Double Entry

Double Entry

Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World - and How Their Invention Could Make Or Break the Planet by Jane Gleeson-White
Allen & Unwin | 2011 | ISBN: 1741767938 | EPUB | 1.41MB

A fascinating exploration of how a simple system used to measure and record wealth spawned a cultural revolution. Prepare to have your idea of accounting changed forever.

Our world is governed by the numbers generated by the accounts of nations and corporations. We depend on these numbers to direct our governments, our institutions, corporations, economies, societies. But where did they come from and how did they become so powerful?

The answer to these questions begins in the Dark Ages in northern Italy with a new form of record keeping perfected by the merchants of Venice called double-entry bookkeeping. The story of double entry stars a Renaissance monk, mathematician, magician and constant companion of Leonardo da Vinci, his 27-page treatise for merchants, renaissances in art and mathematics, and revolutions in communications and industry.

The rise and metamorphosis of double-entry bookkeeping is one of history's best-kept secrets and one of its most important untold tales. Why? First, because it made possible the wealth and cultural efflorescence that was the Renaissance. Second, because it enabled capitalism to flourish, so changing the economies of the world forever. Third, because over several centuries it grew into a sophisticated system of numbers which in the twenty-first century governs the global economy. And finally, and most significantly, because today bookkeeping has the potential to make or break the planet.

As Guardian journalist Jonathan Watts wrote in October 2010: 'So it has come to this. The global biodiversity crisis is so severe that brilliant scientists, political leaders, eco-warriors, and religious gurus can no longer save us from ourselves. The military are powerless. But there may be one last hope for life on earth: accountants.'

The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America

The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America

The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America
Penguin | 1965 | ISBN: 1101493712 | EPUB | 2.85MB

One of the most arresting stories in the history of exploration, these two Icelandic sagas tell of the discovery of America by Norsemen five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Together, the direct, forceful twelfth-century Grænlendinga Saga and the more polished and scholarly Eirik's Saga, written some hundred years later, recount how Eirik the Red founded an Icelandic colony in Greenland and how his son, Leif the Lucky, later sailed south to explore - and if possible exploit - the chance discovery by Bjarni Herjolfsson of an unknown land. In spare and vigorous prose they record Europe's first surprise glimpse of the eastern shores of the North American continent and the natives who inhabited them.

Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories

Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories

Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories
Penguin | 1971 | ISBN: 110149204X | EPUB | 2.29MB

All seven stories in this volume exemplify the outstanding qualities of realistic fiction in medieval Iceland.

They date from the thirteenth century and fall into two distinct groups. Hrafnkel's Saga, Thorstein the Staff-Struck and Ale Hood are set in the pastoral society of native Iceland, the homely touch and stark realism giving the incidents a strong feeling of immediacy. The remaining four, Hreidar the Fool, Halldor Snorrason, Audun's Story and Ivar's Story, were written without first-hand knowledge of Scandinavia, and describe the adventures of Icelandic poets and peasants at the royal courts of Norway and Denmark. Pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics give these stories their distinctive character and cohesion.

Gisli Sursson's Saga and The Saga of the People of Eyri

Gisli Sursson's Saga and The Saga of the People of Eyri

Gisli Sursson's Saga and The Saga of the People of Eyri
Penguin | 2003 | ISBN: 1101493976 | EPUB | 3.8MB

Based on oral tales that originated from historical events in tenth-century Iceland, these two sagas follow the fate of a powerful Viking family across two generations, from its early Norwegian ancestry to fierce battles to defend its honor. Gisli Sursson’s Saga is a story of forbidden love and divided loyalties, in which the heroic Gisli vows to avenge the murder of his “sworn brother” and sets in motion a chain of events that culminate in tragedy. The Saga of the People of Eyri continues the story with Snorri, a cunning leader of the next generation, who uses his intellect to restore social order. Blending gripping narrative, humor, the supernatural, and shrewd observation, these tales reveal the richness of the saga tradition and present a vivid record of a society moving from ruthless individualism to a Christian ethic of reconciliation and order.

Includes a new Introduction, suggestions for further reading, explanatory notes, and plot summaries. Contains a reference section with maps, chronology, glossary, and an index of characters, as well as notes on the historical, social, and political makeup of Viking-controlled Iceland.

