The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge

The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge

The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge [Revised and Expanded Edition] by Paul Preston
2007 | EPUB | 697.49KB

The definitive work on the Spanish Civil War, a classic of modern historical scholarship and a masterful narrative.

Paul Preston is the world's foremost historian of Spain. This surging history recounts the struggles of the 1936 war in which more than 3,000 Americans took up arms. Tracking the emergence of Francisco Franco's brutal (and, ultimately, extraordinarily durable) fascist dictatorship, Preston assesses the ways in which the Spanish Civil War presaged the Second World War that ensued so rapidly after it.

The attempted social revolution in Spain awakened progressive hopes during the Depression, but the conflict quickly escalated into a new and horrific form of warfare. As Preston shows, the unprecedented levels of brutality were burned into the American consciousness as never before by the revolutionary war reporting of Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Herbert Matthews, Vincent Sheean, Louis Fischer, and many others. Completely revised, including previously unseen material on Franco's treatment of women in wartime prisons, The Spanish Civil War is a classic work on this pivotal epoch in the twentieth century.

Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster

Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster

Gone at 3:17: The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M Brown
2012 | EPUB | 3.26MB

At 3:17 p.m. on March 18, 1937, a natural gas leak beneath the London Junior-Senior High School in the oil boomtown of New London, Texas, created a lethal mixture of gas and oxygen in the school's basement. The odorless, colorless gas went undetected until the flip of an electrical switch triggered a colossal blast. The two-story school, one of the nation's most modern, disintegrated, burying everyone under a vast pile of rubble and debris. More than 300 students and teachers were killed, and hundreds more were injured.

As the seventy-fifth anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, it remains the deadliest school disaster in U.S. history. Few, however, know of this historic tragedy, and no book, until now, has chronicled the explosion, its cause, its victims, and the aftermath.

Gone at 3:17 is a true story of what can happen when school officials make bad decisions. To save money on heating the school building, the trustees had authorized workers to tap into a pipeline carrying "waste" natural gas produced by a gasoline refinery. The explosion led to laws that now require gas companies to add the familiar pungent odor. The knowledge that the tragedy could have been prevented added immeasurably to the heartbreak experienced by the survivors and the victims' families. The town would never be the same.

Using interviews, testimony from survivors, and archival newspaper files, Gone at 3:17 puts readers inside the shop class to witness the spark that ignited the gas. Many of those interviewed during twenty years of research are no longer living, but their acts of heroism and stories of survival live on in this meticulously documented and extensively illustrated book.

Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia

Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia

Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by Joseph Pistone
2006 | EPUB | 1.44MB

Posing as jewel thief "Donnie Brasco," FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone carried out the most audacious sting operation ever, working undercover for six years to infiltrate the flamboyant community of mafia soldiers, "connected guys," captains, and godfathers.

Now his unforgettable eyewitness account brings to pulsating life the entire world of wiseguys—their code of honor and their treachery, their wives, girlfriends and whores, their lavish spending and dirty dealings.

With the drama and suspense of a high-tension thriller, Joseph Pistone reveals every incredible aspect of the jealously guarded world he penetrated...and draws a chilling picture of what the mafia is, does, and means in America today.

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies by David Thomson
2012 | EPUB | 956.61KB

The Big Screen tells the enthralling story of the movies: their rise and spread, their remarkable influence over us, and the technology that made the screen—smaller now, but ever more ubiquitous—as important as the images it carries.

The Big Screen is not another history of the movies. Rather, it is a wide-ranging narrative about the movies and their signal role in modern life. At first, film was a waking dream, the gift of appearance delivered for a nickel to huddled masses sitting in the dark. But soon, and abruptly, movies began transforming our societies and our perceptions of the world. The celebrated film authority David Thomson takes us around the globe, through time, and across many media—moving from Eadweard Muybridge to Steve Jobs, from Sunrise to I Love Lucy, from John Wayne to George Clooney, from television commercials to streaming video—to tell the complex, gripping, paradoxical story of the movies. He tracks the ways we were initially enchanted by movies as imitations of life—the stories, the stars, the look—and how we allowed them to show us how to live. At the same time, movies, offering a seductive escape from everyday reality and its responsibilities, have made it possible for us to evade life altogether. The entranced audience has become a model for powerless and anxiety-ridden citizens trying to pursue happiness and dodge terror by sitting quietly in a dark room.

Does the big screen take us out into the world, or merely mesmerize us? That is Thomson’s question in this grand adventure of a book. Books about the movies are often aimed at film buffs, but this passionate and provocative feat of storytelling is vital to anyone trying to make sense of the age of screens—the age that, more than ever, we are living in.

The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin

The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin

The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin by Adam Hochschild
2003 | EPUB | 34.66MB

Hochschild spent the first half of 1991 in the former Soviet Union interviewing gulag survivors, former camp guards and members of the secret police, writers, artists, human rights activists, neo-Stalinists and ordinary citizens about their opinions of Stalin. This haunting and powerful report reveals that the dictator's legacy persists in widespread denial, amnesia, numbness and pervasive fear among people whose lives were scarred by mass arrests, killings and Stalin's spy network.

Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost) traveled to Kolyma, site of the deadliest camps; he interviewed Valentin Berezhkov, who was Stalin's English-language interpreter and privy to the regime's inner circle; he visited Moscow's KGB archives and was given files of American victims of the gulag. Comparing Stalin's purges to the witch craze of early medieval Europe, Hochschild attributes this "self-inflicted genocide" partly to Russians' age-old habits of scapegoating and passive obedience.

Fugue State

Fugue State

Fugue State by Brian Evenson
2009 | EPUB | 4.26MB

Illustrated by graphic novelist Zak Sally, Brian Evenson’s hallucinatory and darkly comic stories of paranoia, pursuit, sensory deprivation, amnesia, and retribution rattle the cages of the psyche and peer into the gaping moral chasm that opens when we become estranged from ourselves. From sadistic bosses with secret fears to a woman trapped in a mime’s imaginary box, and from a post-apocalyptic misidentified Messiah to unwitting portraitists of the dead, the mind-bending world of this modern-day Edgar Allan Poe exposes the horror contained within our daily lives.

The Art of Doing

The Art of Doing

The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well by Camille Sweeney, Josh Gosfield
2013 | MOBI | 3.95MB

What really separates the best from the rest?

We all know that it takes hard work, dedication, and the occasional dose of luck for someone to make it to the top of their chosen field. Yet, we also suspect that it takes a little something more—but what?

The Art of Doing asks today’s most successful celebrities, businessmen, and iconoclastic achievers, “How do you succeed at what you do?” Illuminating, surprising, and profoundly inspiring, interviewees include:

  • 30 Rock Star Alec Baldwin
  • Baseball Legend Yogi Berra
  • Actor Laura Linney
  • Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh
  • Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan
  • Opera Diva Anna Netrebko
  • Indy Champ Helio Castroneves
  • Foodie God David Chang
  • High Wire Artist Philippe Petit
  • Funk Master George Clinton
  • Bestselling Writer Steven Dubner
  • Tennis Icon Martina Navratilova
  • Puzzle Master Will Shortz
  • Style Guru Simon Doonan
  • Indie Rock Band OKGo
  • Jeopardy! Champ Ken Jennings
  • Business Guru Guy Kawasaki
  • Photojournalist Lynsey Addario
  • Blogger Mark Fraunfelder
  • Alien Hunter Jill Tarter
  • Visionary Vintner Randall Grahm
  • Startup King Bill Gross
  • Activist Connie Rice
  • Erotic Filmmaker Candida Royalle
  • Tabloid Editor Barry Levine
  • Country Musician Ray Benson
  • Hostage Negotiator Gary Noesner
  • Online Love Experts OKCupid
  • Inspiring Teacher Erin Gruwell
  • Neuroscientist Richard Restak
  • Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal
  • Master Hunter Chad Schearer
  • Broadway Producer Marc Routh
  • Reputation Fixer Mike Sitrick
  • Ballpark Designer Joe Spear
  • Circumnavigator Jessica Watson

The Blind Man's Garden

The Blind Man's Garden

The Blind Man's Garden by Nadeem Aslam
2013 | EPUB | 374.09KB

The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family’s losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can’t have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan—not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians—Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo’s and Mikal’s good intentions cannot keep them out of harm’s way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind—their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal’s beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo’s wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother—we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man’s Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me

Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me

Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me by Javier Marias
2013 | EPUB | 2.12MB

Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me is a riveting novel of infidelity and a man trapped by a terrible secret.

Marta has only just met Victor when she invites him to dinner at her Madrid apartment while her husband is away on business. When her two-year-old son finally falls asleep, Marta and Victor retreat to the bedroom. Undressing, she feels suddenly ill; and in his arms, inexplicably, she dies. What should Victor do? Remove the compromising tape from the answering machine? Leave food for the child for breakfast? These are just his first steps, but he soon takes matters further; unable to bear the shadows and the unknowing, Victor plunges into dark waters. And Javier Marías, Europe's master of secrets, of what lies reveal and truth may conceal, is on sure ground in this profound, quirky, and marvelous novel.

Porn King: The Autobiography of John C Holmes

Porn King: The Autobiography of John C Holmes

Porn King: The Autobiography of John C Holmes
2012 | EPUB | 5.41MB

In the world of adult cinema, one name stands out above all others: John Holmes. For nearly 20 years, from 1967 to 1987, Holmes reigned as the undisputed king of X-rated films, having appeared in a record 2,200 plus productions, from the landmark Johnny Wadd movies (one of which became the first adult motion picture to gross over $1 million) to the legendary Insatiable with Marilyn Chambers.

