Wolfner :: Recommended Readings :: Adult Bibliographies :: Adult Winter Reading Program 2015

Adult Winter Reading Program 2015:

“The Beginning of Our Great Nation” 

Time travelers, history buffs, and intrepid explorers will enjoy this year’s adult winter reading program theme, The Beginning of Our Great Nation. The program will begin January 26th and run through March 3rd. Registration begins on January 19th, 2015.

Where does American history begin? The answer can be elusive. Though historians date our origins to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, United States history has been unfolding long before the landfall of Columbus in 1492. Moving the timeline back offers more reading “territory” to explore!

Included in the program are books from 10 genres, both fiction and nonfiction, to please every reading preference. There will be a choice of 10 books per genre, and each cartridge will contain 10 books. That’s enough books to keep reading all winter. In order to qualify for prizes, patrons need to read at least ten books from the reading lists provided. Qualifying patrons’ names will go into a drawing for a number of small prizes and two grand prizes. Many thanks go to the Library Users of Missouri for faithfully funding the Adult Winter Reading Program.

America’s Frontier

American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis
Download American Creation, DB065206
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 11 hours, 15 minutes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian chronicles the time period between the American Revolutionary War and the Louisiana Purchase. Discusses the founders' decision to have an evolutionary revolution to create a liberal nation gradually, rather than abruptly abandoning traditions, thus leaving slavery and hostility to Native Americans intact. 2007.

Blackwater by Frank O'Rourke
Download Blackwater, DB26810
Read by Phil Regensdorf. Reading time: 7 hours, 14 minutes.
Gambler Jim Stanton wins the deed to a dry-goods store in a card game and decides to make his home in Blackwater, a raw frontier town. He soon discovers that the shop is worth more than he imagined and brings him more trouble than its worth. 1950.

A Company of Heroes: The American Frontier, 1775-1783 by Dale Van Every
Download A Company of Heroes, DB36859
Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time: 12 hours, 33 minutes.
Sequel to Forth to the Wilderness (DB 20396). Historian and novelist Van Every follows the westward-moving settlers who fight back Native American tribes incited by British leaders during the American Revolution. Virginia-born George Rogers Clark meets resistance from the London-educated Iroquois Chief Joseph Brant in a "frontier war [that] took on many aspects of a personal duel." 1962.

Crimsoned Prairie: The Indian Wars by S.L.A. Marshall
Download Crimsoned Prairie, DB32590
Read by Art Metzler. Reading time: 8 hours, 6 minutes. 
A chronicler of military history, who is part Native American, documents the battles between the frontier armies and the Plains Indians. He focuses on essential military values and the tactical contrasts between the Native Americans' way of waging war and the U.S. troops, whose supplies were mismanaged and whose training was neglected. 1972.

The Homesman by Glendon Fred Swarthout
Download The Homesman, DB29819
Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time: 8 hours, 22 minutes.
For many women attempting to settle in the West, the rigors of frontier life proved to be too much, and they went mad. To Mary Lee Cuddy falls the task of escorting four of these women back to Iowa. To help out she takes along John Briggs, whom she saved from lynching. The many difficulties they face along the way destroys one person and rejuvenates another. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. 1988.

Honor! by Dana Fuller Ross
Download Honor!, DB62209
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 12 hours, 47 minutes.
Frontier brothers Clay and Jeff Holt travel to Washington, D.C., to claim a land grant Clay earned on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Former president Jefferson recruits them to investigate a land grab that may have caused Meriwether Lewis's death. Follows the Frontier Trilogy. Some violence and some strong language. 1998.

My Name is Falon: One Woman's Saga from Scotland to the Texas Frontier by Kim Wiese
Download My Name is Falon, DB71898
Read by Martha Harmon Pardee. Reading time: 10 hours, 16 minutes.
1820s-1830s. Forced to flee Scotland, young Ellen "Falon" Carson and her family settle in Texas, where they struggle to adjust to their new homeland. Falon eventually marries but finds her livelihood threatened by a looming war with Mexico. 2009.

Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier by Linda S. Peavy
Download Pioneer Women, DB52566
Read by Margaret Strom. Reading time: 6 hours, 58 minutes.
Discusses the role of women in the westward expansion of the United States: their experiences on the journey, homesteading, performing household chores, in family dynamics, and as community builders. Based on the letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral histories from women of varied origins, ethnicity, and circumstances. 1996.

So Wild a Dream by Winfred Blevins
Download So Wild a Dream, DB61705
Read by Nick Sullivan. Reading time: 13 hours, 7 minutes.
1820s. Eighteen-year-old Sam Morgan leaves western Pennsylvania seeking adventure and fortune in frontier America. Through his encounters with bandits, soldiers, fur traders, Indians, and such historic figures as William Clark, Sam learns the ways of mountain men. Some descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. Spur Award. 2003.

Women of the West: An Anthology of Short Stories by Kathryn Ptacek
Download Women of the West, DB32882
Read by Sheena Gordon. Reading time: 7 hours, 35 minutes. 
Stories about women of the old and the new West. An old woman recalls the massacre of her husband and nine children in "Size of a Silver Dollar," and a woman gives up the prejudices of her childhood to study the Apache language on the reservations in the 1920s in "The White Woman." Violence and some strong language. 1990.


