Valkyrie: The Story of the Plot to Kill Hitler
07 March 2013, 04:06
Vintage Books | 2010 | ISBN: 0307454975 | EPUB | 2.47MB
When the Second World War broke out, Philipp Freiherr von Boeselager, then 25-years-old, fought enthusiastically for Germany as a cavalry officer. But after discovering Nazi crimes, von Boeselager’s patriotism quickly turned to disgust, and he joined a group of conspirators who plotted to kill Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler. In this elegant but unflinching memoir, von Boeselager gives voice to the spirit of the small but determined band of men who took a stand against the Third Reich in what culminating in the failed “Valkyrie” plot—one of the most fascinating near misses of twentieth-century history.
07 March 2013, 03:50
Ballantine | 2012 | ISBN: 0345521420 | EPUB | 7.2MB
Sometimes achieving big things requires the ability to think small. This simple concept was the driving force that propelled the Volkswagen Beetle to become an avatar of American-style freedom, a household brand, and a global icon. The VW Bug inspired the ad men of Madison Avenue, beguiled Woodstock Nation, and has recently been re-imagined for the hipster generation. And while today it is surely one of the most recognizable cars in the world, few of us know the compelling details of this car’s story. In Thinking Small, journalist and cultural historian Andrea Hiott retraces the improbable journey of this little car that changed the world.
Andrea Hiott’s wide-ranging narrative stretches from the factory floors of Weimar Germany to the executive suites of today’s automotive innovators, showing how a succession of artists and engineers shepherded the Beetle to market through periods of privation and war, reconstruction and recovery. Henry Ford’s Model T may have revolutionized the American auto industry, but for years Europe remained a place where only the elite drove cars. That all changed with the advent of the Volkswagen, the product of a Nazi initiative to bring driving to the masses. But Hitler’s concept of “the people’s car” would soon take on new meaning. As Germany rebuilt from the rubble of World War II, a whole generation succumbed to the charms of the world’s most huggable automobile.
Indeed, the story of the Volkswagen is a story about people, and Hiott introduces us to the men who believed in it, built it, and sold it: Ferdinand Porsche, the visionary Austrian automobile designer whose futuristic dream of an affordable family vehicle was fatally compromised by his patron Adolf Hitler’s monomaniacal drive toward war; Heinrich Nordhoff, the forward-thinking German industrialist whose management innovations made mass production of the Beetle a reality; and Bill Bernbach, the Jewish American advertising executive whose team of Madison Avenue mavericks dreamed up the legendary ad campaign that transformed the quintessential German compact into an outsize worldwide phenomenon.
Thinking Small is the remarkable story of an automobile and an idea. Hatched in an age of darkness, the Beetle emerged into the light of a new era as a symbol of individuality and personal mobility—a triumph not of the will but of the imagination.
The Conversion of Europe
07 March 2013, 03:31
HarperCollins | 2012 | ISBN: 0007502966 | EPUB | 2.55MB
The story of how Europe was converted to Christianity from 300AD until the barbarian Lithuanians finally capitulated at the astonishingly late date of 1386. It is an epic tale from one of the most gifted historians of today.
This remarkable book examines the conversion of Europe to the Christian faith in the period following the collapse of the Roman Empire, to approximately 1300 when the hegemony of the Holy Roman Empire was firmly established.
One of the book’s great strengths is the degree to which it shows how little was inevitable about this process, how surrounded by uncertainties. What was the origin of the missionary impulse? Who were the activists who engaged in this work – the toilsome, often unrewarding, sometimes dangerous work of evangelisation, and how did they set about putting over this faith? How did a structure of ecclesiastical government come into being? Above all, at what point can one say that an individual or a society has become Christian? Fletcher’s range, lucidity and mastery of his sources brings the answers to these and many other questions as far within our grasp as they probably ever can be.
