Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal [Audiobook] by Mary Roach
Tantor Audio | 2013 | ASIN: B00BZ5QPKI | M4B + EPUB | 8 hrs 21 mins | 127.99MB

Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour.

The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis?

In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of - or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach as our guide, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists - who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.



EPUB

War and Our World

War and Our World

War and Our World by John Keegan
Vintage Books | 2001 | ISBN: 0375705201 | EPUB | 1.67MB

John Keegan, widely considered the greatest military historian of our time and the author of acclaimed volumes on ancient and modern warfare--including, most recently, The First World War, a national bestseller--distills what he knows about the why’s and how’s of armed conflict into a series of brilliantly concise essays.

Is war a natural condition of humankind? What are the origins of war? Is the modern state dependent on warfare? How does war affect the individual, combatant or noncombatant? Can there be an end to war? Keegan addresses these questions with a breathtaking knowledge of history and the many other disciplines that have attempted to explain the phenomenon. The themes Keegan concentrates on in this short volume are essential to our understanding of why war remains the single greatest affliction of humanity in the twenty-first century, surpassing famine and disease, its traditional companions.

A History of Warfare

A History of Warfare

A History of Warfare by John Keegan
Vintage Books | 1994 | ISBN: 0307828573 | EPUB | 9.72MB

The acclaimed author of The Face of Battle examines centers of conflict in a variety of diverse societies and cultures.

"Keegan is at once the most readable and the most original of living military historians . . . A History of Warfare is perhaps the most remarkable study of warfare that has yet been written." --The New York Times Book Review.

Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War

Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War

Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War by Terry Brighton
Crown | 2008 | ISBN: 0307461564 | EPUB | 9.26MB

In Patton, Montgomery, Rommel, one of Britain's most accomplished military scholars presents an unprecedented study of the land war in the North African and European theaters, as well as their chief commanders--three men who also happened to be the most compelling dramatis personae of World War II.

Beyond spellbinding depictions of pivotal confrontations at El Alamein, Monte Cassino, and the Ardennes forest, author-scholar Terry Brighton illuminates the personal motivations and historical events that propelled the three men's careers: how Patton's, Montgomery's, and Rommel's Great War experiences helped to mold their style of command--and how, exactly, they managed to apply their arguably megalomaniacal personalities (and hitherto unrecognized political acumen and tact) to advance their careers and strategic vision.

Opening new avenues of inquiry into the lives and careers of three men widely profiled by scholars and popular historians alike, Brighton definitively answers numerous lingering and controversial questions: Was Patton really as vainglorious in real life as he was portrayed to be on the silver screen?--and how did his tireless advocacy of "mechanized cavalry" forever change the face of war? Was Monty's dogged publicity-seeking driven by his own need for recognition or by his desire to claim for Britain a leadership role in postwar global order?--and how did this prickly "commoner" manage to earn affection and esteem from enlisted men and nobility alike? How might the war have ended if Rommel had had more tanks?--and what fundamental philosophical difference between him and Hitler made such an outcome virtually impossible?

Abetted by new primary source material and animated by Terry Brighton's incomparable storytelling gifts, Patton, Montgomery, Rommel offers critical new interpretations of the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial, and influential commanders--and augments our understanding of each of their perceptions of war and leadership.

Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership

Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership

Samsung Electronics and the Struggle for Leadership of the Electronics Industry by Anthony Michell
John Wiley & Sons | 2011 | ISBN: 111818159X | EPUB | 2.17MB

This book views Samsung Electronics in terms of corporate life cycle as well as product portfolio and strategy. It also examines the issues Samsung faces as it proceeds further into the 21st century.

Written from the perspective of an experienced commentator on Korean and global business, this book presents not simply a narrative or an adulatory and uncritical account of Samsung's rise, but a considered analysis of the secrets of success that both business students and CEOs will want to read and consider applying to their own companies.

No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice

No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice

No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky, Ed Miller
2006 | PDF | 20.5MB

No limit hold em is exploding in popularity. Before 2000, it could be difficult to find a game. In 2006, it is played everywhere in casinо cardrooms, in bar backrooms and homes, and on the Internet.