To a legion of fans world-wide, he was known as "Mr. Big." To industry insiders, he was "Mr. Nice Guy." Yet for all of his fame and notoriety, Holmes remained an intensely private person and a mystery man. - that is, until now. In a startlingly frank autobiography, PORN KING was written in large part prior to his death (with new material added by his widow, Laurie). Holmes tells the story of his incredible life.

This is not a typical celebrity story, filled with bright lights and glamor, giant sound stages and movie moguls. It is, instead, a rare portrait of a young man drawn into an unknown Hollywood, a secret, forbidden Hollywood, and the parallels between his astounding career and the sexual revolution in American films. Holmes knew his subject better than anyone. Holmes candidly tells of a lucrative but often harrowing "other" life as a male prostitute to the rich and famous, a shattering fall into drugs and his side of the grisly Wonderland Murders and his desperate cross-country right afterwards.

From start to finish, in this newly revised edition, complete with never-before-seen candid photos of Holmes in his private life, PORN KING is a sizzling, sensuous, fast-paced story laced with controversy. If ever there was an untold story, PORN KING is it.

Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History

Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History

Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History by Nick Barratt
2009 | EPUB | 4.49MB

On April 15, 1912, the HMS Titanic sank, killing 1,517 people and leaving the rest clinging to debris in the frozen waters of the North Atlantic awaiting rescue. Here, historian Nick Barratt tells the ship’s full story, starting from its original conception and design by owners and naval architects at the White Star Line through its construction at the shipyards in Belfast. Lost Voices From the Titanic offers tales of incredible folly and unimaginable courage—the aspirations of the owners, the efforts of the crew, and of course, the eyewitness accounts from those lucky enough to survive.

In narrating the definitive history of the famous ship, Barratt draws from never before seen archive material and eyewitness accounts by participants at every stage of the Titanic’s life. These long-lost voices bring new life to those heartbreaking moments on the fateful Sunday night when families were torn apart and the legend of the Titanic was cemented in our collective imagination.

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman: The Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Famous Train by Andrew Roden
2011 | EPUB | 506.26KB

Think of the Golden Age of Steam and one train leaps to mind above all others: the Flying Scotsman, Nigel Gresley's elegant masterpiece of a locomotive, which broke the world speed record in 1934 and has enthralled millions with her beauty and power. And, uniquely, her postwar career has been even more varied and exciting than her early triumphs.

Now Andrew Roden tells the Scotsman's remarkable story, from her construction and the glory days between the wars through the decline of steam and her rollercoaster fortunes in the subsequent years: nearly abandoned on a tour of the United States after the money ran out, crossing the Australian interior, put up for sale yet again when the company that owned her went bankrupt in 2003. A massive public campaign saved her for the nation, and she is currently being restored at the National Railway Museum, due to steam again in 2008.

Now, with the aid of numerous interviews with those involved with the Scotsman over the years, Roden brings alive her story, and those of all who have owned her and worked on her. Above all, he asks: why do grown men risk their life savings to own her? Why do thousands of people still line the trackside when she's due to race past? Just what is the eternal appeal of the Flying Scotsman?

South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-1917

South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-1917

South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-1917 by Ernest Henry Shackleton
2012 | EPUB | 465.8KB

When Sir Henry Ernest Shackleton was beaten to the South Pole in 1912, he decided to trek across the continent via the pole instead. Before his ship even reached the continent it was crushed in pack ice. Shackleton managed to bring his entire team home by his masterful leadership through a series of incredible events. He has become a cult figure and a role model for great leadership.

Did You Really Shoot the Television?: A Family Fable

Did You Really Shoot the Television?: A Family Fable

Did You Really Shoot the Television: A Family Fable by Max Hastings
2010 | EPUB | 424.72KB

The extraordinary story of the eccentric family of Britain's most outstanding military historian, Max Hastings.

The author is the son of broadcaster and adventurer Macdonald Hastings and journalist and gardening writer Anne Scott-James. One of his grandfathers was a literary editor while the other wrote plays and essays, and penned an enchanting memoir of his own Victorian childhood. His great-uncle was an African hunter who wrote poetry and became one of Max's heroes. The author tells a richly picaresque story, featuring guest appearances by a host of celebrities from Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad to John Betjeman and Osbert Lancaster, who became Anne Scott-James's third husband. 'All families are dysfunctional', Anne asserted impenitently to Max, but the Hastingses managed to be more dysfunctional than most. His father roamed the world for newspapers and as a presenter for BBC TV's legendary Tonight programme, while his mother edited ‘Harper's Bazaar’, became a famous columnist and wrote bestselling gardening books.

Here, the author brings together this remarkable cast of forebears, 'a tribe of eccentrics', as he himself characterises them. By turns moving, dramatic and comic, the book portrays Max's own childhood fraught with rows and explosions, in which the sudden death of a television set was only one highlight. His story will make a lot of people laugh and perhaps a few cry. It helps to explain why Max Hastings, whose family has produced more than eighty books over three generations, felt bound to follow their path of high adventure and popular journalism.

