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Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

General discussions of books, reviews, recommendations.

Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby jeaguilar » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:59 pm

Updated List April 30, 2012

177: The Burning Ships
[Back to Basics] The Histories of Rome by Livy

175: Trying to Take it All Back
[Back to Basics] Plutarch's Lives by Plutarch

173: The Broken Bow
[Back to Basics] The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

171: The Gathering Storm
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

170: Atilla Cometh
Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West by Tom Holland

168: The Rise of Aetius
Monopoly! by Mike Daisey

166: As Long as She's Nice to Look At
At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

164: The Sack of Rome
A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage

163: Theodosius's Wall
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

162: Opening the Floodgates
The Second World War by Winston S. Churchill

160: East vs. West
The Forty-Eight Laws of Power by Robert Greene

158: An Imperial Suicide
The Warrior of Rome Series by Harry Sidebottom

156: Jockeying for Position
The Inferno of Dante by Dante Alighieri, Narrated by John Cleese

154: The Gothic War
Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone by Martin Dugard

151: Bursting a Blood Vessel
The Complete Unabridged Lincoln-Douglas Debates, starring Richard Dreyfuss (Douglas), David Straithairn (Lincoln)

148: The Cousin's Cousin
The History of the World in 100 Objects

146: The Spear of Destiny
:nono: 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies
"This week I initially passed along a listener recommendation for 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. However, I must confess that I did not do my usual due diligence on researching the merits of the book and so am just now discovering that 1421 is basically pseudo-historical nonsense that relies on no good evidence whatsoever, speculates wildly beyond the facts and that the author Gavin Menzies is basically a novelist pretending to be a historian. I am embarrassed to have given 1421 The History of Rome’s seal-of-approval, it is not good history, and I sincerely apologize for what can only be described as a sloppy recommendation. How about next time I just recommend The History of the World in 100 Objects or maybe one of those Star Wars books people keep wanting me to plug?"

144: The Road to Constantinople
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

143: Julian the Pre-Apostate
1776 by David McCullough

141: Blood and Water
The Didius Falco Mystery Series by Lindsey Davis

139: Wash Away Your Sins
The March of the Ten-Thousand by Xenophon

138: The New Rome
Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade

137: The Christian Emperor
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

135: Brothers in Name Only
Imperium and Conspirata by Robert Harris

133: The Milvian Bridge
I, Claudius by Robert Graves

131: The New Game in Town
The Big Short by Michael Lewis

129: Abdication
(Shift gears completely with all Ancient Roman titles fairly well plundered. Throwing open to listener recommendations at http://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/)

127: Commanding the Economy
Julius Caesar (Ancient World Leaders) by Samuel Willard Crompton

125: The Best Defence is a Good Defence
The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor (New book, hadn't read yet, finalist for a National Book Award)

123: The Tetrarchy
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (Recommendation by the pater familias of THOR)

121: Phase Three Complete
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford (Reader recommendation outside the scope of Roman history)

120: Interregnum
The Ides: Caesar's Murder and the War for Rome by Stephen Dando-Collins

118: The Palmyrene Wars
Marathon: The Battle that Changed Western Civilization by Richard Billows (Moving away from Rome a little bit)

116: Here Come the Illyrians
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff (In honor of the coming rise of Zenobia)

115: Phase Two Complete
A History of Britain, Volume 1 by Simon Schama (Based on the television series)

112: Captured Alive
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Wertheim Tuchman

110: A Gothic Horror
The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians by J. B. Bury

108: Gordian's Knot
The Great Fire of Rome: The Fall of the Emperor Nero and His City by Stephen Dando-Collins

106: Barbarian at the Gate
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

104: Here Comes the Sun
The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert L. O'Connell

102: The Common Enemy of Mankind
Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome by Stephen Dando-Collins

101: And All Was of Little Value
Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town by Mary Beard

099: What Evil Have I Done?
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

097: The Fall of Hercules
The Histories by Herodotus

095: The Beginning of the End
The Peloponnesian Wars By Thucydides

093: The Marcomannic Wars
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

092: The Parthinian War
Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World by Diana Preston

090: The Hundredth Episode (Kind of a strange recommendation)
Audible is putting out 5 minute segments for kids too young for THOR. They have ones out on Rome and Julius Caesar.

088: A Day in the Life
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara Tuchman (which has nothing whatsoever to do with Roman history)

086: Wealth and Class
The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

085: Antoninus the Dutiful
Rome and the Mediterranean by Polybius

83: May His Bones by Crushed (Switching it up with a book he is listening to now and has nothing to do with Rome)
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

81: The Greekling
The Spartacus War by Barry S. Strauss

79: The Dacian Wars
Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic by Nathan Stewart Rosenstein

78: Imperial Stop Gap
The (Full Unabridged) Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

76: Mock Triumphs
Hannibal: One Man Against Rome by Harold Lamb

74: Friends, I Have Wasted a Day
The Jewish Wars by Josephus

72: Vitellius and Vespasian
Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization by Lars Brownworth

71: Otho and Vitellius
Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland

70: Galba and Otho
Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt

66: 666
(Branch out from Roman history) The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman

65: Burn It to the Ground
The Roman Empire (A Very Short Introduction) by Christopher Kelly

64: Smite My Womb
The Satires by Juvenal

62: Take My Wife...Please
Roman Lives by Plultarch

61: What, me Claudius?
The Roman Way by Edith Hamilton

58: Partner of My Labors
The Lives of the 12 Caesars by Suetonius
Volume 1 of the Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus
Last edited by jeaguilar on Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:35 pm, edited 20 times in total.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Bob-Tom » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:25 pm

70 and 72 were good books.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Detlef » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:20 am

Thanks and welcome jeaguilar! :cheers: :cheers: :drunk: :cheers:
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Calvus » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:08 am

Hurrah, I don't have to do that myself! Thanks!
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby matt » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:20 am

I'm kind of surprised Mike hasn't recommended either "I, Claudius"/"Claudius the God" or Gore Vidal's "Julian".
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby jeaguilar » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:45 pm

Hey Matt, Mike recommended "I, Claudius" (the TV series) back in episode 55, Teutoburg Nightmares (within the narrative of the podcast and not as part of his not-yet-existent Audible ad), but I think you're right about "Julian". Cheers.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby ffifield » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:40 am

I'm surprised Mike hasn't recommended Livy. Books 1-5 and 6-10 are available on Audible in separate volumes.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Benkernow » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:57 am

The one from episode 71 Rubicon by Tom Holland was really good. It reads like the podcast. You can tell he used it for the episodes on the full of the rebublic.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby morlam » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:36 am

Which books can you recommend besides the ones mentioned? I'm halfway through Edward Gibbon, which I cannot recommend enough, and have picked up the series by Harry Sidebottom which is brilliant historically based fiction by a scholar. I'm accumulating points and need to buy some good audio books...
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Marcus Aurelius » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:25 pm

If you are half way through Gibbon and are on the full six volume version, you must be about the reign of Justinian and with plenty of reading ahead of you. If you want something to give a completely different perspective from Gibbon Thomas Madden's Tiber and the Potomac is interesting. It is only available in audio format and is very expensive for what it is, but it sounds like you have subscription to Audible which makes it a bit cheaper.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby CarpeDiem » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:34 pm

If historical fiction (à la Rome) is what you seek then I recommend the Robert Harris series (Imperium, Conspirata, Pompeii, though I haven't read the latter). Though this slightly embellished fill-in-the gap historical fiction Imperium/Conspirata give you a feel for what the cutthroat political environment was like in the late Republic, the twisted cynical plots, and the interesting characters involved. They're real Tarpein-Rock hangers! (get it - cliffhanger, Tarpein Rock! heh heh :)
Oh and the third part of that trilogy is coming out sometime in 2011. I'll be lining up outside the e-bookstore (or Audible) at midnight on the day to snag my copy.
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby morlam » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:58 pm

If you are half way through Gibbon and are on the full six volume version, you must be about the reign of Justinian


Ahh, yes, I've only finished Book one then, end of the west. I'm amazed as I thought history at this - arguably - level of historical knowledge and attempt at objectivity only came about in the 19. th. century. But, on the other hand, lots of things have gone back since the enlightenment :-). I'll defenetely give Madden a try. These days I'm reminded of Milo, Clodius and the anarchy of the late republic, with all the populism gaining momentum in democracies (and the 1930'ties), fertile ground for demagogues and worse.

If historical fiction (à la Rome) is what you seek then I recommend the Robert Harris series (Imperium, Conspirata, Pompeii, though I haven't read the latter). Though this slightly embellished fill-in-the gap historical fiction Imperium/Conspirata give you a feel for what the cutthroat political environment was like in the late Republic, the twisted cynical plots, and the interesting characters involved. They're real Tarpein-Rock hangers! (get it - cliffhanger, Tarpein Rock! heh heh :)


Ha, ha, got it :-) Robert Harris it is then, will go for it.

For entertainment I can also recommend Simon Scarrow, but I think Conan Iggulden is too inaccurate, think it's mainly meant for kids. But a scholar/author that's rarely mentioned is Steven Saylor. Late republic detective novels, really well written almost a la John le Carré. Can't recommend his books enough.

Well, thanks for the recommendations and happy THor New Year. Btw, if anyone picks up something good, please post at the forum!
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Roman_writer » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:46 pm

Eminent (and brilliant) Mary Beard wrote 'Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town' which was recommended in 101: And All Was of Little Value.
For those in UK or with access to BBC TV, her new series filmed in Paestum begins in April.
Enjoy!
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Re: Books Recommended by Mike Duncan during the Audible Ad

Postby Benkernow » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:51 pm

Roman_writer wrote:Eminent (and brilliant) Mary Beard wrote 'Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town' which was recommended in 101: And All Was of Little Value.
For those in UK or with access to BBC TV, her new series filmed in Paestum begins in April.
Enjoy!



O goody you got me excited. I loved here series for the BBC on pompei and enjoyed her book on pompeii and the colleseum. I look forward to it. Have they set an exact date
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