I, [name], do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God. (The oath taken by Pony Express riders) Although it was only in operation for about 18 months, the Pony Express remains the most famous and romanticized mailing system in American history. It still instantly brings to mind all of the old themes of the untamed frontier and the Wild West. Starting shortly before the Civil War erupted across the United States, the Pony Express connected the east and west by having riders deliver mail from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California - a route set up by previous explorations and a system of relay stations and waypoints. When working in perfect unison, the Pony Express dramatically cut down the time it took to travel to California, with the mail traveling nearly 1,900 miles to California just 10 days after the beginning of the journey in Missouri. Naturally, the Pony Express also ran from west to east as well. Of course part of the allure of the Pony Express is in the way it challenged riders and horses, which ties it to Americans´ fond visions of the frontier as an untamed landscape that only the most pioneering and rugged individuals could survive. At the same time, the Pony Express needed small riders to reduce the weight being carried by the horses. 1. Language: English. Narrator: James McSorley. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/033740/bk_acx0_033740_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, a breathtaking elegy to the waning days of human spaceflight as we have known it. In the 1960s humans took their first steps away from Earth - and for a time our possibilities in space seemed endless. But in a time of austerity, and in the wake of high-profile disasters like Challenger, that dream has ended. In early 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean traveled to Cape Canaveral for NASA´s last three space shuttle launches in order to bear witness to the end of an era. With Dean as our guide to Florida´s Space Coast and to the history of NASA, Leaving Orbit takes the measure of what American spaceflight has achieved while reckoning with its earlier witnesses, such as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, and Oriana Fallaci. Along the way Dean meets NASA workers, astronauts, and space fans, gathering possible answers to the question: What does it mean that a spacefaring nation won´t be going to space anymore? Cover image courtesy of NASA. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Lauren Fortgang. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/023739/bk_adbl_023739_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In late May 1927, an inexperienced and unassuming 25-year-old Air Mail pilot from rural Minnesota stunned the world by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight. A spectacular feat of individual daring and collective technological accomplishment, Charles Lindbergh´s flight from New York to Paris ushered in America´s age of commercial aviation. In The Flight of the Century, Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America´s greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history. He vividly recreates the flight itself and the euphoric reaction to it on both sides of the Atlantic, and argues that Lindbergh´s amazing feat occurred just when the world - still struggling with the disillusionment of World War I - desperately needed a hero to restore a sense of optimism and innocence. Kessner also shows how new forms of mass media made Lindbergh into the most famous international celebrity of his time, casting him in the role of a humble yet dashing American hero of rural origins and traditional values. Much has been made of Lindbergh´s personal integrity and his refusal to cash in on his fame. But Kessner reveals that Lindbergh was closely allied with, and managed by, a group of powerful businessmen - Harry Guggenheim, Dwight Morrow, and Henry Breckenridge chief among them - who sought to exploit aviation for mass transport and massive profits. Their efforts paid off as commercial air traffic soared from 6,000 passengers in 1926 to 173,000 passengers in 1929. Kessner´s book is the first to fully explore Lindbergh´s central role in promoting the airline industry - the rise of which has influenced everything from where we live to how we wage war and do business. The Flight of the Century sheds new light on one of America´s fascinatingly enigmatic heroes and most transformative moments. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bob McGraw. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/002810/bk_adbl_002810_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hitler´s American Friends, by Bradley W. Hart, is an audiobook examining the strange terrain of Nazi sympathizers, nonintervention campaigners, and other voices in America who advocated on behalf of Nazi Germany in the years before World War II. Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together. The less-popular truth behind this warm nostalgia: Until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided. Bradley W. Hart´s Hitler´s American Friends exposes the homegrown antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime. Some of these friends were Americans of German heritage who joined the Bund, whose leadership dreamed of installing a stateside Führer. Some were as bizarre and hair-raising as the Silver Shirt Legion, run by an eccentric who claimed Hitler fulfilled a religious prophesy. Some were Midwestern Catholics like Father Charles Coughlin, an early right-wing radio star who broadcast anti-Semitic tirades. They were even members of Congress who used their franking privilege - sending mail at cost to American taxpayers - to distribute German propaganda. And celebrity pilot Charles Lindbergh ended up speaking for them all at the America First Committee. We try to tell ourselves it couldn´t happen here, but Americans are not immune to the lure of fascism. Hitler´s American Friends is a powerful look at how the forces of evil manipulate ordinary people, how we stepped back from the ledge, and the disturbing ease with which we could return to it. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Chris Ciulla. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/aren/003731/bk_aren_003731_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