Like Alan Bullock and Simon Schama, Fletcher is a historian with the true gift of a storyteller and a wide general readership ahead of him. Fletcher's previous book, The Quest for El Cid, won both the Wolfson History Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for History. This book is even better - the most impressive achievement so far of this strikingly gifted historian.
The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad
06 March 2013, 06:31
Riverhead | 2013 | ISBN: 1594487286 | MOBI | 820.91KB
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited and remade.
Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
Lincoln and His Generals
04 March 2013, 06:19
Vintage Books | 2011 | ISBN: 0307948153 | EPUB | 5.14MB
Since it was first published in 1952, Lincoln and His Generals has remained one of the definitive accounts of Lincoln’s wartime leadership. In it T. Harry Williams dramatizes Lincoln’s long and frustrating search for an effective leader of the Union Army and traces his transformation from a politician with little military knowledge into a master strategist of the Civil War. Explored in depth are Lincoln’s often fraught relationships with generals such as McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, Fremont, and of course, Ulysses S. Grant. In this superbly written narrative, Williams demonstrates how Lincoln’s persistent “meddling” into military affairs was crucial to the Northern war effort and utterly transformed the president’s role as commander-in-chief.
Peoples and Empires
04 March 2013, 00:50
Modern Library | 2003 | ISBN: 0307431592 | EPUB | 523.39KB
Written by one of the world's foremost historians of human migration, Peoples and Empires is the story of the great European empires--the Roman, the Spanish, the French, the British--and their colonies, and the back-and-forth between "us" and "them," culture and nature, civilization and barbarism, the center and the periphery. It's the history of how conquerors justified conquest, and how colonists and the colonized changed each other beyond all recognition.
The Life of Abraham Lincoln
04 March 2013, 00:40
Empire Books | 2012 | ISBN: 1619492105 | EPUB | 384.84KB
In his introduction to The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ketcham notes that there has been so much written about Lincoln that the legend has begun to obscure, if not to efface, the man. In this biography the single purpose has been to present the living man with such distinctness of outline that the reader may have a sort of feeling of being acquainted with him. Ketcham s clearly-written, unadorned account of Lincoln s life achieves its stated purpose, never removing its focus from the man who became the 16th President of the United States and led the nation through some of its most turbulent and difficult times.
A Jew Among Romans: The Life and Legacy of Flavius Josephus
04 March 2013, 00:36
Pantheon | 2013 | ISBN: 0307378160 | EPUB | 0.7MB
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37–c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.
Joseph ben Mattathias’s transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar’s rigor, a historian’s perspective, and a novelist’s imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus’s life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael’s insightful portraits of Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.
Henry VIII: The King and His Court
03 March 2013, 14:35
Ballantine | 2002 | ISBN: 034543708X | EPUB | 1.55MB
Henry VIII, renowned for his command of power and celebrated for his intellect, presided over one of the most magnificent–and dangerous–courts in Renaissance Europe. Never before has a detailed, personal biography of this charismatic monarch been set against the cultural, social, and political background of his glittering court. Now Alison Weir, author of the finest royal chronicles of our time, brings to vibrant life the turbulent, complex figure of the King.
Packed with colorful description, meticulous in historical detail, rich in pageantry, intrigue, passion, and luxury, Weir brilliantly renders King Henry VIII, his court, and the fascinating men and women who vied for its pleasures and rewards. The result is an absolutely spellbinding read.
Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen
03 March 2013, 12:12
Viking | 1999 | ISBN: 0670869988 | EPUB | 3.16MB
For over a decade Nefertiti, wife of the heretic king Akhenatem, was the most influential woman in the Bronze Age. Her image and name were celebrated throughout Egypt and her future seemed golden. Suddenly Nefertiti disappeared from the royal family, vanishing so completely that it was as if she had never been. No record survives to detail her death, no monument serves to mourn her passing and to this day her end remains an enigma. Joyce Tyldesley provides a detailed discussion of the life and times of Nefertiti, set against the background of the ephemeral Amarna Court.