The Search for Atlantis: A History of Plato's Ideal State [EPUB]

The Search for Atlantis: A History of Plato's Ideal State [EPUB]
The Search for Atlantis: A History of Plato's Ideal State by Steve Kershaw
2018 | EPUB | 4.58MB

A vivid exploration of the legend of Atlantis and its enduring influence on Western culture―from its origins in antiquity to the modern era.

The Atlantis story remains one of the most haunting and enigmatic tales from antiquity, and one that still resonates very deeply with the modern imagination. But where did Atlantis come from, what was it like, and where did it go to?

Atlantis was first introduced by the Greek philosopher Plato in the fourth century BC. As he discusses about the origins of life, the universe and humanity, the great thinker puts forward a stunning description of Atlantis―an island paradise with an ideal society. But the Atlanteans soon degenerate and become imperialist aggressors: they choose to fight against antediluvian Athens, which heroically repels their mighty forces, before a cataclysmic natural disaster destroys the warring states.

Plato's dialogues appear remarkably prescient today. Not because they invite a search for a mysterious lost continent, but because of their warnings about the pernicious effects of wealth and power on a ruling class: Atlantis-style luxury, excess, corruption, and imperialism can lead only to decay and disaster. This ever-important tale should be prescribed reading for every political leader.

Plato’s tale of a great empire that sank beneath the waves has sparked thousands of years of debate over whether Atlantis really existed. But did Plato mean his tale as history―or just as a parable to help illustrate his philosophy?

Presidents of War [EPUB]

Presidents of War [EPUB]
Presidents of War by Michael Beschloss
2018 | EPUB | 90.32MB

From a preeminent presidential historian comes a groundbreaking and often surprising saga of America’s wartime chief executives

Ten years in the research and writing, Presidents of War is a fresh, magisterial, intimate look at a procession of American leaders as they took the nation into conflict and mobilized their country for victory. It brings us into the room as they make the most difficult decisions that face any President, at times sending hundreds of thousands of American men and women to their deaths.

From James Madison and the War of 1812 to recent times, we see them struggling with Congress, the courts, the press, their own advisors and antiwar protesters; seeking comfort from their spouses, families and friends; and dropping to their knees in prayer. We come to understand how these Presidents were able to withstand the pressures of war—both physically and emotionally—or were broken by them.

Beschloss’s interviews with surviving participants in the drama and his findings in original letters, diaries, once-classified national security documents, and other sources help him to tell this story in a way it has not been told before. Presidents of War combines the sense of being there with the overarching context of two centuries of American history. This important book shows how far we have traveled from the time of our Founders, who tried to constrain presidential power, to our modern day, when a single leader has the potential to launch nuclear weapons that can destroy much of the human race.

The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World [EPUB]

The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World [EPUB]
The Edge of Memory: Ancient Stories, Oral Tradition and the Post-Glacial World by Patrick Nunn
2018 | EPUB | 2.98MB

In The Edge of Memory, Patrick Nunn explores the science in folk history. He looks at ancient tales and traditions that may be rooted in scientifically verifiable fact, and can be explored via geological evidence, such as the Biblical Flood.

We all know those stories that have been told in our families for generations. The ones that start "Have I ever told you about your great, great Uncle …?" In some cultures these stories have been passed down for thousands of years, and often reveal significant information about how the surrounding environment has changed and the effect it has had on societies--from stories referring to coastal drowning to the devastation caused by meteorite falls.

Take Australian folklore, for instance. People arrived in Australia more than 60,000 years ago, and the need to survive led to the development of knowledge that was captured orally in stories passed down through the generations. These stories conveyed both practical information and recorded history, and they frequently made reference to a coastline that was very different to the one we recognize today. In at least 21 different communities along the fringe of Australia, flood stories were recorded by European anthropologists, missionaries, and others. They described a lost landscape that is now under as much as 100 feet of ocean. And these folk traditions are backed up by hard science. Geologists are now starting to corroborate the tales through study of climatic data, sediments and land forms; the evidence was there in the stories, but until recently, nobody was listening.

The Edge of Memory is an important book that explores the wider implications for our knowledge of how human society has developed through the millennia.