The Saga of Grettir the Strong

The Saga of Grettir the Strong

The Saga of Grettir the Strong
Penguin | 2005 | ISBN: 0141937920 | EPUB | 5.69MB

Composed at the end of the fourteenth century by an unknown author, The Saga of Grettir the Strong is one of the last great Icelandic sagas. With a mesmerizing combination of pagan ideals and Christian faith, it relates the tale of Grettir, an eleventh-century warrior struggling to hold on to the values of a heroic age as they are eclipsed by Christianity and a more pastoral lifestyle. Unable to settle into a community of farmers, Grettir becomes the aggressive scourge of both honest men and evil monsters—until, following a battle with the sinister ghost Glam, he is cursed to endure a life of tortured loneliness away from civilization, fighting giants, trolls, and berserks.

Includes genealogical tables, maps, suggestions for further reading, and a note on the translation.

The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale

The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale

The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale
Penguin | 2008 | ISBN: 1101491094 | EPUB | 2.8MB

One of the best -loved works of Icelandic literature, this stirring tale of war and romance follows three generations of strong women, wise leaders, and hotheaded warriors. The only saga rumored to have been written by a woman, it tells of the centuries predating 1245, when magic rites and sorcery clashed with the spread of Christianity throughout a rapidly changing Viking world.

A Dawn Like Thunder The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight

A Dawn Like Thunder The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight

A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight by Robert J Mrazek
Back Bay Books | 2009 | ISBN: 0316056537 | EPUB | 2.58MB

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal. These 35 American men--many flying outmoded aircraft--changed the course of history, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.

Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle, betrayal, and sacrifice, A DAWN LIKE THUNDER is destined to become a classic in the literature of World War II.

A Question of Loyalty

A Question of Loyalty

A Question of Loyalty by Douglas C Waller
HarperPerennial | 2005 | ISBN: 0060505486 | EPUB | 1.01MB

A Question of Loyalty plunges into the seven-week Washington trial of Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell, the hero of the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and the man who proved in 1921 that planes could sink a battleship. In 1925 Mitchell was frustrated by the slow pace of aviation development, and he sparked a political firestorm, accusing the army and navy high commands -- and by inference the president -- of treason and criminal negligence in the way they conducted national defense. He was put on trial for insubordination in a spectacular court-martial that became a national obsession during the Roaring Twenties.

Uncovering a trove of new letters, diaries, and confidential documents, Douglas Waller captures the drama of the trial and builds a rich and revealing biography of Mitchell.

At Leningrad's Gates

At Leningrad's Gates

At Leningrad's Gates: The Combat Memoirs of a Soldier with Army Group North by William Lubbeck
Casemate Publishers | 2010 | ISBN: 1935149377 | EPUB | 4.3MB

This is the remarkable story of a German soldier who fought throughout World War II, rising from conscript private to captain of a heavy weapons company on the Eastern Front.

William Lubbeck, age 19, was drafted into the Wehrmacht in August 1939. As a member of the 58th Infantry Division, he received his baptism of fire during the 1940 invasion of France. The following spring his division served on the left flank of Army Group North in Operation Barbarossa. After grueling marches amidst countless Russian bodies, burnt-out vehicles, and a great number of cheering Baltic civilians, Lubbeck's unit entered the outskirts of Leningrad, making the deepest penetration of any German formation. The Germans suffered hardships the following winter as they fought both Russian counterattacks and the brutal cold.

The 58th Division was thrown back and forth across the front of Army Group North, from Novgorod to Demyansk, at one point fighting back Russian attacks on the ice of Lake Ilmen. A soldier who preferred to be close to the action, Lubbeck served as forward observer for his company, dueling with Russian snipers, partisans and full-scale assaults alike. His worries were not confined to his own safety, however, as news arrived of disasters in Germany, including the destruction of Hamburg where his girlfriend served as an Army nurse.

In September 1943, Lubbeck earned the Iron Cross and was assigned to officers' training school in Dresden. By the time he returned to Russia, Army Group North was in full-scale retreat. Now commanding his former heavy weapons company, Lubbeck alternated sharp counterattacks with inexorable withdrawal to Memel on the Baltic. In April 1945 his company was nearly obliterated, but in the last scramble from East Prussia, he was able to evacuate on a newly minted German destroyer.

