American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants [EPUB]
24 October 2018, 12:27
2018 | EPUB | 1.04MB
This historical review of the US treatment of immigrants and minority groups documents the suspicion and persecution that often met newcomers and those perceived to be different.
Contrary to popular belief, the poor and huddled masses were never welcome in America. Though the engraving on the base of the Statue of Liberty makes that claim, history reveals a far less-welcoming message. This comprehensive survey of cultural and racial exclusion in the United States examines the legacy of hostility toward immigrants over two centuries.
The authors document abuses against Catholics in the early 19th century in response to the influx of German and Irish immigrants; hostility against Mexicans throughout the Southwest, where signs in bars and restaurants read, "No Dogs, No Negros, No Mexicans"; "yellow peril" fears leading to a ban on Chinese immigration for ten years; punitive measures against Native Americans traditions, which became punishable by fines and hard labor; the persecution of German Americans during World War I and Japanese Americans during World War II; the refusal to admit Jewish refugees of the Holocaust; and the ongoing legacy of mistreating African Americans from slavery to the injustices of the present day.
Though the authors note that the United States has accepted tens of millions of immigrants during its relatively short existence, its troubling history of persecution is often overlooked. President Donald Trump's targeting of Muslim and Mexican immigrants is just the most recent chapter in a long, sad history of social panics about "evil" foreigners who are made scapegoats due to their ethnicity or religious beliefs.
Sparta: Fall of a Warrior Nation [EPUB/PDF]
23 October 2018, 08:37
2018 | EPUB/PDF | 5.62/89.71MB
Universally admired in 479 BC, the Spartans were masters of the Greek world by 402 BC, only for their state to collapse in the next generation. What went wrong? Was the fall of Sparta inevitable? Philip Matyszak examines the political blunders and failures of leadership which combined with unresolved social issues to bring down the nation - even as its warriors remained invincible on the battlefield.
The Spartans believed their constitution and society above the changes sweeping their world, and in resisting change, they were eventually overwhelmed by it. Yet this is also a story of defiance, for the Spartans refused to accept their humiliation and – although never more than a tiny and underpopulated city-state – for many years their city exercised influence far beyond its size and population. This is a chronicle of political failure, but also a lesson in how to go down fighting. Even with the Roman legions set to overwhelm their city, the Spartans never gave up.
Sparta: Fall of a Warrior Nation tells a seldom-told tale, yet one rich in heroes and villains, epic battles and political skulduggery.
The Crusader States and their Neighbours: 1098-1291 [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 11:51
2004 | EPUB | 2.39MB
The book will be welcome for tackling the Crusades from a fresh but important angle; the relations of the Crusader states with their neighbours, both Christian (the Byzantines) and, especially, Islamic - the rulers of Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo etc. It contributes to the very fashionable approach of seeing the Crusades as a prime example of early European colonialism, and investigating them much more for their social, political and ethnic impact on the region than for their ostensible ideological and religious motives.
Holt uses original Arabic sources, which are generally difficult for Western historians, and therefore this book is an important addition to literature about the Crusades.
The Justice of Constantine: Law, Communication, and Control [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 11:47
2012 | EPUB | 1.28MB
As the first Christian emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great has long interested those studying the establishment of Christianity. But Constantine is also notable for his ability to control a sprawling empire and effect major changes. The Justice of Constantineexamines Constantine's judicial and administrative legislation and his efforts to maintain control over the imperial bureaucracy, to guarantee the working of Roman justice, and to keep the will of his subjects throughout the Roman Empire.
John Dillon first analyzes the record of Constantine's legislation and its relationship to prior legislation. His initial chapters also serve as an introduction to Roman law and administration in later antiquity. Dillon then considers Constantine's public edicts and internal communications about access to law, trials and procedure, corruption, and punishment for administrative abuses. How imperial officials relied on correspondence with Constantine to resolve legal questions is also considered. A study of Constantine's expedited appellate system, to ensure provincial justice, concludes the book.
