Caesar's Legion [Audiobook]

Caesar's Legion [Audiobook]

Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome [Audiobook] by Stephen Dando-Collins
2002 | MP3 VBR V3 + PDF | 12 hrs 19 mins | 473.27MB

Stephen Dando-Collins paints a vivid and definitive portrait of daily life in the Tenth Legion as he follows Caesar and his men along the blood-soaked fringes of the Empire. This unprecedented regimental history reveals countless previously unknown details about Roman military practices, Caesar's conduct as a commander and his relationships with officers and legionaries, and the daily routine and discipline of the Legion. From penetrating insights into the mind of history's greatest general to a grunt's-eye view of the gruesome realities of war in the Classical Age, this unique and riveting true account sets a new standard of exellence and detail to which all authors of ancient military history will now aspire.

The Art of Japanese Architecture

The Art of Japanese Architecture

The Art of Japanese Architecture by David and Michiko Young
2007 | EPUB | 8.79MB

The Art of Japanese Architecture explores the simplicity, asymmetry, sensitivity to the natural environment, and use of natural materials that are the hallmarks of Japanese architecture. These elements are explored and clarified in this cultural and historical overview of the rapidly changing world of Japanese architecture.

Beginning with a discussion of prehistoric pit dwellings and concluding with a description of significant modern buildings, David and Michiko Young, authors of the 2006 American Horticultural Award-winning book, The Art of the Japanese Garden, analyze the major changes in architecture caused by the introduction of Buddhist culture, the development of feudalism, the influence of Western culture and the adaptation of the international style in contemporary buildings.

1990: Russians Remember a Turning Point

1990: Russians Remember a Turning Point

1990: Russians Remember a Turning Point by Irina Prokhorova
2013 | AZW3 | 4.7MB

Although 1989 and 1991 witnessed more spectacular events, 1990 was a year of embryonic change in Russia: Article 6 of the constitution was abolished, and with it the Party's monopoly on political power. This fascinating collection of documentary evidence crystalises the aspirations of the Russian people in the days before Communism finally fell.

It charts - among many other social developments - the appearance of new political parties and independent trade unions, the rapid evolution of mass media, the emergence of a new class of entrepreneurs, a new openness about sex and pornography and a sudden craze for hot-air ballooning, banned under the Communist regime.

1990 is a reminder of the confusion and aspirations of the year before Communism finally collapsed in Russia, and a tantalising glimpse of the paths that may have been taken if Yeltsin's coup had not forced the issue in 1991.

Restless Valley

Restless Valley

Restless Valley: Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia by Philip Shishkin
2013 | AZW3 | 1.07MB

It sounds like the stuff of a fiction thriller: two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains . . . or heroes . . . or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, firsthand account of Central Asia’s unfolding history from 2005 to the present.

Philip Shishkin, a prize-winning journalist with extensive on-the-ground experience in the tumultuous region above Afghanistan’s northern border, focuses mainly on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Both nations have struggled with the enormous challenges of post-Soviet independent statehood; both became entangled in America’s Afghan campaign when U.S. military bases were established within their borders. At the same time, the region was developing into a key smuggling hub for Afghanistan’s booming heroin trade. Through the eyes of local participants—the powerful and the powerless—Shishkin reconstructs how Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have ricocheted between extreme repression and democratic strivings, how alliances with the United States and Russia have brought mixed blessings, and how Stalin’s legacy of ethnic gerrymandering incites conflict even now.

Officer of the Deck [Audiobook]

Officer of the Deck [Audiobook]

Officer of the Deck [Audiobook] by Herbert Kriloff
2013 | MP3 VBR | 8 hrs 34 mins | 268.18MB

Officer of the Deck is much more than a simple war memoir; it is very much a coming-of-age story, and even more an epic of the sea and the men who cast their fates to the vagaries of wind and waves. As Ensign Kriloff gains rank and advances up the USS William B. Preston's short chain of command, more responsibility is placed on his shoulders, and he does well with it because, though the sea in unforgiving, his seniors have been kind and patient teachers. By the end of 1943, Lieutenant Kriloff has gained enough experience, skill and ease to be deemed ready to take on a command of his own.

