Basic Economics A Citizen's Guide to the Economy [Audiobook]

Basic Economics A Citizen's Guide to the Economy [Audiobook]

Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy [Audiobook] by Thomas Sowell
Blackstone Audio | 2006 | ISBN: 0786167351 | M4B | 18 hrs 31 mins | 394.34MB

From one of America's best-known economists, the one book anyone who wants to understand the economy needs to read.

At last there is a citizen's guide to the economy, written by an economist who uses plain English. No jargon, no graphs, no equations. Yet this is a comprehensive survey, covering everything from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of payments.

The purpose of Basic Economics is to enable people without any economic training to understand the way the economy functions-not only the American economy, but other economies around the world.

Some of the clearest demonstrations of the role of prices, for example, come from economies in which prices are not allowed to function-with consequences which show just what those functions are and what happens when they are lacking.

In the end, this is not a book from which to cram facts, but one from which to gain an understanding of the economy that will enable you to form your own conclusions on the basis of tested principles, rather than on the basis of emotion or rhetoric. That is the goal of the journey, but you should also enjoy the trip along the way.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
Melville House | 2011 | ISBN: 1933633867 | EPUB | 2.57MB

Before there was money, there was debt.

Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it.

Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.

Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong. We are still fighting these battles today without knowing it.

Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history—as well as how it has defined human history, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.

In Pursuit of the Unknown

In Pursuit of the Unknown

In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World by Ian Stewart
Basic Books | 2012 | ISBN: 0465029736 | EPUB | 3.86MB

In In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical equations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress. We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances, says Stewart,- but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human history.

Equations are modeled on the patterns we find in the world around us, says Stewart, and it is through equations that we are able to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world. Stewart locates the origins of each equation he presents-from Pythagoras’s Theorem to Newton’s Law of Gravity to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity-within a particular historical moment, elucidating the development of mathematical and philosophical thought necessary for each equation’s discovery. None of these equations emerged in a vacuum, Stewart shows; each drew, in some way, on past equations and the thinking of the day. In turn, all of these equations paved the way for major developments in mathematics, science, philosophy, and technology. Without logarithms (invented in the early 17th century by John Napier and improved by Henry Briggs), scientists would not have been able to calculate the movement of the planets, and mathematicians would not have been able to develop fractal geometry. The Wave Equation is one of the most important equations in physics, and is crucial for engineers studying the vibrations in vehicles and the response of buildings to earthquakes. And the equation at the heart of Information Theory, devised by Claude Shannon, is the basis of digital communication today.

An approachable and informative guide to the equations upon which nearly every aspect of scientific and mathematical understanding depends, In Pursuit of the Unknown is also a reminder that equations have profoundly influenced our thinking and continue to make possible many of the advances that we take for granted.

The Mathematics of Life

The Mathematics of Life

The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart
Basic Books | 2011 | ISBN: 0465022383 | EPUB | 2.53MB

Biologists have long dismissed mathematics as being unable to meaningfully contribute to our understanding of living beings. Within the past ten years, however, mathematicians have proven that they hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of our world--and ourselves.

In The Mathematics of Life, Ian Stewart provides a fascinating overview of the vital but little-recognized role mathematics has played in pulling back the curtain on the hidden complexities of the natural world--and how its contribution will be even more vital in the years ahead. In his characteristically clear and entertaining fashion, Stewart explains how mathematicians and biologists have come to work together on some of the most difficult scientific problems that the human race has ever tackled, including the nature and origin of life itself.

Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures

Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures

Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures by Ian Stewart
Basic Books | 2010 | ISBN: 0465017754 | EPUB | 3.04MB

Opening another drawer in his Cabinet of Curiosities, renowned mathematics professor Ian Stewart presents a new medley of games, paradoxes, and riddles in Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures. With wit and aplomb, Stewart mingles casual puzzles with grander forays into ancient and modern mathematical thought.