Constantine's constitutions reveal much about the Theodosian Code and the laws included in it. Constantine consistently seeks direct sources of reliable information in order to enforce his will. In official correspondence, meanwhile, Constantine strives to maintain control over his officials through punishment; trusted agents; and the cultivation of accountability, rivalry, and suspicion among them.
The Land of Dreams: How Australians Won Their Freedom, 1788–1860 [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 07:36
2018 | EPUB | 6.57MB
The untold story of how Australians laid the foundations for one of the world’s most successful countries.
The Land of Dreams: How Australians Won Their Freedom, 1788–1860 tells the story of how Australians became a free people, gaining the liberties they desired to take control of their own lives, the right to govern themselves and the capacity to address their own political problems through democratic institutions.
As the first book in a path-breaking five-volume Australian Liberalism series, it tells the story of how Australians laid the foundations for one of the world’s most successful countries, with unprecedented levels of personal liberty and social equality.Australians did not have to fight a war for their independence, but neither did they gain it without a struggle against policies imposed by a British government in which they had no part. It required a brilliant political campaign that walked to the edge of violent resistance and from it Australia gained a national identity and political leaders who would write their constitutions, introduce democracy and later lead the successful political fight for one Australian nation.
Bad Books: Rétif de la Bretonne, Sexuality, and Pornography [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 07:35
2015 | EPUB | 5.28MB
Bad Books reconstructs how the eighteenth-century French author Nicolas-Edme Rétif de la Bretonne and his writings were at the forefront of the development of modern conceptions of sexuality and pornography. Although certain details are well known (for example, that Rétif’s 1769 treatise on prostitution, Le Pornographe, is the work from which the term pornography is derived, or that he was an avid foot and shoe fetishist), much of this story has been obscured and even forgotten including how the author actively worked to define the category of obscenity and the modern pornographic genre, and how he coined the psycho-sexual term “fetish” and played a central role in the formation of theories of sexual fetishism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thus this book is also about literary history and how it is written: it explores how Rétif, perceived as a bad author in both senses of the term, and his contributions were glossed over or condemned, such that the originality of his texts has still not been fully established.
Placing Rétif’s novels and short stories in dialogue with his autobiographical writings as well as with contemporary and modern critical commentaries, the various chapters of the book examine the author’s repeated testing of the limits of censorship to define and redefine the boundaries of obscenity; his advancement of the modern form and definition of pornography through a focus on intimacy and (female) pleasure; his detailed narrative explorations of foot and shoe fetishisms that were later appropriated by the sexologists; and his development of theories of eugenics and reproduction in his utopian science fiction.
The history of Rétif’s texts and their reception reveals an evolution in the criteria of what is considered to be “good” or “worthy” literature—a category once defined purely on moral grounds that is increasingly seen in cultural terms. Bad Books corroborates the recent resurgence of interest in the author by showing the import of his texts, which not only designate a number of firsts in the histories of sexuality and pornography, but which also illuminate some of the defining moments in the history of French literary studies.
The Pharaoh's Treasure: The Origin of Paper and the Rise of Western Civilization [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 05:23
2018 | EPUB | 46.67MB
A thought-provoking history of papyrus paper―from its origins in Egypt to its spread throughout the world―revealing how it helped usher in a new era of human history.
For our entire history, humans have always searched for new ways to share information. This innate compulsion led to the origin of writing on the rock walls of caves and coffin lids or carving on tablets. But it was with the advent of papyrus paper when the ability to record and transmit information exploded, allowing for an exchanging of ideas from the banks of the Nile throughout the Mediterranean―and the civilized world―for the first time in human history.
In The Pharaoh’s Treasure, John Gaudet looks at this pivotal transition to papyrus paper, which would become the most commonly used information medium in the world for more than 4,000 years. Far from fragile, papyrus paper is an especially durable writing surface; papyrus books and documents in ancient and medieval times had a usable life of hundreds of years, and this durability has allowed items like the famous Nag Hammadi codices from the third and fourth century to survive.
The story of this material that was prized by both scholars and kings reveals how papyrus paper is more than a relic of our ancient past, but a key to understanding how ideas and information shaped humanity in the ancient and early modern world.