Now anyone can find a game, but few know how to play well. Most players learn by watching television or by listening to dubious advice from their friends. While they may have picked up a valuable tidbit here or there, most players come to the table without a winning plan. These players have two options: wise up or go broke.

The world s foremost pоker theorist, David Sklansky, and noted pоker authority, Ed Miller, will wise you up quickly. No Limit Hold em: Theory and Practice is the definitive work on this complex game. It provides you a window into the heads of experts, teaching you in straightforward and enjoyable terms the how s and why s of winning play.

It covers critical concepts like manipulating the pot size, adjusting correctly to stack sizes, winning the battle of mistakes, reading hands, and manipulating opponents into playing badly. It teaches you about implied odds and how to size your bets and raises effectively. It even covers many principles of short stacked play that will give you a big edge in no limit hold em tournaments.

Never before have so many people played no limit hold em, and never before has there been so much opportunity to win big. If you want your share of the spoils, read this book!

Small Stakes Hold 'em: Winning Big with Expert Play

Small Stakes Hold 'em: Winning Big with Expert Play

Small Stakes Hold 'em: Winning Big with Expert Play by David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, Edward Miller
Two Plus Two Publishing | 2004 | ISBN: 1880685329 | PDF | 37.94MB

For today’s pоker players, Texas hold ’em is the game. Every day, tens of thousands of small stakes hold ’em games are played all over the world in homes, card rooms, and on the Internet. These games can be very profitable — if you play well. But most people don’t play well and end up leaving their money on the table.

Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play explains everything you need to be a big winner. Unlike many other books about small stakes games, it teaches the aggressive and attacking style used by all professional players. However, it does not simply tell you to play aggressively; it shows you exactly how to make expert decisions through numerous clear and detailed examples.

Small Stakes Hold ’em teaches you to think like a professional player. Topics include implied odds, pot equity, speculative hands, position, the importance of being suited, hand categories, counting outs, evaluating the flop, large pots versus small pots, protecting your hand, betting for value on the river, and playing overcards. In addition, after you learn the winning concepts, test your skills with over fifty hand quizzes that present you with common and critical hold ’em decisions. Choose your action, then compare it to the authors’ play and reasoning.

This text presents cutting-edge ideas in straightforward language. It is the most thorough and accurate discussion of small stakes hold ’em available. Your opponents will read this book; make sure you do, too!

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain (or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots In Charge) by John O'Farrell
Transworld Digital | 2008 | ISBN: 1407037455 | EPUB | 544.8KB

Many of us were put off history by the dry and dreary way it was taught at school. Back then 'The Origins of the Industrial Revolution' somehow seemed less compelling than the chance to test the bold claim on Timothy Johnson's 'Shatterproof' ruler. But here at last is a chance to have a good laugh and learn all that stuff you feel you really ought to know by now...

In this 'Horrible History for Grown Ups' you can read how Anglo-Saxon liberals struggled to be positive about immigration; 'Look I think we have to try and respect the religious customs of our new Viking friends -- oi, he's nicked my bloody ox!'Discover how England's peculiar class system was established by some snobby French nobles whose posh descendents still have wine cellars and second homes in the Dordogne today. And explore the complex socio-economic reasons why Britain's kings were the first in Europe to be brought to heel; (because the Stuarts were such a useless bunch of untalented, incompetent, arrogant, upper-class thickoes that Parliament didn't have much choice.)

A book about then that is also incisive and illuminating about now, 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge, is an hilarious, informative and cantankerous journey through Britain' fascinating and bizarre history. As entertaining as a witch burning, and a lot more laughs.

Warfare in Medieval Brabant, 1356-1406

Warfare in Medieval Brabant, 1356-1406

Warfare in Medieval Brabant, 1356-1406 by Sergio Boffa
Boydell Press | 2004 | ISBN: 1843830612 | PDF | 5.28MB

The medieval duchy of Brabant was one of the most powerful principalities of the Low Countries. During the second half of the fourteenth century, it underwent a particularly dramatic period in its history: the House of Leuven was on the point of disappearance, the duchy was coveted by Philip the Bold of Burgundy, who was already dreaming of extending the -Burgundian Empire- and, by a network of alliances, Brabant was drawn into the Hundred Years' War.