Color Me English: Reflections on Migration and Belonging

Color Me English: Reflections on Migration and Belonging

Color Me English: Reflections on Migration and Belonging by Caryl Phillips

An “arresting . . . bracing and affecting volume” (Booklist) that “brims with curiosity and cosmopolitanism” (Publishers Weekly), Color Me English was hailed in the Guardian as one of the best books of 2011 by Blake Morrison. This compilation of essays from award-winning author Caryl Phillps is “a polymorphous delight that always retains at its core the notion of identity: how it is constructed, how it is thrust upon us, how we can change it” (The Independent).

A bold reflection on race and culture across national boundaries, Color Me English includes touching stories from Phillips’s childhood in England; his years living and teaching in the United States during the turbulent times of 9/11; and his travels across Europe and Africa, where he engages with legendary writers James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Chinua Achebe, and Ha Jin. Featured on radio programs including The Leonard Lopate Show and The Diane Rehm Show and covered in Salon, the Huffington Post, and Essence, Color Me English is a stunning collection from Phillips, who “writes wonderfully crafted, deeply meditative treatises . . . [that are] always interesting and informative” (Quarterly Black Review).

The Great War 1914-1918 by Peter Hart

The Great War 1914-1918 by Peter Hart

The Great War 1914-1918 by Peter Hart
2013 | EPUB | 11.76MB

The Great War was the first truly global conflict, and it changed the course of world history. Empires fell, others were crippled and new contenders emerged. Economies crashed, and millions would be affected by the Depression that followed. Understanding The Great War is crucial to understanding the history of the twentieth century and the present day.In this magnum opus, critically-acclaimed historian Peter Hart examines the conflict in every arena around the world, in a history that combines cutting edge scholarship with vivid and unfamiliar eyewitness accounts from kings and generals, and ordinary soldiers.

He focuses in particular on explaining how technology and tactics developed during the conflict - and determined which battles were crucial to its outcome. Combatants from every corner of Earth joined the fray, but their voices are rarely heard together. This is a major history of the conflict whose 100th anniversary is fast approaching.

A Damn Close-Run Thing

A Damn Close-Run Thing

A Damn Close-Run Thing: A Brief History of the Falklands Conflict by Russell Phillips
2011 | EPUB | 215.84KB

In 1982, the average Briton didn't know the Falkland Islands existed, let alone their status as a disputed British territory just off the coast of Argentina. That changed when the Argentinians invaded the islands and overwhelmed the small defending force. Both nations claimed the islands were theirs, but now Argentina thought the British would give them up without a fight.

They were wrong.

Britain sent a task force into the South Atlantic to re-take the islands, and the short, intense war that followed was--in the words of Major-General Sir John Jeremy Moore--"a damn close-run thing."

This short history sums up the events leading up to the war and its major military actions including details of an Argentinian plan to sink a Royal Navy ship in Gibraltar harbour (foiled at the last minute by Spanish police) and an audacious British plan to land SAS soldiers in Argentina to destroy Exocet-carrying aircraft while they were still on the ground.

Dead Men Risen

Dead Men Risen

Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards and the Defining Story of Britain's War in Afghanistan by Toby Harnden
2011 | EPUB | 10.09MB

This is the gripping story of the men of the Welsh Guards and their bloody battle for survival in Afghanistan in 2009. Underequipped and overstretched, they found themselves in the most intense fighting the British had experienced in a generation. They were led into battle by Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, a passionate believer in the justness of the war who was deeply dismayed by the way it was being resourced and conducted. Thorneloe was killed by an IED during Operation Panther's Claw, the biggest operation mounted by the British in Helmand.

Dead Men Risen draws on secret documents written by Thorneloe, which raise questions from beyond the grave that will unnerve politicians and generals alike. The Welsh Guards also lost Major Sean Birchall, commanding officer of IX Company, and Lieutenant Mark Evison, a platoon commander whose candid personal diary was unnervingly prophetic. Not since the Second World War had a single British battalion lost officers at the three key levels of leadership.

Harnden transports the reader into the heart of a conflict in which a soldier has to be prepared to kill and die, to ward off paralysing fear and watch comrades perish in agony. Given unprecedented access to the Welsh Guards, Harnden conducted hundreds of interviews in Afghanistan, England and Wales. He weaves the experiences of the guardsmen and the loved ones they left behind into a seamless and unsparing narrative that sits alongside a piercing analysis of the political and military strategy. No other book about modern warfare succeeds on so many levels.

Hellfire

Hellfire

Hellfire by Ed Macy
2009 | EPUB | 1.2MB

The true story of one man's determination to master the world's deadliest helicopter and of a split-second decision that changed the face of modern warfare.

