The French Revolution: A Peasant's Revolt [EPUB]
11 August 2019, 15:17
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1788540077 | 71.93MB
In this miraculously compressed, incisive book David Andress argues that it was the peasantry of France who made and defended the Revolution of 1789. That the peasant revolution benefitted far more people, in more far reaching ways, than the revolution of lawyerly elites and urban radicals that has dominated our view of the revolutionary period.
History has paid more attention to Robespierre, Danton and Bonaparte than it has to the millions of French peasants who were the first to rise up in 1789, and the most ardent in defending changes in land ownership and political rights. 'Those furthest from the centre rarely get their fair share of the light', Andress writes, and the peasants were patronised, reviled and often persecuted by urban elites for not following their lead.
Andress's book reveals a rural world of conscious, hard-working people and their struggles to defend their ways of life and improve the lives of their children and communities.
Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games [EPUB]
11 August 2019, 15:16
2018 | EPUB | ISBN: 1786691914 | 5.57MB
In the northwestern corner of the great peninsula of the Peloponnese, close to the meeting point of the Cladeus and Alpheus rivers, lies a peaceful river valley overlooked by the steep-sided Hill of Cronus. Here, between the eighth century BCE and the fourth century CE, rival athletes competed for glory in the ancient Olympic Games. Every four years, and from every corner of the Mediterranean world from Samos to Syracuse and from Sparta to Smyrna they descended on this quiet corner of southern Greece sacred to Zeus, seeking to excel in disciplines as diverse as sprinting, boxing, wrestling, trumpet blowing and chariot and mulecart racing.
The victors of these ancient games may have been awarded crowns of olive leaves in recognition of their achievements, but these original Olympics were no idealistic celebration of the classical aesthetic of grace and beauty shared by all of the participating Greek city-states, but often a bitterly contested struggle between political rivals. Robin Waterfield paints a vivid picture of the reality of the ancient Olympic Games; describes the events in which competitors took part; explores their purpose, rituals and politics; and charts the vicissitudes of their remarkable thousand-year history.
A People's History of Silicon Valley [EPUB]
11 August 2019, 15:05
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1911335332 | 1.66MB
Regardless of where you live or work, Silicon Valley undoubtedly touches your life—the tech industry's gadgets and apps promise us more efficient, convenient, and fun lives. Yet despite Silicon Valley's utopian promises, more and more of us find ourselves addicted to our smartphones, made insecure by social media, gentrified away by tech wealth, and alarmed at social media companies profiting off personal data.
This succinct guide follows Silicon Valley and the tech industry from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day, tracing how Silicon Valley changed the San Francisco Bay Area, changed human culture, and ultimately changed the way we think about ourselves. From the first Macintosh to the rise of social media, A Brief History of Silicon Valley peels back the curtain on an industry that brands itself as visionary but which may be swiftly hurtling us towards dystopia.
Hollow Places: An Unusual History of Land and Legend [EPUB]
09 August 2019, 18:36
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0008319472 | 4.44 MB
In the Middle Ages a remarkable tomb was carved to cover the bones of an English hero. For centuries the grave spawned tales about dragons and devils, giants and winged hounds. To understand why this happened, Christopher Hadley takes us on a journey through 1,000 years of history. Hollow Places begins with a Hertfordshire dragon-slayer named Piers Shonks but soon draws us into the company of outlaws and stonemasons, antiquaries and champions.
Full of wonder and always surprising, the story takes us to the margins of the Bayeux Tapestry where strange creatures gather, to ancient woodland where hollow trees hide secrets, and to the scribbled clues about folk heroes in eighteenth-century manuscripts. Hadley leads us back shivering to a church in Georgian England to sketch the dragon on a tomb, to stand atop its tower triangulating the Elizabethan countryside, and to confront the zealous Mr Dowsing and his thugs looting brasses and smashing masonry during the Civil War. Along the way, we discover how long bones will last in a crypt and where medieval stonemasons found inspiration.