The author reviews the successive conflicts which troubled the duchy between 1356 and 1406; the different authorities which influenced the course of military operations (the duchess and the duke, their officers, and the Estates of Brabant); describes the combatants, in particular the nobility and the urban militias; considers the practical aspects of warfare; and analyses the military obligations and contracts which bound the men at arms to the duke.

Britain AD: A Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons

Britain AD: A Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons

Britain AD: A Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons by Francis Pryor
HarperCollins | 2006 | ISBN: 0007181876 | EPUB | 1.33MB

Leading archaeologist Francis Pryor retells the story of King Arthur, legendary king of the Britons, tracing it back to its Bronze Age origins. The legend of King Arthur and Camelot is one of the most enduring in Britain's history, spanning centuries and surviving invasions by Angles, Vikings, and Normans. In his latest book Francis Pryor—one of Britain's most celebrated archaeologists and author of the acclaimed Britain B.C. and Seahenge—traces the story of Arthur back to its ancient origins.

Putting forth the compelling idea that most of the key elements of the Arthurian legends are deeply rooted in Bronze and Iron Ages (the sword Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, the Sword in the Stone, and so on), Pryor argues that the legends' survival mirrors a flourishing, indigenous culture that endured through the Roman occupation of Britain, and the subsequent invasions of the so-called Dark Ages. As in Britain B.C., Pryor roots his story in the very landscape, from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, to South Cadbury Castle in Somerset, and Tintagel in Cornwall. He traces the story back to the 5th-century King Arthur and beyond, all the time testing his ideas with archaeological evidence, and showing how the story was manipulated through the ages for various historical and literary purposes, by Geoffrey of Monmouth and Malory, among others.

Delving into history, literary sources—ancient, medieval, and romantic—and archaeological research, Francis Pryor creates an original, lively, and illuminating account of this most British of legends.

War In The Early Modern World, 1450-1815

War In The Early Modern World, 1450-1815

War In The Early Modern World, 1450-1815 edited by Jeremy Black
Routledge | 1998 | ISBN: 185728688X | PDF | 1.66MB

A collection of essays charting the developments in military practice and warfare across the world in the early modern and modern periods.

Asian Aphrodisiacs: From Bangkok to Beijing

Asian Aphrodisiacs: From Bangkok to Beijing

Asian Aphrodisiacs: From Bangkok to Beijing - The Search for the Ultimate Turn-on by Jerry Hopkins
Tuttle Publishing | 2011 | ISBN: 1462900712 | EPUB | 2.57MB

"Tiger penis soup? Rhino horn on the oyster half shell? Give me a break!" So says bestselling author Jerry Hopkins as he meets the people, visits the places, and "road tests" dozens of Asia's most popular aphrodisiacs in the first definitive survey of the region's best and worst "turn-on's."

Expanding the usual definition to include lotions as well as potions, sex toys and aromatherapy, music and massage, exotic Asian belief systems, pornography and a variety of surgical procedures, he travels from his home in Bangkok to Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong and Kathmandu in search of the region's most exciting pick-me-ups. Along the way, he discovers that Asia was first in the development and prescription of aphrodisiacs, first in pornography and sex toys, and first in breast and penis enhancement surgery.

In this exhaustively researched and often hilarious investigation of a subject that has held the world enthralled for thousands of years, the author discovers that Asia has been-and still is-in the lead when it comes to the promise of sexual enhancement. And to his surprise, he also finds several things that work.

Best Sex Writing 2009

Best Sex Writing 2009

Best Sex Writing 2009 edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Cleis Press | 2012 | ISBN: 1573444529 | EPUB | 241.56KB

Intelligent, upbeat, and sex-positive, the pieces in Best Sex Writing 2009 offer an in-depth look at sex the way it actually happens in America today. Gubernatorial sex scandals, rape fantasies, “Dear John” letters, teen sexuality, purity balls, the pregnant man, the science of screwing, bathroom sex, and other topics are scrutinized by noted columnists, bloggers, and authors in pieces that are funny, informative, challenging, sexy, and serious. Edited by sex commentator and erotic author Rachel Kramer Bussel and guest judge MSNBC sex columnist Brian Alexander, this collection goes behind the headlines for a very different kind of sex ed.