Showcasing the Third Reich: The Nuremberg Rallies

Showcasing the Third Reich: The Nuremberg Rallies

Showcasing the Third Reich: The Nuremberg Rallies by Andrew Rawson
2012 | EPUB | 13.85MB

This book is an up-to-date, illustrated investigation into the notorious Nuremberg rallies and the part they played in the Nazi's quest to establish their vaunted 1,000 Year Third Reich.

Between 1923 and 1938 the Nazis held ten 'Reich National Party Conventions' in the city of Nuremberg. Each rally was bigger than the last, with the number of visitors growing to over half a million, and this growth reflected the spread of National Socialism across Germany.

This book epxlores how the rallies were organised, what the daily schedules were, who spoke at them and who attended. The development of the Rally Grounds under Albert Speer's direction is also explored. The importance of the rallies in Joseph Goebbels' propaganda campaign is dealt with as well as the story of Leni Riefenstahl's filming of the rallies, in particular the Triumph of the Will in 1934.

Author Andrew Rawson has trawled through the Hoffmann archives in Washington to select the most dramatic and informative images and has visited Nuremberg to gain new insight into the most spectacular propaganda exercises since the games of Ancient Rome.

The Skating Rink

The Skating Rink

The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño
2011 | EPUB | 1.71MB

A phenomenally unusual three-way murder mystery.

With a murder at its heart, Roberto Bolaño’s The Skating Rink is, among other things, a crime novel. Murder seems to have exerted a fascination for the endlessly talented Bolaño, who in his last interview, according to The Observer, “declared, in all apparent seriousness, that what he would most like to have been was a homicide detective.”

Set in the seaside town of Z, north of Barcelona, The Skating Rink is told in short, suspenseful chapters by three male narrators, and revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Martí. A ruined mansion, knife-wielding women, political corruption, sex, and jealousy all appear in this atmospheric chronicle of a single summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, businessmen, immigrants, bureaucrats, social workers, and drifters.

The Millionaire and the Mummies

The Millionaire and the Mummies

The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings by John M Adams
2013 | EPUB | 912.15KB

Egypt, The Valley of the Kings, 1905: An American robber baron peers through the hole he has cut in an ancient tomb wall and discovers the richest trove of golden treasure ever seen in Egypt.

At the start of the twentieth century, Theodore Davis was the most famous archaeologist in the world; his career turned tomb-robbing and treasure-hunting into a science. Using six of Davis’s most important discoveries—from the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s sarcophagus to the exquisite shabti statuettes looted from the Egyptian Museum not too long ago—as a lens around which to focus his quintessentially American rags-to-riches tale, Adams chronicles the dizzying rise of a poor country preacher’s son who, through corruption and fraud, amassed tremendous wealth in Gilded Age New York and then atoned for his ruthless career by inventing new standards for systematic excavation. Davis found a record eighteen tombs in the Valley and, breaking with custom, gave all the spoils of his discoveries to museums. A confederate of Boss Tweed, friend of Teddy Roosevelt, and rival of J. P. Morgan, the colorful "American Lord Carnarvon" shared his Newport mansion with his Rembrandts, his wife, and his mistress. The only reason Davis has been forgotten by history to a large extent is probably the fact that he stopped just short of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, the discovery of which propelled Howard Carter (Davis’s erstwhile employee) to worldwide fame just a few short years later.

Drawing on rare and never-before-published archival material, The Millionaire and the Mummies, the first biography of Theodore Davis ever written rehabilitates a tarnished image through a thrilling tale of crime and adventure, filled with larger-than-life characters, unimaginable treasures, and exotic settings.

The House of Wittgenstein: A Family At War

The House of Wittgenstein: A Family At War

The House of Wittgenstein: A Family At War by Alexander Waugh
2013 | EPUB | 4.58MB

The Wittgenstein family was one of the richest, most talented and most eccentric in European history.

The domineering paternal influence of Karl Wittgenstein left his eight children fraught by inner antagonisms and nervous tension. Three of his sons committed suicide; Paul, the fourth, became a world-famous concert pianist (using only his left hand), while Ludwig, the youngest, is now regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.

In this dramatic historical and psychological epic, Alexander Waugh traces the triumphs and vicissitudes of a family held together by a fanatical love of music yet torn apart by money, madness, conflicts of loyalty and the cataclysmic upheaval of two world wars.

