LBJ is the story of its namesake – Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States – from birth to death. Looking with a sympathetic, though not uncritical, eye on one of the nation’s most maligned and misunderstood leaders, it analyzes the dynamics that shaped him in his youth, the causes he championed, and the presidential decisions that turned him into an icon. By the end, you’ll come away with a much deeper, more nuanced understanding of this controversial, yet titanic, twentieth-century leader.
Leadership (2022) is a detailed analysis of six monumental twentieth-century leaders. By examining both the circumstances that formed these leaders and the strategies they used to shepherd their respective nations through periods of turmoil, it presents invaluable lessons for anyone working to shape the world’s future. From Charles de Gaulle’s strategy of will to Anwar Sadat’s strategy of transcendence and beyond, it serves as a historical debriefing on some of the defining leadership strategies of the last century.
In The Light We Carry (2022), former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, tackles complex questions about community, identity, and relationships with trademark warmth and honesty. Obama believes we all carry a light inside us – in this book, she tells us how to shine that light so it illuminates the potential for hope and healing, and pathways toward a better world.
The Courage to Be Free (2023) is an account of Ron DeSantis’s career so far, focusing on his work as governor of Florida. He reflects on his approach to leadership and outlines his vision for America.
Becoming (2018) tells the story of Michelle Obama, née Robinson. Born to loving parents in a working-class Chicago neighborhood, she grew into a strong, independent woman, who just happened to meet and fall in love with a man named Barack Obama. This is the life story of a woman who didn’t expect to become the first African-American First Lady, yet found a way to continue exercising her own unique voice under the most unusual and trying of circumstances.
The eponymous hero of Alexander the Great (2011) is remembered as one of the greatest military commanders who ever lived. Setting out from Greece at the age of 21, Alexander waged a ten-year campaign, during which he defeated the Persian Achaemenids and, in so doing, created the largest empire the world had ever seen. By spreading Greek culture and language throughout Eurasia, his legacy remained influential for centuries after.
Ten Caesars (2019) charts the history of the Roman empire from its rise to its reinvention under the first Christian emperor in the fourth century AD. Along the way, it sheds light on the character and policies of the men who ruled it through years of triumphant expansion and catastrophic crises.
A biography of Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Man Without A Face shines a clear light on one of contemporary history’s more shadowy political figures. The book charts Putin’s almost accidental rise to Russia’s highest office, starting from his benign beginnings in the state secret police. His vindictive personality, overwhelming greed and disdain for democratic norms continue to transform Russia today.
The Nazi Conspiracy (2023) tells the thrilling true story of the first meeting between the leaders of the Allied forces during the height of World War II – and the top-secret Nazi plot that almost changed the course of history. Full of drama, twists, and political intrigue stretching all over the world, it shows how the three leaders – Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin – defied all odds, and arranged one of the most pivotal events in the entire war.
Ukraine Crisis (2014) addresses the peaceful protests and violent conflicts that have rocked Ukraine in recent years. This book take a look at the events surrounding the Maidan uprising, the Russian annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in the Donbas. Importantly, the crisis is put into context not just for the future of Ukraine but also how it affects Russia, the European Union and the world.
Read to you by Marston York.
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) tells the fascinating story of Genghis Khan, the man who founded the great Mongol Empire. Today, he’s remembered as a ruthless, violent conqueror who thrived on bloodshed and destruction. What has largely been forgotten, though, is how he united disparate peoples, fostered trade and modernization, and advanced democracy – and in so doing, ushered in the modern world.
Margaret Thatcher: The Autobiography (2013) is the definitive account of the Iron Lady. Covering everything from her upbringing to the political battles that defined her time in office, this memoir sheds light on the thinking and values of Britain’s most transformative twentieth-century leaders.
Killing the Killers (2022) takes you deep into the global war on terror. As it examines the role of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, it moves through all the theaters of action including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Afghanistan. It’s the eleventh book in the best-selling Killing series.
