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Libro.fm Picks: For the History Buff

Libro.fm Picks: For the History Buff

Whether you're looking for the perfect audiobook for yourself, or recommendations to send alongside a Libro.fm credit bundle, browse these audiobooks for history buffs!

Playlist Tags: topic: history topic: biography

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Bad Jews

A History of American Jewish Politics and Identities

By Emily Tamkin
Narrated by: Kendra Hoffman
Length: 10 hours 8 minutes

A journalist and author of The Influence of Soros examines the history of Jewish people in America and explores their ever-evolving relationship to the nation’s culture and identity—and each other.

What does it mean to be a Bad Jew?

Many Jews use the term “Bad Jew” as a weapon against other members of the community or even against themselves. You...

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South to America

A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

By Imani Perry
Narrated by: Imani Perry
Length: 16 hours 32 minutes

“An elegant meditation on the complexities of the American South—and thus of America—by an esteemed daughter of the South and one of the great intellectuals of our time. An inspiration.”

—Isabel Wilkerson, New York Times bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

An essential, surprising journey...

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American Midnight

The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis

By Adam Hochschild
Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
Length: 15 hours 6 minutes

From legendary historian Adam Hochschild, a groundbreaking reassessment of the overlooked but startlingly resonant period between World War I and the Roaring Twenties, when the foundations of American democracy were threated by war, pandemic, and violence fueled by battles over race, immigration, and the rights of labor

"A riveting, resonant...

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We Refuse to Forget

A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power

By Caleb Gayle
Narrated by: Caleb Gayle
Length: 6 hours 57 minutes

“An important part of American history told with a clear-eyed and forceful brilliance.” —National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson

We Refuse to Forget reminds readers, on damn near every page, that we are collectively experiencing a brilliance we've seldom seen or imagined…We Refuse to Forget is a new standard in book-making.” —Kiese...
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Papyrus

The Invention of Books in the Ancient World

By Irene Vallejo
Narrated by: Sophie Robert
Length: 17 hours 28 minutes

A rich exploration of the importance of books and libraries in the ancient world that highlights how humanity’s obsession with the printed word has echoed throughout the ages • “Accessible and entertaining.” —The Wall Street Journal

Long before books were mass-produced, scrolls hand copied on reeds pulled from the Nile were the treasures of the... Read more »

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Bad Mexicans

Race, Empire, and Revolution in the Borderlands

By Kelly Lytle Hernández
Narrated by: Joana Garcia
Length: 13 hours 34 minutes

Bad Mexicans tells the dramatic story of the magonistas, the migrant rebels who sparked the 1910 Mexican Revolution from the United States. Led by a brilliant but ill-tempered radical named Ricardo Flores Magón, the magonistas were a motley band of journalists, miners, migrant workers, and more, who organized thousands of Mexican workers—and... Read more »

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Africa Is Not a Country

Notes on a Bright Continent

By Dipo Faloyin
Narrated by: Dipo Faloyin
Length: 9 hours 24 minutes

So often, Africa has been depicted simplistically as a uniform land of famines and safaris, poverty and strife, stripped of all nuance. In this bold and insightful book, Dipo Faloyin offers a much-needed corrective, weaving a vibrant tapestry of stories that bring to life Africa's rich diversity, communities, and histories.

Starting with an... Read more »

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Agatha Christie

An Elusive Woman

By Lucy Worsley
Narrated by: Lucy Worsley
Length: 13 hours 46 minutes

"Nobody in the world was more inadequate to act the heroine than I was."

Why did Agatha Christie spend her career pretending that she was "just" an ordinary housewife, when clearly she wasn't? Her life is fascinating for its mysteries and its passions and, as Lucy Worsley says, "She was thrillingly, scintillatingly modern." She went surfing in... Read more »

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How the Word Is Passed

A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

By Clint Smith
Narrated by: Clint Smith
Length: 10 hours 6 minutes

How the Word Is Passed

“Smith has crafted a resource, narrative and detailed explanation into how we teach the legacy of slavery. He recounts visits from everywhere from NYC to the Whitney Plantation, integrating stories of people and visitors today. This book is lays a beautiful written foundation for interrogating the history we've been taught. Particularly phenomenal as an audiobook, Smith's skills as a poet and writer shine bright!”

Wellesley Books image Eliza, Wellesley Books
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Let the Record Show

A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993

By Sarah Schulman
Narrated by: Rosalyn Coleman Williams & Sarah Schulman
Length: 27 hours 26 minutes

This program includes an introduction read by the author.

One of O, the Oprah Magazine's 32 LGBTQ Books That Will Change the Literary Landscape in 2021, one of Vogue's 9 LGBTQ+ Books We're Looking Forward to This Spring, one of and Cosmopolitan's LGBTQ+ Books to Add to Your Reading List in 2021, one of The Observer's Spring Books You Don't Want...