Beyond Boundaries

Beyond Boundaries

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines---and How It Will Change Our Lives by Miguel Nicolelis
2011 | EPUB | 1.19MB

A pioneering neuroscientist shows how the long-sought merger of brains with machines is about to become a paradigm-shifting reality.

Imagine living in a world where people use their computers, drive their cars, and communicate with one another simply by thinking. In this stunning and inspiring work, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis shares his revolutionary insights into how the brain creates thought and the human sense of self—and how this might be augmented by machines, so that the entire universe will be within our reach.

Beyond Boundaries draws on Nicolelis's ground-breaking research with monkeys that he taught to control the movements of a robot located halfway around the globe by using brain signals alone. Nicolelis's work with primates has uncovered a new method for capturing brain function—by recording rich neuronal symphonies rather than the activity of single neurons. His lab is now paving the way for a new treatment for Parkinson's, silk-thin exoskeletons to grant mobility to the paralyzed, and breathtaking leaps in space exploration, global communication, manufacturing, and more.

Beyond Boundaries promises to reshape our concept of the technological future, to a world filled with promise and hope.

Great Games, Local Rules

Great Games, Local Rules

Great Games, Local Rules: The New Great Power Contest in Central Asia by Alexander Cooley
2012 | MOBI | 1.72MB

The struggle between Russia and Great Britain over Central Asia in the nineteenth century was the original "great game." But in the past quarter century, a new "great game" has emerged, pitting America against a newly aggressive Russia and a resource-hungry China, all struggling for influence over the same region, now one of the most volatile areas in the world: the long border region stretching from Iran through Pakistan to Kashmir.

In Great Games, Local Rules, Alexander Cooley, one of America's most respected international relations scholars, explores the dynamics of the new competition for control of the region since 9/11. All three great powers have crafted strategies to increase their power in the area, which includes Afghanistan and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Each nation is pursuing important goals: basing rights for the US, access to natural resources for the Chinese, and increased political influence for the Russians.

However, overlooked in all of the talk about this new great game is fact that the Central Asian governments have proven themselves critical agents in their own right, establishing local rules for external power involvement that serve to fend off foreign interest. As a result, despite a decade of intense interest from the United States, Russia, and China, Central Asia remains a collection of segmented states, and the external competition has merely reinforced the sovereign authority of the individual Central Asian governments. A careful and surprising analysis of how small states interact with great powers in a vital region, Great Games, Local Rules greatly advances our understanding of how global politics actually works in the contemporary era.

Astragal

Astragal

Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin
2013 | EPUB | 240.01KB

As alive as a Godard movie, this lost classic of ’60s French literature is back.

As if the reader were riding shotgun, this intensely vivid novel captures a life on the lam. “L’astragale” is the French word for the ankle bone Albertine Sarrazin’s heroine Anne breaks as she leaps from her jail cell to freedom. As she drags herself down the road, away from the prison walls, she is rescued by Julien, himself a small-time criminal, who keeps her hidden. They fall in love. Fear of capture, memories of her prison cell, claustrophobia in her hideaways: every detail is fiercely felt.

Astragal burst onto the French literary scene in 1965; its fiery and vivacious style was entirely new, and Sarrazin became a celebrity overnight. But as fate would have it, Sarrazin herself kept running into trouble with the law, even as she became a star.

She died from a botched surgery at the height of her fame. Sarrazin’s life and work (her novels are semi-autobiographical) have been the subject of intense fascination in France; a new adaptation of Astragal is currently being filmed. Patti Smith, who brought Astragal to the attention of New Directions, contributes an enthusiastic introduction to one of her favorite writers.

Acres of Skin : Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison

Acres of Skin : Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison

Acres of Skin : Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison by Allen M Hornblum
2013 | EPUB | 632.06KB

Relying on prisoners' firsthand reports, Hornblum (urban studies, Temple Univ.) has written a thorough account of the questionable medical experimentation carried out in Philadelphia's Holmesburg Prison from the mid-1940s to 1974.

