Few personalities from classical antiquity are more famous - yet more poorly understood - than Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. In this major biography, Duane Roller reveals that Cleopatra was in fact a learned and visionary leader whose overarching goal was always the preservation of her dynasty and kingdom. Roller´s authoritative account is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period: literary sources, Egyptian documents (Cleopatra´s own writings), and representations in art and coinage produced while she was alive. His compelling portrait of the queen illuminates her prowess as a royal administrator who managed a large and diverse kingdom extending from Asia Minor to the interior of Egypt, as a naval commander who led her own fleet in battle, and as a scholar and supporter of the arts. Even her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius - the source of her reputation as a supreme seductress who drove men to their doom - were carefully crafted state policies: She chose these partners to insure the procreation of successors who would be worthy of her distinguished dynasty. That Cleopatra ultimately lost to her Roman opponents, Roller contends, in no way diminishes her abilities. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Ashby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/011552/bk_adbl_011552_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hannibal was a Punic Carthaginian military commander, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His father, Hamilcar Barca, was the leading Carthaginian commander during the First Punic War, his younger brothers were Mago and Hasdrubal, and he was brother-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair. Hannibal lived during a period of great tension in the Mediterranean, when the Roman Republic established its supremacy over other great powers such as Carthage, the Hellenistic kingdoms of Macedon, Syracuse, and the Seleucid empire. One of his most famous achievements was at the outbreak of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories?Trebia, Trasimene, and Cannae, in which he distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent´s strengths and weaknesses, and to play the battle to his strengths and the enemy´s weaknesses?and won over many allies of Rome. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, but a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced him to return to Carthage, where he was decisively defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama. Scipio had studied Hannibal´s tactics and brilliantly devised some of his own, and finally defeated Rome´s nemesis at Zama, having previously driven Hasdrubal, Hannibal´s brother, out of the Iberian Peninsula. Often regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in history, Hannibal would later be considered one of the greatest generals of antiquity, together with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio, and Pyrrhus of Epirus. Plutarch states that, when questioned by Scipio as to who was the greatest general, Hannibal is said to have replied either Alexander or Pyrrhus, then himself, or, according to another version of the event, Pyrrhus, Scipio, then himself. Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge once famously called Hannibal the ´´father of strategy´´, because his greatest enemy, Rome, came to adopt elements of his military tactics in its own strategic arsenal. This praise has earned him a strong reputation in the modern world, and he was regarded as a great strategist by men like Napoleon Bonaparte.
Elliot Carlson´s biography of Captain Joe Rochefort is the first to be written of the officer who headed the U.S. Navy´s decrypt unit at Pearl Harbor and broke the Japanese Navy´s code before the Battle of Midway. Listeners will share Rochefort´s frustrations as he searches in vain for Yamamoto´s fleet prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and share his joy when he succeeds in tracking the fleet in early 1942 and breaks the code that leads him to believe Yamamoto´s invasion target is Midway. His conclusions, bitterly opposed by some top navy brass, are credited with making the U.S. victory possible and helping change the course of the war. The author tells the story of how opponents in Washington forced Rochefort´s removal from the decrypt unit at Pearl and denied him the Distinguished Service Medal recommended by Admiral Nimitz. In capturing the interplay of policy and personality and the role played by politics at the highest levels of the Navy, Carlson reveals a side of the intelligence community seldom seen by outsiders. For a full understanding of the man, Carlson examines Rochefort´s love-hate relationship with cryptanalysis, his adventure-filled years in the 1930s as the right-hand man to the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Fleet, and his return to code-breaking in mid-1941 as the officer in charge of Station Hypo at Pearl Harbor. He traces Rochefort´s career from his enlistment in 1918 to his posting in Washington as head of the Navy´s code-breaking desk at age 25, and beyond. In many ways a reinterpretation of Rochefort, the book makes clear the key role his codebreaking played in the outcome of Midway and the legacy he left of reporting actionable intelligence directly to the fleet. An epilogue describes efforts waged by Rochefort´s colleagues to obtain the medal denied him in 1942, a drive that finally paid off in 1986, when the medal was awarded posthumously. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Danny Campbell. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/002490/bk_tant_002490_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The loyalty investigations triggered by the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s marginalized many talented women and men who had entered government service during the Great Depression seeking to promote social democracy as a means to economic reform. Their influence over New Deal policymaking and their alliances with progressive labor and consumer movements elicited a powerful reaction from conservatives, who accused them of being subversives. Landon Storrs draws on newly declassified records of the federal employee loyalty program - created in response to fears that Communists were infiltrating the U.S. government - to reveal how disloyalty charges were used to silence these New Dealers and discredit their policies. Because loyalty investigators rarely distinguished between Communists and other leftists, many noncommunist leftists were forced to leave government or deny their political views. Storrs finds that loyalty defendants were more numerous at higher ranks of the civil service than previously thought, and that many were women, or men with accomplished leftist wives. Uncovering a forceful left-feminist presence in the New Deal, she shows how opponents on the Right exploited popular hostility to powerful women and their ´´effeminate´´ spouses. The loyalty program not only destroyed many promising careers, it prohibited discussion of social democratic policy ideas in government circles, narrowing the scope of political discourse to this day. Through a gripping narrative based on remarkable new sources, Storrs demonstrates how the Second Red Scare undermined the reform potential of the New Deal and crippled the American welfare state. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Hal Wiedeman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/007315/bk_adbl_007315_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.