Complications A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Complications A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

Complications A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande
Profile Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1847651240 | EPUB | 502.7KB

This is a stunningly well-written account of the life of a surgeon: what it is like to cut into people's bodies and the terrifying - literally life and death - decisions that have to be made.There are accounts of operations that go wrong; of doctors who go to the bad; why autopsies are necessary; what it feels like to insert your knife into someone.

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance

Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
Profile Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1847651232 | EPUB | 587.65KB

The struggle to perform well is universal, but nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable.

His vivid stories take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to a polio outbreak in India and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors' participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand-washing. Finally, he gives a brutally honest insight into life as a practising surgeon.

Unflinching but compassionate, Gawande's investigation into medical professionals and their progression from good to great provides a detailed blueprint for success that can be used by everyone.

Making Sense of Suicide Missions

Making Sense of Suicide Missions

Making Sense of Suicide Missions edited by Diego Gambetta
OUP | 2005 | ISBN: 0199276994 | PDF | 2.79MB

Suicide attacks have become the defining act of political violence of our age. From New York City to Baghdad, from Sri Lanka to Israel, few can doubt that they are a pervasive and terrifying feature of our political landscape. Based on a wealth of original information and research, and containing contributions from internationally distinguished scholars, Making Sense of Suicide Missions furthers our understanding of this chilling feature of the contemporary world in radically new and unexpected ways.

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano
Nation Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1568586124 | EPUB | 1.65MB

Throughout his career, Eduardo Galeano has turned our understanding of history and reality on its head. Isabelle Allende said his works “invade the reader’s mind, to persuade him or her to surrender to the charm of his writing and power of his idealism.”

Mirrors, Galeano’s most ambitious project since Memory of Fire, is an unofficial history of the world seen through history’s unseen, unheard, and forgotten. As Galeano notes: “Official history has it that Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, the two oceans at once. Were the people who lived there blind??”

Recalling the lives of artists, writers, gods, and visionaries, from the Garden of Eden to twenty-first-century New York, of the black slaves who built the White House and the women erased by men’s fears, and told in hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes, Mirrors is a magic mosaic of our humanity.

How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour

How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour

How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away with Siphoning Off America's Wealth by Les Leopold
John Wiley & Sons | 2013 | ISBN: 1118239245 | EPUB | 1.04MB

How hedge funds make money by taking it from the rest of us—and how you can join them!

Top hedge fund managers make more than Oprah, Rupert Murdoch, and A-Rod combined—but they aren't running news and entertainment empires or playing baseball for the New York Yankees. Aren't you curious about how these hedge fund dudes make so much doing who knows what? You may even wonder if you can get there, too. After all, this is America!

This book gives you the answers in a twelve-step guide to accumulating vast riches the way hedge fund managers do—by playing trillion-dollar poker with a marked deck. Through each easy step, you'll learn the sleight of hand and disregard for basic morality you'll need to move from making tens of dollars an hour to millions an hour! Along the way, you'll also question whether these hedge fund moguls make markets work better—as they and their apologists insist—or cause instability, siphon off capital, and destroy value without adding so much as a single widget to the economy.

  • Takes a fascinating tour of the wild side of fantasy finance to explain just how hedge fund managers make so much money—and whether or not the million-an-hour crowd produces anything positive for society and the economy
  • Teaches you hedge fund secrets that make it possible to pull down astounding sums in the space of minutes—from rigging your bets to milking millions in special tax breaks—if you're willing to bankrupt your morality for the cash
  • Counters many of the most common arguments about why speculating in financial markets is somehow "worth more" than creating entertainment, electronics, or consumer goods that consumers want

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
Profile Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1847651879 | EPUB | 367.08KB

Today we find ourselves in possession of stupendous know-how, which we willingly place in the hands of the most highly skilled people. But avoidable failures are common, and the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of our knowledge has exceeded our ability to consistently deliver it - correctly, safely or efficiently.