Putin’s People (2020) is a shocking account of the corruption and political schemes that swirl around Russia’s infamous president, Vladimir Putin, and his close inner circle. The KGB is well-known as the former Soviet Union’s secret police force – but that was far from its only role in the Soviet government and economy. This is the story of how the KGB lost its power, gained it back, and has been exploiting it ever since.
A Promised Land (2020) is the first volume of the memoirs of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. The memoir chronicles Obama’s journey from teenage Honolulu ne'er-do-well to Chicago community organizer and on to one of the most beloved – and mistrusted – figures in American history.
G-Man (2022) is a thorough and comprehensive biography of J. Edgar Hoover and the history of the FBI. Drawing from established history as well as newly uncovered documents, it covers the entire timeline of Hoover’s personal life as well as his role in shaping America as we know it.
Over the years, much has been made of the influence of Enlightenment ideas – particularly those of English philosopher John Locke – on America’s founding fathers. First Principles (2020) takes a different approach. It focuses instead on the ways in which Greek and Roman history and philosophy profoundly shaped the values and goals of America’s first four presidents, and how classical ideas are embedded in the nation to this day.
Elizabeth the Queen (2012) is a brisk yet in-depth exposé of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Tracing key moments in her life, big and small, lighthearted and tragic, it pulls back the curtain on a most singular figure. Elizabeth II was at once a woman who struggled to balance her roles as both mother and monarch; a leader who learned to embody dignity and diplomacy; and the calm epicenter of the drama that ever swirled around her closest relations.
Nelson Mandela's A Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.
And There Was Light (2022) is a biography of Abraham Lincoln that takes a nuanced look at a complex leader. Focusing especially on Lincoln’s evolving views on and actions around slavery, it’s a picture of a man who wrestled with his moral convictions while attempting to hold together a divided nation. Echoes of that struggle still ring out today, making it essential to keep Lincoln’s story at the forefront of American consciousness.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times (2018) examines the lives of four of the most transformational presidents in US history: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. By looking at the similarities and differences between how these men became great leaders, author Doris Kearns Goodwin provides insight into how and why they rose to the occasion at pivotal times in American history.
The Myth of the Strong Leader (2014) explores why people tend to favor charismatic leaders, those they perceive as “strong.” These blinks show which factors allow such leaders to rise to power and why such a personality type shouldn’t necessarily lead a democratic society. Importantly, you’ll learn what can happen on an international scale when ill-suited “strong leaders” take the reins of a democracy.
The Black Jacobins (1938) traces the remarkable history of the revolution in the French colony of San Domingo (modern day Haiti). It describes the events that helped the revolution become the first successful slave rebellion in history.
In particular, The Black Jacobins views the events through the prism of the revolution’s greatest figure, Toussaint L’Ouverture. It shows how he, a former slave who was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, successfully defeated the European empires and helped to destroy the brutal practice of slavery in San Domingo.
The Audacity of Hope is based on a keynote speech Barack Obama delivered at the 2004 Democratic Convention, which launched him into the spotlight of the nation. It contains many of the subjects of Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency.
The Revolutionary (2022) offers a nuanced look at one of the most central figures in the lead-up to the American War of Independence. It reveals a man of character and contradiction, whose revolutionary thinking and deep commitment to civil liberties came to define a revolution.
Anarchism (2004) lays out the history and principles behind an oft-misunderstood political ideology. Crucially, anarchists emphasize freedom over oppression, thereby seeking to do away with human life’s many hierarchies, be they those imposed by the modern nation-state, by patriarchal societies or even by religious organizations. Anarchism envisions a world free from any sort of coercion.
The Plantagenets (2012) is a rollicking history of eight generations of English royal rule. From the Crusades through the signing of Magna Carta and up to the start of the Hundred Years’ War, the House of Plantagenet ruled during some of the most thrilling times of English history.
Confidence Man (2022) is a full account of Trump’s life in the spotlight. It tracks his career from early New York real estate deals to his tumultuous tenure in the White House. It shows how his aggressive personality was molded early on and only intensified as the stage grew bigger.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) is a profound and personal account of one man’s journey from dropping out of school and entering a life of crime and drug addiction to finding redemption through human rights activism. These blinks tell the story of a curious and evolving mind: a man who dedicated his life to helping African-Americans gain identity and freedom from oppression by any means necessary.