After his release from British captivity, Lubbeck immigrated to the United States where he raised a successful family. With the assistance of David B. Hurt, he has drawn on his wartime notes and letters, Soldatbuch, regimental history and personal memories to recount his frontline experience, including rare firsthand accounts of both triumph and disaster.

Combat Officer: A Memoir of War in the South Pacific

Combat Officer: A Memoir of War in the South Pacific

Combat Officer: A Memoir of War in the South Pacific by Charles Walker
Presidio Press | 2004 | ISBN: 0345463854 | EPUB | 1.67MB

TO HELL AND BACK

For the U.S., Guadalcanal was a bloody seven-month struggle under brutal conditions against crack Japanese troops deeply entrenched and determined to fight to the death. For Charles Walker, this horrific jungle battle–one that claimed the lives of 1,600 Americans and more than 23,000 Japanese–was just the beginning. On the eve of battle, 2nd Lt. Walker was ordered back to the States for medical reasons. But there was a war to be won, and he had no intention of missing it.

In this devastatingly powerful memoir, Walker captures the conflict in all its horror, chaos, and heroism: the hunger, the heat, the deafening explosions and stench of death, the constant fear broken by moments of sheer terror. This is the gripping tale of the brave young American men who fought with tremendous courage in appalling conditions, willing to sacrifice everything for their country.

Descartes' Bones

Descartes' Bones

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict between Faith and Reason by Russell Shorto
Doubleday | 2008 | ISBN: 038551753X | EPUB | 1.98MB

On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, the Frenchman René Descartes, the most influential and controversial thinker of his time, was buried after a cold and lonely death far from home. Sixteen years later, the French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France.

Why would this devoutly Catholic official care so much about the remains of a philosopher who was hounded from country to country on charges of atheism? Why would Descartes' bones take such a strange, serpentine path over the next 350 years—a path intersecting some of the grandest events imaginable: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, the mind-body problem, the conflict between faith and reason? Their story involves people from all walks of life—Louis XIV, a Swedish casino operator, poets and playwrights, philosophers and physicists, as these people used the bones in scientific studies, stole them, sold them, revered them as relics, fought over them, passed them surreptitiously from hand to hand.

The answer lies in Descartes’ famous phrase: Cogito ergo sum—"I think, therefore I am." In his deceptively simple seventy-eight-page essay, Discourse on the Method, this small, vain, vindictive, peripatetic, ambitious Frenchman destroyed 2,000 years of received wisdom and laid the foundations of the modern world. At the root of Descartes’ “method” was skepticism: "What can I know for certain?" Like-minded thinkers around Europe passionately embraced the book--the method was applied to medicine, nature, politics, and society. The notion that one could find truth in facts that could be proved, and not in reliance on tradition and the Church's teachings, would become a turning point in human history.

In an age of faith, what Descartes was proposing seemed like heresy. Yet Descartes himself was a good Catholic, who was spurred to write his incendiary book for the most personal of reasons: He had devoted himself to medicine and the study of nature, but when his beloved daughter died at the age of five, he took his ideas deeper. To understand the natural world one needed to question everything. Thus the scientific method was created and religion overthrown. If the natural world could be understood, knowledge could be advanced, and others might not suffer as his child did.

The great controversy Descartes ignited continues to our era: where Islamic terrorists spurn the modern world and pine for a culture based on unquestioning faith; where scientists write bestsellers that passionately make the case for atheism; where others struggle to find a balance between faith and reason.

Descartes’ Bones is a historical detective story about the creation of the modern mind, with twists and turns leading up to the present day—to the science museum in Paris where the philosopher’s skull now resides and to the church a few kilometers away where, not long ago, a philosopher-priest said a mass for his bones.

Science & Islam: A History

Science & Islam: A History

Science & Islam: A History by Ehsan Masood
Icon Books | 2006 | ISBN: 1848310811 | EPUB | 477.22KB

History's least-known yet most fertile period in science was the extraordinary Islamic scientific revolution between 700 and 1400. The story of the scientists and inventors is woven into a journey through the Islamic empires of the middle ages that enabled this revolution, and its contribution to science in Western culture.

