the origins of the study, how it was conducted, and the effects that the results had on science and psychology. 

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