May 2006. Pilot Ed Macy arrives in Afghanistan with a contingent of the Apache AH Mk1. It's the first operational tour for the deadly machines and confidence in the cripplingly expensive attack helicopter is low. It doesn't help that for their first month 'in action', Ed and his mates see little more than the back-end of a Chinook. But when the men of 3 Para get pinned down during Op Mutay, reservations about the fearsome new attack helicopters are thrown out the window. In the blistering firefight that follows, Ed unleashes the first ever Hellfire missile in combat and, with one squeeze of the trigger, changes the war in Afghanistan forever. What had been rumoured as a GBP4.2 billion mistake quickly becomes the British Army's greatest asset, as the awe-inspiring Apache is dramatically redirected to fight the enemy head-on. In this gripping account of war on the ground and in the skies above the dusty wastes of Helmand, Ed recounts the intense months that followed: the steep learning curve, the relentless missions, the evolving enemy and the changing Rules of Engagement. As he comes to grip with the Apache, his early career as a paratrooper stands him in good stead, as does his operational baptism as a pilot. Both shaped his ability to fly, fight and survive during that fateful first Afghanistan tour against a cunning and ruthless enemy.

Ed will need every ounce of willpower and skill to succeed over the long, hot Helmand summer, as he and his colleagues find themselves on trial for their lives and for the reputation of a machine on which the British government has staked a fortune. The crucible of fire that awaited them would cement the fate of man and machine forever.

Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield

Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield

Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield by Max Hastings
2010 | EPUB | 668.8KB

An exhilarating and uplifting account of the lives of sixteen ‘warriors’ from the last three centuries, hand-picked for their bravery or extraordinary military experience by the eminent military historian, author and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sir Max Hastings.

Over the course of forty years of writing about war, Max Hastings has grown fascinated by outstanding deeds of derring-do on the battlefield (land, sea or air) – and by their practitioners. He takes as his examples sixteen people from different nationalities in modern history – including Napoleon’s ‘blessed fool’ Baron Marcellin de Marbot (the model for Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard); Sir Harry Smith, whose Spanish wife Juana became his military companion on many a campaign in the early 19th-century; Lieutenant John Chard, an unassuming engineer who became the hero of Rorke’s Drift in the Zulu wars; and Squadron Leader Guy Gibson, the ‘dam buster’ whose heroism in the skies of World War II earned him the nation's admiration, but few friends.

Every army, in order to prevail on the battlefield, needs a certain number of people capable of courage beyond the norm. In this book Max Hastings investigates what this norm might be – and how it has changed over the centuries. While celebrating feats of outstanding valour, he also throws a beady eye over the awarding of medals for gallantry – and why it is that so often the most successful warriors rarely make the grade as leaders of men.

A Million Bullets

A Million Bullets

A Million Bullets: The real story of the British Army in Afghanistan by James Fergusson
2008 | EPUB | 563.82KB

James Fergusson has set out to cover a number of tangential matters than combine to point out the lack of a coherence and reality to NATO policy in Afghanistan, especially as this is applied by the British Army.

He tends to travel in the backwaters. Instead of the much rated 3 Para he visits the Gurkhas and Royal Fusiliers from the 3 Para Battlegroup shut away in some unsupported location getting shot at by the Taleban and unable to perform their mission of reconstruction.

He examines the practical difficulties of a small force of military professionals trying to bring peace to an area by bringing war. The difficulties of persuading the locals that the corrupt and brutal police and Afghan Army are to be supported are laid out; as is the difficulty of making the police and army anything but corrupt when they are underpaid and undertrained. It's a real muddle.

By comparing the units supporting two helicopter types (Chinooks and Apaches) Fergusson can make valuable points about the under-funding of the effort and (perhaps more important) the underinvestment in keeping skilled personnel. Just having the best kit is no answer when service personnel are condemned to long tours and divorces. But looking at the armour kit used by the cavalry one can see that in some cases it is not only old but designed for different operational conditions (mostly the North German Plain).

Fergusson travels to meet and talk to the Taliban, he clearly respects them and feels they need to be part of the solution. This has been the view of a number of British officials but is apparently not acceptable in the eyes of the more manichean Americans.

Although at times Fergusson seems rather innocent it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he is on to something. There is only one thing worse than fighting a war with allies; and that is fighting one without any.

Storm Front

Storm Front

Storm Front by Rowland White
2011 | EPUB | 7.28MB

In early 1970, the Commanding Officer of 22 SAS flew into the strategically critical Sultanate of Oman on a covert intelligence mission. A Communist rebellion in the South threatened not only the stability of the Arabian Peninsula but more importantly the vital oil routes through the Persian Gulf. Within six months, the Regiment arrived in theatre to lead a fierce, secret war against the rebels.

While from a remote RAF airbase in the desert, an elite band of British pilots, flying difficult, dangerous missions in Strikemaster jets and Vietnam-era Huey helicopters, were scrambled alongside them.

For the British soldiers and airmen, it was to be no easy victory. The enemy were well supplied with weaponry and training from China and the Soviet Union, and despite confronting the largest assault force ever deployed by the SAS, many months later the rebels were still fighting back.