American Revolution


1776 by David G. McCullough
Download 1776, DB60330
Read by Alec Volz. Reading time: 13 hours, 11 minutes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian chronicles the struggles of the Continental Army during the disastrous year of 1776. Highlights George Washington's failed New York campaign and the retreat across New Jersey. Assesses the political, economic, and social problems the young nation encountered during the turbulent months from August to December. Bestseller. 2005.

Braddock's March: How the Man Sent to Seize a Continent Changed American History by Thomas E. Crocker
Download Braddock's March, DB71240
Read by John Haag. Reading time: 12 hours, 17 minutes.
Assesses British general Sir William Braddock's 1755 campaign against the French and their native allies in North America and its influence on George Washington and other colonials who fought. Describes Braddock's defeat near Fort Duquesne and the subsequent shift in England's continental policy. Violence. 2009.

The Gentle Rebel by Gilbert Morris
Download The Gentle Rebel, DB39693
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 10 hours, 54 minutes.
The Winslow family story continues as Nathan, son of Adam and Molly, becomes involved in the American Revolution and considers becoming a minister. Nathan's love for his cousin, Abigail Howland, brings him joy and pain during the war as it moves from Lexington to Bunker Hill. But in the end, he will come to realize the strength of his love for Julie Sampson. House of Winslow series, book 4.  Sequel to The Indentured Heart (DB 39685). 1988.

George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade
Download George Washington's Secret Six, DB77861
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 8 hours, 4 minutes.
Relays the exploits of the New York-based Culper Spy Ring, five men and one woman whose activities enabled General George Washington to defeat the British during the Revolutionary War. Profiles the group's leader, Quaker merchant Robert Townsend, and describes the unmasking of traitor Benedict Arnold. Bestseller. 2013.

Love and Honor by Randall Wallace
Download Love and Honor, DB63282
Read by Ken Kliban. Reading time: 12 hours, 49 minutes.
Russia, 1774. Virginia patriot Kieran Selkirk, at the request of Benjamin Franklin, infiltrates the Russian court to head off support for Britain's response to the American rebellion. Braving rugged terrain, secret assassins, starving wolves, marauding Cossacks, and romantic drama, Selkirk pursues an audience with Catherine the Great. 2004.

The Proud and the Free by Howard Fast
Download The Proud and the Free, 63274
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 10 hours, 4 minutes.
Elderly veteran Jamie Stuart relates his adventures as a twenty-two-year-old sergeant in the Continental Army's Pennsylvania Line during the revolt of 1781, when his brigade of European immigrants rose up against the officer gentry. Stuart also reflects on his love for Molly Bracken and the sobering realities of life and war. 1950.

The Reckoning by Robert W. Chambers
Download The Reckoning, DB50153
Read by John Polk. Reading time: 11 hours, 57 minutes.
1781, during the American war for independence. Mr. Washington has planted a young spy against the British in New York City. The youth's precarious position is further complicated when he falls in love with a Tory belle. 1905.

A Short History of the American Revolution by James L. Stokesbury
Download A Short History of the American Revolution, DB38065
Read by Ben Mast. Reading time: 10 hours, 28 minutes.
Describes and interprets the American Revolution from the perspective of both the Americans and the British. Stokesbury begins with the series of conflicts that eventually ignited the war in Lexington. His account continues with a survey of the military and political events and the social issues that complicated the cause over a course of eight years, turning the thirteen colonies into independent, United States. 1991.

Sloop of War by Alexander Kent
Download Sloop of War, DB49767
Read by Jim Zeiger. Reading time: 11 hours, 56 minutes.
In 1778 Richard Bolitho takes command of the HMS Sparrow. He sails into the Atlantic, where he fights colonial rebels and deals with privateers, French warships, and a dangerously incompetent senior officer. Sequel to In Gallant Company (DB 49766). Some violence. 1972.

To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom by Newt Gingrich
Download To Try Men's Souls, DB70742
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 11 hours, 15 minutes.
December 25, 1776. General George Washington urges the ragtag Continental Army, including Private Jonathan van Dorn, to cross the Delaware River under nightfall for an attack on Hessian mercenaries. To encourage the men van Dorn reads aloud from Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, a pamphlet he helped inspire. George Washington series, book 1. Edited by Albert S. Hanser. 2009.


American Voices: A Literature Emerges


The Awakening and Selected Stories by Kate Chopin; edited by Sandra M. Gilbert.
Download The Awakening, DB33806
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 10 hours, 53 minutes.
First published in 1899, The Awakening is a novel about a liberated young woman who rebels against the constraints of marriage and engages in extramarital love. The results are disastrous, in the book and on the career of the author. In an introduction to the novel and the twelve short stories in this collection, the editor reflects on Chopin's continuing impact on feminist literature. 1984.

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Download The Blithedale Romance, DB31860
Read by John C. Reed. Reading time: 9 hours.
Hawthorne's novel is based on his experiences living on Brook Farm, the experimental transcendentalist community in Massachusetts. The novel tells of Zenobia's love for Hollingsworth, an egotistic reformer who does not return her affection. 1980.

A Double Life: Newly Discovered Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott by Louisa May Alcott; Madeleine B. Stern; Joel Myerson; Daniel Shealy
Download A Double Life, DB30348
Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time: 8 hours, 24 minutes.
Collection of five eerie tales originally published anonymously during the late 1800s. Subjects include a family cursed by an Indian princess, an ambitious artist held in mesmeric bondage by his wife, and a Russian prince who falls under the spell of an Englishwoman. 1988.