Research on everything from cosmetics to chemical warfare agents was conducted there, often with minimal or no record keeping. Such research raises serious ethical issues. Throughout, Hornblum asks whether prisoners can give informed consent, particularly when the potential consequences of the research are not fully explained. Although most of the book centers on Holmesburg, Hornblum does cite other prisons across the country where similar practices took place before they received widespread condemnation in the 1970s. What is shocking about this is that it did not happen in the distant past but in our own generation, with the doctors involved still in practice. Frighteningly, Hornblum reveals that at the Nuremberg trials Nazi doctors cited American prison practices as a defense for their nefarious medical experiments in the camps.

The Right to Useful Unemployment

The Right to Useful Unemployment

The Right to Useful Unemployment: And Its Professional Enemies by Ivan Illich
1978 | EPUB | 100.77KB

In this postscript to Tools for Conviviality, Illich calls for the right to useful unemployment: a positive, constructive, and even optimistic concept dealing with that activity by which people are useful to themselves and others outside the production of commodities for the market. Unfettered by managing professionals, unmeasured and unmeasureable by economists, these activities truly generate satisfaction, creativity, and freedom.

Tools for Conviviality

Tools for Conviviality

Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich
1975 | EPUB | 167.35KB

A work of seminal importance, this book presents Ivan Illich's penetrating analysis of the industrial mode of production which characterises our contemporary world.

Celebration of Awareness A Call For Institutional Revolution

Celebration of Awareness A Call For Institutional Revolution

Celebration of Awareness: A Call For Institutional Revolution by Ivan Illich
1971 | EPUB | 162.74KB

As a formidable critic of some of society's most cherished institutions, such as compulsory education and organised religion, Ivan Illich has attracted world attention. His commitment to a radical humanism against conventional institutions and esatablished ideas of social virtue make for compelling, and convincing, reading. This book brings together for the first time many of his lectures and articles bearing out Illich's invigorating challanges to the status quo.

Falling Into the Fire

Falling Into the Fire

Falling Into the Fire: A Psychiatrist's Encounters with the Mind in Crisis by Christine Montross
2013 | EPUB | 390.11KB

Falling Into the Fire is psychiatrist Christine Montross’s thoughtful investigation of the gripping patient encounters that have challenged and deepened her practice. The majority of the patients Montross treats in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize—and sometimes medicate—a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment—and her child’s future—depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.

Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion, Montross discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.

Throughout, Montross confronts the larger question of psychiatry: What is to be done when a patient’s experiences cannot be accounted for, or helped, by what contemporary medicine knows about the brain? When all else fails, Montross finds, what remains is the capacity to abide, to sit with the desperate in their darkest moments. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling Into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind.

The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths

The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths

The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths by John Gray
2013 | EPUB | 164.89KB

A searching, captivating look at the persistence of myth in our modern world.

“By nature volatile and discordant, the human animal looks to silence for relief from being itself while other creatures enjoy silence as their birthright.”

In a book by turns chilling and beautiful, John Gray continues the thinking that made his Straw Dogs such a cult classic.

Gray draws on an extraordinary array of memoirs, poems, fiction, and philosophy to reimagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Freud, and Conrad have been mesmerized by forms of human extremity—experiences on the outer edge of the possible or that tip into fantasy and myth. What happens to us when we starve, when we fight, when we are imprisoned? And how do our imaginations leap into worlds way beyond our real experience?

The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of our existence—an existence that we decorate with countless myths and ideas, where we twist and turn to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals, separated from the others perhaps only by our self-conceit. In the Babel we have created for ourselves, it is the silence of animals that both reproaches and bewitches us.

False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism

False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism

False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism by John Gray
2010 | MOBI | 533.5KB

Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as both "a convincing analysis of an international economy" and "a powerful challenge to economic orthodoxy", False Dawn proposes that the attempt to impose the Anglo-American-style free market on the world will create a disaster on the scale of Soviet communism. Gray believes that even America, the supposed flagship of the new civilization, is doomed to moral and social disintegration as it loses ground to cultures that have never forgotten that the market works best when it is embedded in society.

Achieving Goals

Achieving Goals

Achieving Goals: Define and Surpass Your High Performance Goals by Kathleen Schienle
2007 | MOBI | 378.62KB

Aiming high is essential to success. But by following through and completing what you've set out to do, you can truly outperform your competitors. Achieving Goals, a comprehensive and essential resource for any manager on the run, shows you how.

