Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age [Audiobook]
15 May 2018, 11:06
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 17 hours and 50 minutes | 491.26MB
As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country's last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the 19th-century Opium War.
When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty - which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the 20th century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it.
In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to "open" China - traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed - even as China's imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country's decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China's advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable - and mostly peaceful - meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
Absolute Power: How the Pope Became the Most Influential Man in the World [Audiobook]
13 May 2018, 03:42
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hours and 46 minutes | 406.53MB
The sensational story of the last two centuries of the papacy, its most influential pontiffs, troubling doctrines, and rise in global authority
In 1799, the papacy was at rock bottom: The Papal States had been swept away, and Rome seized by the revolutionary French armies. With cardinals scattered across Europe and the next papal election uncertain, even if Catholicism survived, it seemed the papacy was finished.
In this gripping narrative of religious and political history, Paul Collins tells the improbable success story of the last 220 years of the papacy, from the unexalted death of Pope Pius VI in 1799 to the celebrity of Pope Francis today. In a strange contradiction, as the papacy has lost its physical power - its armies and states - and remained stubbornly opposed to the currents of social and scientific consensus, it has only increased its influence and political authority in the world.
Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission [Audiobook]
17 April 2018, 16:18
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hours and 20 minutes | 339.21MB
From the authors of the best-selling The Finest Hours comes the riveting, deeply human story of President John F. Kennedy and two U-2 pilots, Rudy Anderson and Chuck Maultsby, who risked their lives to save America during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
During the ominous two weeks of the Cold War's terrifying peak, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U-2 aerial spy program.
On October 27, 1962, Kennedy, strained from back pain, sleeplessness, and days of impossible tension, was briefed about a missing spy plane. Its pilot, Chuck Maultsby, was on a surveillance mission over the North Pole, but had become disoriented and steered his plane into Soviet airspace. If detected, its presence there could be considered an act of war.
As the president and his advisers wrestled with this information, more bad news came: another U-2 had gone missing, this one belonging to Rudy Anderson. His mission: to photograph missile sites over Cuba. For the president, any wrong move could turn the Cold War nuclear.
Above and Beyond is the intimate, gripping account of the lives of these three war heroes, brought together on a day that changed history.