Best Selling Audio Books in Arts & Photography - History & Criticism

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release date: Sep 17, 2006
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The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Modern Age: Audiobook (Vol. 4)  (Story of the World) (v. 4)

History will never be the same again!

This spirited reading of the first in Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World history series brings to life the stories and records of the peoples of ancient times.

Now more than ever, other countries and customs affect our everyday lives-and our children need to learn about the people who live all around the globe. Susan Wise Bauer has provided a captivating guide to the history of the ancient world. Written in an engaging, straightforward manner, The Story of the World weaves world history into a storybook format. This volume covers the major historical events of the years 1850 to the late 1990s, from the reign of England's Queen Victoria to the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

This Story of the World audiobook is a collaboration between Jim Weiss, whose voice has been described as “liquid gold” (CNN-TV), and Susan Wise Bauer, whose writing has been described as “timeless and intelligent” (Publishers Weekly). It may be used along with the print books (The Story of the World Volume 4 Text Book, Activity Book, and Tests; each sold separately), as a supplement to a traditional history curriculum, or independently. Approximately 12 hours on 11 CDs.
release date: Nov 07, 2017
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Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson
In this brilliantly original book, Camille Paglia identifies some of the major patterns that have endured in western culture from ancient Egypt and Greece to the present. According to Paglia, one source of continuity is paganism, which, undefeated by Judeo-Christianity, continues to flourish in art, eroticism, astrology, and pop culture. Others, she says, are androgyny, sadism, and the aggressive western eye, which has created our art and cinema. Paglia follows these and other themes, from Nefertiti and the Venus of Willendorf to Apollo and Dionysus, from Botticelli and Michaelangelo to Shakespeare and Blake and finally to Emily Dickinson, who, along with other major nineteenth-century authors, becomes a remarkable example of Romanticism turned into Decadence.
release date: Feb 28, 2017
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Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors
*The CD package contains a full-color 96-page booklet featuring all of the portraits from the book as well as a foldout of the murals. 

A vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans.  With forewords written and read by former First Lady Laura Bush and General Peter Pace, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

 
Growing out of President Bush’s own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11—and whom he has come to know personally.  
 
Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation. Often, they return home with injuries—both visible and invisible—that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life. In addition to these burdens, research shows a civilian-military divide. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing veterans, and veterans agree: eighty-four percent say that the public has "little awareness" of the issues facing them and their families.
 
Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation’s call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush’s desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice, and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed. 

 
President Bush will donate his net author proceeds from PORTRAITS OF COURAGE to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a non-profit organization whose Military Service Initiative works to ensure that post-9/11 veterans and their families make successful transitions to civilian life with a focus on gaining meaningful employment and overcoming the invisible wounds of war.
release date: Nov 10, 2015
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Magicians of the Gods: Sequel to the International Bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods

Graham Hancock's multi-million bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods remains an astonishing, deeply controversial, wide-ranging investigation of the mysteries of our past and the evidence for Earth's lost civilization. Twenty years on, Hancock returns with the sequel to his seminal work filled with completely new, scientific and archaeological evidence, which has only recently come to light...

Near the end of the last Ice Age 12,800 years ago, a giant comet that had entered the solar system from deep space thousands of years earlier, broke into multiple fragments. Some of these struck the Earth causing a global cataclysm on a scale unseen since the extinction of the dinosaurs. At least eight of the fragments hit the North American ice cap, while further fragments hit the northern European ice cap. The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth's crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world. A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.

The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago. But there were survivors - known to later cultures by names such as 'the Sages', 'the Magicians', 'the Shining Ones', and 'the Mystery Teachers of Heaven'. They travelled the world in their great ships doing all in their power to keep the spark of civilization burning. They settled at key locations - Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, Baalbek in the Lebanon, Giza in Egypt, ancient Sumer, Mexico, Peru and across the Pacific where a huge pyramid has recently been discovered in Indonesia. Everywhere they went these 'Magicians of the Gods' brought with them the memory of a time when mankind had fallen out of harmony with the universe and paid a heavy price. A memory and a warning to the future...

For the comet that wrought such destruction between 12,800 and 11,600 years may not be done with us yet. Astronomers believe that a 20-mile wide 'dark' fragment of the original giant comet remains hidden within its debris stream and threatens the Earth. An astronomical message encoded at Gobekli Tepe, and in the Sphinx and the pyramids of Egypt,warns that the 'Great Return' will occur in our time...

release date: Oct 01, 2015
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Masters of the Renaissance: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and more

In true stories as vivid as the colors in which they painted, Jim Weiss brings to life Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Donatello and other captivating characters.