The story of Piers Shonks is the survivor of an 800-year battle between storytellers and those who would mock or silence them. It stands for all those thousands of seemingly forgotten tales that used to belong to every village. It is an adventure into the past by a talented and original new writer, and a meditation on memory and belief that underlines the importance and the power of the folk legends we used to tell and why they still matter.
Sludge: Disaster on Victoria's Goldfields [EPUB]
09 August 2019, 06:30
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1760641103 | 9.46MB
The fascinating, troubling legacy of the gold rush
Everyone knows gold made Victoria rich. But did you know gold mining was disastrous for the land, engulfing it in floods of sand, gravel and silt that gushed out of the mines?
Or that this environmental devastation still affects our rivers and floodplains?
Victorians had a name for this mining waste: 'sludge'. Sludge submerged Victoria's best grapevines near Bendigo, filled Laanecoorie Reservoir on the Loddon River and flowed down from Beechworth over thousands of hectares of rich agricultural land. Children and animals drowned in sludge lakes. Mining effluent contaminated three-quarters of Victoria's creeks and rivers.
Sludge is the compelling story of the forgotten filth that plagued nineteenth-century Victoria. It exposes the big dirty secret of Victoria's mining history – the way it transformed the state's water and land, and how the battle against sludge helped lay the ground for the modern environmental movement.
Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century [EPUB]
06 August 2019, 16:21
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0385542194 | 28.3MB
A dazzling group portrait of Franz Boas, the founder of cultural anthropology, and his circle of women scientists, who upended American notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the 1920s and 1930s—a sweeping chronicle of how our society began to question the basic ways we understand other cultures and ourselves.
At the end of the 19th century, everyone knew that people were defined by their race and sex and were fated by birth and biology to be more or less intelligent, able, nurturing, or warlike. But one rogue researcher looked at the data and decided everyone was wrong. Franz Boas was the very image of a mad scientist: a wild-haired immigrant with a thick German accent. By the 1920s he was also the foundational thinker and public face of a new school of thought at Columbia University called cultural anthropology. He proposed that cultures did not exist on a continuum from primitive to advanced. Instead, every society solves the same basic problems—from childrearing to how to live well—with its own set of rules, beliefs, and taboos.
Boas's students were some of the century's intellectual stars: Margaret Mead, the outspoken field researcher whose Coming of Age in Samoa is one of the most widely read works of social science of all time; Ruth Benedict, the great love of Mead's life, whose research shaped post-Second World War Japan; Ella Deloria, the Dakota Sioux activist who preserved the traditions of Native Americans of the Great Plains; and Zora Neale Hurston, whose studies under Boas fed directly into her now-classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Together, they mapped vanishing civilizations from the Arctic to the South Pacific and overturned the relationship between biology and behavior. Their work reshaped how we think of women and men, normalcy and deviance, and re-created our place in a world of many cultures and value systems.
Gods of the Upper Air is a page-turning narrative of radical ideas and adventurous lives, a history rich in scandal, romance, and rivalry, and a genesis story of the fluid conceptions of identity that define our present moment.
Lincoln's Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation [EPUB]
06 August 2019, 13:27
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1501126849 | 70.56MB
A major addition to the history of the Civil War, Lincoln's Spies is a riveting account of the secret battles waged by Union agents to save a nation. Filled with espionage, sabotage, and intrigue, it is also a striking portrait of a shrewd president who valued what his operatives uncovered.
Veteran journalist Douglas Waller, who has written ground-breaking intelligence histories, turns his sights on the shadow war of four secret agents for the North—three men and one woman. From the tense days before Abraham Lincoln's inauguration in 1861 to the surrender at Appomattox four years later, Waller delivers a fast-paced narrative of the heroes—and scoundrels—who informed Lincoln's generals on the enemy positions for crucial battles and busted up clandestine Rebel networks.
Famed detective Allan Pinkerton mounted a successful covert operation to slip Lincoln through Baltimore before his inauguration to foil an assassination attempt. But he failed as General George McClellan's spymaster, delivering faulty intelligence reports that overestimated Confederate strength.