On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle [EPUB]
22 October 2018, 05:22
2018 | EPUB | 50.88MB
From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War
On October 15, 1950, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces of Kim Il-sung would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.
As he was speaking, 300,000 Red Chinese soldiers began secretly crossing the Manchurian border. Led by some 20,000 men of the First Marine Division, the Americans moved deep into the snowy mountains of North Korea, toward the trap Mao had set for the vainglorious MacArthur along the frozen shores of the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic--and harrowing--operations in American military history, and one of the classic battles of all time. Faced with probable annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded, and hugely outnumbered, Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity, and nearly unimaginable courage as they marched their way to the sea.
Hampton Sides' superb account of this epic clash relies on years of archival research, unpublished letters, declassified documents, and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly detailing the follies of the American leaders, On Desperate Ground is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.
Hampton Sides has been hailed by critics as one of the best nonfiction writers of his generation. As the Miami Herald wrote, "Sides has a novelist's eye for the propulsive elements that lend momentum and dramatic pace to the best nonfiction narratives."
The Burning House: Jim Crow and the Making of Modern America [EPUB]
21 October 2018, 12:49
2018 | EPUB | 2.48MB
A startling and gripping reexamination of the Jim Crow era, as seen through the eyes of some of the most important American writers
In this dramatic reexamination of the Jim Crow South, Anders Walker demonstrates that racial segregation fostered not simply terror and violence, but also diversity, one of our most celebrated ideals. He investigates how prominent intellectuals like Robert Penn Warren, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Connor, and Zora Neale Hurston found pluralism in Jim Crow, a legal system that created two worlds, each with its own institutions, traditions, even cultures. The intellectuals discussed in this book all agreed that black culture was resilient, creative, and profound, brutally honest in its assessment of American history. By contrast, James Baldwin likened white culture to a “burning house,” a frightening place that endorsed racism and violence to maintain dominance. Why should black Americans exchange their experience for that? Southern whites, meanwhile, saw themselves preserving a rich cultural landscape against the onslaught of mass culture and federal power, a project carried to the highest levels of American law by Supreme Court justice and Virginia native Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
Anders Walker shows how a generation of scholars and judges has misinterpreted Powell’s definition of diversity in the landmark case Regents v. Bakke, forgetting its Southern origins and weakening it in the process. By resituating the decision in the context of Southern intellectual history, Walker places diversity on a new footing, independent of affirmative action but also free from the constraints currently placed on it by the Supreme Court. With great clarity and insight, he offers a new lens through which to understand the history of civil rights in the United States.
Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity [EPUB]
21 October 2018, 08:02
2018 | EPUB | 24.68MB
Few direct clues exist to the everyday lives and beliefs of ordinary Jews in antiquity. Prevailing perspectives on ancient Jewish life have been shaped largely by the voices of intellectual and social elites, preserved in the writings of Philo and Josephus and the rabbinic texts of the Mishnah and Talmud. Commissioned art, architecture, and formal inscriptions displayed on tombs and synagogues equally reflect the sensibilities of their influential patrons. The perspectives and sentiments of nonelite Jews, by contrast, have mostly disappeared from the historical record. Focusing on these forgotten Jews of antiquity, Writing on the Wall takes an unprecedented look at the vernacular inscriptions and drawings they left behind and sheds new light on the richness of their quotidian lives.
Just like their neighbors throughout the eastern and southern Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt, ancient Jews scribbled and drew graffiti everyplace--in and around markets, hippodromes, theaters, pagan temples, open cliffs, sanctuaries, and even inside burial caves and synagogues. Karen Stern reveals what these markings tell us about the men and women who made them, people whose lives, beliefs, and behaviors eluded commemoration in grand literary and architectural works. Making compelling analogies with modern graffiti practices, she documents the overlooked connections between Jews and their neighbors, showing how popular Jewish practices of prayer, mortuary commemoration, commerce, and civic engagement regularly crossed ethnic and religious boundaries.
Illustrated throughout with examples of ancient graffiti, Writing on the Wall provides a tantalizingly intimate glimpse into the cultural worlds of forgotten populations living at the crossroads of Judaism, Christianity, paganism, and earliest Islam.