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In this audiobook review, we explore Rachel L. Swarns’ “The 272,” an enthralling journey into uncharted history. This captivating historical narrative sheds light on untold stories, revealing their significance to our understanding of the past.

Rachel L. Swarns’ powerful storytelling abilities allow readers to delve into the vivid character portrayals and discover the development of the book’s key figures. Through audiobook narration, the experience is even more immersive, making “The 272” a must-listen for those with a passion for history and impactful stories.

Join us as we examine the historical significance of this captivating audiobook and offer our personal recommendation for why it’s worth listening to.

Introduction to “The 272”

“The 272” by Rachel L. Swarns is a fascinating audiobook review that takes listeners on a journey into uncharted history, revealing untold past stories and their historical significance. Through this historical narrative, Swarns offers unique insights into the impact of these untold stories and why they matter to us today.

With meticulous research and vivid storytelling, “The 272” shines a light on hidden histories that have long been ignored, providing a new perspective on events that have shaped our world.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for a compelling audiobook, “The 272” is a must-listen for anyone interested in untold stories and their lasting impact.

Author Overview

Rachel L. Swarns is a renowned writer and journalist known for her in-depth research and engaging storytelling. She has worked for several reputable news organizations, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, and has covered a wide range of topics, from politics to race and culture.


Swarns has an impressive academic background, having received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Harvard College and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Columbia University. Her extensive knowledge of history and her exceptional writing skills are evident in her work, including her latest book, “The 272.”

“I hope readers will learn something new about the impact of slavery on American society and the extent to which our past continues to shape our present.”Rachel L. Swarns

Swarns’ passion for uncovering hidden stories and bringing them to light is evident in her work. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing, including a Pulitzer Prize for her coverage of Michelle Obama.

Plot Summary

“The 272” follows the journey of Georgetown University, as they come to terms with their role in slavery. With detailed research and vivid storytelling, Swarns uncovers the untold history of 272 slaves who were sold to a Louisiana plantation owner in 1838 by Georgetown’s Jesuit priests. Through the eyes of the slaves and their owners, we see the harsh realities of slavery and its lasting impact on society. The audiobook takes listeners through key events such as the sale of the slaves, their journey to Louisiana, and their life on the plantation.


The storyline of “The 272” is divided into three major parts. In the first part, Swarns explores Georgetown’s discovery of the role they played in slavery, the consequences of their actions, and their attempts to make amends. The second part of the narrative focuses on the individual stories of the slaves and their families, as they were separated from their loved ones and sold into slavery. The final part of the audiobook examines the lasting impact of slavery and how it has shaped modern-day society.

Key Events

Event Description
Sale of 272 Slaves A detailed account of the sale of 272 slaves by Georgetown’s Jesuit priests to a Louisiana plantation owner in 1838.
Journey to Louisiana The challenges faced by the slaves on their journey to Louisiana and the harsh conditions they encountered while on the plantation.
The Escaped Slaves A detailed exploration of the experiences of the slaves who managed to escape slavery and their attempts to build new lives.
Reconciliation with History Georgetown’s attempts to make amends for their role in slavery and bring about positive change in modern-day society.

“The 272” offers listeners a moving and thought-provoking journey into the untold history of slavery, presenting an in-depth exploration of the lasting impact of slavery on modern-day society.

Historical Significance

Rachel L. Swarns’ “The 272” sheds light on an untold history, uncovering stories that were previously silenced. Through powerful storytelling, Swarns gives voice to those who have been historically neglected, providing a unique perspective that challenges traditional narratives.

The historical context of “The 272” is rooted in the legacy of slavery, exploring the impact and consequences that continue to reverberate through society today. These impactful stories highlight the resilience of those who have faced unimaginable challenges and inspire us to consider the ways in which history shapes our present and future.

By bringing these untold histories to light, “The 272” reminds us of the importance of listening to diverse perspectives and the power of storytelling in shaping our understanding of the world.

Vivid Character Portrayals

One of the strengths of “The 272” is Rachel L. Swarns’ ability to create vivid character portrayals that bring the book’s key figures to life. Each character is carefully crafted with intricate details that are both realistic and engaging. Swarns’ use of descriptive language and rich storytelling makes the characters feel authentic and relatable. She doesn’t shy away from portraying the flaws and imperfections of her characters, creating a sense of empathy and understanding among readers.

The character development in “The 272” is also noteworthy. Swarns takes readers on a journey of growth and change, exploring how her characters evolve throughout the story. She allows readers to see the characters’ motivations, fears, and doubts, making them feel like fully realized individuals.

