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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time

A Collection of Some of our favourite history reads (Summer 2022)

Playlist Tags: Perfect Books genre: History history bookseller recommended

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Twelve Caesars

Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern

By Mary Beard
Narrated by: Mary Beard
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes

This audiobook narrated by bestselling author Mary Beard explores how images of Roman autocrats have influenced art, culture, and the representation of power


What does the face of power look like? Who gets commemorated in art and why? And how do we react to statues of politicians we deplore? In this book—against a background of today’s “sculpture...

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Gulag

A History

By Anne Applebaum
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
Length: 27 hours 41 minutes

The Gulag—a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners—was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the...

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The Quiet Americans

Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War--a Tragedy in Three Acts

By Scott Anderson
Narrated by: Robertson Dean & Scott Anderson
Length: 22 hours 1 minutes

“Enthralling. . . . Lying and stealing and invading, it should be said, make for captivating reading, especially in the hands of a storyteller as skilled as Anderson.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
 
At the end of World War II, the United States was considered the victor over tyranny and a champion of... Read more »

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Putin's People

How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West

By Catherine Belton
Narrated by: Dugald Bruce-Lockhart
Length: 18 hours 12 minutes

"This riveting, immaculately researched book is arguably the best single volume written about Putin, the people around him and perhaps even about contemporary Russia itself in the past three decades." —Peter Frankopan, Financial Times

Interference in American elections. The sponsorship of extremist politics in Europe. War in Ukraine. In recent...

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We Don't Know Ourselves

A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958

By Fintan O'Toole
Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
Length: 22 hours 12 minutes

Fintan O'Toole Ireland's leading public intellectual and author of Heroic Failure tells a history of Ireland in his own time a brilliant interweaving of memoir and historical narrative. Fintan O'Toole was born in 1958, and so his life covers Ireland's journey out of underdevelopment and domination by the Church and the country's transformation... Read more »

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The Dawn of Everything

A New History of Humanity

By David Graeber & David Wengrow
Narrated by: Mark Williams
Length: 24 hours 2 minutes

The Dawn of Everything

“What do you do when a 700-page book about the entirety of human history has been sitting unopened on your desk for weeks, taunting you every time you pass it because you know you're going to love it but, man, it's intimidating? You download the audiobook. I've been listening to this radical, invigorating reexamination of the history of civilization in bits and pieces, usually on evening walks, and there's something about being out in the world while listening to these brilliant minds suggest new ways of understanding it that is so powerful. It's a thoroughly researched refutation of the stories we've been told about who we are and why we live the way we do, and an invitation to imagine a better future.”

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In Defense of Witches

The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial

By Mona Chollet
Narrated by: Alix Dunmore
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes

Mona Chollet's In Defense of Witches is a “brilliant, well-documented” celebration (Le Monde) by an acclaimed French feminist of the witch as a symbol of female rebellion and independence in the face of misogyny and persecution.

Centuries after the infamous witch hunts that swept through Europe and America, witches continue to hold a unique...

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A Spy Among Friends

Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

By Ben Macintyre
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 11 hours

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The true story of Kim Philby, the Cold War's most infamous spy, from the master espionage writer and author of The Spy and the Traitor.

Who was Kim Philby? Those closest to him—like his fellow MI6 officer and best friend since childhood, Nicholas Elliot, and the CIA’s head of counterintelligence, James Jesus... Read more »

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Agent Sonya

Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

By Ben Macintyre
Narrated by: Ben Macintyre
Length: 14 hours 13 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) behind the New York Times bestseller The Spy and the Traitor uncovers the true story behind one of the Cold War’s most intrepid spies.

“[An] immensely exciting, fast-moving account.”—The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Foreign Affairs Kirkus...
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Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

By Ibram X. Kendi
Narrated by: Christopher Dontrell Piper
Length: 18 hours 32 minutes

WINNER OF THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER IN RACE AND CIVIL RIGHTS
FINALIST FOR THE 2016 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION
THE MOST AMBITIOUS BOOK OF 2016 —The Washington Post
A BOSTON GLOBE BEST BOOK OF 2016
A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF 2016
A CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF... Read more »

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Fight Like Hell

The Untold History of American Labor

By Kim Kelly
Narrated by: Em Grosland
Length: 12 hours 11 minutes

“Kelly unearths the stories of the people-farm laborers, domestic workers, factory employees—behind some of the labor movement’s biggest successes.” —The New York Times

A revelatory and inclusive history of the American labor movement, from independent journalist and Teen Vogue labor columnist Kim Kelly.

Freed Black women organizing for... Read more »

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Powers and Thrones

A New History of the Middle Ages

By Dan Jones
Narrated by: Dan Jones
Length: 24 hours 25 minutes

"Not only an engrossing read about the distant past, both informative and entertaining, but also a profoundly thought-provoking view of our not-really-so-‘new’ present . . . All medieval history is here, beautifully narrated . . . The vision takes in whole imperial landscapes but also makes room for intimate portraits of key individuals, and... Read more »

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Bloodlands

Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

By Timothy Snyder
Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
Length: 19 hours 14 minutes

Bloodlands

“A comprehensive work of scholarship documenting the nightmarish history of the 'bloodlands' that stretch from Poland to St. Petersburg and then southwest to where Ukraine runs into the Black Sea. In these areas the policies of Stalin and Hitler resulted in the deaths of 14 million people. Snyder asks -- how could so many human lives be brought to a violent end? Using primary sources in multiple languages, Snyder convincingly demonstrates that these deaths were the result not only of the policies of these leaders, but the convergence of their ideologies. He argues that National Socialism and Soviet Communism served as the perfect foils, allowing the totalitarian states to deflect blame on one another and on different ethnic groups living in these areas. He also questions whether in political terms a death can belong to anyone, and observes that at various times leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, and Belarus have all engaged in 'the politics of exaggeration' in an effort to exploit the numbers of dead from their countries to claim victimhood rather than responsibility.”

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