Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World [EPUB]
10 April 2014, 07:46
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.84/1.48MB
Jan Karski's Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World stands as one of the most poignant and inspiring memoirs of World War II and the Holocaust. With elements of a spy thriller, documenting his experiences in the Polish Underground, and as one of the first accounts of the systematic slaughter of the Jews by the German Nazis, this volume is a remarkable testimony of one man's courage and a nation's struggle for resistance against overwhelming oppression.
Karski was a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. He became a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Karski's courage and testimony, conveyed in a breathtaking manner in Story of a Secret State, offer the narrative of one of the world's greatest eyewitnesses and an inspiration for all of humanity, emboldening each of us to rise to the challenge of standing up against evil and for human rights. This definitive edition -- which includes a foreword by Madeleine Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary -- is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.
Tolkien and the Great War [EPUB]
10 April 2014, 07:17
2011 | EPUB | 2.66MB
A biography exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s wartime experiences and their impact on his life and his writing of The Lord of The Rings.
“To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939 . . . by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead.”
So J.R.R. Tolkien responded to critics who saw The Lord of the Rings as a reaction to the Second World War. Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle-earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe. This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology into life. It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil.
This is the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977, meticulously researched and distilled from his personal wartime papers and a multitude of other sources.
John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle-earth's enduring power. Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generation. While his contemporaries surrendered to disillusionment, he kept enchantment alive, reshaping an entire literary tradition into a form that resonates to this day.
Free Woman: The Life and Times of Victoria Woodhull [EPUB]
09 April 2014, 16:31
2014 | EPUB | 908.64KB
Victoria Woodhull is an historical figure too often ignored and undervalued by historians. Although she never achieved political power, her actions and her presence on the political scene helped begin to change the way Americans thought about the right to vote, particularly women's suffrage and she set the stage for political emancipations to come throughout the 20th Century.
Woodhull was a product of and a revolutionary within the socially conservative Victorian era which predominated in the United States as much as it did in England. She was an anomaly within her era, an unlikely and unconventional woman. She came from a background of poverty and her careers prior to entering politics included fortune-telling, acting, being a stock broker, journalism and lecturing on women's rights. She ran for President of the United States in 1872. At that time, she had twice been divorced and she outraged even the feminists of her day by refusing to confine her campaign to the issue of women's suffrage. She advocated a single sexual standard for men and women, legalization of prostitution, reform of the marriage and family institutions, and "free love." She shocked a nation largely because her plain-speaking was designed to expose the endemic hypocrisy of "respectable" people in society.
Marion Meade has created a vivid picture of the colorful figure that was Victoria Woodhull but she also fully portrays the era in which she lived, in all of its truest and often most unflattering colors. She makes the 1870s read in many ways like the 1970s not just because Victoria Woodhull was far ahead of her own time but also because many people in the present era are still culturally behind the times.