Learn to:

  • Set smart and challenging goals for yourself and your employees
  • Create a goal-focused environment
  • Help employees meet their objectives
  • Anticipate and overcome obstacles
  • Measure progress and stay on track to achieve success

This book offers new and seasoned managers the essential information they need to achieve more, both personally and professionally. Designed to provide tried-and-true advice from the world's most influential business minds, they feature practical strategies and tips to help you get ahead.

The Joy of Pain

The Joy of Pain

The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature by Richard H Smith
2013 | EPUB | 3.55MB

Few people will easily admit to taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. But who doesn't enjoy it when an arrogant but untalented contestant is humiliated on American Idol, or when the embarrassing vice of a self-righteous politician is exposed, or even when an envied friend suffers a small setback? The truth is that joy in someone else's pain--known by the German word schadenfreude--permeates our society.

In The Joy of Pain, psychologist Richard Smith, one of the world's foremost authorities on envy and shame, sheds much light on a feeling we dare not admit. Smith argues that schadenfreude is a natural human emotion, one worth taking a closer look at, as it reveals much about who we are as human beings. We have a passion for justice. Sometimes, schadenfreude can feel like getting one's revenge, when the suffering person has previously harmed us. But most of us are also motivated to feel good about ourselves, Smith notes, and look for ways to maintain a positive sense of self. One common way to do this is to compare ourselves to others and find areas where we are better. Similarly, the downfall of others--especially when they have seemed superior to us--can lead to a boost in our self-esteem, a lessening of feelings of inferiority. This is often at the root of schadenfreude. As the author points out, most instances of schadenfreude are harmless, on par with the pleasures of light gossip. Yet we must also be mindful that envy can motivate, without full awareness, the engineering of the misfortune we delight in. And envy-induced aggression can take us into dark territory indeed, as Smith shows as he examines the role of envy and schadenfreude in the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

Filled with engaging examples of schadenfreude, from popular reality shows to the Duke-Kentucky basketball rivalry, The Joy of Pain provides an intriguing glimpse into a hidden corner of the human psyche.

Odd Couples

Odd Couples

Odd Couples: Extraordinary Differences between the Sexes in the Animal Kingdom by Daphne J Fairbairn
2013 | EPUB | 6.46MB

While we joke that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, our gender differences can't compare to those of other animals. For instance: the male garden spider spontaneously dies after mating with a female more than fifty times his size. Female cichlids must guard their eggs and larvae--even from the hungry appetites of their own partners. And male blanket octopuses employ a copulatory arm longer than their own bodies to mate with females that outweigh them by four orders of magnitude. Why do these gender gulfs exist? Introducing readers to important discoveries in animal behavior and evolution, Odd Couples explores some of the most extraordinary sexual differences in the animal world. From the fields of Spain to the deep oceans, evolutionary biologist Daphne Fairbairn uncovers the unique and bizarre characteristics--in size, behavior, ecology, and life history--that exist in these remarkable species and the special strategies they use to maximize reproductive success.

Fairbairn describes how male great bustards aggressively compete to display their gorgeous plumage and large physiques to watching, choosey females. She investigates why female elephant seals voluntarily live in harems where they are harassed constantly by eager males. And she reveals why dwarf male giant seadevils parasitically fuse to their giant female partners for life. Fairbairn also considers humans and explains that although we are keenly aware of our own sexual differences, they are unexceptional within the vast animal world.

Looking at some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, Odd Couples sheds astonishing light on what it means to be male or female in the animal kingdom.

How to Cheat at Everything

How to Cheat at Everything
How to Cheat at Everything: A Con Man Reveals the Secrets of the Esoteric Trade of Cheating, Scams, and Hustles by Simon Lovell
2007 | PDF | 28.72MB

How to Cheat at Everything is a roller-coaster ride through bar bets, street hustles, carnivals, Internet fraud, big and small cons, card and dice games and more. You'll even find the exact frauds that the NYPD regard as the most common and dangerous today, and learn top tips on how to avoid each one.

