The Merchant's Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan [EPUB]

The Merchant's Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan [EPUB]
The Merchant's Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan (Asia Perspectives: History, Society, and Culture) by Simon Partner
2018 | EPUB | 100.02MB

In April 1859, at age fifty, Shinohara Chūemon left his old life behind. Chūemon, a well-off farmer in his home village, departed for the new port city of Yokohama, where he remained for the next fourteen years. There, as a merchant trading with foreigners in the aftermath of Japan’s 1853 “opening” to the West, he witnessed the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate, the civil war that followed, and the Meiji Restoration’s reforms. The Merchant’s Tale looks through Chūemon’s eyes at the upheavals of this period.

In a narrative history rich in colorful detail, Simon Partner uses the story of an ordinary merchant farmer and its Yokohama setting as a vantage point onto sweeping social transformation and its unwitting agents. Chūemon, like most newcomers to Yokohama, came in search of economic opportunity. His story sheds light on vital issues in Japan’s modern history, including the legacies of the Meiji Restoration; the East Asian treaty port system; and the importance of everyday life―food, clothing, medicine, and hygiene―for national identity. Centered on an individual, The Merchant’s Tale is also the story of a place. Created under pressure from aggressive foreign powers, Yokohama was the scene of gunboat diplomacy, a connection to global markets, the birthplace of new lifestyles, and the beachhead of Japan’s modernization. Partner’s history of a vibrant meeting place humanizes the story of Japan’s revolutionary 1860s and their profound consequences for Japanese society and culture.

Fatal Flight: The True Story of Britain's Last Great Airship [EPUB]

Fatal Flight: The True Story of Britain's Last Great Airship [EPUB]
Fatal Flight: The True Story of Britain's Last Great Airship by Bill Hammack
2017 | EPUB | 1.02MB

Fatal Flight brings vividly to life the year of operation of R.101, the last great British airship--a luxury liner three and a half times the length of a 747 jet, with a spacious lounge, a dining room that seated fifty, glass-walled promenade decks, and a smoking room. The British expected R.101 to spearhead a fleet of imperial airships that would dominate the skies as British naval ships, a century earlier, had ruled the seas. The dream ended when, on its demonstration flight to India, R.101 crashed in France, tragically killing nearly all aboard.

Combining meticulous research with superb storytelling, Fatal Flight guides us from the moment the great airship emerged from its giant shed--nearly the largest building in the British Empire--to soar on its first flight, to its last fateful voyage. The full story behind R.101 shows that, although it was a failure, it was nevertheless a supremely imaginative human creation. The technical achievement of creating R.101 reveals the beauty, majesty, and, of course, the sorrow of the human experience.

The narrative follows First Officer Noel Atherstone and his crew from the ship's first test flight in 1929 to its fiery crash on October 5, 1930. It reveals in graphic detail the heroic actions of Atherstone as he battled tremendous obstacles. He fought political pressures to hurry the ship into the air, fended off Britain's most feted airship pilot, who used his influence to take command of the ship and nearly crashed it, and, a scant two months before departing for India, guided the rebuilding of the ship to correct its faulty design. After this tragic accident, Britain abandoned airships, but R.101 flew again, its scrap melted down and sold to the Zeppelin Company, who used it to create LZ 129, an airship even more mighty than R.101--and better known as the Hindenburg.

Set against the backdrop of the British Empire at the height of its power in the early twentieth century, Fatal Flight portrays an extraordinary age in technology, fueled by humankind's obsession with flight.

Trapped: The Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster [EPUB]

Trapped: The Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster [EPUB]
Trapped: The Story of the Cherry Mine Disaster by Karen Tintori
2018 | EPUB | 25.48MB

A gripping account of the worst coal mine fire in US history—the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster that claimed the lives of 259 men. "Drawing on diaries, letters, written accounts of survivors and testimony from the coroner's inquest...Tintori's engaging prose keeps readers on the edge" (Publishers Weekly).

Inspired by a refrain of her girlhood—"Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster"—Karen Tintori began a search for her family's role in the harrowing tragedy of 1909. She uncovered the stories of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, and wove them together to pen Trapped, a riveting account of the tragic day that would inspire America's first worker's compensation laws and hasten much-needed child labor reform.

On a Saturday morning in November of 1909, four hundred and eighty men went down into the mines as they had countless times before. But a fire erupted in the mineshaft that day and soon burned out of control. By nightfall, more than half the men would either be dead or trapped as officials sealed the mine in an attempt to contain the blaze. Miraculously, twenty men would emerge one week later, but not before the Cherry Mine disaster went down in history as the worst ever coal mine fire in the US—and not before all the treachery and heroism of mankind were revealed.