America's Needless Wars: Cautionary Tales of US Involvement in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Iraq [EPUB]
08 November 2017, 07:39
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781633882898 | 0.78 MB
This eye-opening book takes a unique approach to the history of U.S. foreign policy by examining three unrelated conflicts, all of which ended tragically and resulted in the deaths of millions on both sides. By analyzing what went wrong in each case, the author uncovers a pattern of errors that should serve as a precaution for future decision makers contemplating a conflict abroad.
Why did President McKinley oppose Filipino independence forces if his motivation was truly to help Filipinos overthrow Spanish domination? Why did several U.S. presidents ignore the failures of the French in Vietnam and reject peace overtures from popular revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh to bring the conflict to an early end? And how could American leaders have been so wrong about Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction and then let Iraq devolve into chaos after overthrowing the dictator?
Historian David R. Contosta has sifted through official hearings, media investigations, public documents, memoirs of those for and against the conflicts, and numerous histories to uncover the answers to these questions. The common thread that links these wars from different centuries is that political leaders all too often have acted out of ignorance, arrogance, fear, and partisan gamesmanship. These lapses were compounded by the failure of the media to inform the public accurately and dispassionately. The sad result is that America has paid a high price in lost lives and tarnished national reputation.
As the author notes in conclusion, if American exceptionalism is to have any meaning, then we must honestly appraise our past foreign-policy blunders to ensure wiser political action in the future.
Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York Magazine [EPUB]
08 November 2017, 07:38
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781501166846 | 258.88MB
New York, the city. New York, the magazine. A celebration.
The great story of New York City in the past half-century has been its near collapse and miraculous rebirth. A battered town left for dead, one that almost a million people abandoned and where those who remained had to live behind triple deadbolt locks, was reinvigorated by the twinned energies of starving artists and financial white knights. Over the next generation, the city was utterly transformed. It again became the capital of wealth and innovation, an engine of cultural vibrancy, a magnet for immigrants, and a city of endless possibility. It was the place to be—if you could afford it.
Since its founding in 1968, New York Magazine has told the story of that city’s constant morphing, week after week. Covering culture high and low, the drama and scandal of politics and finance, through jubilant moments and immense tragedies, the magazine has hit readers where they live, with a sensibility as fast and funny and urbane as New York itself. From its early days publishing writers like Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, and Gloria Steinem to its modern incarnation as a laboratory of inventive magazine-making, New York has had an extraordinary knack for catching the Zeitgeist and getting it on the page. It was among the originators of the New Journalism, publishing legendary stories whose authors infiltrated a Black Panther party in Leonard Bernstein’s apartment, introduced us to the mother-daughter hermits living in the dilapidated estate known as Grey Gardens, launched Ms. Magazine, branded a group of up-and-coming teen stars “the Brat Pack,” and effectively ended the career of Roger Ailes. Again and again, it introduced new words into the conversation—from “foodie” to “normcore”—and spotted fresh talent before just about anyone.
Along the way, those writers and their colleagues revealed what was most interesting at the forward edge of American culture—from the old Brooklyn of Saturday Night Fever to the new Brooklyn of artisanal food trucks, from the Wall Street crashes to the hedge-fund spoils, from The Godfather to Girls—in ways that were knowing, witty, sometimes weird, occasionally vulgar, and often unforgettable. On “The Approval Matrix,” the magazine’s beloved back-page feature, New York itself would fall at the crossroads of highbrow and lowbrow, and more brilliant than despicable. (Most of the time.)
Marking the magazine’s fiftieth birthday, Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: 50 Years of New York draws from all that coverage to present an enormous, sweeping, idiosyncratic picture of a half-century at the center of the world. Through stories and images of power and money, movies and food, crises and family life, it constitutes an unparalleled history of that city’s transformation, and of a New York City institution as well. It is packed with behind-the-scenes stories from New York’s writers, editors, designers, and journalistic subjects—and frequently overflows its own pages onto spectacular foldouts. It’s a big book for a big town.
1215 and All That: Magna Carta and King John [EPUB]
06 November 2017, 14:01
2017 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781510719873 | 0.52MB
1215 is one of the most famous dates in English history, and with good reason, since it marks the signing of the Magna Carta by King John and the English barons, which altered the entire course of English and world history.
John Lackland was born to King Henry II and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitane in December, 1166; he was the youngest of five sons. However, he unexpectedly became the favored heir to his father after a failed rebellion by his older brothers in 1173. He became king in 1199, though his reign was tumultuous and short. After a brief peace with Phillip II of France, war broke out again in 1202 and King John lost most of his holdings on the continent. This, coupled with unpopular fiscal policies and treatment of nobles back home, led to conflict upon his return from battle. Buffeted from all sides, King John was pushed in 1215 to sign along with his barons the Magna Carta, a precursor to constitutional governance. But both sides failed to uphold the agreements terms and conflict quickly resumed, leading to John’s untimely death a year later to dysentery.
Pitched at newcomers to the subject, 1215 and All That will explain how King John’s rule and, in particular, his signing of the Magna Carta changed England―and the English―forever, introducing readers to the early days of medieval England. It is the third book in the acclaimed A Very, Very Short History of England series, which captures the major moments of English history with humor and bite.