Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler
HarperPerennial | 2006 | ISBN: 0060935723 | EPUB | 2.77MB

Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.

X-Treme Latin

X-Treme Latin

X-Treme Latin: All the Latin You Need to Know for Survival in the 21st Century by Henry Beard
Penguin Group | 2004 | ISBN: 110121662X | EPUB | 867.92KB

In staff meetings and singles bars, on freeways and fairways, there are aggravating people lurking everywhere these days. But bestselling humorist Henry Beard has the perfect comeback for all prickly situations, offering a slew of quips your nemesis won't soon forget . . . or even understand.

Beard's gift is his ability to make fun of popular culture and the current zeitgeist. In X-Treme Latin he provides Latin with an attitude, an indispensable phrasebook that taps the secret power of Latin to deliver, in total safety, hundreds of impeccable put-downs, comebacks, and wisecracks. Within its pages you will learn how to insult or fire coworkers; blame corporate scandals on someone else; cheer at a World Wrestling Entertainment match; talk back to your computer, TV, or Game Boy; deal with your road rage; evade threatening situations; snowboard in style; talk like Tony Soprano; and much more.

With dozens more zingers for quashing e-mail pranks, psyching out your golf opponent, giving backhanded compliments, and evading awkward questions, X-Treme Latin is destined for magnus popularity and will have readers cheering, “Celebremus!”

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin by Nicholas Ostler
Walker & Company | 2007 | ISBN: 080271515X | EPUB | 9.25MB

The Latin language has been the one constant in the cultural history of the West for more than two millennia. It has been the foundation of our education, and has defined the way in which we express our thoughts, our faith, and our knowledge of how the world functions. Indeed, the language has proved far more enduring than its empire in Rome, its use echoing on in the law codes of half the world, in the terminologies of modern science, and until forty years ago, in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is the unseen substance that makes us members of the Western world.

In his erudite and entertaining "biography," Nicholas Ostler shows how and why (against the odds, through conquest from within and without) Latin survived and thrived even as its creators and other languages failed. Originally the dialect of Rome and its surrounds, Latin supplanted its neighbors to become, by conquest and settlement, the language of all Italy, and then of Western Europe and North Africa. Its cultural creep toward Greek in the East led it to copy and then ally with it in an unprecedented, but invincible combination: Greek theory and Roman practice, delivered through Latin, became the foundation of Western civilization. Christianity, a latecomer, then joined the alliance, and became vital to Latin's survival when the empire collapsed. Spoken Latin re-emerged as a host of new languages, from Portuguese and Spanish in the west to Romanian in the east. But a knowledge of Latin lived on as the common code of European thought, and inspired the founders of Europe's New World in the Americas. E pluribus unum.

Illuminating the extravaganza of its past, Nicholas Ostler makes clear that, in a thousand echoes, Latin lives on, ad infinitum.

A Natural History of Latin

A Natural History of Latin

A Natural History of Latin by Tore Janson
Oxford University Press | 2005 | ISBN: 0199263094 | PDF | 2.91MB

No known language, including English, has achieved the success and longevity of Latin. French, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian are among its direct descendants, and countless Latin words and phrases comprise the cornerstone of English itself. A Natural History or Latin tells its history from its origins over 2500 years ago to the present. Brilliantly conceived, popularizing but authoritative, and written with the fluency and light touch that have made Tore Janson's Speak so attractive to tens of thousands of readers, it is a masterpiece of adroit synthesis.

The book commences with a description of the origins, emergence, and dominance of Latin over the Classical period. Then follows an account of its survival through the Middle Ages into modern times, with emphasis on its evolution throughout the history, culture, and religious practices of Medieval Europe. By judicious quotation of Latin words, phrases, and texts the author illustrates how the written and spoken language changed, region by region over time; how it met resistance from native languages; and how therefore some entire languages disappeared. Janson offers a vivid demonstration of the value of Latin as a means of access to a vibrant past and a persuasive argument for its continued worth.

A concise and easy-to-understand introduction to Latin grammar and a list of the most frequent Latin words, including 500 idioms and phrases still in common use, complement the work.

