The Untold Story of the Talking Book [Audiobook]

The Untold Story of the Talking Book [Audiobook]
The Untold Story of the Talking Book [Audiobook] by Matthew Rubery, read by Jim Denison
2016 | M4B@64 kbps | 11 hrs 31 mins | 315.63MB

This is the first scholarly book to examine the significance of recorded literature from Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877 to the present.

Histories of the book often move straight from the codex to the digital screen. Left out of that familiar account is nearly 150 years of audio recordings. Recounting the fascinating history of audio-recorded literature, Matthew Rubery traces the path of innovation from Edison's recitation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for his tinfoil phonograph in 1877 to the first novel-length talking books made for blinded World War I veterans to today's billion-dollar audiobook industry.

The Untold Story of the Talking Book focuses on the social impact of audiobooks, not just the technological history, in telling a story of surprising and impassioned conflicts: from controversies over which books the Library of Congress selected to become talking books - yes to Kipling, no to Flaubert - to debates about what defines a reader. Delving into the vexed relationship between spoken and printed texts, Rubery argues that storytelling can be just as engaging with the ears as with the eyes and that audiobooks deserve to be taken seriously. They are not mere derivatives of printed books but their own form of entertainment.

We have come a long way from the era of sound recorded on wax cylinders, when people imagined one day hearing entire novels on mini phonographs tucked inside their hats. Rubery tells the untold story of this incredible evolution and, in doing so, breaks from convention by treating audiobooks as a distinctively modern art form that has profoundly influenced the way we read.

The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End [Audiobook]

The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End [Audiobook]
The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End [Audiobook] by Robert Gerwarth, read by Michael Page
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 49 mins | 297.2MB

In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were savaged by revolutions, pogroms, mass expulsions, and further major military clashes. If the war itself had in most places been a struggle mainly between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were predominantly perpetrated by civilians and paramilitaries and driven by a murderous sense of injustice projected onto enemies real and imaginary. In the years immediately after the armistice, millions would die across central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the Soviet Union and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states would come into being. It was here, in the ruins of Europe, that extreme ideologies such as fascism would take shape.

As absorbing in its drama as it is unsettling in its analysis, The Vanquished is destined to transform our understanding of not just the First World War but the 20th century as a whole.

American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 [Audiobook]

American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 [Audiobook]
American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 [Audiobook] by Alan Taylor, read by Mark Bramhall
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 18 hrs 53 mins | 520.3MB

The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the ideal framework for a democratic, prosperous nation. Alan Taylor, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history of the nation's founding.

Rising out of the continental rivalries of European empires and their native allies, Taylor's Revolution builds like a ground fire overspreading Britain's mainland colonies, fueled by local conditions, destructive, hard to quell. Conflict ignited on the frontier, where settlers clamored to push west into Indian lands against British restrictions, and in the seaboard cities, where commercial elites mobilized riots and boycotts to resist British tax policies. When war erupted, patriot crowds harassed loyalists and nonpartisans into compliance with their cause. Brutal guerrilla violence flared all along the frontier, from New York to the Carolinas, fed by internal divisions as well as the clash with Britain. Taylor skillfully draws France, Spain, and native powers into a comprehensive narrative of the war that delivers the major battles, generals, and common soldiers with insight and power.

With discord smoldering in the fragile new nation through the 1780s, nationalist leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton sought to restrain unruly state democracies and consolidate power in a federal Constitution. Assuming the mantle of "we the people", the advocates of national power ratified the new frame of government. But their opponents prevailed in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, whose vision of a Western "empire of liberty" aligned with the long-standing, expansive ambitions of frontier settlers. White settlement and black slavery spread west, setting the stage for a civil war that nearly destroyed the union created by the founders.

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