The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe
Download The Gold Bug, DB13252
Read by Jack Hrkach. Reading time: 2 hours, 13 minutes. 
An eccentric recluse on Sullivan's Island off the coast of South Carolina finds a scrap of parchment with a cryptic message that ultimately directs him to a buried treasure. 1969.

Growing Up in Slavery: Stories of Young Slaves as Told by Themselves by Yuval Taylor
Download Growing Up in Slavery, DB62230
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 9 hours, 41 minutes. 
Personal accounts of ten former slaves, including Frederick

Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, recalling their childhood and teen years. Descriptions of cruelty, misery, and fear mingle with their memories of learning to read, playing games, and falling in love. Violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2005.

Knickerbocker's History of New York by Washington Irving;
edited by Anne Carroll Moore.
Download Knickerbocker's History of New York, DB30658
Read by John Horton. Reading time: 8 hours, 34 minutes.
Knickerbocker is an imaginary historian who records the early history of New York when it was still New Amsterdam, perceiving the traditions of the city in a comic manner. 1956.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Download Leaves of Grass, DB73834
Read by Alexander Scourby. Reading time: 6 hours, 19 minutes.
Digital restoration of the American Foundation for the Blind's 1961 recording of the first version of Walt Whitman's major work, narrated by Alexander Scourby and Kevin McCarthy. Although revised by the poet many times during his life, the core content remained. Introduction by Malcolm Cowley. 1855.

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau
Download The Maine Woods, DB14189
Read by Gordon Gould. Reading time: 10 hours, 57 minutes.
Contains Thoreau's narratives of his backwoods expeditions of 1846, 1853, and 1857. 1966.

Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
Download Poems of Emily Dickinson, DB23534
Read by Anne Chodoff. Reading time: 2 hours, 20 minutes. 
The nineteenth-century poet describes the world she knew--and the worlds she imagined--with a startling, fresh vision. 1964.

Shorter Novels of Herman Melville by Herman Melville
Download Shorter Novels of Herman Melville, DB23332
Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time: 9 hours, 30 minutes.
A collection of Melville's shorter novels, including the tale of an inefficient law clerk's odd power over his employer, sketches demonstrating man's inhumanity, and two sea stories. 1928.




American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America by Edmund S. Morgan
Download American Heroes, DB69242
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 11 hours, 30 minutes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of Benjamin Franklin (DB 54936) compiles seventeen essays he penned over a span of nearly seventy years that portray aspects of American Puritanism. Covers politicians William Penn and George Washington, religious leader Anne Hutchinson, and accused witches Giles Cory and Mary Easty. 2009.

Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan
Download Benjamin Franklin, DB54936
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 9 hours, 55 minutes.
Yale historian presents a character study of the foremost eighteenth-century American printer, diplomat, and inventor, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Discusses Franklin's beliefs, scientific curiosity, and political leanings and his decision to "devote his life to usefulness in public service." 2002.

Beyond the River: The Untold Story of the Heroes of the Underground Railroad by Ann Hagedorn
Download Beyond the River, DB57447
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time: 11 hours, 56 minutes.
Portrait of Presbyterian minister John Rankin (1793-1886) and his fellow abolitionists who ran the Underground Railroad of Ripley, Ohio—a town known to Kentucky slaveholders across the river as a haven for runaway slaves. Hagedorn chronicles their heroic efforts to liberate slaves and discusses the abolitionist movement. 2002.

Black Kettle: The Cheyenne Chief Who Sought Peace but Found War by Thom Hatch
Download Black Kettle, DB61754
Read by Dan Bloom. Reading time: 12 hours, 21 minutes.
Biography of the nineteenth-century chief who worked to secure survival of the Cheyenne nation. Portrays Black Kettle in the social, political, and historical context of America's western expansion. Describes the battles and betrayals leading to his death in 1868 when Lieutenant Colonel Custer attacked Black Kettle's village. Spur Award. 2004.

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
Download Founding Mothers, DB58361
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 13 hours, 27 minutes.
Political commentator and news analyst examines the role of Abigail Adams, Deborah Read Franklin, Martha Washington, and other prominent colonial women in founding the United States. Discusses their work outside the domestic sphere to manage businesses, run plantations, and defend their homes in the absence of men. Bestseller. 2004.

His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis
Download His Excellency George Washington, DB59070
Read by Michael Scherer. Reading time: 11 hours, 44 minutes.
Author of Founding Brothers (DB 51469) delves into the life and times of America's first president. Uses personal papers and historical accounts to recreate the man who was a French and Indian War soldier, plantation owner, businessman, and savvy politician who forged a new nation. Bestseller. 2004.

Kit Carson and His Three Wives: A Family History by Marc Simmons
Download Kit Carson and His Three Wives, DB60102
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 8 hours, 8 minutes.
Historian's biography of frontiersman Christopher "Kit" Carson and his marriages to Arapaho woman Waa-nibe, Cheyenne native Making Out Road, and New Mexican Josefa Jaramillo. Simmons stresses the tensions between Carson's struggle to be a family man and his wanderlust. 2003.

Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek
Download Master of the Mountain, DB76693
Read by Karl Miller. Reading time: 13 hours, 11 minutes.
Historian uses primary documents and archaeological research to illustrate Thomas Jefferson's changing and contradictory views on slavery, from his early emancipationist beliefs to his later reliance on human commerce to keep Monticello running. Discusses Jefferson's treatment of his slaves and the attitudes of his European and American contemporaries. 2012.

Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, the Woman behind Benedict Arnold’s Plot to Betray America by Mark Jacob and Stephen H. Case
Download Treacherous Beauty, DB75530
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time: 9 hours, 16 minutes.
Biography of Philadelphia debutante Peggy Shippen (1760-1804), who befriended English officer and spy John André in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War. Explores the reasons why Peggy conspired with André and her husband, colonial general Benedict Arnold, to turn over the fort at West Point to the British. 2012.

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson
Download Tried by War, DB67863
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 9 hours, 57 minutes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian highlights the role President Abraham Lincoln played as the head of the U.S. military during the Civil War. Stresses Lincoln's study and application of war strategies and his development of a political and national policy that focused on preserving the union. Bestseller. 2008.


Colonial Settlements


America’s Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation by Kenneth C. Davis
Download America’s Hidden History, DB66907
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 7 hours, 53 minutes.
Author of the Don't Know Much About series describes overlooked episodes in early American history. Includes Queen Isabella's advice to Columbus to bring pigs to the New World--animals that introduced diseases to the natives—and George Washington's attack on French soldiers who were on a diplomatic mission. Violence. 2008.

Big Chief Elizabeth: The Adventures and Fate of the First English Colonists in America by Giles Milton
Download Big Chief Elizabeth, DB73908
Read by Gergory Maupin. Reading time: 11 hours, 51 minutes.
Chronicles the sixteenth- and seventeenth- century sea voyages of English adventurers to North America, beginning with Richard Hore's 1536 expedition that ended when starvation drove his men to cannibalism. Discusses the court of Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Ralegh's Roanoke enterprises, and the settlement of Jamestown. Some violence. 2000.

The Colonists by Jack Cavanaugh
Download The Colonists, DB40320
Read by John Horton. Reading time: 13 hours, 46 minutes.
Boston 1727. Benjamin Morgan, great-grandson of Drew Morgan, is dead, and it is up to his children to maintain the bond of Christian heritage within the Morgan family. But Philip, Priscilla, and Jared do not get along with one another, and they do not care about their father's faith. Then Daniel Cole, a family friend, forces the family to confront their beliefs. Sequel to The Puritans (DB040319). 1995.

Forth to the Wilderness: The First American Frontier, 1754-1774 by Dale Van Every
Download Forth to the Wilderness, DB20396
Read By Christopher Hurt. Reading time: 13 hours, 42 minutes.
An account of the first crossing of the Appalachian Mountains and the settlements established beyond them before the Revolution. Includes biographical material on the key men and the obscure people who took part in the mass migration. 1961.

A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving by Godfrey Hodgson
Download A Great and Godly Adventure, DB65154
Read by Richard Hauenstein. Reading time: 7 hours, 45 minutes.
British professor examines the origins of the Massachusetts colony. Analyzes the effects of the Reformation on world history and the motives that drove the Pilgrims, radical Protestants, to immigrate from England to Holland and then the New World. Describes the creation and the symbolism of the Thanksgiving holiday. 2006.

The Guardship by James L. Nelson
Download The Guardship, DB53880
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 11 hours, 33 minutes.
Virginia, 1701. Planter Thomas Marlowe kills Matthew Wilkenson in a duel over the honor of widow Elizabeth Tinling and then is assigned to protect the colony from pirate Jean-Pierre LeRois. Marlowe conceals his own dubious past. Bretheren of the Coast series, book 1. Prequel to Blackbirder (DB053881). Violence and strong language. 2000.

The Honorable Imposter by Gilbert Morris
Download The Honorable Imposter, DB39673
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 11 hours, 55 minutes.
Gilbert Winslow has studied ministry in the Church of England, but his heart is not in it. He accepts Lord North's challenge to locate fugitive William Brewster and his band of Puritans in Holland. Winslow succeeds but, through a series of mishaps, finds himself on the Mayflower. It is at Plymouth that Winslow discovers his religious calling and his love. Prequel to The Captive Bride (DB039679).

One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ First Year in America by Thomas J. Fleming
Download One Small Candle, DB16678
Read by Lee Krebs. Reading time: 5 hours, 44 minutes.
Account of the Pilgrim Fathers from their harrowing voyage across the Atlantic on the Mayflower through the rigors of the first New England winter and the threat of Indian attack. Fleming humorously tells of young explorers who get lost in the woods and climb trees to escape ’roaring lions,’ a comic duel for the hand of a headstrong fifteen year-old, and a bizarre visit to Indian chief Massasoit. 1980.

Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph J. Ellis
Download Revolutionary Summer, DB76920
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 8 hours, 2 minutes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian reassesses the six-month period in 1776 when military and political actions by the thirteen colonies and the British helped ensure the success of the American rebellion. Profiles the key players and discusses the events that led to eight years of war. Bestseller. 2013.

Roanoke: The Lost Colony by Angela Elwell Hunt
Download Roanoke, DB44069
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 16 hours, 44 minutes.
Using John White's 1587 voyage to America, Hunt creates a fictional account of the founding of Roanoke colony. Jocelyn White is reluctant to join her uncle's expedition, but he and Jocelyn's father insist she accompany her cousin, Eleanor, recently married and pregnant. John also makes sure a future husband for Jocelyn is aboard. 1996.