Pardon My Spanish

Pardon My Spanish

Pardon My Spanish: The Mildly Informal to the Downright Offensive by Joaquin Blasco
Chambers Harrap | 2009 | ISBN: 0550105379 | PDF | 899.89KB

Is that a dictionary in your pocket or are you just glad to see me? Unabashed, unprudish and just plain rude, Pardon my Spanish! contains the sauciest Spanish and English in a little book you can take anywhere. More than just a list of 'rude words', it shows exactly how to use idioms and slang to spice up your conversations. With Pardon My Spanish! in your pocket, you can be sure your holidays on the Costas will never be the same again.

Glittering Images

Glittering Images

Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars by Camille Paglia
Pantheon | 2012 | ISBN: 0375424601 | EPUB | 37.58MB

From the best-selling author of Sexual Personae and Break, Blow, Burn and one of our most acclaimed cultural critics, here is an enthralling journey through Western art’s defining moments, from the ancient Egyptian tomb of Queen Nefertari to George Lucas’s volcano planet duel in Revenge of the Sith.

America’s premier intellectual provocateur returns to the subject that brought her fame, the great themes of Western art. Passionately argued, brilliantly written, and filled with Paglia’s trademark audacity, Glittering Images takes us on a tour through more than two dozen seminal images, some famous and some obscure or unknown—paintings, sculptures, architectural styles, performance pieces, and digital art that have defined and transformed our visual world. She combines close analysis with background information that situates each artist and image within its historical context—from the stone idols of the Cyclades to an elegant French rococo interior to Jackson Pollock’s abstract Green Silver to Renée Cox’s daring performance piece Chillin’ with Liberty. And in a stunning conclusion, she declares that the avant-garde tradition is dead and that digital pioneer George Lucas is the world’s greatest living artist. Written with energy, erudition, and wit, Glittering Images is destined to change the way we think about our high-tech visual environment.

Forged in War Roosevelt, Churchill, And The Second World War

Forged in War Roosevelt, Churchill, And The Second World War

Forged in War: Roosevelt, Churchill, And The Second World War by Warren F Kimball
HarperPerennial | 1998 | ISBN: 0688161022 | EPUB | 2.84MB

World War II created the union between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, molding it from start to finish, while the partnership itself shaped many of the most significant moments of the war and the peace that followed. Their connection was truly forged in war.

Roosevelt and Churchill continue to fascinate both the World War II generation and those who have grown up in the world formed by that struggle. Here is an inside look at their relationship and the politics, strategy, and diplomacy of the British-American alliance. Warren F. Kimball's lively analysis of these larger-than-life figures shows how they were at the same time realists and idealists, consistent and inconsistent, calculating and impulsive. The result is an unforgettable narrative.

The General: Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved

The General: Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved

The General: Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved by Jonathan Fenby
Skyhorse Publishing | 2012 | ISBN: 1616086009 | EPUB | 1.01MB

The gripping narrative of the founder of the French Fifth Republic.

No leader of modern times was more uniquely patriotic than Charles de Gaulle. As founder and first president of the Fifth Republic, General de Gaulle saw himself as “carrying France on [his] shoulders.”

In his twenties, he fought for France in the trenches and at the epic battle of Verdun. In the 1930s, he waged a lonely battle to enable France to better resist Hitler’s Germany. Thereafter, he twice rescued the nation from defeat and decline by extraordinary displays of leadership, political acumen, daring, and bluff, heading off civil war and leaving a heritage adopted by his successors of right and left.

Le Général, as he became known from 1940 on, appeared as if he was carved from a single monumental block, but was in fact extremely complex, a man with deep personal feelings and recurrent mood swings, devoted to his family and often seeking reassurance from those around him. This is a magisterial, sweeping biography of one of the great leaders of the twentieth century and of the country with which he so identified himself. Written with terrific verve, narrative skill, and rigorous detail, the first major work on de Gaulle in fifteen years brings alive as never before the private man as well as the public leader through exhaustive research and analysis.

