Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes [Audiobook]

Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes [Audiobook]
Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China [Audiobook] by James Palmer, read by George Backman
2012 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 13 mins | 289.84MB

When an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of 1976, killing more than a half-million people, China was already gripped by widespread social unrest. As Mao lay on his deathbed, the public mourned the death of popular premier Zhou Enlai. Anger toward the powerful Communist Party officials in the Gang of Four, which had tried to suppress grieving for Zhou, was already potent; when the government failed to respond swiftly to the Tangshan disaster, popular resistance to the Cultural Revolution reached a boiling point.

In Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes, acclaimed historian James Palmer tells the startling story of the most tumultuous year in modern Chinese history, when Mao perished, a city crumbled, and a new China was born.

Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age [Audiobook]

Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age [Audiobook]
Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age [Audiobook] by Arthur Herman, read by John Curless
2008 | MP3 VBR V4 + EPUB | 29 hrs 22 mins | 974.71MB

In this fascinating and meticulously researched book, bestselling historian Arthur Herman sheds new light on two of the most universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century, and reveals how their forty-year rivalry sealed the fate of India and the British Empire.

They were born worlds apart: Winston Churchill to Britain’s most glamorous aristocratic family, Mohandas Gandhi to a pious middle-class household in a provincial town in India. Yet Arthur Herman reveals how their lives and careers became intertwined as the twentieth century unfolded. Both men would go on to lead their nations through harrowing trials and two world wars—and become locked in a fierce contest of wills that would decide the fate of countries, continents, and ultimately an empire.

Gandhi & Churchill reveals how both men were more alike than different, and yet became bitter enemies over the future of India, a land of 250 million people with 147 languages and dialects and 15 distinct religions—the jewel in the crown of Britain’s overseas empire for 200 years.

Over the course of a long career, Churchill would do whatever was necessary to ensure that India remain British—including a fateful redrawing of the entire map of the Middle East and even risking his alliance with the United States during World War Two.

Mohandas Gandhi, by contrast, would dedicate his life to India’s liberation, defy death and imprisonment, and create an entirely new kind of political movement: satyagraha, or civil disobedience. His campaigns of nonviolence in defiance of Churchill and the British, including his famous Salt March, would become the blueprint not only for the independence of India but for the civil rights movement in the U.S. and struggles for freedom across the world.

Now master storyteller Arthur Herman cuts through the legends and myths about these two powerful, charismatic figures and reveals their flaws as well as their strengths. The result is a sweeping epic of empire and insurrection, war and political intrigue, with a fascinating supporting cast, including General Kitchener, Rabindranath Tagore, Franklin Roosevelt, Lord Mountbatten, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It is also a brilliant narrative parable of two men whose great successes were always haunted by personal failure, and whose final moments of triumph were overshadowed by the loss of what they held most dear.

Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race [Audiobook]

Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race [Audiobook]
Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race [Audiobook] by Graham Farmelo, read by Clive Chafer
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 20 mins | 406.27MB

Perhaps no scientific development has shaped the course of modern history as much as the harnessing of nuclear energy. Yet, the twentieth century might have turned out differently had greater influence over this technology been exercised by Great Britain, whose scientists were at the forefront of research into nuclear weapons at the beginning of World War II.

As award-winning biographer and science writer Graham Farmelo describes in Churchill's Bomb, the British set out to investigate the possibility of building nuclear weapons before their American colleagues. But when scientists in Britain first discovered a way to build an atomic bomb, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not make the most of his country's lead and was slow to realize the bomb's strategic implications. This was odd - he prided himself on recognizing the military potential of new science and, in the 1920's and 1930's, had repeatedly pointed out that nuclear weapons would likely be developed soon. In developing the bomb, however, he marginalized some of his country's most brilliant scientists, and also failed to capitalize on Franklin Roosevelt's generous offer to work jointly on the bomb - and ultimately ceded Britain's initiative to the Americans, whose successful development and deployment of the bomb placed the United States in a position of supreme power at the dawn of the nuclear age. Churchill came to be terrified by the possibility of thermonuclear war and emerged as a pioneer of détente in the early stages of the Cold War.

Contrasting Churchill's often inattentive leadership with Franklin Roosevelt's decisiveness, Churchill's Bomb reveals the secret history of the weapon that transformed modern geopolitics.

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