Four Sisters of Hofei: A History [EPUB]
14 October 2014, 03:40
2013 | EPUB | 5.18MB
Four Sisters of Hofei is an intimate encounter with Chinese history, told through the collective memory and stories of four sisters born between 1908 and 1924, and with the benefit of the extraordinary knowledge of Yale historian Annping Chin.
Now in their late eighties and early nineties, the Chang sisters lived through a century of historic change in China. In this extraordinary work, assembled with the benefit of letter, diaries, family histories, poetry, journals, and interviews, Annping Chin shapes the story of this family into a riveting chronicle that provides uncanny insight into the old China and its transition to the new.
From their father, the Chang sister inherited reason and a belief in the virtues of modern education. From their mother they learned about the human spirit and the art of finding an appropriate path. Their nurse-nannies -- uneducated widows from the Hofei countryside -- contributed their own traditional beliefs and opinions on modern ways. As the sisters grew up, one broke with tradition to marry an actor, one survived the most violent political years of Communist rule, one married one of China's greatest novelists, and one, raised separately by her devout Buddhist great-aunt, was taught to be a rigorous practitioner of China's classical arts.
The Chang sisters' prolific correspondence provides a rare glimpse of private life in China during the twentieth century, as well as a chronicle of the country from prosperity to persecution, from foreign wars to Cultural Revolution. In Chin's expert prose, Four Sisters of Hofei is an intensely person story that illustrates the complex history of a complex land.
Strangers in the House: Coming of Age in Occupied Palestine [EPUB]
13 October 2014, 09:41
2009 | EPUB | 2.58MB
This "is not a political book," Anthony Lewis writes in his foreword. "Yet in a hundred different ways it is political.... Shehadeh shatters the stereotype many Americans have of Palestinians. Hath not a Palestinian senses, affections, passions?" This revealing memoir of a father-son relationship, the first of its kind by a Palestinian living in the occupied territories, is set against the backdrop of Middle East hostilities and more than thirty years of life under military occupation.
Three years after his family was driven from the coastal city of Jaffa in 1948, Raja Shehadeh was born in the provincial town of Ramallah, in the rural hills of the West Bank. His early childhood was marked by his family's sense of loss and impermanence, vividly evoked by the glittering lights "on the other side of the hill."
Growing up "in the shadow of home," he was introduced early to political conflict. He witnessed the numerous arrests of his father, Aziz Shehadeh, who, in 1967, was the first Palestinian to advocate a peaceful, two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He predicted that if peace were not acheived, what remained of the Palestinian homeland would be taken away, bit by bit, through Israeli settlement. Ostracized by his fellow Arabs and disillusioned by the failure of either side to recognize his prophetic vision, Aziz retreated from politics. He was murdered in 1985.
Strangers in the House offers a moving description of the daily lives of those who have chosen to remain on their land. It is also the family drama of a difficult relationship between an idealistic son and his politically active father complicated by the arbitrary humiliation of the "occupier's law."
Sally Ride: Life on a Mission [EPUB]
13 October 2014, 07:05
2014 | EPUB | 15.21MB
Sally Ride was more than the first woman in space—she was a real-life explorer and adventurer whose life story is a true inspiration for all those who dream big.
Most people know Sally Ride as the first American female astronaut to travel in space. But in her lifetime she was also a nationally ranked tennis player, a physicist who enjoyed reading Shakespeare, a university professor, the founder of a company that helped inspire girls and young women to pursue careers in science and math, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
From Sally Ride’s youth to her many groundbreaking achievements in space and beyond, Sue Macy’s riveting biography tells the story of not only a pioneering astronaut, but a leader and explorer whose life, as President Barack Obama said, “demonstrates that the sky is no limit for those who dream of reaching for the stars.”
Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space [EPUB]
13 October 2014, 07:00
2014 | EPUB | 52.44MB
The definitive biography of Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Ride’s family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boys’ club to a more inclusive elite.
Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke through a quarter-century of white male fighter jocks when NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, cracking the celestial ceiling and inspiring several generations of women.
After a second flight, Ride served on the panels investigating the Challenger explosion and the Columbia disintegration that killed all aboard. In both instances she faulted NASA’s rush to meet mission deadlines and its organizational failures. She cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls.
Sherr also writes about Ride’s scrupulously guarded personal life—she kept her sexual orientation private—with exclusive access to Ride’s partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. Sherr draws from Ride’s diaries, files, and letters. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr’s revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman, an inspiration to millions, come alive.
Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France [EPUB]
09 October 2014, 03:40
2011 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Chief Minister to King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu was the architect of a new France in the seventeenth century and the force behind the nation's rise as a European power. One of the first statesmen to clearly understand the necessity of a balance of powers, he has captured the imagination of generations, both through the story of his life and through Alexandre Dumas's portrayal of him as a ruthless political mastermind in the classic The Three Musketeers.
Jean-Vincent Blanchard's rich and insightful new biography brings Richelieu fully to life in all his complexity. His careful understanding of politics as spectacle speaks to contemporary readers; much of what he accomplished was promoted strategically through his great passion for theater and literature. ƒminence offers a rich portrait of a fascinating man and his era, and gives us a keener understanding of the dark art of politics.
Heinrich Himmler: The Sinister Life of the Head of the SS and Gestapo [EPUB]
09 October 2014, 03:35
2007 | EPUB | 3.78MB
Authors Roger Manvell and Heinrich Fraenkel, notable biographers of the World War II German leaders Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goring, delve into the life of one of the most sinister, clever, and successful of all the Nazi leaders: Heinrich Himmler. As the head of the feared SS, Himmler supervised the extermination of millions.