France On the Brink A Great Civilization Faces a New Century

France On the Brink A Great Civilization Faces a New Century

France On the Brink: A Great Civilization Faces a New Century by Jonathan Fenby
Arcade Publishing | 2011 | ISBN: 161145154X | EPUB | 546.36KB

The one book that explains what has gone wrong with one of the most admired and influential countries in the world.

Jonathan Fenby's "France on the Brink" is the best overview in English of modern-day France, surpassing even Richard Bernstein's "Fragile Glory" (1990), which also is excellent. As a confirmed Francophile, I found that the book skimps a little on some of the qualities that make the country a great place to visit -- such as its food and wine, its efficient public transportation, its superb museums and historic preservation, the warmth of its people (outside Paris at least!), and the beauty and sheer diversity of its landscapes. On the other hand, the book provides a wealth of detail on some of the country's major ills, above all its increasing xenophobia, uncompetitive industries and corrupt, shoddy politics.

It is in the political arena that Fenby is really in his element, and he has hardly a kind word for any of the men and women who have run France since de Gaulle, most of whom he seems to have met face-to-face as a reporter. In Fenby's portrait, payoffs, favoritism, cronyism, sexual intrigue and even violence seem to be business as usual among France's political class, most of whom seem to be interested more in status and luxurious living than in making the country a better place. Fenby's key point is that it is the politicians rather than their usual scapegoats -- immigrants, foreign influences, or the uniting of Europe -- who deserve most of the blame for pushing the country to "the brink"; yet Fenby is hopeful that France will survive and continue to be both a cultural beacon and a significant player in world affairs.

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions: Farnsworth's Charge, South Cavalry Field, and the Battle of Fairfield, July 3, 1863 by Eric Wittenberg
Savas Beatie | 2011 | ISBN: 1611210704 | EPUB | 2.55MB

In 1998, Eric J. Wittenberg's Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions won the Bachelder-Coddington Award for the year's best new work interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg. This fully revised edition adds extensive new research, interpretations, and conclusions that substantially add to our understanding of these important mounted actions.

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions examines in great detail three of the campaign's central cavalry episodes. The first is the heroic but doomed legendary charge of Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth's cavalry brigade against Confederate infantry and artillery. The attack was launched on July 3 after the repulse of Pickett's Charge, and the high cost included the life of General Farnsworth. The second examines Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt's tenacious fight on South Cavalry Field, including a fresh look at the opportunity to roll up the Army of Northern Virginia's flank on the afternoon of July 3. Finally, Wittenberg studies the short but especially brutal cavalry fight at Fairfield, Pennsylvania. The strategic Confederate victory kept the Hagerstown Road open for Lee's retreat back to Virginia, nearly destroyed the 6th U. S. Cavalry, and resulted in the award of two Medals of Honor.

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions: Farnsworth's Charge, South Cavalry Field, and the Battle of Fairfield, July 3, 1863 boasts several worthy additions: nearly 15,000 words of new material based upon recently uncovered archival sources, including a new appendix (co-authored with J. David Petruzzi) that resolves the dispute about where Farnsworth's Charge and Merritt's fight occurred; a walking and driving tour complete with GPS coordinates; and updated photographs to reflect the modern appearance of the Gettysburg battlefield, which now better reflects its 1863 appearance.

Imperial Crossroads: The Great Powers and the Persian Gulf

Imperial Crossroads: The Great Powers and the Persian Gulf

Imperial Crossroads: The Great Powers and the Persian Gulf edited by Jeffrey R Macris, Saul Kelly
US Naval Institute Press | 2012 | ISBN: 1591144892 | EPUB | 2.34MB

At the junction of three great continents and oceanic trade routes that link the cities of the world, the Persian Gulf, like a magnet, has pulled powerful nations into its waters and adjacent lands for centuries. This study examines the contested history for control of the Gulf and its resources, concentrating on Portugal, Holland, Britain, and the United States, and concludes with a look at possible future involvement by India and China.

The contributors' thorough analysis reveals several consistent broad interests, including the fact that the great powers entered the region mostly to further trade, to maintain order there, and in the case of the Europeans, to establish a military presence that would protect colonial possessions farther east. Such a historical perspective of the West's involvement provides readers with a new understanding of this vital region.