In this groundbreaking book, Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument for the checklist, which he believes to be the most promising method available in surmounting failure. Whether you're following a recipe, investing millions of dollars in a company or building a skyscraper, the checklist is an essential tool in virtually every area of our lives, and Gawande explains how breaking down complex, high pressure tasks into small steps can radically improve everything from airline safety to heart surgery survival rates. Fascinating and enlightening, The Checklist Manifesto shows how the simplest of ideas could transform how we operate in almost any field.

You Are A Brand [2nd Edition]

You Are A Brand [2nd Edition]

You Are A Brand, 2nd Edition: In Person and Online, How Smart People Brand Themselves For Business Success by Catherine Kaputa
Nicholas Brealey Publishing | 2012 | ISBN: 1857885805 | AZW3 | 2.12MB

Celebrity entertainers, star athletes, and corporate icons didn't accidentally wind up at the top - they branded their way there. Now you, too, can leverage the power of a personal brand, harness your potential and take charge of your career. Using strategies from the playbook of the Mad Men of Madison Avenue, advertising guru Catherine Kaputa serves as your personal branding coach in YOU ARE A BRAND! 2nd Edition: In Person and Online, How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success.

Kaputa has revamped her 2007 award-winning classic to include new chapters on crafting your own "elevator speech" and leveraging the power of social media. This updated edition explores strategies and tactics to tap into the power of words, learn the principles of visual identity, think in terms of markets, and execute a self-brand action plan that is unique and memorable. Combining today's hottest business concepts with the realities of the modern workplace, YOU ARE A BRAND! 2nd Edition highlights the self-branding odysseys of savvy professionals and budding entrepreneurs - Catherine Kaputa will coach you to take charge of your career through the one-of-a-kind brand that is YOU.

How to Fossilise Your Hamster

How to Fossilise Your Hamster

How to Fossilise Your Hamster: And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist by Mick O'Hare
Profile Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1847650570 | EPUB | 3.86Mb

How can you measure the speed of light with chocolate and a microwave? Why do yo-yos yo-yo? Why does urine smell so peculiar after eating asparagus (includes helpful recipe)? How long does it take to digest different types of food? What is going on when you drop mentos in to cola? 100 wonderful, intriguing and entertaining scientific experiments which show scientific principles first hand - this is science at its most popular.

Invisible Romans

Invisible Romans

Invisible Romans: Prostitutes, Outlaws, Slaves, Gladiators, Ordinary Men and Women...the Romans That History Forgot by Robert C Knapp
Profile Books | 2011 | ISBN: 1847654479 | EPUB | 5.72MB

The Roman world was filled with people whose lives usually go unnoticed. This book goes in search of the invisible Romans—plebs, trades people, women, outlaws, freedmen, slaves, and soldiers. By probing cultural remains and painstaking examinations of historical, literary, and archaeological evidence, Robert Knapp brings vividly to life the Roman worlds of its most numerous inhabitants.

The Empire Project

The Empire Project

The Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830-1970 by John Darwin
Cambridge University Press | 2011 | ISBN: 0521317894 | EPUB | 2.08MB

The British Empire, wrote Adam Smith, 'has hitherto been not an empire, but the project of an empire' and John Darwin offers a magisterial global history of the rise and fall of that great imperial project.

The British Empire, he argues, was much more than a group of colonies ruled over by a scattering of British expatriates until eventual independence. It was, above all, a global phenomenon. Its power derived rather less from the assertion of imperial authority than from the fusing together of three different kinds of empire: the settler empire of the 'white dominions'; the commercial empire of the City of London; and 'Greater India' which contributed markets, manpower and military muscle.

This unprecedented history charts how this intricate imperial web was first strengthened, then weakened and finally severed on the rollercoaster of global economic, political and geostrategic upheaval on which it rode from beginning to end.

The Tsar's Last Armada

The Tsar's Last Armada

The Tsar's Last Armada: The Epic Voyage to the Battle of Tsushima by Constantine Pleshakov
Basic Books | 2002 | ISBN: 0465057918 | PDF | 2.57Mb

On May 14-15, 1905, in the Tsushima Straits near Japan, an entire Russian fleet was annihilated, its ships sunk, scattered, or captured by the Japanese. It was among the top five naval battles in history, equal to those of Lepanto, Trafalgar, Jutland, and Midway. The Japanese lost only three destroyers, but the Russians lost twenty-two ships and thousands of sailors. To this day Russian ships throw wreaths on the waves when passing the Korea Strait.

