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Audiobooks by Charles River Editors

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LoveReading Top 10

  1. Little Secrets Audiobook Little Secrets
  2. Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life Audiobook Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
  3. Shelter in Place Audiobook Shelter in Place
  4. People Like Us Audiobook People Like Us
  5. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur Audiobook The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
  6. What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing Audiobook What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing
  7. The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career Audiobook The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Discover Opportunity, Design Your Career
  8. Virgin River Audiobook Virgin River
  9. Life's Too Short Audiobook Life's Too Short
  10. False Witness Audiobook False Witness
The Chicago Outfit and the North Side Gang: The History and Legacy of Chicago's Most Notorious Rival Audiobook

The Chicago Outfit and the North Side Gang: The History and Legacy of Chicago's Most Notorious Rival

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Scott Clem Release Date: March 2019

20th century Chicago was an ideal breeding ground for organized crime. A buzzing circuit board dotted with towering skyscrapers, brick buildings, worker's cottages, and an eclectic collection of greystone manors, the Windy City was further decked out with electric entertainment districts, the theaters, clubs, brothels, restaurants, and niteries that lined its streets. The city was illuminated by dazzling marquees and light-up signage, and enlivened by the muffled medley of midnight chatter and big band music seeping out of the nightspots. Those who ambled along the boardwalks flanking the Chicago River were greeted by moored commercial fishing boats bobbing in the water, as well as bustling stalls stocked with trout, salmon, and rainbow smelt.  The rise of Chicago's gangland can be attributed to a number of factors. First, there was the sudden explosion in its population, which saw an influx of immigrants - mainly from eastern and southern Europe, as well as Americans from neighboring and faraway states - teem into the city in search of promising job opportunities and a better life. The abrupt inundation of permanent citizens rendered the already suffering policeman to civilian ratio out of kilter, and the authorities' control of the city became further unzipped. Moreover, children and impressionable youths were regularly exposed to the overwhelming and unblushing presence of organized crime, meaning that the transitions of petty thieves and minor-league thugs to career crooks and full-time gangsters were only natural segues. The privileged pursued politics, medicine, law, and other respectable professions, but the poor folks, set several steps back by their limited resources, turned to crime. Plenty were desperate to feed their families and cheat the unjust system. In the midst of it all, the Chicago Outfit, one of the longest-running criminal organizations in the land of the free, was perhaps the most notorious of them all. The baleful brotherhood bore a terrifying brand defined by cutthroat competitiveness, sadistic torture tactics, and excessive bloodshed, among scores of other despicable acts. Worse yet, they seemed to be untouchable. Aside from Al Capone himself, there was the vindictive and eerily competent Louis "Little New York" Campagna, a vicious assassin suspected of unloading 59 bullets into a traitorous associate. Then there was Anthony "the Ant" Spilotro, the inspiration for Nicky Santoro, Joe Pesci's character in Martin Scorsese's Casino, who, despite his petite stature, was a barbaric, cruel man with an explosive temper and no capacity for remorse. On top of the infamous M&M Murders, a 25-year-old Spilotro was implicated in the murder of real-estate broker and loan shark Leo Foreman. As if the excruciating blows to the head, ribs, knees, and groin via hammer weren't enough, Foreman was stabbed another 20 times with an ice pick before he was finally relieved of his misery with a bullet to the head. When Foreman's body was eventually recovered in the trunk of a deserted car, it was discovered that "chunks of his body" had been sliced off while he was still breathing.  On February 14, 1929, members of the North Side Gang arrived at a warehouse on North Clark Street in Chicago, only to be approached by several police officers. The officers then marched them outside up against a wall, pulled out submachine guns and shotguns, and gunned them all down on the spot. A famous legend is that one of the shot men, Frank Gusenberg, dying from 14 gunshot wounds, told police that nobody shot him. Though Gusenberg's statement is probably apocryphal, nobody opened their mouths. Nobody was ever convicted for the "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre," the most infamous gangland hit in American history, but it's an open secret that it was the work of America's most famous gangster, Al Capone.