The Splendid and the Vile (2020) is a meticulously researched account of Winston Churchill’s first year of leadership. Beginning in 1940, he led the country through France’s surrender, the miraculous rescue at Dunkirk, and the Nazi air force’s bombing blitz of the UK, which killed over 44,000 Brits. Through it all, he retained his sense of humor and charming eccentricities that ensure him a fond place in our collective memory.
Compromised (2020) is an inside account of the FBI’s handling of the now-famous Midyear Exam and Crossfire Hurricane investigations concerning Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, respectively. It tackles partisan media and White House accusations head-on, from the point of view of a person at the center of it all.
Read to you by Twaambo Kapilikisha
Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.
Renegades (2021) documents eight intimate and enlightening conversations between two living legends: the musician Bruce Springsteen and the former US president Barack Obama. These two friends delve into some of the issues that have defined both of their careers, including American identity, fatherhood, class and racial divides, wrestling with the past, and maintaining hope for the future.
The Bully Pulpit (2013) follows three intricately linked strands of American history: the life of president Theodore Roosevelt, the emergence of a class of progressive investigative journalists, and the life of William Howard Taft and his complicated relationship with Roosevelt.
Reagan (2015) is the definitive account of the life of a towering figure in American history. Starting with his childhood in Illinois, the narrative follows the course of Ronald Reagan’s life, from his charmed days in Hollywood to his time as governor of California and, finally, from the White House to the world stage of the Cold War.
The Conscience of a Conservative (1960) is a classic statement of the conservative mindset. Penned in an age of bipartisan support for big government, Barry Goldwater’s manifesto rekindled a conservative movement committed to shrinking the state. Over the next 20 years, Goldwater’s positions on topics such as taxation, education, and welfare became commonsensical on the American right, laying the foundations for the 1980s Reagan revolution.
After the Fall (2021) takes a sobering look at the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in places like Hungary, China, Russia, and the United States of America. It examines how the standing and influence of the US changed in the years following the Cold War, and how this has led to the current challenges facing democracy around the world.
Maoism (2019) is a deep dive into Maoist ideology, tracing the origins of the movement in the caves of northwest China to the jungles of India, the high Andean sierra, and the California city parks where The Black Panthers did their military drills. Maoism is a movement that’s hardly limited to China or even Asia.
The World as It Is (2018) is a deeply personal look at the Obama presidency, written by a man who not only worked closely with the forty-fourth president, but also became his friend. Taking us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Obama’s presidency, from his first campaign to Trump’s inauguration, these blinks also chronicle the author’s personal journey from fresh-faced staffer to hardened national security operator.
Dark Towers (2020) is a heavily researched look into the ignominious rise and devastating fall of Deutsche Bank. Over the course of 150 years, the bank helped build the American railroad system, funded Nazi genocide, schmoozed Russian oligarchs, and had a hand in the election of President Donald Trump. When Deutsche executive Bill Broeksmit killed himself in 2014, he came to symbolize the destructive power of the bank’s institutional greed.
Richard Nixon: The Life (2017) is a thorough biography of one of the most controversial American presidents. Tracing Nixon’s life from his humble upbringing through his meteoric political ascent to his crashing downfall in the Watergate scandal, it reveals a complex, troubled, and sentimental man.
Navalny (2021) is an in-depth look at the life and politics of Russian politician Alexei Navalny. This biography details how Navalny rose to prominence and what plans he has for Russia’s future.
Narrated by Marston York
An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.
The Prime Ministers (2019) looks back on nine British prime ministers, from Harold Wilson to Theresa May. Taking in different political eras – from Thatcher’s booming eighties to the troubled post-Brexit landscape of Theresa May – Steve Richards considers the particular leadership qualities of these figures, judging their merits and defects at crucial junctures in their careers.