The Russians had traveled for nine months to be destroyed in a few hours. Because they were afraid of capture in the Suez Canal, their legendary admiral, dubbed "Mad Dog," led them on an extraordinary 18,000mile detour from the Baltic Sea, around Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Sea of Japan.

They were burdened by the Tsar's incompetent leadership and the old, slow ships that he insisted be included to bulk up the fleet. Moreover, they were under constant fear of attack, and there were no friendly ports to supply coal, food, and fresh water. The level of self-sufficiency achieved by this squadron was not again attained in naval practice until the Second World War.

With a novelist's eye and a historian's authority, Pleshakov tells of the Russian squadron's long, difficult journey and swift, horrible defeat.

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M Edsel
Center Street | 2010 | ISBN: 1599952653 | EPUB | 4.99MB

At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised.

In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.

Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

The Man Who Loved China

The Man Who Loved China

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester
HarperCollins | 2008 | ISBN: 0061795887 | EPUB | 1.47MB

In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman ("Elegant and scrupulous"—New York Times Book Review) and Krakatoa ("A mesmerizing page-turner"—Time) brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, long the world's most technologically advanced country.

No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual, who practiced nudism and was devoted to a quirky brand of folk dancing. In 1937, while working as a biochemist at Cambridge University, he instantly fell in love with a visiting Chinese student, with whom he began a lifelong affair.

He soon became fascinated with China, and his mistress swiftly persuaded the ever-enthusiastic Needham to travel to her home country, where he embarked on a series of extraordinary expeditions to the farthest frontiers of this ancient empire. He searched everywhere for evidence to bolster his conviction that the Chinese were responsible for hundreds of mankind's most familiar innovations—including printing, the compass, explosives, suspension bridges, even toilet paper—often centuries before the rest of the world. His thrilling and dangerous journeys, vividly recreated by Winchester, took him across war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the Chinese people.

After the war, Needham was determined to tell the world what he had discovered, and began writing his majestic Science and Civilisation in China, describing the country's long and astonishing history of invention and technology. By the time he died, he had produced, essentially single-handedly, seventeen immense volumes, marking him as the greatest one-man encyclopedist ever.

Both epic and intimate, The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through Needham's remarkable life. Here is an unforgettable tale of what makes men, nations, and, indeed, mankind itself great—related by one of the world's inimitable storytellers.

The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans

The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans

The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans by Simon Winchester
HarperCollins | 2000 | ISBN: 0061978191 | EPUB | 325.77KB

A True Portrait of One of the World's Most Chaotic and Beautiful Regions That Explains Why Violence Has Always Occurred There--And Why It May Continue For Years To Come.

The vast and mountainous area that makes up the Balkans is rife with discord, both cultural and topographical. And, as Simon Winchester superbly demonstrates in this intimate portrait of the region, much of the political strife of the past century can be traced to its inherent contrasts. With the aid of a guide and linguist, Winchester traveled deep into the region's most troublesome areas--including Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey--just as the war was tearing these countries apart. The result is a book not just about war but also about how war affects the living. Both timeless and current, The Fracture Zone goes behind the headlines to offer a true picture of a region that has always been on the brink. Winchester's remarkable journey puts all the elements together--the faults, the fractures, and the chaos--to make sense out of a seemingly senseless place.

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the OED

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the OED

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
Oxford University Press | 2003 | ISBN: 0198607024 | EPUB | 1.13MB

From the best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house, the Oxford English Dictionary.

Writing with marvelous brio, Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language--'so vast, so sprawling, so wonderfully unwieldy'--and pays homage to the great dictionary makers, from 'the irredeemably famous' Samuel Johnson to the 'short, pale, smug and boastful' schoolmaster from New Hartford, Noah Webster. He then turns his unmatched talent for story-telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries. In this fast-paced narrative, the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge (grandson of the poet), the colorful, boisterous Frederick Furnivall (who left the project in a shambles), and James Augustus Henry Murray, who spent a half-century bringing the project to fruition. Winchester lovingly describes the nuts-and-bolts of dictionary making--how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was, or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient that anticipated--and how bondmaid was left out completely, its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B-volume had gone to press.