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Rocky Mountain Harry Yount: The Life and Legacy of the Famous American Explorer and Mountain Man Audiobook

Rocky Mountain Harry Yount: The Life and Legacy of the Famous American Explorer and Mountain Man

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Scott Clem Release Date: April 2019

By the golden age of the mountain man in the mid-19th-century, there were perhaps only 3,000 living in the West. Their origins were disparate, although they included many Anglo-Americans. A good number hailed from wilderness regions of Kentucky and Virginia and throughout the newly purchased Louisiana Territory, which occupied the entire central section of the continent. French Canadians traveled from the north to work in the fur trade, while Creole-Europeans represented approximately 15% of the men known to be living the isolated mountain life. Others were of Métis, Spanish, American, Black, Indian, and mixed-blood origin, most often Iroquois or Delaware. Most came to the West in their late adolescent years, the oldest learning the trade in their 30s. Many roamed the west for as long as their constitutions would hold up under constant attacks on their health and personal safety. Some stayed too long and failed to survive the experience. Among the most famous, Jim Bridger arrived at the age of 16, while Edward Robinson was eventually killed in his 60s by what were known as "bad snakes," a reference to the Snake tribe in Idaho country. Jim Beckwourth left the mountains at 68 and Old Bill Williams died at the age of 62 when a band of Utes "made him to come.' During the mid-19th century, the mountain man persona transformed into that of a more multifaceted individual. Frontiersmen who were once alone in the West were hired on as guides and scouts for the military, or for settlement caravans crossing the new trails to the Pacific Northwest and California. The development of the New Mexico Territory became a center for the silver trade, and Californian settlements virtually exploded thanks to the Gold Rush of 1849. Mountain men dabbled in the business world as well, including those enterprises connected to supplies, shipping, and hunting for expanding communities. Several became favorite figures back on the East Coast, where people wanted to hear of tales from the exotic West. A third generation of mountain men followed the Civil War as veterans headed west to test their survival skills learned in the military. The search for opportunities near the Pacific was not merely an option exercised by unemployed soldiers who could find no other use for themselves, as many had no home to which they could return. Meanwhile, the opportunities widened for prospectors, hunters, merchants, farmers, ranchers, and lawmen, occupations not yet in existence for the prior generation. In the case of Civil War veteran Harry S. Yount, a new niche opened with the federal government for the early maintenance of forests in the West, and for the protection of wildlife in the northern Rocky Mountains. Through his service as the first gamekeeper of what was to become Yellowstone National Park, Yount is to this day honored as a prototypical model in the establishment of the National Park Service. Due to his two annual reports to the Department of the Interior later, he is recognized as the first individual to recommend a specialized force with which to guarantee land and wildlife management in the first years of American environmentalism, and pursuant to his knowledge of the wild country of Montana and Wyoming, he was a crucial employee of one of the first major geological expeditions to the Rocky Mountains that charted the land from Montana to Arizona and provided the first thorough scientific study of the great mountain range. Despite some leg dysfunction from a wound received in the war, and with little experience as a mountaineer, Yount joined several geologists and cartographers in the first ascents of the major peaks of the Grand Teton Range. His era was the first in which some in the West began to seriously consider the preservation of once abundant wildlife species. 

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Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre: The Creation and Destruction of America’s Wealthiest  Audiobook

Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre: The Creation and Destruction of America’s Wealthiest

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Stephen Platt Release Date: August 2020

Overall, Tulsa in 1921 was considered a modern, vibrant city. What had fueled this remarkable growth was oil, specifically the discovery of the Glenn Pool oil field in 1905. Within five years, Tulsa had grown from a rural crossroads town in the former Indian Territory into a boomtown with more than 10,000 citizens, and as word spread of the fortunes that could be made in Tulsa, people of all races poured into the city. By 1920, the greater Tulsa area boasted a population of over 100,000. In turn, Tulsa’s residential neighborhoods were some of the most modern and stylish in the country, and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce produced postcards and literature boasting of the virtues of life in their modern oil city. However, as a commission report about the Tulsa Riot later pointed out, “What the pamphlets and the picture postcards did not reveal was that, despite of its impressive new architecture and its increasingly urbane affectations, Tulsa was a deeply troubled town. As 1920 turned into 1921, the city would soon face a crossroads that, in the end, would change it forever...Tulsa was, in some ways, not one city but two.” When they came to Tulsa, many blacks settled in the Greenwood area and established a thriving commercial, cultural, and residential area. Of course, the segregation was forced on these residents, and while they had fled the worst conditions of the Jim Crow South in other areas, they were not able to escape it completely. But in one way, Tulsa was different for African Americans, as black citizens of the city shared in the city’s wealth, albeit not as equally as their white neighbors. The Greenwood district, a 36 square block section of northern Tulsa, was considered the wealthiest African American neighborhood in the country, called the “Black Wall Street” because of the large number of affluent and professional residents.