Amongst a host of arcane and astonishing facts about every kind of number from irrational and imaginary to complex and cuneiform, we learn:

  • How to organize chaos
  • How matter balances anti-matter
  • How to turn a sphere inside out (without creasing it)
  • How to calculate pi by observing the stars
  • …and why you can't comb a hairy ball.

Along the way Stewart offers the reader tantalizing glimpses of the mathematics underlying life and the universe. Mind-stretching, enlightening, and endlessly amusing, Professor Stewart's Hoard of Mathematical Treasures will stimulate, delight, and enthrall.

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets by Peter Ackroyd
Nan A Talese | 2011 | ISBN: 0385531516 | EPUB | 16.19MB

London Under is a wonderful, atmospheric, imaginative, oozing short study of everything that goes on under London, from original springs and streams and Roman amphitheaters to Victorian sewers, gang hideouts, and modern tube stations. The depths below are hot, warmer than the surface, and this book tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures, real and fictional, that dwell in darkness—rats and eels, monsters and ghosts. When the Underground’s Metropolitan Line was opened in 1864, the guards asked for permission to grow beards to protect themselves against the sulfurous fumes, and named their engines after tyrants—Czar, Kaiser, Mogul—and even Pluto, god of the underworld.

To go under London is to penetrate history, to enter a hidden world. As Ackroyd puts it, “The vastness of the space, a second earth, elicits sensations of wonder and of terror. It partakes of myth and dream in equal measure.”

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd
Anchor | 2004 | ISBN: 0307424650 | EPUB | 5.85MB

With his characteristic enthusiasm and erudition, Peter Ackroyd follows his acclaimed London: The Biography with an inspired look into the heart and the history of the English imagination. To tell the story of its evolution, Ackroyd ranges across literature and painting, philosophy and science, architecture and music, from Anglo-Saxon times to the twentieth-century.

Considering what is most English about artists as diverse as Chaucer, William Hogarth, Benjamin Britten and Viriginia Woolf, Ackroyd identifies a host of sometimes contradictory elements: pragmatism and whimsy, blood and gore, a passion for the past, a delight in eccentricity, and much more. A brilliant, engaging and often surprising narrative, Albion reveals the manifold nature of English genius.

Venice: Pure City

Venice: Pure City

Venice: Pure City by Peter Ackroyd
Nan A Talese | 2010 | ISBN: 0385531524 | EPUB | 11.86MB

Peter Ackroyd at his most magical and magisterial—a glittering, evocative, fascinating, story-filled portrait of Venice, the ultimate city.

The Venetians’ language and way of thinking set them aside from the rest of Italy. They are an island people, linked to the sea and to the tides rather than the land. This latest work from the incomparable Peter Ackroyd, like a magic gondola, transports its readers to that sensual and surprising city.

His account embraces facts and romance, conjuring up the atmosphere of the canals, bridges, and sunlit squares, the churches and the markets, the festivals and the flowers. He leads us through the history of the city, from the first refugees arriving in the mists of the lagoon in the fourth century to the rise of a great mercantile state and its trading empire, the wars against Napoleon, and the tourist invasions of today. Everything is here: the merchants on the Rialto and the Jews in the ghetto; the glassblowers of Murano; the carnival masks and the sad colonies of lepers; the artists—Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo. And the ever-present undertone of Venice’s shadowy corners and dead ends, of prisons and punishment, wars and sieges, scandals and seductions.

Ackroyd’s Venice: Pure City is a study of Venice much in the vein of his lauded London: The Biography. Like London, Venice is a fluid, writerly exploration organized around a number of themes. History and context are provided in each chapter, but Ackroyd’s portrait of Venice is a particularly novelistic one, both beautiful and rapturous. We could have no better guide—reading Venice: Pure City is, in itself, a glorious journey to the ultimate city.

Thames: The Biography

Thames: The Biography

Thames: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
Knopf Doubleday | 2008 | ISBN: 0385528477 | EPUB | 7.59MB

In this perfect companion to London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd once again delves into the hidden byways of history, describing the river’s endless allure in a journey overflowing with characters, incidents, and wry observations.