We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium--the Scrippy or the Shed, as locals called it--and meet some of the legion of volunteers, from Fitzedward Hall, a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED, to W. C. Minor, whose story is one of dangerous madness, ineluctable sadness, and ultimate redemption.

The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language. Simon Winchester's supple, vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project--a seventy-year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word-books, the world's unrivalled uber-dictionary.

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester
Penguin Group | 2004 | ISBN: 0141926236 | EPUB | 4.01MB
'Bracingly apocalyptic stuff: atmospheric, chock-full of information and with a constantly escalating sense of pace and tension.' — Sunday Telegraph

Simon Winchester's brilliant chronicle of the destruction of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in 1883 charts the birth of our modern world. He tells the story of the unrecognized genius who beat Darwin to the discovery of evolution; of Samuel Morse, his code and how rubber allowed the world to talk; of Alfred Wegener, the crack-pot German explorer and father of geology. In breathtaking detail he describes how one island and its inhabitants were blasted out of existence and how colonial society was turned upside-down in a cataclysm whose echoes are still felt to this day.

The Map That Changed the World

The Map That Changed the World

The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester
HarperCollins | 2001 | ISBN: 0061978272 | EPUB | 3.24MB

In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell -- clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world -- making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Determined to expose what he realized was the landscape's secret fourth dimension, Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more. Finally, in 1831, this quiet genius -- now known as the father of modern geology -- received the Geological Society of London's highest award and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension.

The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.

Unforgiving Years

Unforgiving Years

Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge
NYRB Classics | 2008 | ISBN: 1590174275 | EPUB | 558.75KB

Unforgiving Years is a thrilling and terrifying journey into the disastrous, blazing core of the twentieth century. Victor Serge’s final novel, here translated into English for the first time, is at once the most ambitious, bleakest, and most lyrical of this neglected major writer’s works.

The book is arranged into four sections, like the panels of an immense mural or the movements of a symphony. In the first, D, a lifelong revolutionary who has broken with the Communist Party and expects retribution at any moment, flees through the streets of prewar Paris, haunted by the ghosts of his past and his fears for the future. Part two finds D’s friend and fellow revolutionary Daria caught up in the defense of a besieged Leningrad, the horrors and heroism of which Serge brings to terrifying life. The third part is set in Germany. On a dangerous assignment behind the lines, Daria finds herself in a city destroyed by both Allied bombing and Nazism, where the populace now confronts the prospect of total defeat. The novel closes in Mexico, in a remote and prodigiously beautiful part of the New World where D and Daria are reunited, hoping that they may at last have escaped the grim reckonings of their modern era.

A visionary novel, a political novel, a novel of adventure, passion, and ideas, of despair and, against all odds, of hope, Unforgiving Years is a rediscovered masterpiece by the author of The Case of Comrade Tulayev.

Revolution In Danger: Wrightings from Russia 1919-1921

Revolution In Danger: Wrightings from Russia 1919-1921

Revolution In Danger: Wrightings from Russia 1919-1921 by Victor Serge
Haymarket Books | 2011 | ISBN: 1608460835 | EPUB | 309.91KB

Upon his arrival in Petrograd in 1919, Victor Serge—the great chronicler of the Russian Revolution—found a society nearly shattered by civil war. In these essays he sketches a portrait of the darkest hours faced by the fledgling revolution, defending the new regime against its critics.

Witness to the German Revolution

Witness to the German Revolution

Witness to the German Revolution by Victor Serge
Haymarket Books | 2011 | ISBN: 1608460851 | EPUB | 552.6KB
"Serge searingly evokes the epochal hopes and shattering setbacks of a generation of leftists."—Bookforum

Following in the wake of the carnage reaped across Europe by world war, German workers undertook a struggle that would prove decisive in determining the course of the entire twentieth century. In 1923 the fledgling Comintern dispatched Victor Serge, with his peerless journalistic skills, to Berlin to expedite the German Revolution and write these moving reports from the battlefront.