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Domestication of Cats, The: The History of the Only Domesticated Felidae Species and Their Relations Audiobook

Domestication of Cats, The: The History of the Only Domesticated Felidae Species and Their Relations

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Daniel Houle Release Date: September 2020

Mankind's obsession with felines is an enigma in and of itself. Unlike dogs, famously known as man's most excitable, trustworthy, and loyal friend, cats are oftentimes indifferent, guarded, and yet finicky little furry creatures who only yearn for attention and affection when one is neck-deep in work or otherwise preoccupied. And still, people adore them all the same. In a recent poll that surveyed 600 American college students, 60% of the participants identified themselves as “dog lovers,” whereas only 11% pledged their love for cats. The remaining 29% regarded themselves as fans of both critters or fans of neither. Be that as it may, there is said to be anywhere between a staggering 88=94 million pet cats in the United States alone, which eclipses the roughly 84-90 million pet dogs in the country. In the same breath, while more households around the world share a roof with a canine companion, as reflected in the results of this particular survey and most other similar polls, more cat owners have taken it upon themselves to look after more than one pet. This just goes to show that the passion that cat lovers have for their feline friends is evidently comparable with, if not arguably greater than that of dog lovers as a whole.  The Domestication of Cats: The History of the Only Domesticated Felidae Species and Their Relationship with Humans examines the origins of this exceptional bond, including scientific and mythical theories, and explores how cats were domesticated. 

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The Book of the Dead: The History and Legacy of Ancient Egypt's Famous Funerary Texts Audiobook

The Book of the Dead: The History and Legacy of Ancient Egypt's Famous Funerary Texts

Author: Charles River Editors, Markus Carabas Narrator: Jim Johnston Release Date: March 2019

Given the abundance of funerary artifacts that have been found within the sands of Egypt, it sometimes seems as though the Ancient Egyptians were more concerned with the matters of the afterlife than they were with matters of the life they experienced from day to day. This is underscored most prominently by the pyramids, which have captured the world's imagination for centuries. The pyramids of Egypt are such recognizable symbols of antiquity that for millennia, people have made assumptions about what they are and why they exist, without full consideration of the various meanings these ancient symbolic structures have had over the centuries. Generations have viewed them as symbols of a lost past, which in turn is often portrayed as a world full of romance and mystery. This verbal meaning has become associated with the structures through the tourism industry, where intrigue obviously boosts ticket sales. In fact, the Egyptian pyramids are so old that they were also drawing tourists even in ancient times. In antiquity, the Great Pyramid of Giza was listed as one of Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, and it is the only one still surviving today. The age and structural integrity of the pyramids also make them symbols of longevity and power, which is only fitting because those are two purposes the ancient pharaohs who commissioned these works intended them to serve. For the pharaohs, the construction of these large monuments presented an opportunity for them to showcase their influence and become something to be remembered by, both in the society they ruled and in the annals of history that would follow. Even as new dynasties came and went, and even as Egypt was subjected to foreign domination and rulers from across the world, the pyramids have continued to stand as a prominent testament to Ancient Egypt's glorious past. Though the ancient tombs have been extensively plundered, they still stand as gateways to the afterlife that provide a murky window into the past of a fascinating civilization. Most importantly, the relatively untouched tomb of the young King Tutankhamun offered clear insight. Many of the objects that were discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb were clearly made specifically for him and his burial, such as the coffins, funerary masks, canopic equipment and statues. Other objects, such as the furniture, clothing, and chariots, were obviously items that had been used during Tutankhamun's lifetime. The motifs found upon many of his possessions depicted him in triumph over his enemies. For example, a painted wooden chest bears a fine example of such a scene; the king is shown in his chariot, followed by his troops, attacking a group of Nubians. Scenes depicting aggression and triumph over Egypt's enemies by Egypt's king are classical examples of Egyptian kingship.  To accomplish all the necessities the Egyptians believed in, they relied on spells and invocations, which were collected in a series of funerary texts such as the Pyramid Texts. By the era of the New Kingdom, the most popular funerary text was The Book of the Dead, one of the most evocative titles of literature in the history of humankind. Its mystical writings offer a glimpse into a realm of magical thinking beyond the skills of most writers of fiction. Resplendent with highly accomplished artwork, The Book of the Dead has enraptured scholars and laymen for centuries. For that reason, it may surprise many that The Book of the Dead does not actually exist as a book. In fact, what is referred to as The Book of the Dead today is actually the accumulation of around 400 spells that exist in transliteration and translation from the whole gamut of Egyptian history.