Documents that Built a Nation


The Birth of the Constitution: An Informal History by Donald Chidsey Barr
Download The Birth of the Constitution, DB11042
Read by Ryan Halloran. Reading time: 6 hours, 8 minutes.
An account dramatizing the making of the Constitution that develops the conflicts between factions and personal interests in Philadelphia in 1787. 1964.

Common Sense and The Crisis by Thomas Paine
Download Common Sense and The Crisis, DB19603
Read by David Horvitz. Reading time: 10 hours, 1 minute.
In "Common Sense," first appearing in 1776, the American patriot sees the Declaration of Independence as America's moral obligation to the world. In the thirteen "Crisis" papers, written during the Revolutionary War, he supports and encourages the patriotic struggle against Britain. 1973.

The Fourth of July: And the Founding of America by Peter De Bolla
Download The Fourth of July, DB67730
Read By Joe Wilson. Reading time: 6 hours, 41 minutes.
British professor traces the history of this American day of celebration from its origin in July 1776. Analyzes the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence; Thomas Jefferson's role in the document's creation; and the symbols, meanings, and activities associated with the federal holiday. 2007.

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights by Richard Labunski
Download James Madison, DB65857
Read by Ted Stoddard. Reading time: 13 hours, 4 minutes.
Professor analyzes James Madison's influence on the formation of the U.S. Constitution and its first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. Provides a detailed account of the debate between Madison and anti-Federalist Patrick Henry over the ratification of the Constitution and describes Madison's hard-won election to Congress. 2006.

Miracle at Philadelphia: The story of the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen
Download Miracle at Philadelphia, DB26659
Read by Art Metzler. Reading time: 13 hours, 14 minutes.
This history portrays the development of the Constitution of the United States with the aid of letters, diaries, and official records. The author characterizes the delegates and shows how post-Revolutionary America looked to some foreign visitors. 1966.

The Signers of the Declaration of Independence by Robert G. Ferris
Download The Signers of the Declaration of Independence, DB52815
Read by Randy Atcher. Reading time: 6 hours, 14 minutes.
Brief biographies of each of the fifty-six patriots who signed the American Declaration of Independence and were subsequently branded as traitors to the English crown. Includes text, summary, and historical background of the 1776 document. 1973.

The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution by David O. Stewart
Download The Summer of 1787, DB65222
Read by Alec Volz. Reading time: 11 hours, 28 minutes.
Attorney studies the debates held on political and economic issues during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Highlights the roles of George Washington, George Mason, James Madison, and John Rutledge, among others. Contrasts the New Jersey and the Virginia plans and the problems concerning slavery and new territories. 2007.

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America by Christopher Hitchens
Download Thomas Jefferson, DB61778
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 5 hours, 31 minutes.
Journalist's concise biography of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third U.S. president. Posits that Jefferson "designed America" by incorporating the concept of human rights into the Declaration of Independence. Describes the public and private life of this man of contradictions, who was both a freedom advocate and a slaveholder. 2005.

Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens
Download Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, DB66904
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 3 hours, 58 minutes.
Hitchens analyzes Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, which was first published in 1791 as a rebuttal to Edmund Burke's 1790 Reflections on the Revolution in France. Posits that Paine's criticism of monarchy and introduction of the concept of human rights is the philosophical cornerstone of American democracy. 2006.

Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution by Woody Holton
Download Unruly Americans, DB66397
Read by Peter Johnson. Reading time: 11 hours, 19minutes.
History professor asserts that the ratifiers of the Constitution were more concerned with attracting investors to America than with protecting civil liberties. Discusses citizens' reactions to the original document and the small-farmers rebellions that impelled the passage of the Bill of Rights. Nat'l Book Award Finalist. 2007.




Columbus and the Age of Discovery by Zvi Dor-Ner
Download Columbus and the Age of Discovery, DB33681
Read by Butch Hoover. Reading time: 12 hours, 32 minutes.
In a companion book to the PBS series, the authors look at the era of Columbus, "not as a story of one person, but...a story of many people." To gather information, they retraced Columbus's first voyage to the New World and his subsequent passages. They illustrate the consequences of his many discoveries and the impact that he and other explorers made on the history of successive centuries. 1991.

Columbus: His Enterprise: Exploding the Myth by Hans Koning and Bill Bigelow
Download Columbus, DB34083
Read by Ralph Lowenstein. Reading time: 4 hours, 29 minutes.
Koning debunks the legend of Columbus as a brave sailor who set out to find a new route to Asia and instead discovered America. The author looks at the explorer's life, from his childhood in Genoa through his four voyages, and describes how Columbus's desire to find a new route to Asia and to bring back gold to Spain led to the plundering of Native Americans. 1991.

Exploring the West by Herman J. Viola
Read by Jake Williams. Reading time: 7 hours, 13 minutes.
Download Exploring the West, DB28241
The story of nineteenth-century pioneers who blazed trails across the West: surveyors, scientists, mountain men, fur trappers, engineers, artists, settlers, and many more. Tells the stories of men such as Kit Carson, Zebulon Pike, and John C. Fremont, and about the expeditions, railroads, gold rush, and Indians that were all part of the exploration of the West. 1987.

