Best Selling Audio Books in History - Europe

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release date: Sep 19, 2017
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Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence (Bill O'Reilly's Killing Series)

This program features an introduction read by Bill O'Reilly.

The Revolutionary War as never told before.

The breathtaking latest installment in Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s mega-bestselling Killing series transports listeners to the most important era in our nation’s history, the Revolutionary War. Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain’s King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the listener from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe. What started as protest and unrest in the colonies soon escalated to a world war with devastating casualties.

O’Reilly and Dugard recreate the war’s landmark battles, including Bunker Hill, Long Island, Saratoga, and Yorktown, revealing the savagery of hand-to-hand combat and the often brutal conditions under which these brave American soldiers lived and fought. Also here is the reckless treachery of Benedict Arnold and the daring guerilla tactics of the “Swamp Fox” Frances Marion.

A must listen, Killing England reminds one and all how the course of history can be changed through the courage and determination of those intent on doing the impossible.

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release date: Feb 06, 2012
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The Vikings: A History
Raiders and traders, settlers and craftsmen, the medieval Scandinavians who have become familiar to history as Vikings never lose their capacity to fascinate, from their ingeniously designed longboats to their stormy pantheon of gods and goddesses. Robert Ferguson is a sure guide across what he calls "the treacherous marches which divide legend from fact in Viking Age history". His long familiarity with the literary culture of Scandinavia is combined with the latest archaeological discoveries to reveal a sweeping picture of one of history's most amazing civilizations.
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release date: Jun 30, 2015
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When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940
From the comfortable distance of seven decades, it is quite easy to view the victory of the Allies over Hitler's Germany as inevitable. But in 1940 Great Britain's defeat loomed perilously close, and no other nation stepped up to confront the Nazi threat. In this cogently argued book, Robin Prior delves into the documents of the time-war diaries, combat reports, Home Security's daily files, and much more-to uncover how Britain endured a year of menacing crises. The book reassesses key events of 1940-crises that were recognized as such at the time and others that were not fully appreciated. Prior examines Neville Chamberlain's government, Churchill's opponents, the collapse of France, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz. He looks critically at the position of the United States before Pearl Harbor and at Roosevelt's response to the crisis. Prior concludes that the nation was saved through a combination of political leadership, British Expeditionary Force determination and skill, Royal Air Force and Navy efforts to return soldiers to the homeland, and the determination of the people to fight on "in spite of all terror."
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release date: Aug 20, 2007
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Peeling the Onion: A Memoir
In this extraordinary memoir, Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass remembers his early life, from his boyhood in a cramped two-room apartment in Danzig through the late 1950s, when his book The Tin Drum was published. During the Second World War, Grass volunteered for the submarine corps at the age of fifteen but was rejected; two years later, in 1944, he was instead drafted into the Waffen-SS. Taken prisoner by American forces as he was recovering from shrapnel wounds, he spent the final weeks of the war in an American POW camp. After the war, Grass resolved to become an artist and moved with his first wife to Paris, where he began to write the novel that would make him famous. Full of the bravado of youth, the rubble of postwar Germany, the thrill of wild love affairs, and the exhilaration of Paris in the early fifties, Peeling the Onion—which caused great controversy when it was published in Germany—reveals Grass at his most intimate.
release date: Sep 20, 2016
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Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
From New York Times bestselling author of Destiny of the Republic and The River of Doubt, a thrilling narrative of Winston Churchill's extraordinary and little-known exploits during the Boer War
 
At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament.  He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield.  Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him.
 
Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner.  Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape--but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.
           
The story of his escape is incredible enough, but then Churchill enlisted, returned to South Africa, fought in several battles, and ultimately liberated the men with whom he had been imprisoned.
           
Churchill would later remark that this period, "could I have seen my future, was to lay the foundations of my later life." Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom he would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect 20th century history.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Oct 04, 2016
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Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War
The incredible untold story of WWII’s greatest secret fighting force, as told by our great modern master of wartime intrigue
 
Britain’s Special Air Service—or SAS—was the brainchild of David Stirling, a young, gadabout aristocrat whose aimlessness in early life belied a remarkable strategic mind. Where most of his colleagues looked at a battlefield map of World War II’s African theater and saw a protracted struggle with Rommel’s desert forces, Stirling saw an opportunity: given a small number of elite, well-trained men, he could parachute behind enemy lines and sabotage their airplanes and war material. Paired with his constitutional opposite, the disciplined martinet Jock Lewes, Stirling assembled a revolutionary fighting force that would upend not just the balance of the war, but the nature of combat itself. He faced no little resistance from those who found his tactics ungentlemanly or beyond the pale, but in the SAS’s remarkable exploits facing the Nazis in the Africa and then on the Continent can be found the seeds of nearly all special forces units that would follow.
 
Bringing his keen eye for psychological detail to a riveting wartime narrative, Ben Macintyre uses his unprecedented access to SAS archives to shine a light inside a legendary unit long shrouded in secrecy. The result is not just a tremendous war story, but a fascinating group portrait of men of whom history and country asked the most.
release date: Dec 26, 2017
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Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914
The fighting that raged in the East during the First World War was every bit as fierce as that on the Western Front, but the titanic clashes between three towering empires-Russia, Austro-Hungary, and Germany-remains a comparatively unknown facet of the Great War. With the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the war in 2014, Collision of Empires is a timely expose of the bitter fighting on this forgotten front-a clash that would ultimately change the face of Europe forever. Drawing on firsthand accounts and detailed archival research, this is a dramatic retelling of the tumultuous events of the first year of the war, with the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in East Prussia followed by the Russo-Austrian clashes in Galicia and the failed German advance toward Warsaw.
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release date: Oct 10, 2017
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Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo  (History of England series, Book 4)
[Read by Derek Perkins]

The fourth volume of Peter Ackroyd's enthralling History of England, beginning in 1688 with a revolution and ending in 1815 with a famous victory.

In Revolution, Peter Ackroyd takes listeners from William of Orange's accession following the Glorious Revolution to the Regency, when the flamboyant Prince of Wales ruled in the stead of his mad father, George III, and England was -- again -- at war with France, a war that would end with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.

Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange; the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation, and parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch.

It was a revolutionary era in English letters, too, a time in which newspapers first flourished and the English novel was born. It was an era in which coffee houses and playhouses boomed, gin flowed freely, and in which shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in towns and villages. But it was also a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, which saw England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.

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release date: May 23, 2017
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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom
New York Times Bestseller

A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.


Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930's—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West's compass set toward freedom as its due north.

It's not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930's, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini "men we could do business with," if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.

In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age's necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940's to triumph over freedom's enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell's reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks's masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.
release date: Jul 04, 2017
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Special Forces Berlin: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 19561990
The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. U.S. military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the juggernaut they expected when and if a war began. The plan was Special Forces Berlin. Their mission should hostilities commence was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines, and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each man was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, and intelligence tradecraft, and able to act as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move. Special Forces Berlin was a one of a kind unit that had no parallel. It left a legacy of a new type of soldier expert in unconventional warfare, one that was sought after for missions such as the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the U.S. government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told.
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