Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance [Audiobook]
31 January 2018, 08:41
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 30 mins | 371.31MB
The other great Renaissance of black culture, influence, and glamour burst forth joyfully in what may seem an unlikely place—Pittsburgh, PA—from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Today black Pittsburgh is known as the setting for August Wilson’s famed plays about noble but doomed working-class strivers. But this community once had an impact on American history that rivaled the far larger black worlds of Harlem and Chicago. It published the most widely read black newspaper in the country, urging black voters to switch from the Republican to the Democratic Party and then rallying black support for World War II. It fielded two of the greatest baseball teams of the Negro Leagues and introduced Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pittsburgh was the childhood home of jazz pioneers Billy Strayhorn, Billy Eckstine, Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams, and Erroll Garner; Hall of Fame slugger Josh Gibson—and August Wilson himself. Some of the most glittering figures of the era were changed forever by the time they spent in the city, from Joe Louis and Satchel Paige to Duke Ellington and Lena Horne.
Mark Whitaker’s Smoketown is a captivating portrait of this unsung community and a vital addition to the story of black America. It depicts how ambitious Southern migrants were drawn to a steel-making city on a strategic river junction; how they were shaped by its schools and a spirit of commerce with roots in the Gilded Age; and how their world was eventually destroyed by industrial decline and urban renewal. Whitaker takes readers on a rousing, revelatory journey—and offers a timely reminder that Black History is not all bleak.
The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam [Audiobook]
31 January 2018, 01:07
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 27 hrs 33 mins | 759.1MB
In chronicling the adventurous life of legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, The Road Not Taken definitively reframes our understanding of the Vietnam War. In this epic biography of Edward Lansdale (1908-1987), the man said to be the fictional model for Graham Greene's The Quiet American, best-selling historian Max Boot demonstrates how Lansdale pioneered a "hearts and mind" diplomacy, first in the Philippines, then in Vietnam. It was a visionary policy that, as Boot reveals, was ultimately crushed by America's giant military bureaucracy, steered by elitist generals and blueblood diplomats who favored troop build-ups and napalm bombs over winning the trust of the people.
Through dozens of interviews and access to never before-seen documents - including long-hidden love letters - Boot recasts this cautionary American story, tracing the bold rise and the crashing fall of the roguish "T. E. Lawrence of Asia" from the battle of Dien Bien Phu to the humiliating American evacuation in 1975.
Bringing a tragic complexity to this so-called "ugly American", this "engrossing biography" (Karl Marlantes) rescues Lansdale from historical ignominy and suggests that Vietnam could have been different had we only listened. With reverberations that continue to play out in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Road Not Taken is a biography of profound historical consequence.
When Montezuma Met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting That Changed History [Audiobook]
31 January 2018, 00:46
2018 | MP3@64 kbps | 16 hrs 5 mins | 443.2MB
A dramatic rethinking of the encounter between Montezuma and Hernando Cortés that completely overturns what we know about the Spanish conquest of the Americas
On November 8, 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortés first met Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, at the entrance to the capital city of Tenochtitlan. This introduction - the prelude to the Spanish seizure of Mexico City and to European colonization of the mainland of the Americas - has long been the symbol of Cortés' bold and brilliant military genius. Montezuma, on the other hand, is remembered as a coward who gave away a vast empire and touched off a wave of colonial invasions across the hemisphere.
But is this really what happened? In a departure from traditional tellings, When Montezuma Met Cortés uses "the Meeting" - as Restall dubs their first encounter - as the entry point into a comprehensive reevaluation of both Cortés and Montezuma. Drawing on rare primary sources and overlooked accounts by conquistadors and Aztecs alike, Restall explores Cortés' and Montezuma's posthumous reputations, their achievements and failures, and the worlds in which they lived - leading, step by step, to a dramatic inversion of the old story. As Restall takes us through this sweeping, revisionist account of a pivotal moment in modern civilization, he calls into question our view of the history of the Americas and, indeed, of history itself.