Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II [Audiobook]
27 October 2017, 09:48
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + Companion PDF | 17 hrs 32 mins | 489.55MB
In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports: Casablanca.
In the years preceding, Casablanca had evolved from an exotic travel destination to a key military target after France's surrender to Germany. Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies. But once in American hands, Casablanca became a crucial logistical hub in the fight against Germany - and the site of Roosevelt and Churchill's demand for "unconditional surrender".
Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, Destination Casablanca is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city - memorialized in the classic film - at the heart of World War II.
The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization [Audiobook]
25 October 2017, 07:22
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 2 mins | 331.89MB
The story of how literature shaped world history, in 16 acts - from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to Don Quixote and Harry Potter
In this groundbreaking book, Martin Puchner leads us on a remarkable journey through time and around the globe to reveal the powerful role stories and literature have played in creating the world we have today. Puchner introduces us to numerous visionaries as he explores 16 foundational texts selected from more than 4,000 years of world literature and reveals how writing has inspired the rise and fall of empires and nations, the spark of philosophical and political ideas, and the birth of religious beliefs. Indeed, literature has touched the lives of generations and changed the course of history.
At the heart of this book are works, some long-lost and rediscovered, that have shaped civilization: the first written masterpiece, the Epic of Gilgamesh; Ezra's Hebrew Bible, created as Scripture; the teachings of Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, and Jesus; and the first great novel in world literature, The Tale of Genji, written by a Japanese woman known as Murasaki. Visiting Baghdad, Puchner tells of Scheherazade and the stories of One Thousand and One Nights, and in the Americas we watch the astonishing survival of the Maya epic Popol Vuh. Cervantes, who invented the modern novel, battles pirates both real (when he is taken prisoner) and literary (when a fake sequel to Don Quixote is published). We learn of Benjamin Franklin's pioneering work as a media entrepreneur, watch Goethe discover world literature in Sicily, and follow the rise in influence of The Communist Manifesto. We visit Troy, Pergamum, and China, and we speak with Nobel laureates Derek Walcott in the Caribbean and Orhan Pamuk in Istanbul as well as the wordsmiths of the oral epic Sunjata in West Africa.
Throughout The Written World, Puchner's delightful narrative also chronicles the inventions - writing technologies, the printing press, the book itself - that have shaped religion, politics, commerce, people, and history. In a book that Elaine Scarry has praised as "unique and spellbinding", Puchner shows how literature turned our planet into a written world.
The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic [Audiobook]
25 October 2017, 07:20
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 13 mins | 283.57MB
The creator of the massively popular, award-winning podcast series The History of Rome brings to life the story of the tumultuous years that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic.
The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, the Romans refused to allow a single leader to seize control of the state and grab absolute power. The Roman commitment to cooperative government and peaceful transfers of power was unmatched in the history of the ancient world.
But by the year 133 BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome became engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.
Chronicling the years 133-80 BCE, The Storm Before the Storm is a rollicking deep dive into the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that defined a dangerous new political environment - a stark warning for modern listeners about what happens to a civilization driven by increasing economic inequality, political polarization, and ruthless ambition.