To the Ends of the Earth: The Truth Behind the Glory of Polar Exploration [EPUB]
16 April 2018, 14:27
2018 | EPUB | 2.9MB
This fascinating social history of polar expeditions examines the cultural trends that produced these daring, even reckless journeys.
From the late-17th to the early 20th century, intrepid explorers from America and Europe risked (and sometimes lost) their lives exploring the forbidding, uncharted landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica. What drove these men to undertake these seemingly impossible journeys? In this deeply researched book, author John Dippel makes a convincing case that dozens of polar expeditions were motivated less by courageous idealism than personal ambition and national rivalries.
The author traces the ways in which men of unbridled ambition responded to society's need for heroes by masking their true intentions behind patriotic sentiments or noble claims about advancing science. In so doing they frequently put their own lives and those of the men in their command at enormous risk. At the same time, they projected an attitude of cultural superiority, looking down on indigenous arctic people. Their disrespect and ignorance of native means of transportation, diet, shelter, and knowledge of the terrain often led explorers into disaster, where men perished from starvation and exposure or nearly lost their minds. In the end, the failure of so many polar expeditions exposed the limits of humanity's control of nature and helped to undermine faith in inevitable progress.
Readers who have heard of the incredible exploits of such famous explorers as Robert F. Scott, Roald Amundsen, James Cook, and Robert Peary will find in this book an intriguing explanation for what impelled these men to endure unimaginable cold, near-starvation, and years of isolation at the ends of the earth.
Spirits in Stone: The Secrets of Megalithic America [EPUB]
16 April 2018, 14:19
2018 | EPUB | 63.91MB
A ground-breaking study of ceremonial stone landscapes in Northeast America and their relationship to other sites around the world
- Features a comprehensive field guide to hundreds of megalithic stone structures in northeastern America, including cairns, perched boulders, and effigies
- Details the Wall of Manitou, the Hammonasset Line, landscape astronomy along the Hudson River, and a several-acre area in Woodstock, NY, with large, carefully constructed lithic formations
- Analyzes the archaeoastronomy, archaeoacoustics, and symbolism of these sites to reveal their relationships to other ceremonial stone sites across America and the world
Presenting a comprehensive field guide to hundreds of lost, forgotten, and misidentified megalithic stone structures in northeastern America, Glenn Kreisberg documents many enigmatic formations still standing across the Catskill Mountain and Hudson Valley region, complete with functioning solstice and equinox alignments.
Kreisberg provides a first-person description of the “Wall of the Manitou,” which runs for 10 miles along the eastern slopes of the Catskill Mountains, as well as narratives about related sites that include animal effigies, reproductive organs, calendar stones, enigmatic inscriptions, and evidence of alignments. Using computer software, he plots the trajectory of the Hammonasset Line, which begins at a burial complex near the tip of Long Island and runs to Devil’s Tombstone in Greene County, New York. He shows how the line runs at the same angle that marks the summer solstice sunset from Montauk Point on Long Island, and, when extended, intersects the ancient copper mines of Isle Royal in Upper Michigan. He documents a several-acre area on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock, New York, with a grouping of very large, carefully constructed lithic formations that together create a serpent or snake figure, mirroring the constellation Draco. He demonstrates how this site is related to the Serpent Mount in Ohio and Ankor Wat in Cambodia and reveals how all of the vast, interlocking sites in the Northeast were part of an ancient spiritual landscape based on a sophisticated understanding of the cosmos, as practiced by ancient Native Americans.
While modern historians consider these sites to be colonial era constructions, Kreisberg reveals how they were used to communicate with the spirit world and may be remnants of a long-vanished civilization.
War Upon Our Border: Two Ohio Valley Communities Navigate the Civil War [EPUB]
16 April 2018, 14:09
2018 | EPUB | 1.55MB
War upon Our Border examines the experiences of two Ohio River Valley communities during the turmoil and social upheaval of the American Civil War. Although on opposite sides of the border between slavery and freedom, Corydon, Indiana, and Frankfort, Kentucky, shared a legacy of white settlement and a distinct western identity, which fostered unity and emphasized cooperation during the first year of the war. But subsequent guerrilla raids, military occupation, economic hardship, political turmoil, and racial tension ultimately divided citizens living on either side of the river border. Once a conduit for all kinds of relationships, the Ohio River became a barrier dividing North and South by the end of the conflict.
Centered on the experience of local politicians, civic leaders, laborers, soldiers, and civilians, this combined social and military history addresses major interpretative debates, including how citizens chose allegiances, what role slavery played in soldier and civilian motivation, and the nature of life on the home front. Examining manuscripts, newspapers, and government documents, War upon Our Border employs a microhistorical approach to link the experiences of common people with the sweeping national events of the Civil War era. The resulting study reveals the lingering effect of the war’s memory and how the effort to construct a new regional dynamic continues to shape popular conceptions of the period.