Thames: The Biography meanders gloriously, rather like the river itself. In short, lively chapters Ackroyd writes about connections between the Thames and such historical figures as Julius Caesar and Henry the VIII, and offers memorable portraits of the ordinary men and women who depend upon the river for their livelihoods. He visits all the towns and villages along the river from Oxfordshire to London and describes the magnificent royal residences, as well as the bridges and docks, locks and weirs, found along its 215-mile run. The Thames as a source of artistic inspiration comes brilliantly to life as Ackroyd invokes Chaucer, Shakespeare, Turner, Shelley, and other writers, poets, and painters who have been enchanted by its many moods and colors.

In his signature entertaining and informative manner, Ackroyd allows the reader to dip into chapters in his own spirit, or to follow the Thames from source to sea.

Illustrated with maps and photographs, THAMES is a vivid, highly original mosaic of life by and on the water.

The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling

The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling

The Canterbury Tales: A Retelling by Peter Ackroyd
Penguin | 2009 | ISBN: 1101155639 | EPUB | 1.26MB

A fresh, modern prose retelling captures the vigorous and bawdy spirit of Chaucer's classic.

Renowned critic, historian, and biographer Peter Ackroyd takes on what is arguably the greatest poem in the English language and presents the work in a prose vernacular that makes it accessible to modern readers while preserving the spirit of the original.

A mirror for medieval society, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales concerns a motley group of pilgrims who meet in a London inn on their way to Canterbury and agree to take part in a storytelling competition. Ranging from comedy to tragedy, pious sermon to ribald farce, heroic adventure to passionate romance, the tales serve not only as a summation of the sensibility of the Middle Ages but as a representation of the drama of the human condition.

Ackroyd's contemporary prose emphasizes the humanity of these characters-as well as explicitly rendering the naughty good humor of the writer whose comedy influenced Fielding and Dickens-yet still masterfully evokes the euphonies and harmonies of Chaucer's verse. This retelling is sure to delight modern readers and bring a new appreciation to those already familiar with the classic tales.

The Lambs of London: A Novel

The Lambs of London: A Novel

The Lambs of London: A Novel by Peter Ackroyd
Knopf Doubleday | 2006 | ISBN: 030738702X | EPUB | 261.51KB

A tour de force in the tradition of Hawksmoor and Chatterton, Peter Ackroyd’s new novel of deceit and betrayal is a witty reimagining of a great nineteenth-century Shakespeare forgery.

Charles and Mary Lamb, who will achieve lasting fame as the authors of Tales from Shakespeare for children, are still living at their parents’ home. Charles, an aspiring writer bored stiff by his job as a clerk at the East India Company, enjoys a drink or three too many each night at the local pub. His sister, Mary, is trapped in domesticity, caring for her ailing, dotty father and her maddening mother. The siblings’ enchantment with Shakespeare provides a much-needed escape, and they delight in reading and quoting the great bard. When William Ireland, an ambitious young antiquarian bookseller, comes into their lives claiming to possess a “lost” Shakespearean play, the Lambs can barely contain their excitement. As word of the amazing find spreads, scholars and actors alike beat a path to Ireland’s door, and soon all of London is eagerly anticipating opening night of a star-studded production of the play.

The perfect, lighthearted follow-up to Ackroyd’s magnificent biography of Shakespeare, The Lambs of London transforms the real-life literary hoax into an ingenious, intriguing drama that will keep readers guessing right to the end.

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel by Peter Ackroyd
Knopf Doubleday | 2009 | ISBN: 0385531494 | EPUB | 2.09MB

Peter Ackroyd’s imagination dazzles in this brilliant novel written in the voice of Victor Frankenstein himself. Mary Shelley and Shelley are characters in the novel.

It was at Oxford that I first met Bysshe. We arrived at our college on the same day; confusing to a mere foreigner, it is called University College. I had seen him from my window and had been struck by his auburn locks.