Adults in the Room (2017) is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to deal with the European Union establishment, as experienced by the former Minister of Finance of Greece. This scathing exposé shows that, when it comes to global politics, the best interests of weaker nations aren’t always of the utmost importance to those in charge.
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days (2021) offers a deeply intimate look at individuals who risked their lives by establishing an anti-Nazi resistance movement in Germany. With years of research, and access to letters and declassified documents, this is a detailed story about people who have often been overlooked in the fight against fascism.
Becoming Kim Jong Un (2020) tells the story of the North Korean dictator from his childhood as the son and grandson of two infamous Korean leaders through to his momentous summit with American president Donald Trump. Setting aside the insults and jokes about Kim that the media and internet often perpetuate, it takes a serious look at Kim’s enigmatic persona and behavior and diagnoses the grave threat that he and his nation pose to the world.
The Economists’ Hour (2019) is a compact history of how economists came to dominate our political discourse. This work traces the rise of neoliberal ideology from the 1960s to today.
On His Own Terms (2014) tells the remarkable life story of Nelson Rockefeller, who used his family’s notoriety and wealth to change the world for the better. These blinks walk you through Nelson’s life, from his involvement in the family oil business to his extended career in politics.
Alexander Hamilton (2004) tells the incredible story of a poor orphan boy whose limitless ambition, intelligence and tenacity shaped the course of American history. From his early years in the Caribbean to his role in the War of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution, this is the biography of Alexander Hamilton, the intellectual, soldier and politician who helped make the United States into the country that it is today.
Russian Roulette (2018) relates the results of an investigation by two journalists into the Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election. These include details on Trump’s business ties to Russia, the Russian connections of his campaign team, the Russian hacking of Democratic institutions, the disinformation campaigns on social media and what Russian intelligence might have gathered to compromise Trump. The blinks also tell how the American intelligence community and the Obama administration reacted to the Russian hacking.
Narrated by Marston York
Music by Federico Coderoni
Queen of Fashion (2006) unveils the untold ways in which Marie Antoinette, with her iconoclastic sense of fashion and rebellious nature, challenged the status quo of 18th century French court. Expressing herself through daring originality, her story reveals a great deal about the revolutionary politics that make up the history of both fashion and France.
American Kompromat (2021) tells the dark and unsettling tale of how the Russian KGB began cultivating Donald Trump as an asset – and then hit the jackpot when he became the president of the United States. Drawing connections between Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, and a mysterious Catholic sect called Opus Dei, it explores the reasons why Trump repeatedly did Putin’s bidding – and who enabled him to do so.
The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) is a firsthand account of the life and work of one of the most important figures in recent American history: Martin Luther King Jr. Assembled from his writings, letters, interviews, and speeches, this autobiography tells of King’s journey from Christian minister in the segregated South to leading figure of the civil rights movement.
A Very Stable Genius (2020) is the definitive account of Donald Trump’s time in the White House. After three years of silence, dozens of public officials and other first-hand witnesses familiar with the workings of the Trump administration went on record with reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. Their testimony forms the backbone of these blinks, which reveal the forty-fifth president of the United States up close.
I Alone Can Fix It (2021) is the definitive behind-the-scenes account of Donald Trump’s final 12 months in the White House. Drawing on in-depth interviews with participants in the drama, it charts how a president who was on course for reelection ended up presiding over a doomed and bloody attempt to cling on to power. Along the way, it reveals the thinking behind Trump’s dysfunctional responses to the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement.
What Happened (2017) is the story of the woman at the center of one of the craziest elections the United States has ever seen: the 2016 presidential election. This is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s account of her experience facing, and eventually losing to, Donald Trump – an opponent like no other – and the road that led her to this historic election.
Fire and Fury (2018) gives a fly-on-the-wall account of the Trump administration’s early days. With his insider access to the West Wing and over two hundred conversations with senior staff under his belt, Michael Wolff paints a fascinating portrait of an administration he claims is wholly unprepared to govern.
