Final Chapters: How Famous Authors Died [EPUB]
29 May 2016, 11:49
2015 | EPUB | 6.12MB
“Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case.” –William Saroyan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
Famous authors, like everybody else, know that one day they will die. Final Chapters tells the fascinating stories of more than one hundred writers’ encounters with death—and their attitudes toward the Grim Reaper: fear, uncertainty, or acceptance.
Francis Bacon wrote, “It is as natural to die as to be born,” while Socrates told the judges who condemned him, “And now we go our ways, I to die and you to live. Which is better is known to God alone.”
Death often came in startling ways for these well-known writers. The playwright Aeschylus was conked by a turtle falling from the sky. Christopher Marlowe was stabbed in a barroom brawl. Molière collapsed while playing the role of a hypochondriac in one of his plays.
Edgar Allan Poe was found semicomatose in someone else’s clothes shortly before he died. Sherwood Anderson was felled by a toothpick in a martini. Did Dylan Thomas really die of eighteen straight whiskeys? And was it a bottle cap or murder that did in Tennessee Williams?
If these authors have lessons for us, the best may be that of Marcus Aurelius: “Death smiles at us all; all we can do is smile back.”
A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, 1905-1928 [EPUB]
29 May 2016, 01:40
2014 | EPUB | 7.57MB
In this classic of American biography, based upon thousands of original documents, many never previously published, the prize-winning historian Geoffrey C. Ward tells the dramatic story of Franklin Roosevelt’s unlikely rise from cloistered youth to the brink of the presidency with a richness of detail and vivid sense of time, place, and personality usually found only in fiction.
In these pages, FDR comes alive as a fond but absent father and an often unfeeling husband--the story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s struggle to build a life independent of him is chronicled in full–as well as a charming but pampered patrician trying to find his way in the sweaty world of everyday politics and all-too willing willing to abandon allies and jettison principle if he thinks it will help him move up the political ladder. But somehow he also finds within himself the courage and resourcefulness to come back from a paralysis that would have crushed a less resilient man and then go on to meet and master the two gravest crises of his time.
Franklin and Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherfurd, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life [EPUB]
29 May 2016, 01:35
2008 | EPUB | 4.36MB
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was arguably the greatest figure of the twentieth century. While FDR’s official circle was predominantly male, it was his relationships with women–particularly with Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd–that most vividly bring to light the human being beneath this towering statesman. It is no coincidence that Rutherfurd was with Roosevelt the day he died in Warm Springs, Georgia, along with two other close women companions. In Franklin and Lucy, acclaimed author and historian Joseph E. Persico explores FDR’s romance with Lucy Rutherfurd, which was far deeper and lasted much longer than was previously acknowledged. Persico’s provocative conclusions about their relationship are informed by a revealing range of sources, including never-before-published letters and documents from Lucy Rutherfurd’s estate that attest to the intensity and scope of the affair.
FDR’s connection with Lucy also creates an opportunity for Persico to take a more penetrating look at the other women in FDR’s life. We come to see more clearly how FDR’s infidelity as a husband contributed to Eleanor’s eventual transformation from a repressed Victorian to perhaps the greatest American woman of her century; how the shaping hand of FDR’s strong-willed mother helped to imbue him with the resolve to overcome personal and public adversity throughout his life; and how other women around FDR, including his “surrogate spouse,” Missy LeHand, and his close confidante, the obscure Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, completed the world that he inhabited.
Franklin and Lucy is an extraordinary look at the private life of a leader who continues to fascinate scholars and the general public alike. In focusing on Lucy Rutherfurd and the myriad women who mattered to Roosevelt, Persico paints a more intimate portrait than we have heretofore had of this enigmatic giant of American history.