And at dawn on July 19th, 1972, a force of nearly 300 heavily armed, well-trained guerillas attacked the little fishing port of Mirbat without warning.Between them and glory stood a team of just nine SAS men.And the skill of the British fighter pilots.The scene was set for an epic encounter; a modern day Rorke's Drift.Their heroism would become SAS legend

.

Drawing on extensive interviews with participants from the SAS, the RAF and the Sultan's Armed Forces, most of whom have never spoken about their involvement before, as well as previously classified documents from both the UK and Oman, STORM FRONT weaves an unputdownable tale of intrigue, action, daring and astonishing bravery in the face of overwhelming odds.

Meander: East to West, Indirectly, Along a Turkish River

Meander: East to West, Indirectly, Along a Turkish River

Meander: East to West, Indirectly, Along a Turkish River by Jeremy Seal
2012 | EPUB | 5.43MB

The Meander is a river so famously winding that its name has long since come to signify digression, an approach author Jeremy Seal makes the most of while traveling the length of the river alone by canoe. A natural storyteller, Seal takes readers from the Meander’s source in the uplands of central Turkey to its mouth on the Aegean Sea, with as many historical, cultural, and personal asides as there are bends in the river.

In a rapidly industrializing Turkey, the river itself has been largely forgotten, but the Meander was the original conduit by which the cultures of Europe and Asia first met, then clashed. The city at the river’s mouth, Miletus, was home to the earliest Western philosophers, while the one at its source, Dinar, commanded the mountain pass that carried the earliest roads east. All manner of legendary adventurers, soldiers, and visionaries passed through: the Persian king Xerxes, Alexander the Great, Saint Paul, and Crusader kings, to name just a few.

In the course of his travels, Seal meets any number of people eager to share stories with a stranger. This rich mix creates a portrait of extraordinary insight and sweep at a time when Turkey is busy rediscovering her historic significance. An enchanting blend of past and present, at once epic and intimate, Meander is an atmospheric, incident-rich, and free-flowing portrayal of the essential meeting point between East and West.

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking [Audiobook]

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking [Audiobook]

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking [Audiobook] by Daniel C Dennett
2013 | M4B | 13 hrs 24 mins | 210.76MB

One of the world’s leading philosophers offers aspiring thinkers his personal trove of mind-stretching thought experiments.

Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers seventy-seven of Dennett’s most successful "imagination-extenders and focus-holders" meant to guide you through some of life’s most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. With patience and wit, Dennett deftly deploys his thinking tools to gain traction on these thorny issues while offering readers insight into how and why each tool was built.

Alongside well-known favorites like Occam’s Razor and reductio ad absurdum lie thrilling descriptions of Dennett’s own creations: Trapped in the Robot Control Room, Beware of the Prime Mammal, and The Wandering Two-Bitser. Ranging across disciplines as diverse as psychology, biology, computer science, and physics, Dennett’s tools embrace in equal measure light-heartedness and accessibility as they welcome uninitiated and seasoned readers alike. As always, his goal remains to teach you how to "think reliably and even gracefully about really hard questions."

A sweeping work of intellectual seriousness that’s also studded with impish delights, Intuition Pumps offers intrepid thinkers—in all walks of life—delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers.

Getting Naked: A Business Fable

Getting Naked: A Business Fable

Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty by Patrick Lencioni
2010 | MOBI | 312.28KB

Another extraordinary business fable from the New York Times bestselling author Patrick Lencioni.

  • Offers a key resource for gaining competitive advantage in tough times
  • Shows why the quality of vulnerability is so important in business
  • Includes ideas for inspiring customer and client loyalty
  • Written by the highly successful consultant and business writer Patrick Lencioni

This new book in the popular Lencioni series shows what it takes to gain a real and lasting competitive edge.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
2002 | EPUB | 367.04KB

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.

Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.

The Four Obsessions of Extraordinary Executive [Audiobook]

The Four Obsessions of Extraordinary Executive [Audiobook]

The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable [Audiobook] by Patrick Lencioni
2002 | MP3@160 kbps | 2 hrs 56 mins | 201.88MB

As CEO, most everything that Rich O'Connor did had something to do with at least one of the four disciplines on his famed "yellow sheet." Some of the firm's executives joked that he was obsessed with it.

Interestingly, only a handful of people actually knew what was on that sheet, and so it remained something of a mystery. Which was okay with Rich, because no one really needed to understand it, other than him. He certainly never suspected that it would become the blueprint of an employee's plan to destroy the firm. In this stunning follow-up to his best-selling book, The Five Temptations of a CEO, Patrick Lencioni offers up another leadership fable that's every bit as compelling and illuminating as its predecessor.

This time, Lencioni's focus is on a leader's crucial role in building a healthy organization - an often overlooked but essential element of business life that is the linchpin of sustained success.

Listeners are treated to a story of corporate intrigue as Rich O'Connor, fictional CEO of technology consulting company Telegraph Partners, faces a leadership challenge so great that it threatens to topple his company, his career and everything he holds true about what makes a leader.