The long-haired poet — “Mad Shelley” — and the serious-minded student from Switzerland spark each other’s interest in the new philosophy of science which is overturning long-cherished beliefs. Perhaps there is no God. In which case, where is the divine spark, the soul? Can it be found in the human brain? The heart? The eyes?

Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn near Oxford. The coroner’s office provides corpses — but they have often died of violence and drowning; they are damaged and putrifying. Victor moves his coils and jars and electrical fluids to a deserted pottery and from there, makes contact with the Doomesday Men — the resurrectionists.

Victor finds that perfect specimens are hard to come by . . . until that Thames-side dawn when, wrapped in his greatcoat, he hears the splashing of oars and sees in the half-light the approaching boat where, slung into the stern, is the corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water. . . .

London: The Biography

London: The Biography

London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
Knopf | 2009 | ISBN: 1400075513 | EPUB | 10.83MB

Here are two thousand years of London's history and folklore, its chroniclers and criminals and plain citizens, its food and drink and countless pleasures. Blackfriar's and Charing Cross, Paddington and Bedlam. Westminster Abbey and St. Martin in the Fields. Cockneys and vagrants. Immigrants, peasants, and punks. The Plague, the Great Fire, the Blitz. London at all times of day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In well-chosen anecdotes, keen observations, and the words of hundreds of its citizens and visitors, Ackroyd reveals the ingenuity and grit and vitality of London. Through a unique thematic tour of the physical city and its inimitable soul, the city comes alive.

Waffen-SS Encyclopedia

Waffen-SS Encyclopedia

Waffen-SS Encyclopedia by Marc Rikmenspoel
The Aberjona Press | 2004 | ISBN: 0971765081 | PDF | 36.79MB

World War II spawned some of the most famous - and infamous - fighting organizations the world has ever known. None was more feared by its battlefield foes or more hated by political enemies of the Nazi regime than the Waffen-SS. Six decades after the last SS unit capitulated or was annihilated, the facts about many aspects of this organization are still shrouded in legend and half-truth. Loathed by many as a criminal organization, yet admired by some for the esprit, resolve, and valor of its component units and individuals, the Waffen-SS was unarguably a highly-complex, multi-faceted phenomenon, unique among the military organizations of the world.

Marc Rikmenspoel, author of Soldiers of the Waffen-SS: Many Nations, One Motto, has crafted the ultimate reference for those trying to understand the intensely controversial and complicated nature of the Waffen-SS. A comprehensive overview that will be useful to historians, buffs, wargamers, and re-enactors alike, no matter what your predisposition to the Waffen-SS, you will learn a great deal from this book. The book includes a concise history of every one of the major fighting formations of the Waffen-SS (those designated as "divisions").

Sections include:

  • Formations
  • Structure of Divisions
  • Germans
  • Germanics
  • Non-Germans and Non-Germanics
  • Leading Personalities
  • Weapons
  • Misconceptions and Controversies
  • Weapons Tables

Hitler's Crusade

Hitler's Crusade

Hitler's Crusade: Bolshevism and the Myth of the International Jewish Conspiracy by Lorna Waddington
Tauris Academic Studies | 2007 | ISBN: 1845115562 | PDF | 2.49MB

In the early hours of 22 June 1941 units of the Wehrmacht began to pour into the Soviet Union. They were embarking on an undertaking long planned by Adolf Hitler. Since the 1920s National Socialist doctrine had largely been determined by an intense hatred and hostility towards not only the Jews but also towards Bolshevism. This ideology, Lorna Waddington argues, had been identified by Hitler and his acolytes as the political poison concocted by the Jews in an attempt to impose, as he saw it, their own tyrannical domination across the globe.

Hitler's Crusade provides a detailed analysis of this crucial dimension to Hitler's Weltanschauung, exploring the little-known activities of the Antikomintern, as well as offering fresh interpretations and new insights on well-documented events. Hitler's Crusade provides the definitive analysis of Hitler's attitude towards Bolshevism, the destruction of which he was still describing in early 1945 as the raison d'être of the Nazi movement.