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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 13 minutes

If you enjoyed Guns, Germs, and Steel, then you’ll love The Dawn of Everything.

“In this brilliant and sometimes funny reexamination of human history, the authors argue that we are less free than our ancestors, and that it was not inevitable "progress" that brought us here. Using evidence from the last few decades of archeology, the authors contend that the centralization of power in the hands of a few was often avoided in prehistory. This analysis is a hopeful one of a world where we could again have three basic freedoms: the freedom to disobey, the freedom to go somewhere else, and the freedom to create new social arrangements.”

A Great Good Place for Books image Michael, A Great Good Place for Books
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The 1619 Project

A New Origin Story

By Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman & Jake Silverstein
Narrated by: Nikole Hannah-Jones & Full Cast
Length: 18 hours 56 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Marie Claire
 
In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of... Read more »

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Better to Have Gone

Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville

By Akash Kapur
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 12 hours 38 minutes

*Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New Statesman, Air Mail, and more * Longlisted for the Chautauqua Prize * Recipient of a Whiting Grant*

A “haunting and elegant” (The Wall Street Journal) story about love, faith, the search for utopia—and the often devastating cost of idealism.

It’s the late 1960s,... Read more »

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Sapiens

A Brief History of Humankind

By Yuval Noah Harari
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 15 hours 17 minutes

Sapiens

“I don't own many books. I read books and give them away. However, I will NOT be giving away my copy of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's a keeper! Sapiens was an intense read for me. I found myself taking breaks every dozen pages or so. Not because I was bored - just the opposite. I needed time to let the author's perspective on the history of our species (you, me, us!) sink in. Yuval Noah Harari is irreverent at times and makes mind-blowing assertions in his book. You may not agree with all of his theories, but what he claims will make you see yourself as the animal you are in a refreshing new light. It's even possible that after you read Sapiens your view of the human condition will have shifted dramatically. Superbly translated from the original Hebrew into English by the author himself, Sapiens is accessible to readers of all types of non-fiction and fiction alike.”

The Bookloft image Catherine, The Bookloft
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Vanderbilt

The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

By Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe
Narrated by: Anderson Cooper
Length: 8 hours 50 minutes

New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in...

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Wandering in Strange Lands

A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots

By Morgan Jerkins
Narrated by: Morgan Jerkins
Length: 8 hours 3 minutes

Wandering in Strange Lands

“In Wandering in Strange Lands, Morgan Jerkins brings us along on her journey to learn about her ancestors and herself. This fascinating ethnography leads Jerkins down paths she anticipated and, perhaps most interestingly, down unexpected ones. As she learns more about where and whom she came from, she confronts her image of herself and grapples with some of the truths she finds. Jerkens’s journey takes us first to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia, home of the Gullah Geechee people, and then to Louisiana and its Creole people. In both places, she learns much about her mother’s and father’s families. From there, we travel to Oklahoma where Jerkins explores connections between Native Americans and African Americans, searching for information about the claims in her family of Native American ancestry. And finally, we land in Los Angeles, where Jerkins’s research culminates in a thoughtful and insightful examination of what it means to be Black in the United States. The history, the people, the insight, and the implications of the information in this book make it not only incredibly interesting, but also a significant contribution to our understanding of cultures and connections in the United States.”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store
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A Little Devil in America

Notes in Praise of Black Performance

By Hanif Abdurraqib
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

A Little Devil in America

“I loved Hanif Abdurraqib’s A Little Devil in America. This essential book explores a handful of Black performers—some world-famous, others everyday people—across a wide variety of disciplines, seamlessly woven into snippets and stories from Hanif’s own life about Black culture and the performance of Blackness. JD Jackson’s low and easy narration is the perfect complement. Hanif’s commentary on tenderness and rage is especially moving.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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Empire of Pain

The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

By Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: Patrick Radden Keefe
Length: 18 hours 6 minutes

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINEE A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A grand, devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, famed for their philanthropy, whose fortune was built by Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin. From the prize-winning and bestselling author of... Read more »

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Four Hundred Souls

A Community History of African America, 1619-2019

By Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain
Narrated by: Various
Length: 14 hours 1 minutes

Four Hundred Souls

“An absolutely stunning history of African America for people who do not normally read history. Compiled of short stories, essays, and poems, it is perfect for someone who is intimidated by lists of names and dates. Each individual voice stands on its own but together they truly make a 'choir' that flows together beautifully. This is a one-of-a-kind history that is essential reading for everyone.”

Quail Ridge Books image Tia, Quail Ridge Books
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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 22 hours 40 minutes

The Warmth of Other Suns

“I'm sorry I hadn't gotten to this sooner. Wilkerson pulls together so much of what I already knew about the US but not necessarily why... a great audiobook, too.”

Flyleaf Books image Jamie, Flyleaf Books
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