Watch fierce Pope Julius II drive out invaders while supervising the painting of the Sisine Chapel, and dine in the palace of Lorenzo de Medici -swordsman, statesman and patron of the arts- as he faces treachery and turns war to peace.
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release date: Dec 01, 1999
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Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities
This book offers an integrated exploration of Western civilization's cultural heritage. Readers move chronologically through major periods and styles to gain insight into the achievements and ideas in painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, philosophy, religion, and music. The book provides a historical (political, economic, and social) framework to contextualize these achievements within a specific time and place, from prehistoric culture to 20th-Century America. The Dawn of Culture; Ancient Egypt; Aegean Culture and the Rise of Ancient Greece; Classical and Hellenistic Greece; The Roman World; Judaism and the Rise of Christianity; Byzantine & Islamic Civilizations; Indian Civilization; Early Chinese & Japanese Civilizations; The Civilizations of the Americas; The Early Middle Ages and the Romanesque; The Gothic and Late Middle Ages; The Renaissance and Mannerism in Italy; The Renaissance in the North; The Baroque Age; The Eighteenth Century; Romanticism and Realism; The Belle Époque; Chinese and Japanese Civilizations; Russian Civilization; The Age of Anxiety; Modern Africa and Latin America; The Age of Affluence; The Diversity of Contemporary Life. For anyone interested in the Arts and Culture.
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release date: Sep 27, 2016
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The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art
Rivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful relationships in history. The Art of Rivalry follows eight celebrated artists, each linked to a counterpart by friendship, admiration, envy, and ambition. All eight are household names today. But to achieve what they did, each needed the influence of a contemporary-one who was equally ambitious but possessed sharply contrasting strengths and weaknesses. Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas were close associates whose personal bond frayed after Degas painted a portrait of Manet and his wife. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso swapped paintings, ideas, and influences as they jostled for the support of collectors like Leo and Gertrude Stein and vied for the leadership of a new avant-garde. Jackson Pollock's uninhibited style of "action painting" triggered a breakthrough in the work of his older rival, Willem de Kooning. Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon met in the early 1950s, when Bacon was being hailed as Britain's most exciting new painter and Freud was working in relative obscurity. Their intense but asymmetrical friendship came to a head when Freud painted a portrait of Bacon, which was later stolen.
release date: Sep 08, 2005
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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

The Artist's Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist's life. Still as vital today-or perhaps even more so-than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work.
release date: May 11, 2010
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Hitler's Holy Relics: A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire
Had Hitler succeeded in conquering Europe, he would have crowned himself Holy Roman Emperor. The Nazis had in their possession priceless artifacts that would give Hitler legitimacy in his subjects' eyes: the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire including the Spear of Destiny, alleged to have pierced Christ's side at the Crucifixion. Looted from the royal treasury in Vienna, Austria, the Crown Jewels were hidden in a secret bunker deep beneath N�rnberg castle, known to few but Heinrich Himmler, his staff-and a captured German soldier whose family lived above it. As luck would have it, the officer in charge of interrogating the soldier was First Lieutenant Walter Horn, art history professor. Following his report to General Patton, Horn would be assigned to recover this ancient treasure. Would he find it before covert Nazi agents could use it to revive the defeated regime? Based on recently discovered and previously unpublished documents and interviews with all remaining living participants, this is a tale that surpasses fiction: part thriller, part detective story, all true.
release date: Sep 04, 2012
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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss

The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who "burned like a comet" in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox.

The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.

The netsuke―drunken monks, almost-ripe plums, snarling tigers―were gathered by Charles Ephrussi at the height of the Parisian rage for all things Japanese. Charles had shunned the place set aside for him in the family business to make a study of art, and of beautiful living. An early supporter of the Impressionists, he appears, oddly formal in a top hat, in Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Marcel Proust studied Charles closely enough to use him as a model for the aesthete and lover Swann in Remembrance of Things Past.

Charles gave the carvings as a wedding gift to his cousin Viktor in Vienna; his children were allowed to play with one netsuke each while they watched their mother, the Baroness Emmy, dress for ball after ball. Her older daughter grew up to disdain fashionable society. Longing to write, she struck up a correspondence with Rilke, who encouraged her in her poetry.

The Anschluss changed their world beyond recognition. Ephrussi and his cosmopolitan family were imprisoned or scattered, and Hitler's theorist on the "Jewish question" appropriated their magnificent palace on the Ringstrasse. A library of priceless books and a collection of Old Master paintings were confiscated by the Nazis. But the netsuke were smuggled away by a loyal maid, Anna, and hidden in her straw mattress. Years after the war, she would find a way to return them to the family she'd served even in their exile.

In The Hare with Amber Eyes, Edmund de Waal unfolds the story of a remarkable family and a tumultuous century. Sweeping yet intimate, it is a highly original meditation on art, history, and family, as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves.

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