This inside information comes from Lovell's lifetime of experience in the field, along with additional information from both sides of the law. Not just a "here's how the con works" book; this guides you through the set up, the talk, the sell, everything about the con, and how you can be suckered into one. If you think that you can't be conned; then you are already halfway to being so! There is no preaching here, just a fun ripping ride through a world so few know about. You'll meet wild, eccentric and larcenous characters and you'll learn how they work their money-making deeds, all without having to risk a penny of your own money.

Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter

Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter

Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter--and More Unequal by Brink Lindsey
2013 | EPUB | 256.09KB

What explains the growing class divide between the well educated and everybody else? Noted author Brink Lindsey, a senior scholar at the Kauffman Foundation, argues that it's because economic expansion is creating an increasingly complex world in which only a minority with the right knowledge and skills--the right "human capital"--reap the majority of the economic rewards.

The complexity of today's economy is not only making these lucky elites richer--it is also making them smarter. As the economy makes ever-greater demands on their minds, the successful are making ever-greater investments in education and other ways of increasing their human capital, expanding their cognitive skills and leading them to still higher levels of success. But unfortunately, even as the rich are securely riding this virtuous cycle, the poor are trapped in a vicious one, as a lack of human capital leads to family breakdown, unemployment, dysfunction, and further erosion of knowledge and skills.

In this brief, clear, and forthright eBook original, Lindsey shows how economic growth is creating unprecedented levels of human capital--and suggests how the huge benefits of this development can be spread beyond those who are already enjoying its rewards.

Snowball's Chance

Snowball's Chance

Snowball's Chance by John Reed
2012 | EPUB | 1.84MB

This unauthorized companion to George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a controversial parable about September 11th by one of fiction’s most inventive and provocative writers.

Written in 14 days shortly after the September 11th attacks, Snowball’s Chance is an outrageous and unauthorized companion to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in which exiled pig Snowball returns to the farm, takes charge, and implements a new world order of untrammeled capitalism. Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” has morphed into the new rallying cry: “All animals are born equal—what they become is their own affair.”

A brilliant political satire and literary parody, John Reed’s Snowball’s Chance caused an uproar on publication in 2002, denounced by Christopher Hitchens, and barely dodging a lawsuit from the Orwell estate. Now, a decade later, with America in wars on many fronts, readers can judge anew the visionary truth of Reed’s satirical masterpiece.

The Polyglots

The Polyglots

The Polyglots by William Gerhardie
2013 | EPUB | 2.14MB

The Anglo-Russian author William Gerhardie was hailed by writers including Graham Greene, Edith Wharton, Evelyn Waugh and others as a “genius,” and this, his long-out-of-print second novel, is generally acclaimed as his comic masterpiece—not to mention “the most influential English novel of the twentieth century,” according to William Boyd.

It tells the unforgettable tale of an eccentric Belgian family living in the Far East during the turbulent years just after the First World War, which displaced them, and the Russian Revolution, which impoverished them.

Recounted by a conceited young English cousin who visits during a military mission, the story is filled with a host of fascinatingly idiosyncratic characters—depressives, obsessives, sex maniacs, and hypochondriacs—often forced to choose between absurdity and tragedy. Yet Gerhardie depicts them as both charming and poignant, as they each struggle for love and safety in tumultuous times . . . and the protagonist finds his conceit shredded as he falls head over heels in love with one of them.

Gerhardie’s portraits of Europeans in exile, attempting to escape from the era’s upheavals, draws on his own experiences as an officer in the British Mission. He has summoned up a world adrift, where war and revolution have broken up the old order, but nothing has come to replace it. And he does it with unforgettable humor and a sharp eye for the absurd.

Hilarious, poignant, panoramic in scope, The Polyglots redeems, from the Babel of the interwar period, a stirring vision of love and human sympathy.

Law of the Jungle

Law of the Jungle

Law of the Jungle: The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure by John Otis
2010 | EPUB | 1.29MB

“Truth be told, they were mostly in it for the money”

On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying three American military contractors on a recon patrol crash-landed in the jungle-covered mountains of Colombia. Within minutes, FARC guerrillas swarmed the wreckage and killed the American pilot and a Colombian crew member as they tried to escape. The survivors—Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes—were marched at gunpoint into the rain forest. They would live in constant darkness under the jungle canopy as they faced starvation, fights with fellow hostages, and threats of execution—often with their necks shackled together.