In the story's telling, Lencioni deftly helps his readers understand the disarming simplicity and power of creating a healthy organization, and reveals four key disciplines that they can follow to achieve it.

Once again, Lencioni delivers an utterly gripping tale with a powerful and memorable message for all who strive to be extraordinary leaders.

The Five Temptations of a CEO A Leadership Fable [Audiobook]

The Five Temptations of a CEO A Leadership Fable [Audiobook]

The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable [Audiobook] by Patrick Lencioni
1998 | MP3@128 kbps | 1 hrs 31 mins | 83.56 MB

In this stunning business fiction debut, Patrick Lencioni delivers a powerful wake-up call to all of us who dare to lead.

Young, ambitious, and overwhelmed, Andrew O'Brien personifies a part of every leader as he wanders in search of the elusive silver bullet that will propel him to success. He happens upon an unlikely guide who distills the seemingly infinite list of leadership perils into the five temptations of a CEO. In an intense and often combative exchange, the two debate fundamental issues faced by all leaders, issues involving personal integrity and effectiveness in the ongoing struggle for success. While some of these topics have been bandied about in the leadership literature for years, here they actually begin to make sense.

Refreshingly original and utterly compelling, Andrew's story will serve as a timeless and potent reminder that success as a leader can come down to practicing a few simple behaviors, behaviors that are painfully difficult for each of us to master.

This Side of Paradise [Audiobook]

This Side of Paradise [Audiobook]

This Side of Paradise [Audiobook] by F Scott Fitzgerald
2006 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 41 mins | 439.82MB

First published in 1920, This Side of Paradise marks the beginning of the career of one of the greatest writers of the first half of the twentieth century. In this remarkable achievement, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays his unparalleled wit and keen social insight in his portrayal of college life through the struggles and doubts of Amory Blaine, a self-proclaimed genius with a love of knowledge and a penchant for the romantic. As Amory journeys into adulthood and leaves the aristocratic egotism of his youth behind, he becomes painfully aware of his lost innocence and the new sense of responsibility and regret that has taken its place.

Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for--and fear of--change.

The Lost Art of Mixing [Audiobook]

The Lost Art of Mixing [Audiobook]

The Lost Art of Mixing [Audiobook] by Erica Bauermeister
2013 | MP3@96 kbps | 8 hrs 09 mins | 335.66MB

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There's Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn't learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al's wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there's Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn't expect....

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind - and links that break - The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.

Attempting Normal [Audiobook]

Attempting Normal [Audiobook]

Attempting Normal [Audiobook] by Marc Maron
2013 | M4B + MOBI | 5 hrs 33 mins | 90.06MB

PEOPLE MAKE A MESS.

Marc Maron was a parent-scarred, angst-filled, drug-dabbling, love-starved comedian who dreamed of a simple life: a wife, a home, a sitcom to call his own. But instead he woke up one day to find himself fired from his radio job, surrounded by feral cats, and emotionally and financially annihilated by a divorce from a woman he thought he loved. He tried to heal his broken heart through whatever means he could find—minor-league hoarding, Viagra addiction, accidental racial profiling, cat fancying, flying airplanes with his mind—but nothing seemed to work. It was only when he was stripped down to nothing that he found his way back.

Attempting Normal is Marc Maron’s journey through the wilderness of his own mind, a collection of explosively, painfully, addictively funny stories that add up to a moving tale of hope and hopelessness, of failing, flailing, and finding a way. From standup to television to his outrageously popular podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Marc has always been a genuine original, a disarmingly honest, intensely smart, brutally open comic who finds wisdom in the strangest places. This is his story of the winding, potholed road from madness and obsession and failure to something like normal, the thrillingly comic journey of a sympathetic f***up who’s trying really hard to do better without making a bigger mess. Most of us will relate.

The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah

The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah

The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life as a Reluctant Messiah by Marc Maron
2001 | EPUB | 261.09KB

The Gospel according to Maron: a spiritual memoir of your average hyperintelligent, ultraneurotic, superhip Jewish standup comedian and seeker.

The Jerusalem Syndrome is a genuine psychological phenomenon that often strikes visitors to the Holy Land_the delusion that they are suddenly direct vessels for the voice of God. Marc Maron seems to have a distinctly American version of the Jerusalem Syndrome, which has led him on a lifelong quest for religious significance and revelation in the most unlikely of places.

Maron riffs on Beat phenomena with its sacred texts, established rituals, and prescribed pilgrimages. He spends some time exploring the dark side of things, as his obsessions with cocaine (known to Maron as “magic powder”), conspiracy theories, and famous self-destructive comedians convince him that the gates of hell open beneath Los Angeles. As his quest matures, he reveals the religious aspects of Corporate America, pontificating on the timeless beauty of the Coca-Cola logo and even taking a trip to the Philip Morris cigarette factory, where the workers puff their own products with a zealot-like fervor. The culmination of Maron’s Jerusalem Syndrome comes during his own tour of the Holy Land, where, with Sony camcorder glued to his eye socket, he comes face-to-face with his own ambiguous relationship to Judaism and reaches the brink of spiritual revelation or is it nervous breakdown?