Vivid Character Portrayals

“Rachel L. Swarns is a master at creating complex and compelling characters. Her descriptions are so vivid that I felt like I knew these characters personally.”Book Reviewer

Engaging Narration

One of the standout features of “The 272” audiobook is the compelling narration that truly brings the story to life. The immersive experience created by the talented narrator draws listeners in and keeps them engaged throughout the entire book. The emphasis on clear enunciation and tone ensures that the listener never misses a word of this captivating story.

Moreover, the use of different voices for the various characters adds a further layer of depth to the narrative, making each character more distinct and memorable. It’s a testament to the skill of the narrator that listeners can easily differentiate between characters with their unique mannerisms, accents, and tone.

Overall, the audiobook narration of “The 272” elevates the already compelling storytelling and creates an experience that is both memorable and impactful. It’s an excellent example of how audiobooks can enhance the reading experience and transport listeners into the heart of the story.

Themes Explored

One of the standout features of “The 272” is its exploration of central themes and thought-provoking ideas. Throughout the audiobook, author Rachel L. Swarns creates a vivid portrayal of the societal impact of untold history. She delves deep into the struggles and injustices that have plagued society, shedding light on previously untold stories.

One of the most prevalent themes in “The 272” is the notion of systemic racism and its devastating effects. Through powerful storytelling and compelling character development, Swarns illustrates the impact of racism on individuals and communities alike, leaving listeners with a newfound understanding of the importance of actively combating prejudice in our society.

Another central theme explored in “The 272” is the power of community and human connection. Swarns highlights the importance of coming together in times of struggle, showcasing the resilience and strength that can result from collective action.

Overall, “The 272” is a thought-provoking exploration of untold history and the societal impact of systemic injustices. Through vivid character portrayals and engaging storytelling, Rachel L. Swarns offers listeners a unique perspective on the importance of confronting our past in order to build a better future.

Praise and Critiques

Since its release, “The 272” has garnered widespread attention and acclaim in the literary world. Many audiobook reviews have praised the book for its captivating storytelling and vivid character portrayals, describing it as a powerful narrative that sheds light on an untold past.

One reviewer notes, “Rachel L. Swarns has masterfully crafted a historical narrative that is both thought-provoking and engaging. Her impeccable attention to detail and rich characterizations make ‘The 272’ a must-listen for anyone interested in uncovering uncharted history.”

However, some critiques have pointed out the book’s heavy focus on certain characters and events, potentially overshadowing other aspects of the narrative. Others have criticized the book’s slower pacing in certain sections, feeling that it detracts from the overall impact of the story.

“While ‘The 272’ is undoubtedly a significant contribution to the canon of untold history, it could benefit from a more even-handed approach to the narrative, allowing for a greater exploration of the broader historical context of the events depicted.”

Overall, the balance between positive feedback and critical analysis reflects a compelling narrative that offers an immersive and impactful experience for listeners. With its rich historical significance and engaging storytelling, “The 272” is a book that is sure to leave a lasting impression on its audience.

Audiobook Recommendation

After listening to “The 272” by Rachel L. Swarns, we highly recommend this audiobook for those interested in untold history and impactful storytelling. Swarns’ vivid character portrayals and engaging narration create an immersive experience that brings the historical context to life. This book is a must-listen for anyone looking for thought-provoking themes and ideas that are still relevant today.

“The 272″ is a fascinating exploration of history that uncovers untold stories and presents them in a thought-provoking way. Swarns’ ability to weave historical facts and personal narratives together creates a compelling and insightful read.”

Overall, our personal recommendation is to add “The 272” to your book list and experience the impactful storytelling firsthand.


In summary, “The 272” by Rachel L. Swarns is a captivating audiobook that explores untold history. Swarns’ vivid character portrayals and engaging narration make for an immersive experience that brings to life the impactful stories presented in the book. The themes explored are thought-provoking and provide insight into societal issues that are still relevant today.

Overall, “The 272” is a must-listen for anyone interested in historical narratives and the uncovering of untold stories. While there may be some critiques, the positive feedback outweighs any negatives. The audiobook is well worth the investment and will leave listeners with a greater understanding of the importance of delving into forgotten histories.

As a final thought, Rachel L. Swarns’ “The 272” is a valuable addition to any audiobook collection, and we highly recommend it to all seeking to expand their knowledge of untold pasts.

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