Profiles in Corruption (2020) challenges us to question and confront the moral integrity of the politicians at the forefront of the modern progressive movement in America. Derived from a range of sources, from financial reports to corporate documentation, eight profiles of the biggest names in left-wing politics tell us a harrowing story of illicit exchanges, cover-ups, and double-crosses.
Blood Feud (2014) tells the story of how two of the most influential families in the United States, the Obamas and the Clintons, came to despise one another, and how this mutual hatred has led to a long and cruel history of manipulation, back-stabbing and broken trust.
On the House (2021) is the memoir of a political maverick and one of the Republican party’s most outspoken representatives. Tracing his life from a Democrat-voting, blue-collar household in Cincinnati through to his crusading career on Capitol Hill, John Boehner tells us how Washington really works and dishes the dirt on enemies and allies alike.
Siege (2019) gives a detailed account of Donald Trump’s presidency between 2017 and early 2019, portraying a White House that always seems to be on the brink of collapse. In a blow-by-blow description of the seismic events of Trump’s second and third years in office, Michael Wolff evokes an administration under siege.
Where Law Ends (2020) offers a behind-the-scenes look at the special counsel investigation that resulted in the controversial Mueller Report. It takes you step-by-step through the 22-month process of interviews and evidence gathering that resulted in unprecedented findings that raise serious questions about America’s democratic institutions.
The Big Lie (2017) is a right-wing account of current American political events. Author Dinesh D’Souza thinks that attacks against Trump from the Left are unfair. The progressive Left claim that Trump is a racist and a fascist, and have likened him to a Nazi, but this book radically upends these accusations. For D’Souza, the American Left is recycling one big lie. It’s the Democrats who are the real Nazis, the true fascists and racists.
No Is Not Enough (2017) offers a critical account of Trump’s first months in the Oval Office, reflecting on how he got there and what we should expect from him. At the heart of this account is not only an unmasking of Trump’s routine shock tactics, but also advice on how we can resist and forge a better tomorrow.
The Man I Knew (2021) is the simultaneously heartwarming, tear-jerking, and surprising story of George H. W. Bush’s life after the White House. Many people are aware of President Bush’s accomplishments as a politician – shepherding the US through the end of the Cold War, successfully navigating the Gulf War, and signing the Americans With Disabilities Act into law, to name but a few. But this isn’t the story of George Bush the politician – it’s the story of George Bush the husband, friend, and father.
It Was All A Lie (2020) is former Republican political consultant Stuart Stevens’ take on how Republican leaders, desperate for power, have mortgaged their purported values to support Donald Trump.
Dear Madam President (2018) explores the factors that led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 US presidential election. The blinks give an insider’s perspective on the discrimination and controversies Clinton faced in her fight to become America’s first female president.
The Reckoning (2021) is an unflinching look at contemporary American society. This sharp treatise draws informative connections between the nation’s traumas and its current issues.
The Truths We Hold (2019) is an intimate self-portrait of one of the rising forces in contemporary American political life: Californian Senator and civil rights activist Kamala Harris. Combining the personal with the political, Harris sheds light on her early years as the daughter of immigrants, her legal career in the Golden State and the causes she has championed as an elected representative in Trump’s America.
American Carnage (2019) details the ideological battle at the heart of the Republican Party over the last decade. From George Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” to the Tea Party’s right-wing fervor, Tim Alberta covers the ideological metamorphosis that led to Donald Trump’s presidency.
American Crisis (2020) is a candid retelling of how Governor Andrew Cuomo managed the COVID-19 crisis in one of the worst affected states in America: New York. It reveals the steps Cuomo took to steer New York through the early days of the pandemic in a country run by a president Cuomo sees as incapable of leadership. It also shows how real leadership requires honesty and transparency, clear communication, and compassion for others.
This book is about the inspiring personality traits of Nelson Mandela. It shows us how to develop a similar strength of character, so that, no matter what obstacles life throws in our path, we can overcome the challenges, forgive our oppressors, understand the complexity of human nature, fight for our core principles and thereby succeed in changing society for the better.