For three years Andrew Carroll traveled throughout the United States and around the world to seek out the most powerful and unforgettable letters ever written during US wars. Behind the Lines is the result of that extraordinary trip and represents the first audiobook of its kind: a dramatic, intimate, and revealing look at warfare as seen through the personal correspondence of US and foreign troops and civilians who have experienced major conflicts firsthand. From handwritten missives penned during the American Revolution to e-mails from Afghanistan and Iraq, Behind the Lines captures the full spectrum of emotions expressed in times of war. Like Carroll´s phenomenal national best seller War Letters, Behind the Lines is part of a larger effort to preserve correspondence that is riveting, insightful, and historically significant. This audiobook is also about Carroll´s journey across the globe to visit the fields of battle where so many of these letters were written, meet with veterans and active duty troops who generously agreed to share their private correspondence, and speak with the family members who have lost their loved ones to combat. Behind the Lines is a tribute to those who have fought for freedom, as well as a lasting reminder to present and future generations of the true nature of warfare and the sacrifices it demands of individuals, families, and entire nations. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Andrew Caroll. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/sans/000590/bk_sans_000590_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hailed as one of the best books of 2009 by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, this vibrant portrait of 1930s culture masterfully explores the anxiety and hope, the despair and surprising optimism of distressed Americans during the Great Depression.Morris Dickstein, whom Norman Mailer called ´´one of our best and most distinguished critics of American literature,” has brought together a staggering range of material, from epic Dust Bowl migrations to zany screwball comedies, elegant dance musicals, wildly popular swing bands, and streamlined art deco designs. Exploding the myth that Depression culture was merely escapist, Dickstein concentrates on the dynamic energy of the arts and the resulting lift they gave to the nation´s morale. A fresh and exhilarating analysis of one of America´s most remarkable artistic periods, with Dancing in the Dark Dickstein delivers a monumental critique. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/003934/bk_blak_003934_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Escape from Earth is the untold story of the engineers, dreamers and rebels who started the American space programme. In particular, it is the story of Frank Malina, founder of what became Nasa´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the scientist who cracked the, as he called it, problem of escape from the Earth by rocket. It´s a wild ride. Jack Parsons, Malina´s chemistry-expert research partner, was a bed-hopping occultist with delusions of grandeur. We get all the horrible details: drug parties and sex magic, cameos by Aleister Crowley and L Ron Hubbard, and an ill-fated attempt to start a mail-order religion. Armed with hitherto unpublished letters, journals, and documents from the Malina family archives, Fraser MacDonald reveals what we didn´t know. Jack Parsons betrayed Frank Malina to the FBI, cooperating fully in their investigation of Malina for un-American activities. The Jet Propulsion Lab´s second director secretly denounced Frank as a Communist. Frank´s research group had close ties to the spy network of the infamous Rosenbergs - the only Americans executed during the Red Scare. This is a story of soaring ideals entangled in the most human of complications: infidelity and divorce, betrayal and treason. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Cameron Stewart. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/052630/bk_adbl_052630_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
If one took no chances, one would not fly at all. (Charles Lindbergh) In Charles River Editors’ History for Kids series, your children can learn about history’s most important people and events in an easy, entertaining, and educational way. This concise but comprehensive audiobook will keep your kid’s attention all the way to the end. In many ways, Charles Lindbergh represented the best and worst of America during the first half of the 20th century. Lindbergh became famous for being an aviation pioneer whose solo flight across the Atlantic captured the imagination of an entire world, yet he was an isolationist who wanted to keep American freedoms safe for Americans and no one else. Lindbergh was the quintessential family man, yet he fathered illegitimate children and suffered an unspeakable tragedy that became known as ´´The Crime of the Century´´. Lindbergh embodied some of his era’s greatest virtues and harbored some of its worst prejudices. Lindbergh was a 25-year-old US Air Mail pilot who was probably best known for two crashes before shooting to fame with his non-stop flight across the Atlantic from New York City to Paris on May 20-21, 1927. Lindbergh was Time Magazine’s first Man of the Year in 1927, and he used his newfound fame to promote the development of commercial flight and become a spokesman and symbol for advances in aviation. Tragically, Lindbergh was the subject of front page headlines in 1932 when his infant son, Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in the ´´Crime of the Century´´. After going into voluntary exile in Europe, Lindbergh found himself embroiled in scandals as he toured German (and Luftwaffe) aviation systems and took isolationist stances, at times making comments that were tinged with anti-Semitism and in favor of eugenics. Nevertheless, after Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh was rejected from serving in the armed forces, likely because President Roosevelt thought he was a Nazi sympathiz 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tracey Norman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/111603/bk_acx0_111603_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The airplane changed the course of history. Above all, it changed the history of the United States. When the Wright brothers invented their flying machine, Americans lived in a nation of two dimensions, circumscribed by lines drawn on a conventional map. A century later, their nation existed - in fact, reigned - in three dimensions. Two million Americans slipped the surly bonds of earth daily, carried aloft by aircraft operating in every part of the world. The airplane turned the sky into a new domain of human activity, a fast-developing frontier. The first to brave that frontier were adventurous young men. Then came the rich and the hurried. David Courtwright has written an ambitious history of American aviation ranging from the patent fight between the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss through the tragedy of 9/11 and the Iraq War. Along the way, Courtwright stops to consider dogfighting, barnstorming, the first air mail pilots, the development of airlines, air power during World War II, flight´s impact on the environment, the troubled space frontier, and how the male-dominated aviation enterprise was domesticated and democratized. Aviation´s frontier stage lasted a scant three decades, then vanished as flying became a settled experience. Sky as Frontier recreates that pioneer world and shows how commercial and military imperatives destroyed it by routinizing flight. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Patrick Ross. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/069131/bk_acx0_069131_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.