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Republic of Turkey: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Collapse and t Audiobook

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Republic of Turkey: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Collapse and t

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Tim Planiden Release Date: February 2020

The fall of the Ottoman Empire set the political and geostrategic scene of the new Middle East. In 1920, two years after the end of the war, the region was already experiencing growing instability. The issues and trends that would plague the region until today were growing. On April 4, Arab riots broke out in Jerusalem, fueled by the growing hostility against the Zionist movement. The British passivity would convince one of the Jewish leaders, Vladimir Jabotinsky (the future founder of the Israeli right-wing), of the strategic necessity of a strong Jewish military as the core of the future state. Just two weeks later in Turkey, the Grand National Assembly in Ankara set the foundation of the Turkish state, opening the way for several years of reforms. In Iraq, a Shiite revolt broke out in the south, as locals demanded the creation of an Islamic state. The British compromise was to place Faisal, the son of Sharif Hussein and a Sunni, on the throne. His father, meanwhile, was embroiled in a conflict with a local tribe, the Ibn Saud, that sought to carve a new kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula. More broadly, the long decline of the “sick man of Europe” fostered the emergence of nationalistic and ideological movements that are still key to any understanding of the Middle East today. The compatibility between the Islamic religion and culture and Western reforms were first discussed within the Ottoman Empire, and they are still up for debate today. Abdul Hamid’s pan-Islamism, while its results at the time remain limited, still resonates within the Muslim world and can still be seen as a viable rival to the region’s various nationalistic aspirations.

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Submarine Warfare in World War II: The History of the Fighting Under the Waves in the Atlantic and P Audiobook

Submarine Warfare in World War II: The History of the Fighting Under the Waves in the Atlantic and P

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Dan Gallagher Release Date: November 2016

Danger prowled under both the cold gray waters of the North Sea and the shimmering blue waves of the tropical Atlantic during World War II as Adolf Hitler's Third Reich attempted to strangle Allied shipping lanes with U-boat attacks. German and British submarines combed the vast oceanic battlefield for prey, while scientists developed new technologies and countermeasures. During World War I, German U-boats operated solo except on one occasion. Initially, the British and nations supplying England with food and materiel scattered vessels singly across the ocean, making them vulnerable to the lone submarines. However, widespread late war re-adoption of the convoy system tipped the odds in the surface ships' favor, as one U-boat skipper described: “The oceans at once became bare and empty; for long periods at a time the U-boats, operating individually, would see nothing at all; and then suddenly up would loom a huge concourse of ships, thirty or fifty or more of them, surrounded by a strong escort of warships of all types.” (Blair, 1996, 55). However, even the wolf-pack proved insufficient to defeat the Atlantic convoys and stop Allied commerce – the precise opposite of the Pacific theater, where America's excellent submarine forces annihilated much of Japan's merchant marine and inflicted severe damage on the Imperial Japanese Navy. Submarines exercised a decisive impact on the outcome of the Pacific Theater in World War II. The U.S. submarine fleet, largely though not exclusively under the overall command of Vice Admiral Charles Lockwood, strangled the supply lines and shipping traffic of the Empire of Japan. Their commerce raiding crippled both Japan's ability to keep its frontline units supplied and to manufacture the weapons, vessels, and vehicles needed to successfully carry on the struggle. The United States and Japan both produced excellent, high-tech submarines in the context of the World War II era. Japanese I-boats showed excellent seakeeping capabilities and offered the versatility created by their large size, including the ability to serve as motherships for midget submarines or aircraft carriers for scouting aircraft or even specialized bombers. The Type 93 Long Lance and Type 95 torpedoes they carrier packed enough punch to sink capital ships like battleships and carriers at ranges of several miles. Though constituting only 1.6% of the total U.S. Navy’s tonnage in the Pacific, the submarine fleet inflicted massive losses on the Imperial Japanese Navy and Japan's crucial merchant marine. Submarines sank 55% of the merchant shipping lost, or approximately 1,300 vessels; overall, the Allies sank 77% of Japan's shipping. The submarines also sank 214 Japanese warships, including 82 of 1,000 tons or more – 4 carriers, 4 escort carriers, one battleship, 4 heavy cruisers, 9 light cruisers, 38 destroyers, and 23 submarines – or approximately 30% of the entire Imperial Japanese Navy. The sleek, predatory craft made in the shipyards of Virginia, Wisconsin, or Washington state devastated the naval and freighter assets of the Empire of the Rising Sun out of all proportion to their numbers, at a cost of 42 submarines on “Eternal Patrol.”