The Colombian government sent 147 soldiers to rescue the Americans. Led by a bold yet corpulent lieutenant, the troops spent weeks subsisting on monkey meat and Amazon rodents as they chased the guerrillas deeper into the jungle. But then a soldier on a bathroom break stuck his machete into the ground and pulled out 20 million pesos, equaling $7,000. Pretty soon, the young, poor, and exhausted troops realized they had stumbled upon a buried rebel cache of $20 million. Within three days, the GIs burned through their newfound fortune, splurging on booze, sex, and flat-screen televisions. And though the money brought pleasure, for many of the soldiers it would end in criminal prosecution or even death by FARC hit men.

Law of the Jungle places the Colombian hostage story in its full context by exploring the inner workings of the FARC, the U.S.-backed war on drugs, and Colombia's efforts to free the rebel-held prisoners. John Otis, a veteran journalist on the Latin American beat, spins an edge-of-your-seat adventure narrative that offers a shocking cautionary tale about the pursuit of fortune in one of the world's most dangerous places.

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon [The Great Courses] by Suzanne M Desan
The Teaching Company | 2013 | Course No 8220 | MP3 ABR | 24 hrs 46 mins | 746.67MB

The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society—not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel:

  • France’s oppressed and hungry masses rise up against their government.
  • In Paris, crowds storm the Bastille looking for bread and weaponry.
  • Rumors, panic, and fear grip the nation as it faces an uncertain future.
  • The National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the first bold step toward the invention of democratic politics and a republican state.
  • King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette try to flee the country under cover of darkness.
  • After the king’s execution, the government takes emergency measures that lead to the Terror, when thousands will be put to death by the guillotine.
  • A young Corsican named Napoleon Bonaparte stuns Europe with his military strategy and political boldness.
  • At the end of his empire, Napoleon escapes Elba to confront the Duke of Wellington at the famous Battle of Waterloo.

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon is your opportunity to learn the full story of this captivating period. Taught by Dr. Suzanne M. Desan, a distinguished professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, these 48 exciting lectures give you a broad and comprehensive survey of one of the most important eras in modern history.

What makes this course such a rare treat is that Professor Desan introduces you to all sides of the story. A people’s revolution for liberty and equality is an exciting moment in history, and indeed the crowds that rose up against the Old Regime were infused with optimism. Yet there is a darker side of the story as well:

  • The tyranny of Robespierre and his ardent support of the Terror
  • Revolutionary tribunals and the Committee of Public Safety, which were meant to maintain the peace but which exacerbated the fear
  • The tens of thousands who were executed, many without trial

How did the French attempt to create a democratic republic? How did such an optimistic movement, such an idealistic new government, morph into the Terror? Was an authoritarian regime an inevitable response to the Revolution? There are no easy answers to these questions; yet they speak to some of the same events in our contemporary history, from the quest for civil rights in the United States to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon introduces you to the hotly contested invention of modern politics—the oppression, the freedom, the turmoil, the violence, the passion, and the hope of the era. When you complete this course, you’ll have a new appreciation for this history, and you’ll understand how profoundly it changed the rest of Europe.

Learn about the People, the Politics, and the Culture of the Revolution

The French Revolution raised a host of questions that are still with us today: What happens when people living under a traditional monarchy try to invent a democracy and an egalitarian society? How do you wrench the modern world out of the old? How do you secure equality for everyone in society? And how do you maintain the peace and deliver on the promises of the Revolution during the transition?

You’ll study these philosophical questions through the eyes of the people—the leaders and the citizens, the famous and the infamous, the soldiers and the writers, the wealthy and the hungry—as they struggled to advance their cause and come to terms with each new development. For instance, you’ll

  • learn about the brutality of life under the Old Regime, and see how the burden of taxes, tithes to the church, and the unequal distribution of wealth affected ordinary citizens in the Third Estate;
  • examine the political parties, from the Girondins and Jacobins in the government to the sans-culottes in the streets, that jockeyed for control of the direction of France;
  • meet women such as Olympe de Gouges, who struggled for their rights and demanded divorce and equal inheritance laws; and
  • consider the debates in the international arena, such as those between the conservative Edmund Burke, who defended the aristocracy, and the liberal Thomas Paine, who advocated the rights of man.