George Sharpe, an erudite New York lawyer, succeeded Pinkerton as spymaster for the Union's Army of the Potomac. Recruiting skilled operatives, some of whom dressed in Rebel uniforms, Sharpe ran highly successful intelligence operations that outpaced anything the enemy could field.
Elizabeth Van Lew, a Virginia heiress who hated slavery and disapproved of secession, was one of Sharpe's most successful agents. She ran a Union spy ring in Richmond out of her mansion, with dozens of agents feeding her military and political secrets she funneled to General Ulysses S. Grant as his army closed in on the Confederate capital. Van Lew became one of the unsung heroes of the war.
Lafayette Baker was a handsome Union officer with a controversial past, whose agents clashed with Pinkerton's operatives. The unscrupulous Baker assembled a retinue of disreputable spies, thieves, and prostitutes to root out traitors in Washington, D.C. But he failed at his most important mission: uncovering the threat to Lincoln from John Wilkes Booth and his gang.
Behind these secret operatives was a president, one of our greatest, who was an avid consumer of intelligence and a ruthless aficionado of clandestine warfare, willing to take chances to win the war. Lincoln's Spies, as Waller vividly depicts in his excellent new book, set the template for the dark arts the CIA would practice in the future.
The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America [EPUB]
06 August 2019, 12:13
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0451498623 | 5.55MB
The epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
“Gatsby-era noir at its best.”—Erik Larson
In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new cars for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.
Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the Justice Department hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences. With the fledgling FBI on the case, Remus is quickly imprisoned for violating the Volstead Act. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder.
Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.
Apollo 13 [EPUB]
04 August 2019, 14:10
2019 (2006) | EPUB | ISBN: 0618056653 | 17.83MB
In April 1970, during the glory days of the Apollo space program, NASA sent Navy Captain Jim Lovell and two other astronauts on America's fifth mission to the moon. Only fifty-five hours into the flight of Apollo 13, disaster struck: a mysterious explosion rocked the ship, and soon its oxygen and power began draining away. Written with all the color and drama of the best fiction, APOLLO 13 (previously published as Lost Moon) tells the full story of the moon shot that almost ended in catastrophe. Minutes after the explosion, the three astronauts are forced to abandon the main ship for the lunar module, a tiny craft designed to keep two men alive for just two days. As the hours tick away, the narrative shifts from the crippled spacecraft to Mission Control, from engineers searching desperately for a way to fix the ship to Lovell's wife and children praying for his safe return. The entire nation watches as one crisis after another is met and overcome. By the time the ship splashes down in the Pacific, we understand why the heroic effort to rescue Lovell and his crew is considered by many to be NASA's finest hour.
Now, thirty years after the launch of the mission, Jim Lovell and coauthor Jeffrey Kluger add a new preface and never-before-seen photographs to Apollo 13. In their preface, they offer an incisive look at America's waxing and waning love affair with space exploration during the past three decades, culminating only recently when the Apollo 13 spacecraft itself, long consigned to an aviation museum outside Paris, was at last returned to its rightful home in the United States. As inspiring today as it was thirty years ago, the story of Apollo 13 is a timeless tribute to the enduring American spirit and sparkling individual heroism.
Europe's Reformations, 1450-1650: Doctrine, Politics, and Community, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
04 August 2019, 14:09
2006 | EPUB | ISBN: 0742537889 | 36.48MB
Tracy shows how Reformation-era religious conflicts tilted the balance in church-state relations in favor of the latter, so that the secular power was able to dictate the doctrinal loyalty of its subjects. Religious reform, Catholic as well as Protestant, reinforced the bonds of community, while creating new divisions within towns, villages, neighborhoods, and families. In some areas these tensions were resolved by allowing citizens to profess loyalty both to their separate religious communities and to an overarching body-politic. This compromise, a product of the Reformations, though not willed by the reformers, was the historical foundation of modern, pluralistic society.
Richly illustrated and elegantly written, this book belongs in the library of all scholars, students, and general readers interested in the origins, events, and legacy of Europe's Reformation.