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The Orphan Train Movement: The History of the Program that Relocated Homeless Children Across Americ Audiobook

The Orphan Train Movement: The History of the Program that Relocated Homeless Children Across Americ

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: William Crockett Release Date: November 2016

By the middle of the 19th century, New York City’s population surpassed the unfathomable number of 1 million people, despite its obvious lack of space. This was mostly due to the fact that so many immigrants heading to America naturally landed in New York Harbor, well before the federal government set up an official immigration system on Ellis Island. At first, the city itself set up its own immigration registration center in Castle Garden near the site of the original Fort Amsterdam, and naturally, many of these immigrants, who were arriving with little more than the clothes on their back, didn’t travel far and thus remained in New York. Of course, the addition of so many immigrants and others with less money put strains on the quality of life. Between 1862 and 1872, the number of tenements had risen from 12,000 to 20,000; the number of tenement residents grew from 380,000 to 600,000. One notorious tenement on the East River, Gotham Court, housed 700 people on a 20-by-200-foot lot. Another on the West Side was home, incredibly, to 3,000 residents, who made use of hundreds of privies dug into a fifteen-foot-wide inner court. Squalid, dark, crowded, and dangerous, tenement living created dreadful health and social conditions. It would take the efforts of reformers such as Jacob Riis, who documented the hellishness of tenements with shocking photographs in How the Other Half Lives, to change the way such buildings were constructed. While the Melting Pot nature of America is one of its most unique and celebrated aspects, the conditions also created a humanitarian crisis of sorts. In the 19th century, child labor was still the norm, especially for poor families, and no social welfare systems were in place to provide security for people. As a result, if a child was abandoned or orphaned, they were at the mercy of an ad hoc system of barely tolerable orphanages with little to no centralization. Minorities and immigrants were also discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity and religion. Into this issue stepped the Children’s Aid Society, led by Charles Loring Brace, who determined he could improve abandoned kids’ futures by helping relocate them further to the West, which would also help Americans settle the frontier. By coordinating with train companies, Brace was able to transport dozens of children at a time to places in the heartland of America or further out west, where they would end up in new homes, decades before the existence of foster care. Genealogist Roberta Lowrey, a descendant of one of these orphans, noted that the situations for many of those on the Orphan Trains were vastly different, but in all, the system worked: “Many were used as strictly slave farm labor, but there are stories, wonderful stories of children ending up in fine families that loved them, cherished them, [and] educated them. They were so much better off than if they had been left on the streets of New York. ... They were just not going to survive, or if they had, their fate would surely have been awful.” In time, the success of the system led to coordination between dozens of agencies across multiple cities, including Boston and Chicago, helping move thousands of endangered children from the East Coast to other parts of the nation. Nearly 1,000 children were being transported a year at the height of the program, which lasted into the 1920s.

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The Ancient Nubians: The History of One of the Oldest Civilizations in Africa Audiobook

