World War I Companion [EPUB]

World War I Companion [EPUB]
World War I Companion edited by Mathias Strohn
2013 | EPUB | 4.91MB

2014 sees the centenary of the start of World War I, the Great War - the war to end all wars. This four-year conflict saw the major powers of the world commit their forces on an unparalleled scale, principally in the trenches of the Western Front, but also throughout the world from the colonies of Africa to the Chinese city of Tsingtao.

This was a period of intense development in military technology, technique, and innovation as the belligerent powers sought to break the deadlock. The rise of airpower, coronation of artillery, and development of the tank as a means of restoring mobility to the battlefield all came about in this period and have had a lasting influence through to the present day.

This study consists of separate articles by 13 respected academics focussing on different aspects of the Great War, ranging from the war at sea, through the Gallipoli campaign to the final offensives of 1918 to give a wide-ranging companion to this truly global conflict.

Killing the Poormaster: A Saga of Poverty, Corruption, and Murder in the Great Depression [EPUB]

Killing the Poormaster: A Saga of Poverty, Corruption, and Murder in the Great Depression [EPUB]
Killing the Poormaster: A Saga of Poverty, Corruption, and Murder in the Great Depression by Holly Metz
2012 | EPUB | 1.62MB

On February 25, 1938, in the early days of the welfare system, the reviled poormaster Harry Barck—wielding power over who would receive public aid—died from a paper spike thrust into his heart. Barck was murdered, the prosecution would assert, by an unemployed mason named Joe Scutellaro. In denying Scutellaro money, Barck had suggested the man’s wife prostitute herself on the streets rather than ask the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, for aid. The men scuffled. Scutellaro insisted that Barck fell on his spike; the police claimed he grabbed the spike and stabbed Barck.

News of the poormaster’s death brought national attention to the plight of ten million unemployed living in desperate circumstances. A team led by celebrated attorney Samuel Leibowitz of “Scottsboro Boys” fame worked to save Scutellaro from the electric chair, arguing that the jobless man’s struggle with the poormaster was a symbol of larger social ills. The trial became an indictment “of a system which expects a man to live, in this great democracy, under such shameful circumstances.”

We live in a time where the issues examined in Killing the Poormaster—massive unemployment, endemic poverty, and the inadequacy of public assistance—remain vital. With its insight into our social contract, Killing the Poormaster reads like today’s news.

Snow-Storm in August: The Struggle for American Freedom and Washington's Race Riot of 1835 [EPUB]

Snow-Storm in August: The Struggle for American Freedom and Washington's Race Riot of 1835 [EPUB]
Snow-Storm in August: The Struggle for American Freedom and Washington's Race Riot of 1835 by Jefferson Morley
2013 | EPUB | 6.42MB

A gripping narrative history of the explosive events that drew together Francis Scott Key, Andrew Jackson, and an 18-year-old slave on trial for attempted murder.

In 1835, the city of Washington pulsed with change. As newly freed African Americans from the South poured in, free blacks outnumbered slaves for the first time. Radical notions of abolishing slavery circulated on the city's streets, and white residents were forced to confront new ideas of what the nation's future might look like.

On the night of August 4th, Arthur Bowen, an eighteen-year-old slave, stumbled into the bedroom where his owner, Anna Thornton, slept. He had an ax in the crook of his arm. An alarm was raised, and he ran away. Word of the incident spread rapidly, and within days, Washington's first race riot exploded, as whites fearing a slave rebellion attacked the property of the free blacks. Residents dubbed the event the “Snow-Storm," in reference to the central role of Beverly Snow, a flamboyant former slave turned successful restaurateur, who became the target of the mob's rage.

In the wake of the riot came two sensational criminal trials that gripped the city. Prosecuting both cases was none other than Francis Scott Key, a politically ambitious attorney famous for writing the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” who few now remember served as the city's district attorney for eight years. Key defended slavery until the twilight's last gleaming, and pandered to racial fears by seeking capital punishment for Arthur Bowen. But in a surprise twist his prosecution was thwarted by Arthur's ostensible victim, Anna Thornton, a respected socialite who sought the help of President Andrew Jackson.

Ranging beyond the familiar confines of the White House and the Capitol, Snow-Storm in August delivers readers into an unknown chapter of American history with a textured and absorbing account of the racial secrets and contradictions that coursed beneath the freewheeling capital of a rising world power.