Fatal Journey: The Final Expedition of Henry Hudson—A Tale of Mutiny and Murder in the Arctic by Peter C. Mancall
Download Fatal Journey, DB71646
Read by Bob Moore. Reading time: 9 hours, 4 minutes.
Recounts the fifth and final voyage of explorer Henry Hudson, who in 1610 left England seeking the Northwest Passage. Chronicles the mutiny—which followed several icebound months near Hudson Bay—and the crew's abandonment of Hudson, his son, and seven men. Describes the mutineers' return to England and subsequent murder trials. 2009.

A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca: The Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked across America in the Sixteenth Century by Andrés Reséndez
Download A Land So Strange, DB62229
Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time: 10 hours, 49 minutes.
Historian profiles Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who, with three others, survived a failed 1528 Spanish expedition to Florida. Describes the group's harrowing passage across the Gulf of Mexico, years of captivity in what later became Texas, and trek through the wilderness to the Pacific coast. Violence. 2007.

Lewis and Clark: Through Indian Eyes by N. Scott Momaday and Vine Deloria, Jr.
Download Lewis and Clark, DB62428
Read by Richard Hauenstein. Reading time: 7 hours, 3 minutes.
Modern members of the tribes that Lewis and Clark encountered during their 1804-1806 western travels provide nine wide-ranging essays on the impact of the expedition on Native Americans. Contributors, including Kiowa Pulitzer Prize-winner N. Scott Momaday and Sioux professor Vine Deloria Jr., blend familial, tribal, and American history. Edited by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr.; with Marc Jaffe. 2006.

The Long Way Home
by Robert J. Conley

Download The Long Way Home, DB43449
Read by Erik Sandvold. Reading time: 5 hours, 40 minutes.
In this sequel to The Way South (DB 40256), an enslaved Cherokee priest, Deadwood Lighter, becomes an interpreter for conquistador Hernando De Soto. On De Soto's expedition and quest for gold in Florida, the priest is appalled at the Spaniards' cruelty. As De Soto nears Cherokee territory, Lighter escapes to warn his people. Violence. 1994.

A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Fre´mont, and the Claiming of the American West by David Roberts
Download A Newer World, DB51623
Read by Rick Foucheux. Reading time: 11 hours, 14 minutes.
Highlights the adventures and private lives of two western explorers, including their most infamous trips--a 1842 expedition to Wyoming, the "Conquest of California" in 1845-1846, a disastrous trek in 1848-1849 that ended in cannibalism, and Carson's 1863-1864 roundup of Native American tribes. 2000.

La Salle: A Perilous Odyssey from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico by Donald S. Johnson
Download La Salle, DB57399
Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 8 hours, 35 minutes.
Discusses the adventures of French explorer Rene´-Robert Cavalier (1643-1687), the sieur de La Salle, who claimed thousands of acres of North American land for France. Describes his exploits, the natural and political dangers he faced, and his murder by his own men. 2002.

Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination by Joyce Oldham Appleby
Download Shores of Knowledge, DB77814
Read by Mark Delgado. Reading time 7 hours, 45 minutes.
History professor recounts the travels of explorers, from Christopher Columbus to Charles Darwin, and argues that their discoveries spurred scientific advances. Details expeditions such as Magellan's circumnavigation attempt and discusses the development of natural history collections and philosophical societies. 2013.


Monuments and Landmarks


America's Battlegrounds: Walk in the Footsteps of America's Bravest by Richard Allen Sauers
Download America's Battlegrounds, DB60376
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 6 hours, 55 minutes.
Civil War historian's tour of more than forty U.S. war sites and monuments within the national park system that commemorate the American Revolution, the War of 1812, expansion, the Civil War, and foreign wars. Each entry includes an account of the battle, key players, and detailed visitor information. 2005.

America's Prophet: Moses and the American Story by Bruce S. Feiler
Read by Bob Moore. Reading time: 11 hours, 22 minutes.
Download America's Prophet, DB70476
Author of Where God Was Born (DB061658) and Walking the Bible (DB052171) visits Clark Island, where the pilgrims observed their first Sabbath in the New World; the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia; and other U.S. landmarks to explore the influence of the biblical prophet Moses in American history. 2009.

Arlington National Cemetery: Shrine to America's Heroes by James Edward Peters
Download Arlington National Cemetery, DB64313Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 12 hours, 11 minutes.

Guide to America's shrine to its fallen heroes. Includes a brief history of the cemetery, short biographies of some people buried there, a list of its major monuments and memorials, and visitor tips. Appendixes cover headstone markings; American military rank, decorations, and medals; and tombstone and burial regulations. 2000.

The Living White House by Betty C. Monkman
Download The Living White House, DB64722
Read by Dan Bloom. Reading time: 5 hours, 26 minutes.
Former White House curator pens an updated edition of this celebration of the executive mansion in its various roles since 1800: office of the commander-in-chief, home to the first family, and historic residence. Describes two hundred years of daily routines, state occasions, weddings, funerals, and renovations. 2007.

The Middle Colonies by Sol Stember
Download The Middle Colonies, DB08013
Read by Anne Chodoff. Reading time: 6 hours, 28 minutes.
Travel guide that follows the course of military action in the middle colonies from the point where Washington crossed the Delaware to Valley Forge. Adds historical interest by mapping the routes to battle sites, memorials and famous homes. 1974.

