Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils [EPUB]
23 September 2016, 13:48
2016 | EPUB | 22.21MB
An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors
Over the last century, the search for human ancestors has spanned four continents and resulted in the discovery of hundreds of fossils. While most of these discoveries live quietly in museum collections, there are a few that have become world-renowned celebrity personas—ambassadors of science that speak to public audiences. In Seven Skeletons, historian of science Lydia Pyne explores how seven such famous fossils of our ancestors have the social cachet they enjoy today.
Drawing from archives, museums, and interviews, Pyne builds a cultural history for each celebrity fossil—from its discovery to its afterlife in museum exhibits to its legacy in popular culture. These seven include the three-foot tall “hobbit” from Flores, the Neanderthal of La Chapelle, the Taung Child, the Piltdown Man hoax, Peking Man, Australopithecus sediba, and Lucy—each embraced and celebrated by generations, and vivid examples of how discoveries of how our ancestors have been received, remembered, and immortalized.
With wit and insight, Pyne brings to life each fossil, and how it is described, put on display, and shared among scientific communities and the broader public. This fascinating, endlessly entertaining book puts the impact of paleoanthropology into new context, a reminder of how our past as a species continues to affect, in astounding ways, our present culture and imagination.
Betrayal at Little Gibraltar [EPUB]
23 September 2016, 09:44
2016 | EPUB | 21.15MB
The work of a lifetime: A vivid, thrilling, and impeccably researched account of America’s bloodiest battle ever—World War I’s Meuse-Argonne Offensive—and the 100-year-old cover-up at its heart.
The year is 1918. German engineers have fortified Montfaucon, a rocky butte in northern France, with bunkers, tunnels, trenches, and a top-secret observatory capable of directing artillery shells across the battlefield. Following a number of bloody, unsuccessful attacks, the French deem Montfaucon impregnable and dub it the Little Gibraltar of the Western Front. Capturing it is a key to success for AEF Commander-in-Chief John J. Pershing’s 1.2 million troops. But a betrayal of Americans by Americans results in a bloody debacle. Now William T. Walker tells the full story in his masterful Betrayal at Little Gibraltar.
In the assault on Montfaucon, American forces become bogged down, a delay that cost untold lives as the Germans defended their lofty positions without mercy. Years of archival research demonstrate that the actual cause of the delay was the disobedience of a senior American officer, Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard, who subverted orders to assist the US 79th Division. The result was unnecessary slaughter of American doughboys and preclusion of plans to end the war early. Although several officers learned of the circumstances, Pershing protected Bullard—an old friend and fellow West Point graduate—by covering up the story. The true account of the battle that cost 122,000 American casualties was almost lost to time.
Betrayal at Little Gibraltar tells vivid human stories of the soldiers who fought to capture the giant fortress and push the American advance. Using unpublished first-person accounts—and featuring photographs, documents, and maps that place you in the action—Walker describes the horrors of World War I combat, the sacrifices of the doughboys, and the determined efforts of two participants to pierce the cover-up and to solve the mystery of Montfaucon. Like Stephen Ambrose and S.C. Gwynne, Walker writes compelling popular history.
The Great Arab Conquests: How The Spread Of Islam Changed The World We Live In [EPUB]
23 September 2016, 09:43
2008 | EPUB | 4.34MB
A popular history of the Arab invasions that carved out an empire from Spain to China
Today's Arab world was created at breathtaking speed. Whereas the Roman Empire took over 200 years to reach its fullest extent, the Arab armies overran the whole Middle East, North Africa and Spain within a generation. They annihilated the thousand-year-old Persian Empire and reduced the Byzantine Empire to little more than a city-state based around Constantinople. Within a hundred years of the Prophet's death, Muslim armies destroyed the Visigoth kingdom of Spain, and crossed the Pyrenees to occupy southern France.
This is the first popular English language account of this astonishing remaking of the political and religious map of the world. Hugh Kennedy's sweeping narrative reveals how the Arab armies conquered almost everything in their path. One of the few academic historians with a genuine talent for story telling, he offers a compelling mix of larger-than-life characters, battles, treachery and the clash of civilizations.