Remembering Pittsburgh

Remembering Pittsburgh

Remembering Pittsburgh (PA): An 'Eyewitness' History of the Steel City by Len Barcousky
The History Press | 2010 | ISBN: 1609490088 | EPUB | 5.26MB

The doomed Whiskey Rebellion, the Great Fire that destroyed a third of the city in 1845 and Lincoln's speech urging residents to shun talk of secession--all have made the pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and its predecessors. Since 1786, the paper has covered local events, and reporter Len Barcousky is a part of this long tradition. This collection of his "Eyewitness" columns draws on next-day stories to tell the history of the city, from President Coolidge's almost-silent visit in 1927 to a report on the first woman hanged in Allegheny County. Join Barcousky as he vividly recounts the compelling history of the Steel City.

Leonardo's Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World

Leonardo's Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World

Leonardo's Legacy: How Da Vinci Reimagined the World by Stefan Klein
Da Capo Press | 2011 | ISBN: 0306820080 | EPUB | 8.84MB

Revered today as perhaps the greatest of Renaissance painters, Leonardo da Vinci was a scientist at heart. The artist who created the Mona Lisa also designed functioning robots and digital computers, constructed flying machines, and built the first heart valve. His intuitive, ingenious approach-a new mode of thinking-inked highly diverse areas of inquiry in startlingly original ways, ushering in a whole new era.

In Leonardo’s Legacy, award-winning science journalist Stefan Klein provides "an illuminating new look at Leonardo’s unique genius" (Publishers Weekly), which delves into the brilliant, complex mind of this quintessential Renaissance man.

Snow-Storm in August

Snow-Storm in August

Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 by Jefferson Morley
Nan A Talese | 2012 | ISBN: 0385533373 | 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.

Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan

Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan

Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate by Richard Bowers
National Geographic Society | 2012 | ISBN: 1426309155 | EPUB | 6.63MB

This book tells a group of intertwining stories that culminate in the historic 1947 collision of the Superman Radio Show and the Ku Klux Klan. It is the story of the two Cleveland teenagers who invented Superman as a defender of the little guy and the New York wheeler-dealers who made him a major media force. It is the story Ku Klux Klan's development from a club to a huge money-making machine powered by the powers of fear and hate and of the folklorist who--along with many other activists-- took on the Klan by wielding the power of words. Above all, it tells the story of Superman himself--a modern mythical hero and an embodiment of the cultural reality of his times--from the Great Depression to the present.

The Age of Gold

The Age of Gold

The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream by H W Brands
Doubleday | 2002 | ISBN: 0385502168 | EPUB | 4.27MB

THEY WENT WEST TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES AND IN THE BARGAIN THEY CHANGED THE WORLD. THIS IS THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE GOLD RUSH.

When gold was first discovered on the American River above Sutter's Fort in January 1848, California was sparsely populated frontier territory not yet ceded to the United States from Mexixo. The discovery triggered a massive influx as hundreds of thousands of people scrambled to California in search of riches, braving dangerous journeys across the Pacific, around Cape Horn, and through the Isthmus of Panama, as well as across America's vast, unsettled wilderness. Cities sprang up overnight, in response to the demand for supplies and services of all kinds. By 1850, California had become a state -- the fastest journey to statehood in U.S. history. It had also become a symbol of what America stood for and of where it was going.

In The Age of Gold, H. W. Brands explores the far-reaching implications of this pivotal point in U.S. history, weaving the politics of the times with the gripping stories of individuals that displays both the best and the worse of the American character. He discusses the national issues that exploded around the ratification of California's statehood, hastening the clouds that would lead to the Civil War. He tells the stories of the great fortunes made by such memorable figures as John and Jessie Fremont, Leland Stanford and George Hearst -- and of great fortunes lost by hundreds now forgotten by history. And he reveals the profound effect of the Gold Rush on the way Americans viewed their destinies, as the Puritan ethic of hard work and the gradual accumulation of worldly riches gave way to the notion of getting rich quickly.

The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944 by Michael Neiberg
Basic Books | 2012 | ISBN: 0465023991 | EPUB | 2.7MB

As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance. Other jewels of Europe-sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino-were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them. But Paris endured, thanks to a fractious cast of characters, from Resistance cells to Free French operatives to an unlikely assortment of diplomats, Allied generals, and governmental officials. Their efforts, and those of the German forces fighting to maintain control of the city, would shape the course of the battle for Europe and color popular memory of the conflict for generations to come.