Computer: A History Of The Information Machine [2nd Edition]

Computer: A History Of The Information Machine [2nd Edition]

Computer: A History Of The Information Machine [Second Edition] by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray
Westview Press | 2004 | ISBN: 0813342643 | PDF | 23.64MB

Computer whizzes and novices alike will find a wealth of new information and insights in this colorful, engrossing history of computers. The authors trace an unbroken line from the typewriters, adding and record-keeping machines of 1890s America to today's business-oriented computers. They tell how English mathematician Charles Babbage's failed dream of building his "Analytical Engine," a full-scale calculator, in the 1830s was realized a century later when IBM built the first fully automatic computing machine at Harvard University. Next came ENIAC, a behemoth with 18,000 vacuum tubes, and its successor, EDVAC, both developed at the University of Pennsylvania. EDVAC, built under the tutelage of cybernetics pioneer John von Neumann, became the blueprint for the modern electronic computer. The book closes with a selective look at innovations such as real-time systems, e-mail, programming languages, software, time-sharing computers and the World Wide Web.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist [Audiobook]

The Reluctant Fundamentalist [Audiobook]

The Reluctant Fundamentalist [Audiobook] by Mohsin Hamid
BBC Audiobooks America | 2007 | ISBN: 1602831777 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 42 mins | 259.14MB

Mohsin Hamid's first novel, Moth Smoke, dealt with the confluence of personal and political themes, and his second, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, revisits that territory in the person of Changez, a young Pakistani. Told in a single monologue, the narrative never flags. Changez is by turns naive, sinister, unctuous, mildly threatening, overbearing, insulting, angry, resentful, and sad. He tells his story to a nameless, mysterious American who sits across from him at a Lahore cafe. Educated at Princeton, employed by a first-rate valuation firm, Changez was living the American dream, earning more money than he thought possible, caught up in the New York social scene and in love with a beautiful, wealthy, damaged girl. The romance is negligible; Erica is emotionally unavailable, endlessly grieving the death of her lifelong friend and boyfriend, Chris.

Changez is in Manila on 9/11 and sees the towers come down on TV. He tells the American, "...I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased... I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees..." When he returns to New York, there is a palpable change in attitudes toward him, starting right at immigration. His name and his face render him suspect.

Ongoing trouble between Pakistan and India urge Changez to return home for a visit, despite his parents' advice to stay where he is. While there, he realizes that he has changed in a way that shames him. "I was struck at first by how shabby our house appeared... I was saddened to find it in such a state... This was where I came from... and it smacked of lowliness." He exorcises that feeling and once again appreciates his home for its "unmistakable personality and idiosyncratic charm." While at home, he lets his beard grow. Advised to shave it, even by his mother, he refuses. It will be his line in the sand, his statement about who he is. His company sends him to Chile for another business valuation; his mind filled with the troubles in Pakistan and the U.S. involvement with India that keeps the pressure on. His work and the money he earns have been overtaken by resentment of the United States and all it stands for.

Hamid's prose is filled with insight, subtly delivered: "I felt my age: an almost childlike twenty-two, rather than that permanent middle-age that attaches itself to the man who lives alone and supports himself by wearing a suit in a city not of his birth." In telling of the janissaries, Christian boys captured by Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in the Muslim Army, his Chilean host tells him: "The janissaries were always taken in childhood. It would have been far more difficult to devote themselves to their adopted empire, you see, if they had memories they could not forget." Changez cannot forget, and Hamid makes the reader understand that--and all that follows.



EPUB

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire

The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire by Neil Irwin
Penguin Group | 2013 | ISBN: 1594204624 | EPUB | 8.88MB

When the first fissures became visible to the naked eye in August 2007, suddenly the most powerful men in the world were three men who were never elected to public office. They were the leaders of the world’s three most important central banks: Ben Bernanke of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Mervyn King of the Bank of England, and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank. Over the next five years, they and their fellow central bankers deployed trillions of dollars, pounds and euros to contain the waves of panic that threatened to bring down the global financial system, moving on a scale and with a speed that had no precedent.

Neil Irwin’s The Alchemists is a gripping account of the most intense exercise in economic crisis management we’ve ever seen, a poker game in which the stakes have run into the trillions of dollars. The book begins in, of all places, Stockholm, Sweden, in the seventeenth century, where central banking had its rocky birth, and then progresses through a brisk but dazzling tutorial on how the central banker came to exert such vast influence over our world, from its troubled beginnings to the Age of Greenspan, bringing the reader into the present with a marvelous handle on how these figures and institutions became what they are - the possessors of extraordinary power over our collective fate. What they chose to do with those powers is the heart of the story Irwin tells.

Irwin covered the Fed and other central banks from the earliest days of the crisis for the Washington Post, enjoying privileged access to leading central bankers and people close to them. His account, based on reporting that took place in 27 cities in 11 countries, is the holistic, truly global story of the central bankers’ role in the world economy we have been missing. It is a landmark reckoning with central bankers and their power, with the great financial crisis of our time, and with the history of the relationship between capitalism and the state. Definitive, revelatory, and riveting, The Alchemists shows us where money comes from- and where it may well be going.