The Ancient Nubians: The History of One of the Oldest Civilizations in Africa

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: November 2016

During the several centuries that ancient Egypt stood as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, civilizations of the ancient world, conflicts with its neighbors often played a central role in hieroglyphic texts and art from temples and tombs. The three primary enemies of the Egyptians were the Libyans who occupied the Western Desert and its oases, the so-called Asiatics who lived in the Levant, and finally the Nubians to Egypt’s south. Among the three peoples, the Nubians were the most “Egyptianized” and at times were integral to the development of Egyptian history. Truly, the Nubians were the greatest of all sub-Saharan peoples in pre-modern times and deserve to be studied in their own right, apart from ancient Egyptian history. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for scholars to separate aspects of ancient Nubian culture that were truly unique and “Nubian” from those elements that were Egyptian, as the Nubians borrowed heavily in terms of culture from their northern neighbor. One historian noted, “As expected, strong Nubian features and dark coloring are seen in their sculpture and relief work. This dynasty ranks as among the greatest, whose fame far outlived its actual tenure on the throne. Especially interesting, it was a member of this dynasty that decreed that no Nehsy (riverine Nubian of the principality of Kush), except such as came for trade or diplomatic reasons, should pass by the Egyptian fortress and cops at the southern end of the Second Nile Cataract. Why would this royal family of Nubian ancestry ban other Nubians from coming into Egyptian territory? Because the Egyptian rulers of Nubian ancestry had become Egyptians culturally; as pharaohs, they exhibited typical Egyptian attitudes and adopted typical Egyptian policies.” Robert S. Bianchi went even further: “It is an extremely difficult task to attempt to describe the Nubians during the course of Egypt's New Kingdom, because their presence appears to have virtually evaporated from the archaeological record. The result has been described as a wholesale Nubian assimilation into Egyptian society. This assimilation was so complete that it masked all Nubian ethnic identities insofar as archaeological remains are concerned beneath the impenetrable veneer of Egypt's material culture.” An in-depth examination of the ancient Nubians reveals that although the Nubians were closely related culturally in many ways to the Egyptians, they produced a culture that had many of its own unique attributes and was far more advanced than any other culture in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the ancient Nubians get second billing to the Egyptians and are therefore not known as well to the general public, they were truly a remarkable people who left a cultural legacy that has stood the test of time. The Ancient Nubians: The History of One of the Oldest Civilizations in Africa looks at the history of the group and its influence across the region.

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Frank and Jesse James in the Civil War: The History of the Bushwhackers Who Became Outlaws of the Wi Audiobook

Frank and Jesse James in the Civil War: The History of the Bushwhackers Who Became Outlaws of the Wi

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: January 2017

The Civil War is best remembered for the big battles and the legendary generals who fought on both sides, like Robert E. Lee facing off against Ulysses S. Grant in 1864. In kind, the Eastern theater has always drawn more interest and attention than the West. However, while massive armies marched around the country fighting each other, there were other small guerrilla groups that engaged in irregular warfare on the margins. Among these partisan bushwhackers, none are as infamous as William Quantrill and Quantrill’s Raiders. Quantrill’s Raiders operated along the border between Missouri and Kansas, which had been the scene of partisan fighting over a decade earlier during the debate over whether Kansas and Nebraska would enter the Union as free states or slave states. In “Bleeding Kansas”, zealous pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces fought each other, most notably John Brown, and the region became a breeding ground for Unionists and pro-slavery factions who shifted right back into similar fighting once the Civil War started. Rather than target military infrastructure or enemy soldiers, the bushwhackers rode in smaller numbers and targeted civilians on the other side of the conflict, making legends out of men like Bloody Bill Anderson and John Mosby. Though Quantrill’s Raiders were named after their famous leader William Clark Quantrill, the most notorious of the Raiders was none other than Jesse James. Frank and Jesse James have become American legends for their daring robberies and narrow escapes from the law, and many people, especially in the South, see them as folk heroes, unreconstructed rebels fighting for the Lost Cause against rich Northern bankers and capitalists. While that last bit is a matter for debate, the James brothers did indeed consider themselves Southern rebels at heart. The Wild West has made legends out of many men after their deaths, but like Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse James was a celebrity during his life. However, while Hickok was (mostly) a lawman, Jesse James was and remains the most famous outlaw of the Wild West, with both his life of crime and his death remaining pop culture fixtures. James and his notorious older brother Frank were Confederate bushwhackers in the lawless region of Missouri during the Civil War. Despite being a teenager, Jesse James was severely wounded twice during the war, including being shot in the chest, but that would hardly slow him down after the war ended. Eventually, Quantrill’s Raiders headed south, and they eventually split off into several groups. Quantrill himself was killed while fighting in June 1865, nearly two months after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, but his name was kept alive by the notorious deeds of his Raiders during the war and the criminal exploits of former Raiders like Jesse and Frank James, as well as the Younger brothers. These men became some of America’s most famous outlaws, and they used guerrilla tactics to rob banks and trains while eluding capture. While their robberies were conducted more to enrich themselves than to strike back against the North, their rebel credentials were impeccable. The brothers came from a secessionist, slaveholding family and both fought for the Confederacy in the bitterest guerrilla war the nation has ever seen. To understand their outlaw careers, and their enduring legacy, one must understand how Frank and Jesse James fought during the Civil War. Frank and Jesse James in the Civil War: The History of the Bushwhackers Who Became Outlaws of the Wild West chronicles the history and events that involved the James brothers during the Civil War, and how the Civil War affected their lives as outlaws.