In The Blood of Free Men, celebrated historian Michael Neiberg deftly tracks the forces vying for Paris, providing a revealing new look at the city’s dramatic and triumphant resistance against the Nazis. The salvation of Paris was not a foregone conclusion, Neiberg shows, and the liberation was a chaotic operation that could have easily ended in the city’s ruin. The Allies were intent on bypassing Paris so as to strike the heart of the Third Reich in Germany, and the French themselves were deeply divided; feuding political cells fought for control of the Resistance within Paris, as did Charles de Gaulle and his Free French Forces outside the city. Although many of Paris’s citizens initially chose a tenuous stability over outright resistance to the German occupation, they were forced to act when the approaching fighting pushed the city to the brink of starvation. In a desperate bid to save their city, ordinary Parisians took to the streets, and through a combination of valiant fighting, shrewd diplomacy, and last-minute aid from the Allies, managed to save the City of Lights.

A groundbreaking, arresting narrative of the liberation, The Blood of Free Men tells the full story of one of the war’s defining moments, when a tortured city and its inhabitants narrowly survived the deadliest conflict in human history.

The Dream and the Tomb: A History of the Crusades

The Dream and the Tomb: A History of the Crusades

The Dream and the Tomb: A History of the Crusades by Robert Payne
Cooper Square Press | 2000 | ISBN: 0815410867 | EPUB | 4.58MB

This is a comprehensive account of the eight religious wars between the Christian West and the Muslim East that dominated the Middle Ages. Calling themselves "pilgrims of Christ," thousands of Europeans from all stations in life undertook the harsh and bloody quest to reclaim Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Christ's tomb for Christendom.

Robert Payne brings to life every step of the Crusaders' thousand-mile journey: the deprivation; the desperate, rapacious, and brutal raids for food and supplies; the epic battles for Antioch, Jerusalem, and Acre; the barbarous treatment of captives; and the quarrelling European princes who vied for power and wealth in the Near East. An epic tale of the glorious and the base, of unshakable faith and unspeakable atrocities, The Dream and the Tomb captures not only the events but the very essence of the Crusades.

The French and Indian War Deciding the Fate of North America

The French and Indian War Deciding the Fate of North America

The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America by Walter R Borneman
HarperPerennial | 2007 | ISBN: 0060761857 | EPUB | 4.1MB

In the summer of 1754, deep in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania, a very young George Washington suffered his first military defeat, and a centuries-old feud between Great Britain and France was rekindled. The war that followed would be fought across virgin territories, from Nova Scotia to the forks of the Ohio River, and it would ultimately decide the fate of the entire North American continent—not just for Great Britain and France but also for the Spanish and Native American populations.

Noted historian Walter R. Borneman brings to life an epic struggle for a continent—what Samuel Eliot Morison called "truly the first world war"—and emphasizes how the seeds of discord sown in its aftermath would take root and blossom into the American Revolution.

The History Buff's Guide to World War II

The History Buff's Guide to World War II

The History Buff's Guide to World War II: Top Ten Rankings of the Best, Worst, Largest, and Most Lethal People and Events of World War II by Thomas R Flagel
Cumberland House | 2012 | ISBN: 140227145X | EPUB | 5.8MB
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id you know that neither Hitler nor Stalin graduated from high school? Or that the Allies often employed teenage girls as spies? In The History Buff's Guide to World War II, Thomas R. Flagel leaves no stone unturned as he presents dozens of top ten lists that examine the politics, leaders, and battles of the Second World War. From Hitler to Stalin, battleground to home front, Flagel's compelling analysis and attention to often-overlooked information ensures a surprise on every page for even the most dedicated World War II buff. This fresh, impossible-to-put-down book puts a new perspective on one of the most heavily researched wars of all time and is sue to enthrall expert and amateur historians alike.

Do You Think You Know World War II?

  • Top Ten Speeches
  • Top Ten Causes of Military Deaths
  • Top Ten Most Popular Myths and Misconceptions
  • Top Ten Forms of Resistance
  • Top Ten Military Blunders