The American Revolutionary War has inspired best-selling books, iconic paintings, and hit Broadway musicals. More than 250 years after the ´´shot heard around the world” was fired in Concord, questions about our past continue to enthrall us. Why did a group of once-loyal British Americans come to view independence as urgently important? How did Great Britain so alienate its colonists? And how did those colonists - divided along the lines of region, religion, race, ethnicity, and social status - manage to wage and win a war against the world’s greatest superpower? Every American knows and loves the underdog story of our nation’s founding. But how revolutionary was the American Revolution? In 18 energetic lectures, West Point history professor Rob McDonald gets you to look past the politics and battle tactics to the underlying ideas that sparked the Revolution. For the first time, you’ll come to see it as far more than a war for independence. A fluid and animated speaker, Prof. McDonald peppers his lectures with stories of the Revolution’s most colorful characters. You already know George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and John and Abigail Adams. Now you’ll meet a cast of unsung heroes, including the members of Connecticut’s all-female ´´Petticoat Army”, the Jewish immigrant who bankrolled the Continental Army, and the 80-year-old veteran of two wars, Samuel Whittemore. Join Prof. McDonald for a fresh and exciting take on the classic story at the heart of the United States of America. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Prof. Robert McDonald. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/nykm/000932/bk_nykm_000932_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems.David Rakoff´s collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of our funniest, most insightful writers. In Don´t Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff journeys into the land of plenty that is contemporary America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed. Whether contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings of Hooters Air, portraying the rarified universe of Paris fashion shows where an evening dress can cost as much as four years of college, or traveling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft-core Playboy TV shoot, where he is provided with his very own personal manservant, David Rakoff takes us on a bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess, delving into the manic getting and spending that defines the North American way of life.Somewhere along the line, our healthy self-regard has exploded into obliterating narcissism, and Rakoff is there to map that frontier. He sits through the grotesqueries of ´´avant garde” vaudeville in Times Square immediately following 9/11. Twenty days without food allows him to experience firsthand the wonders of ´´detoxification”, and the frozen world of cryonics, whose promise of eternal life is the ultimate status symbol, leaves him very cold indeed (much to our good fortune). At once a Wildean satire of our ridiculous culture of overconsumption and a plea for a little human decency, Don´t Get Too Comfortable is a bitingly funny grand tour of our special circle of gilded-age hell. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Rakoff. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/000661/bk_rand_000661_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The American Revolution is replete with seminal moments that every American learns in school, from the ´´shot heard ´round the world´´ to the Declaration of Independence, but the events that led up to the fighting at Lexington and Concord were borne out of 10 years of division between the British and their American colonies over everything from colonial representation in governments to taxation, the nature of searches, and the quartering of British regulars in private houses. From 1764-1775, a chain of events that included lightning rods like the Townshend Acts led to bloodshed in the form of the Boston Massacre, while the Boston Tea Party became a symbol of nonviolent protest. Of course, the Revolutionary era also produced some of the most famous Americans in history, and Patrick Henry has the ironic distinction of frequently being overlooked in comparison to his contemporaries while also being remembered for speaking one of the most famous lines in American history despite the fact he may never have actually said it. When Henry famously cried out ´´Give me liberty or give me death,´´ he knew a surprising amount about both. He had known the liberty of running across open fields on warm Virginia mornings and of riding at breakneck speed across fields he owned. He had fought for, and won, the liberty of numerous clients he defended in Virginia´s colonial courts. He had also taken the liberty of others, though for different reasons. He owned slaves and saw what it cost them to serve him each day, and he had even kept his own young wife in chains to prevent her from harming herself or one of their children. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim D Johnston. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/088150/bk_acx0_088150_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.