Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South [Audiobook]

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South [Audiobook]
Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South [Audiobook] by Beth Macy, read by Suzanne Toren
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 59 mins | 299.21MB

The true story of two African American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a 28-year struggle to get them back.

The year was 1899, and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever.

Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even "ambassadors from Mars". Back home their mother never accepted that they were gone and spent 28 years trying to get them back.

Through hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Beth Macy expertly explores a central and difficult question: Where were the brothers better off? On the world stage as stars or in poverty at home? Truevine is a compelling narrative rich in historical detail and rife with implications to race relations today.

Brand Luther [Audiobook]

Brand Luther [Audiobook]
Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Young Minister Turned His Small German Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe - and Started the Protestant Reformation [Audiobook] by Andrew Pettegree, read by Paul Hecht
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 21 mins | 312.67MB

A revolutionary look at Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the birth of publishing on the eve of the Reformation's 500th anniversary.

When an obscure monk named Martin Luther tacked his theses on the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517, protesting corrupt practices, he was virtually unknown. Within months his ideas spread across Germany then all of Europe; within years their author was not just famous but infamous, responsible for catalyzing the violent wave of religious reform that would come to be known as the Protestant Reformation and engulfing Europe in decades of bloody war. Luther came of age with the printing press, and the path to glory of neither one was obvious to the casual observer of the time.

Andrew Pettegree is perhaps our most distinguished living historian of the print revolution, but he launched his career as a historian of the Reformation. That double vision positions him to comprehend this epic event not simply as a religious story but also as a story about how ideas were carried and spread in new ways by new things - things called mass-produced books. Printing was and is a risky business - the questions were how to know how much to print and how to get there before the competition. Pettegree illustrates Luther's great gift not simply as a theologian but as a communicator - indeed, as the world's first mass-media figure, its first brand. He recognized in printing the power of pamphlets, written in the colloquial German of everyday people, to win the battle of ideas. But that wasn't enough - not just words but the medium itself was the message.

Fatefully, Luther had a partner in Wittenberg in the form of artist and businessman Lucas Cranach, who, together with Wittenberg's printers, created the look of Luther's pamphlets, which included the distinct highlighting of the words "Martin Luther of Wittenberg" on the title page. Cranach also created the iconic portraits of Luther that made the reformer such a familiar figure to his fellow Germans. Together Luther and Cranach created a product that spread like wildfire - it was both incredibly successful and widely imitated. Soon Germany was overwhelmed by a blizzard of pamphlets, with Wittenberg at its heart; the Reformation itself would blaze on for more than a hundred years.

Publishing in advance of the Reformation's 500th anniversary, Brand Luther fuses the history of religion, of printing, and of capitalism - the literal marketplace of ideas - into one enthralling story, revolutionizing our understanding of one of the pivotal figures and eras in all of human history.

Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea [Audiobook]

Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea [Audiobook]
Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea [Audiobook] by Tim McGrath, read by Don Hagen
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 19 hrs 54 mins | 547.19MB

America in 1775 was on the verge of revolution - or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, England's King George sent hundreds of ships westward to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping. Colonists had no force to defend their coastline and waterways until John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: The Continental Congress should raise a navy.

The idea was mad. The Royal Navy was the mightiest floating arsenal in history, with a seemingly endless supply of vessels. More than a hundred of these were massive "ships of the line," bristling with up to a hundred high-powered cannon that could level a city. The British were confident that His Majesty's warships would quickly bring the rebellious colonials to their knees.

They were wrong. Beginning with five converted merchantmen, America's sailors became formidable warriors, matching their wits, skills, and courage against the best of the British fleet. Victories off American shores gave the patriots hope - victories led by captains such as John Barry, the fiery Irish-born giant; fearless Nicholas Biddle, who stared down an armed mutineer; and James Nicholson, the underachiever who finally redeemed himself with an inspiring display of coolness and bravery. Meanwhile, along the British coastline, daring raids by handsome, cocksure John Paul Jones and the "Dunkirk Pirate," Gustavus Conyngham - who was captured and sentenced to hang but tunneled under his cell and escaped to fight again - sent fear throughout England. The adventures of these men and others on both sides of the struggle rival anything from Horatio Hornblower or Lucky Jack Aubrey.

Meticulously researched and masterfully told, Give Me a Fast Ship is a rousing, epic tale of war on the high seas - and the definitive history of the American Navy during the Revolutionary War.

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