The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia: From Jamestown to Jefferson by Peter Martin
Download The Pleasure Gardens of Virginia, DB64343
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 13 hours, 49 minutes. 
Selective history of plantation and town gardening in eighteenth-century Virginia, focusing on Williamsburg, Monticello, and Mount Vernon. Describes gardens of the colonial period and discusses ways in which their designs reflected the people and culture of the era. 1991.

Virginia and the Capital Region by Henry Wiencek and Donald Young
Download Virginia and the Capital Region, DB57436
Read by Kerry Cundiff. Reading time: 9 hours, 11 minutes.
Travel guide to colonial and postcolonial sites in the Chesapeake Bay region, which encompasses Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Provides detailed historical background, hours of operation, fees, and contact information on parks, memorials, museums, Civil and Revolutionary War battlefields, plantation houses, forts, port cities, and more. 1989.

Washington: The Making of the American Capital by Fergus M. Bordewich
Download Washington, DB66905
Read by Steven Carpenter. Reading time: 10 hours, 52 minutes.
Chronicles the early history of the nation's capital, highlighting the political struggles, sectional rivalry, backroom dealing, and big money that led to the 1790 establishment of Washington, D.C. Discusses the people involved in the city's construction, including engineer Peter Charles L'Enfant, African American surveyor Benjamin Banneker, and slaves. 2008.

The Washington Monument: It Stands for All by Thomas B. Allen
Download The Washington Monument, DB51104

Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 4 hours, 39 minutes.
A history of the monument that commemorates the country's first president and is the tallest freestanding structure in Washington, DC. Contains a brief biographical sketch of Washington, a chronology of the monument's construction and its 1998 restoration, and highlights of events that happened nearby on the Mall. 2000.

Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital by Christopher Buckley
Download Washington Schlepped Here, DB65214
Read by Jack Fox. Reading time: 4 hours, 7 minutes.
Satirical novelist leads four lighthearted walking tours through the District of Columbia's most familiar sites—from Union Station, across the Mall, and over the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery. Buckley visits the Smithsonian, presidential monuments, war memorials, Ford's Theatre, and other places of interest, offering informative tidbits and personal digressions. 2003.


Native Americans


After Columbus: The Smithsonian Chronicle of the North American Indians by Herman J. Viola
Download After Columbus, DB33529
Read by Andy Chappell. Reading time: 9 hours, 2 minutes.
The author traces the history of Native American attempts to not just survive, but to retain their rich culture in the five hundred years since Europeans settled North America. He traces the displacement of tribes from the early explorations through the 1980s, when Native Americans struggle to maintain their traditions, reclaim their land, and renew their pride. 1990.

American Indians in U.S. History by Roger L. Nichols
Download American Indians in U.S. History, DB59068
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 8 hours, 40 minutes.
Concise survey of U.S. Native Americans for students and general readers. The author, a professor, focuses on three stages of Indian history since 1500: life before European intrusion, the reservation experience, and contemporary society. Narrative highlights central issues and incorporates tribal customs, ideas, movements, and individuals. Includes suggested readings. 2003.

Cavalry Scout by Dee Alexander Brown
Download Cavalry Scout, DB36069
Read by Bob Askey. Reading time: 7 hours, 32 minutes.
Native Americans are portrayed sympathetically in this novel of the Indian wars in the West. The author has used unpublished sources and other documents to emphasize the Native American viewpoint. Strong language and some violence. 1988.

Lily of the Mohawks by Jack Casey
Download Lily of the Mohawks, DB22440
Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time: 12 hours, 56 minutes.
A historical novel based on the seventeenth-century life of Kateri Tekakwitha, daughter of a Mohawk chief and witness to savagery that drove her from the campfires of her people to the light of Catholicism. Kateri has been nominated for canonization as the first native American saint. Some strong language, some descriptions of sex, and some violence. 1984.

Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment by Kevin Kenny
Download Peaceable Kingdom Lost, DB69485
Read by Robert Sams. Reading time: 11 hours, 8 minutes.
Historian recounts the 1763 massacre of Native Americans that destroyed the peace established eighty years earlier by Pennsylvania Quaker William Penn. Discusses the attack by Presbyterian militiamen the Paxton Boys, who sought land, and the increasing violence against Indians during the French and Indian, Pontiac's, and Revolutionary wars. Violence. 2009.

Playing Indian by Philip Joseph Deloria
Download Playing Indian, DB49554
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 9 hours, 59 minutes.
Explores Anglo Americans' penchant for emulating Native Americans—adopting their attire, traditions, and images. Traces this pattern from the Boston Tea Party to the formation of various cultural organizations throughout U.S. history. Avers that such "Indian play" was essential to the development of a national identity. 1998.

Return of the Spanish by Don Coldsmith
Download Return of the Spanish, DB33712
Read by David Palmer. Reading time: 4 hours, 57 minutes.
In 1720, a young Native American volunteers to guide a Spanish expedition in search of French settlements. The expedition leader, becoming suspicious that the guide is actually a French spy, refuses to take his advice, and soon the group is in danger. This is the eighteenth in The Spanish Bit Saga series, which explores Native American culture. Sequel to Quest for the White Bull (DB033748). Some violence. 1991.

Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America by Christina Snyder
Download Slavery in Indian Country, DB71897
Read by Dan Bloom. Reading time: 12 hours, 16 minutes.
Examines the concept and practice of slavery in Native American society, from pre-Columbian times to the 1840s, concentrating on the American South. Describes the importance of age and gender in determining a captive's worth and fate. Discusses the influence of European settlers on reshaping the natives' attitude about race. 2010.
A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815 by Gregory Evans Dowd
Download A Spirited Resistance, DB37751
Read by Art Metzler. Reading time: 9 hours, 50 minutes.
Dowd describes how the twin notions that Native Americans should identify with each other and that they should associate the British colonist with evil led to a nativist struggle for a unified front against the colonists' expansion. Although nativism failed, the factions within the tribes that were against the uprising fared no better—they too were forced West. 1992.

War Drums by Donald Clayton Porter
Download War Drums, DB63083
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time: 9 hours, 48 minutes.
Seneca warrior Renno, descendant of the legendary White Indian, joins Captain Andrew Jackson against the Chickasaw and Spanish in a battle that could decide the fate of frontier America. Meanwhile Renno's wife, Emily, after giving birth, finds the Indian lifestyle challenging. Some descriptions of sex and some violence. 1986.




American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham
Download American Gospel, DB62640
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 13 hours, 1 minute.
Newsweek managing editor examines U.S. national traditions and the intention of the founding fathers when they created freedom of religion more than two centuries ago. Contends that faith and freedom are inextricably linked—a nation will thrive only by cherishing freedom and protecting faith. Bestseller. 2006.

The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion by Stephen L. CarterRead by Ralph Lowenstein. Download The Culture of Disbelief, DB38156
Reading time: 10 hours, 49 minutes.
A Yale law professor examines the relationship between religion and the political and legal cultures that separate church and state in America. The author observes how the demands of the Constitution can be upheld without forcing believers to treat their convictions as a strictly private matter. And he believes that religious institutions can provide an independent moral voice. 1993.

Gods of War, Gods of Peace: How the Meeting of Native and Colonial Religions Shaped Early America by Russell Bourne
Download Gods of War, Gods of Peace, DB54662
Read by Corrie James. Reading time: 13 hours, 7 minutes.
Examines the collision of Native American and European cultures in northeastern America between 1620 and 1830. Discusses the interactions of these groups and the enduring aftereffects on their religions. Portrays outstanding individuals from both sides and assesses their spheres of influence. 2002.

The Holy Warrior by Gilbert Morris
Download The Holy Warrior, DB39709
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 9 hours, 35 minutes.
As America expands westward, Nathan's sons Christmas and Knox also head west. Knox plans to establish a trading post. Christmas wants to escape from his past and avoid the future planned for him. He marries a Sioux woman and settles on the frontier. But home and God call to him, and he returns to enroll at Yale and become a minister. House of Winslow series, book 6.  Sequel to The Saintly Buccaneer (DB039701).

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson
Download The Invention of Air, DB70847
Read by Jon Huffman. Reading time: 8 hours, 10 minutes.
Biography of British chemist and ordained minister Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) discusses his contributions to natural philosophy, science, religion, and politics. Describes Priestley's relationships with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other Americans and highlights his discovery of oxygen. 2008.

Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz
Download Occult America, DB70401
Read by Bill Wallace. Reading time: 10 hours, 45 minutes.
The author discusses the history of occultism in America and the emerging differences in practices from the Old World. Highlights the influence of Mother Ann and the Shaking Quakers in New York in 1776 and other notable spiritual leaders. Includes origins of the Ouija board, horoscopes, and more. 2009.

A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America by J. Spencer Fluhman
Download A Peculiar People, DB75861
Read by John Pruden. Reading time: 6 hours, 42 minutes.
Brigham Young University professor discusses prejudice against the Mormon religion since its founding in the 1830s. Explores the American concept of religious liberty and the problems that arose from categorizing a controversial new faith. Uses archives to illustrate the attacks on the practice of polygamy. Commercial audiobook. 2012.

The Republic of Many Mansions: Foundations of American Religious Thought by Denise Lardner Carmody
Download The Republic of Many Mansions, DB37003
Read by David Impastato. Reading time: 10 hours, 32 minutes.
Examines three major trends in the history of religions in America from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. The authors explore the lives of Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Jefferson, and William James, whose beliefs represented—respectively—Puritan ideas, the tenets of the Enlightenment, and the philosophy of pragmatism. 1990.

The Scarlet Letter
Download The Scarlet Letter, DB48457
Read by Ian Reed. Reading time: 10 hours, 15 minutes.
Symbolic novel set in Puritan New England traces the effects of sin on people's lives. Hester Prynne is forced to display her transgression openly in the form of a scarlet letter "A" for adultery. Her husband is obsessed with revenge, and her lover, a minister, conceals his guilt and shame.  Includes an introduction by Alfred Kazin. 1992.

Wellspring by Janice Holt Giles
Download Wellspring, DB70299
Read by Mitzi Friedlander. Reading time: 9 hours, 43 minutes. Nineteen fiction and nonfiction selections examine the land and people of Giles's adopted state of Kentucky. In "The Minor Miracle" a young minister confronts his own theological skepticism. "According to His Lights" analyzes Appalachian cultural and religious mentalities. Several essays provide insight into Giles's personal life and writing process. 1957.