Marc Maron has considerably adapted and expanded his praised one-man show to craft a genuine literary memoir. Whether he’s a genuine prophet or a neurotic mess, he’ll make you laugh as you question the meaning of life.

The Power of Body Language [Audiobook]

The Power of Body Language [Audiobook]

The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter [Audiobook] by Tonya Reiman
2011 | M4B | 9 hrs 22 mins | 152.94MB

The Power of Body Language is your practical, personal playbook for getting what you desire from others - and zoning in on what others are saying to you without words. In an insightful and engaging narrative peppered with fascinating facts, nationally renowned body-language expert Tonya Reiman illuminates the hidden meaning behind specific gestures, facial cues, stances, and body movements - giving you a life-changing, career-saving, troubleshooting skill you will never leave home without. Learn how to:

  • Decode what other people are thinking and feeling
  • Take control of your own secret signals
  • Gain trust - and detect untrustworthiness
  • Ace a job interview
  • Read a face to know a person's inner emotional state
  • Make a dazzling first impression
  • Exude confidence - even when you're not feeling it
  • Recognize if someone is sexually attracted to you
  • Understand why men and women "speak" a different language... and much more

America's body-language expert Tonya Reiman, who has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, the Today show, Access Hollywood, and Fast Money, shows you how to unlock THE Power of Body Language. Learn to use it. Learn to read others. And tap into success like never before.

Audition: A Memoir [Audiobook]

Audition: A Memoir [Audiobook]

Audition: A Memoir [Audiobook] by Barbara Walters
2008 | MP3@160 kbps + EPUB | 26 hrs 47 mins | 1.79GB
Young people starting out in television sometimes say to me: “I want to be you.” My stock reply is always: “Then you have to take the whole package.”

And now, at last, the most important woman in the history of television journalism gives us that “whole package,” in her inspiring and riveting memoir. After more than forty years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures, and celebrities of all kinds, Barbara Walters has turned her gift for examination onto herself to reveal the forces that shaped her extraordinary life.

Barbara Walters’s perception of the world was formed at a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour. It also made her aware of the ups and downs, the insecurities, and even the tragedies that can occur when someone is willing to take great risks, for Lou Walters didn’t just make several fortunes—he also lost them. Barbara learned early about the damage that such an existence can do to relationships—between husband and wife as well as between parent and child. Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so “different” and the guilt that still haunts her.

All of this—the financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love—played a large part in the choices she made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry. She was the first woman cohost of the Today show, the first female network news coanchor, the host and producer of countless top-rated Specials, the star of 20/20, and the creator and cohost of The View. She has not just interviewed the world’s most fascinating figures, she has become a part of their world. These are just a few of the names that play a key role in Barbara’s life, career, and book: Yasir Arafat, Warren Beatty, Menachem Begin, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Roy Cohn, the Dalai Lama, Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn, King Hussein, Angelina Jolie, Henry Kissinger, Monica Lewinsky, Richard Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Christopher Reeve, Anwar Sadat, John Wayne . . . the list goes on and on.

Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.

Skios: A Novel

Skios: A Novel

Skios: A Novel by Michael Frayn
2012 | MOBI | 349.88KB

The great master of farce turns to an exclusive island retreat for a comedy of mislaid identities, unruly passions, and demented, delicious disorder.

On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.

Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.

In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn, the farceur "by whom all others must be measured" (CurtainUp), tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.

My Father's Fortune: A Life [Audiobook]

My Father's Fortune: A Life [Audiobook]

My Father's Fortune: A Life [Audiobook] by Michael Frayn
2011 | MP3@160 kbps | 10 hrs 09 mins | 697.01MB

For the first time, Michael Frayn, the "master of what is seriously funny," (Anthony Burgess) turns his humor and narrative genius on his own family's story, to re-create the world that made him who he is.

Whether he is deliriously funny or philosophically profound, as a novelist and a playwright Michael Frayn has concerned himself with the ordinary life lived by erring humans, which is always more extraordinary than people think. In My Father's Fortune, Frayn reveals the original exemplar of the extraordinary-ordinary life: his father, Tom Frayn.

A clever lad, a roofing salesman with a winning smile and a racetrack vocabulary, Tom Frayn emerged undaunted from a childhood spent in two rooms with six other people, all of them deaf. And undaunted he stayed, through German rockets, feckless in-laws, and his own increasing deafness; through the setback of a son as bafflingly slow-witted as the father was quick on his feet; through the shockingly sudden tragedy that darkened his life.

Tom Frayn left his son little more than three watches and two ink-and-wash prints. But the true fortune he passed on was the great humor and spirit revealed in this beguiling memoir.