Here is the story of how a seemingly ordinary boy grew into an obsessive and superstitious man who ventured into herbalism, astrology, and homeopathic medicine before finally turning to the “science” of racial purity and the belief in the superiority of the Aryan people.
Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History [EPUB]
09 October 2014, 03:05
2014 | EPUB | 17.65MB
Certain lives are at once so exceptional, and yet so in step with their historical moments, that they illuminate cultural forces far beyond the scope of a single person. Such is the case with Coco Chanel, whose life offers one of the most fascinating tales of the twentieth century—throwing into dramatic relief an era of war, fashion, ardent nationalism, and earth-shaking change—here brilliantly treated, for the first time, with wide-ranging and incisive historical scrutiny.
Coco Chanel transformed forever the way women dressed. Her influence remains so pervasive that to this day we can see her afterimage a dozen times while just walking down a single street: in all the little black dresses, flat shoes, costume jewelry, cardigan sweaters, and tortoiseshell eyeglasses on women of every age and background. A bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every three seconds. Arguably, no other individual has had a deeper impact on the visual aesthetic of the world. But how did a poor orphan become a global icon of both luxury and everyday style? How did she develop such vast, undying influence? And what does our ongoing love of all things Chanel tell us about ourselves? These are the mysteries that Rhonda K. Garelick unravels in Mademoiselle.
Raised in rural poverty and orphaned early, the young Chanel supported herself as best she could. Then, as an uneducated nineteen-year-old café singer, she attracted the attention of a wealthy and powerful admirer and parlayed his support into her own hat design business. For the rest of Chanel’s life, the professional, personal, and political were interwoven; her lovers included diplomat Boy Capel; composer Igor Stravinsky; Romanov heir Grand Duke Dmitri; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster; poet Pierre Reverdy; a Nazi officer; and several women as well. For all that, she was profoundly alone, her romantic life relentlessly plagued by abandonment and tragedy.
Chanel’s ambitions and accomplishments were unparalleled. Her hat shop evolved into a clothing empire. She became a noted theatrical and film costume designer, collaborating with the likes of Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, and Luchino Visconti. The genius of Coco Chanel, Garelick shows, lay in the way she absorbed the zeitgeist, reflecting it back to the world in her designs and in what Garelick calls “wearable personality”—the irresistible and contagious style infused with both world history and Chanel’s nearly unbelievable life saga. By age forty, Chanel had become a multimillionaire and a household name, and her Chanel Corporation is still the highest-earning privately owned luxury goods manufacturer in the world.
In Mademoiselle, Garelick delivers the most probing, well-researched, and insightful biography to date on this seemingly familiar but endlessly surprising figure—a work that is truly both a heady intellectual study and a literary page-turner.
The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and The Birth of Public Relations [EPUB]
24 September 2014, 10:35
2002 | EPUB | 349.44KB
The Father of Spin is the first full-length biography of the legendary Edward L. Bernays, who, beginning in the 1920s, was one of the first and most successful practioners of the art of public relations. In this engrossing biography, Larry Tye uses Bernays's life as a prism to understand the evolution of the craft of public relations and how it came to play such a critical-and sometimes insidious-role in American life.
Drawing on interviews with primary sources and voluminous private papers, Tye presents a fascinating and revealing portrait of the man who, more than any other, defined and personified public relations, a profession that today helps shape our political discourse and define our commercial choices.
Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography [EPUB]
24 September 2014, 06:33
2004 | EPUB + PDF | 4.16/21.38MB
"The day will come when not only my writings, but precisely my life--the intriguing secret of all the machinery--will be studied and studied." Søren Kierkegaard's remarkable combination of genius and peculiarity made this a fair if arrogant prediction. But Kierkegaard's life has been notoriously hard to study, so complex was the web of fact and fiction in his work. Joakim Garff's biography of Kierkegaard is thus a landmark achievement. A seamless blend of history, philosophy, and psychological insight, all conveyed with novelistic verve, this is the most comprehensive and penetrating account yet written of the life and works of the enigmatic Dane who changed the course of intellectual history.
Garff portrays Kierkegaard not as the all-controlling impresario behind some of the most important works of modern philosophy and religious thought--books credited with founding existentialism and prefiguring postmodernism--but rather as a man whose writings came to control him. Kierkegaard saw himself as a vessel for his writings, a tool in the hand of God, and eventually as a martyr singled out to call for the end of "Christendom." Garff explores the events and relationships that formed Kierkegaard, including his guilt-ridden relationship with his father, his rivalry with his brother, and his famously tortured relationship with his fiancée Regine Olsen. He recreates the squalor and splendor of Golden Age Copenhagen and the intellectual milieu in which Kierkegaard found himself increasingly embattled and mercilessly caricatured.
Acclaimed as a major cultural event on its publication in Denmark in 2000, this book, here presented in an exceptionally crisp and elegant translation, will be the definitive account of Kierkegaard's life for years to come.
Genius in the Shadows [EPUB]
24 September 2014, 06:28
2013 | EPUB | 5.04MB
Virtually forgotten outside of the world of atomic physics, Leo Szilárd has long been overshadowed by figures like Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Robert Oppenheimer, yet he is perhaps more truly, if reluctantly, the "father of the atom bomb." It was Szilárd who first theorized the energy from nuclear chain reactions; he co-designed, with Fermi, the first nuclear reactor, and with Einstein drafted a warning to the U.S. government about the potential for Nazi Germany to develop an atom bomb. Yet the eccentric Szilárd often confounded his most supportive colleagues, and in 1962 he founded the first political action committee for arms control, the Council for a Livable World. With a new introduction by the author, an expert in atomic energy and arms control, this revised and updated edition is a captivating portrait of a singular scientific prophet.