The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century [Audiobook]

The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century [Audiobook]
The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century [Audiobook] by Joel F Harrington, read by James Gillies
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 39 mins | 265.59MB

Based on the rare and until now overlooked journal of a Renaissance-era executioner, the noted historian Joel F. Harrington's The Faithful Executioner takes us deep inside the alien world and thinking of Meister Frantz Schmidt of Nuremberg, who, during forty-five years as a professional executioner, personally put to death 394 individuals and tortured, flogged, or disfigured many hundreds more. But the picture that emerges of Schmidt from his personal papers is not that of a monster. Could a man who routinely practiced such cruelty also be insightful, compassionate—even progressive?

In The Faithful Executioner, Harrington vividly re-creates a life filled with stark contrasts, from the young apprentice's rigorous training under his executioner father to the adult Meister Frantz's juggling of familial duties with his work in the torture chamber and at the scaffold. With him we encounter brutal highwaymen, charming swindlers, and tragic unwed mothers accused of infanticide, as well as patrician senators, godly chaplains, and corrupt prison guards. Harrington teases out the hidden meanings and drama of Schmidt's journal, uncovering a touching tale of inherited shame and attempted redemption for the social pariah and his children. The Faithful Executioner offers not just the compelling firsthand perspective of a professional torturer and killer, but testimony of one man's lifelong struggle to reconcile his bloody craft with his deep religious faith.

The biography of an ordinary man struggling for his soul, this groundbreaking book also offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Europe on the cusp of modernity, a society riven by violent conflict at all levels and encumbered by paranoia, superstition, and abuses of power. Thanks to an extraordinary historical source and its gifted interpreter, we recognize far more of ourselves than we might have expected in this intimate portrait of a professional killer from a faraway world.

The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam [Audiobook]

The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam [Audiobook]
The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam [Audiobook] by Andrew Wiest, read by William Hughes
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 15 hrs 12 mins | 418.05MB

When the 160 men of Charlie Company were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to eighty thousand combat troops in Vietnam by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966 the war was still popular, and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company returned home, only thirty men were not casualties - and they were among the first veterans of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protesters as they arrived back home.

In The Boys of '67, Andrew Wiest, the award-winning author of Vietnam's Forgotten Army and The Vietnam War 1956-1975, examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to World War II's famous 101st Airborne Division.

Wiest interviewed more than fifty officers and enlisted men who served with Charlie Company, including the surviving platoon leaders and both of the company's commanders. In addition, he interviewed fifteen family members of Charlie Company veterans, including wives, children, parents, and siblings. Wiest also had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals,condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict.

As Wiest shows, the fighting that Charlie Company saw in1967 was nearly as bloody as many of the better publicized battles, including the infamous battles of the Ia Drang Valley and Hamburger Hill. As a result, many of the surviving members of Charlie Company came home with what the military now recognizes as post-traumatic stress disorder - a diagnosis that was not recognized until the late 1970s and was not widely treated until the 1980s.

Only recently, after more than forty years, have many members of Charlie Company achieved any real and sustained relief from their suffering.

The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World [Audiobook]

The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World [Audiobook]
The Taste of Empire: How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World [Audiobook] by Lizzie Collingham, read by Jennifer M Dixon
2017 | MP3@64 kbps | 12 hrs 3 mins | 332.38MB

In The Taste of Empire, acclaimed historian Lizzie Collingham tells the story of how the British Empire's quest for food shaped the modern world. Told through 20 meals over the course of 450 years, from the Far East to the New World, Collingham explains how Africans taught Americans how to grow rice, how the East India Company turned opium into tea, and how Americans became the best-fed people in the world.

In The Taste of Empire, Collingham masterfully shows that only by examining the history of Great Britain's global food system, from 16th-century Newfoundland fisheries to our present-day eating habits, can we fully understand our capitalist economy and its role in making our modern diets.

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