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South Africa: The History and Legacy of the Nation from European Colonization to the End of the Apar Audiobook

South Africa: The History and Legacy of the Nation from European Colonization to the End of the Apar

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: March 2019

The Boer War was the defining conflict of South African history and one of the most important conflicts in the history of the British Empire. Naturally, complicated geopolitics underscored it, going back centuries. In fact, the European history of South Africa began with the 1652 arrival of a small Dutch flotilla in Table Bay, at the southern extremity of the African continent, which made landfall with a view to establishing a victualing station to service passing Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ships. The Dutch at that point largely dominated the East Indian Trade, and it was their establishment of the settlement of Kaapstad, or Cape Town, that set in motion the lengthy and often turbulent history of South Africa. The Napoleonic Wars radically altered the old, established European power dynamics, and in 1795, the British, now emerging as the globe's naval superpower, assumed control of the Cape as part of the spoils of war. In doing so, they recognized the enormous strategic value of the Cape as global shipping routes were developing and expanding. Possession passed back and forth once or twice, but more or less from that point onwards, the British established their presence at the Cape, which they held until the unification of South Africa in 1910. However, it would only come after several rounds of conflicts. On June 1, 1948, Daniel Malan arrived in Pretoria by train to take office, and there he was met by a huge crowd of cheering whites. He told the audience, "In the past, we felt like strangers in our own country, but today, South Africa belongs to us once more. For the first time since Union, South Africa is our own. May God grant that it always remain our own." Back in Johannesburg, the leadership of the ANC, including the young attorney Nelson Mandela, listened to these celebratory prognostications in a grim mood. As strangers in their own country, they all understood that the South African liberation struggle would not be won overnight. In fact, the era of apartheid was only just about to formally start. Although apartheid is typically dated from the late 1940s until its dismantling decades later, segregationist policies had been the norm in South Africa from nearly the moment European explorers sailed to the region and began settling there. Whether it was displacing and fighting indigenous groups like the Khoi and San, or fighting other whites like the Boer, separation between ethnicities was the norm in South Africa for centuries before the election of Malan signaled the true rise of the Afrikaner far right.  The man most associated with dismantling apartheid, of course, is Nelson Mandela. With the official policy of apartheid instituted in 1948 by an all-white government, Mandela was tried for treason between the years of 1956-61 before being acquitted. He participated in the Defiance Campaign of 1952, and oversaw the 1955 Congress of the People, but when the African National Congress was banned in 1960, he proposed a military wing, despite his initial reluctance toward violent resistance, a reluctance which had its roots in original nonviolent protests through the South African Communist Party. The ANC did not openly discourage such an idea, and the Umkhonto we Sizwe was established. Mandela was again arrested in 1962 and tried for attempts to overthrow the government by violence. The sentence was five years of hard labor, but this was increased to a life sentence in 1964, a sentence handed down to seven of his closest colleagues as well. 

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Fight for Lithuanian Independence, The: The History and Legacy of Lithuania in the 20th Century Audiobook

Fight for Lithuanian Independence, The: The History and Legacy of Lithuania in the 20th Century

Author: Charles River Editors Narrator: Colin Fluxman Release Date: November 2020

Modern day Lithuania is a small country bordering the Baltic Sea with a population of less than 3 million people, but despite its relative size, the nation has exerted an influential role on the history of the region. More recently, in the 20th century, Lithuania was caught between much larger powers in two world wars and then the Cold War. Along with neighbors Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania was one of the only states to truly break free of the Soviet Union when the latter dissolved in 1991. Now entrenched in the EU’s political and security bloc, Lithuania has seen unprecedented economic growth and prosperity, although Vilnius is still wary of the Russian giant on its doorstep.  Given everything going on around it, it should come as little surprise that Lithuania’s history during the 20th century revolved around the remarkable resilience of its people in the face of aggression and imperialism from first Russia, then Nazi Germany, then the Soviet Union. The Fight for Lithuanian Independence: The History and Legacy of Lithuania in the 20th Century examines the geopolitics of the region, Lithuania’s place in it, and the most important events in Lithuania’s recent history. 

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