You’ll laugh at the absurd hedgehog hairstyles of the aristocratic elites; you’ll marvel at Louis and Marie-Antoinette’s escape coach as they tried to flee France; and you’ll be amazed by Napoleon’s dramatic escape from Elba. From the machinations of the highest officers to the violence of the hungry crowds; from the battles and international treaties to the bedrooms of Versailles and jail cells of the Bastille; Professor Desan takes you into this era from every angle.

A Deep, Immersive Study

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon covers an impressive amount of ground. You’ll investigate the causes of the Revolution—a perfect storm of famine, war debt, social inequality, and economic downturn; you’ll trace the era’s major events, from the storming of the Bastille in 1789 to the execution of King Louis XVI to Napoleon’s major campaigns; and you’ll learn about the many governments the French people experienced in such a short period—the monarchy, the republic, the empire, and more.

But the true joy of this course lies in the unique insights Professor Desan provides. Fascinating nuggets, small details, and little-known ironies of history bring this era to life:

  • The original ending to “Little Red Riding Hood” provides a bleak look at many people’s constant struggle to survive.
  • The revolutionaries tried hard to remake society after overthrowing the old system—even trying to de-Christianize the nation and create a new calendar.
  • The Revolution shaped events in the rest of the world—including America, which eventually benefited from the Louisiana Purchase.
  • We think of Robespierre as the face of the Terror, but he was a complex figure who argued against the death penalty two years before he called for the king’s head.
  • The Directory is a less-studied yet intriguing wedge between the Terror and Napoleon.
  • Napoleon was thrown from his horse just days before he seized power—nearly putting a halt to the empire before it even existed.

Professor Desan notes that there have been more studies written about Napoleon than there have been days since he died. An examination of this period would not be complete without a thorough look at this engaging figure, the man who paid his soldiers in cash and inspired a wave of “Egypto-mania” after his expedition in Egypt. You’ll explore in detail what made him such a powerful leader—how he was able to combine repression with conciliation at home, and diplomacy with military might abroad.

You’ll be surprised to learn that this man who crowned himself emperor and led France into war against every other major European power also was a child of the Revolution. He kept many of the reforms enacted by the revolutionaries. Despite Napoleon’s reputation as a powerful, nearly invincible figure, Professor Desan presents him as a flesh-and-blood human being with all the requisite contradictions.

You’ll also enjoy learning about the impact of the Revolution beyond the borders of France—particularly in the colony of Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti. Did the struggle for human rights apply to the slaves in the colonies? You’ll meet such figures as Vincent Ogé and Toussaint Louverture who led uprisings that eventually resulted in a free and independent Haiti.

A Dynamic and Engaging Professor

These are powerful lectures indeed, both for their content and for their presentation. Professor Desan has had a lifelong passion for the subject, and she brings a deeply personal enthusiasm to each lecture. No wooden speaker behind a podium, she has a dynamic stage presence that draws you into the powerful story.

This is the very human, very emotional side of the Revolution. You’ll feel the swell of the crowds again and again as they chant and protest. You’ll react to the cauldron of crisis and fear in the months leading up to the Terror. And you’ll come away with a new viewpoint—not just on this era, but on our own.

The next time you open any newspaper, you’ll see headlines that echo the struggles of France between 1789 and 1814. That dramatic period has reverberated through the ages. Freedom, equality, revolution, political factionalism—the hopes and questions of this gripping story have profound implications for us today.

A Needle in the Right Hand of God [Audiobook]

A Needle in the Right Hand of God [Audiobook]

A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry [Audiobook] by R Howard Bloch
2007 | MP3@66 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 02 mins | 198.02MB

The Bayeux Tapestry is the world’s most famous textile–an exquisite 230-foot-long embroidered panorama depicting the events surrounding the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is also one of history’s most mysterious and compelling works of art. This haunting stitched account of the battle that redrew the map of medieval Europe has inspired dreams of theft, waves of nationalism, visions of limitless power, and esthetic rapture. In his fascinating new book, Yale professor R. Howard Bloch reveals the history, the hidden meaning, the deep beauty, and the enduring allure of this astonishing piece of cloth.

Bloch opens with a gripping account of the event that inspired the Tapestry: the swift, bloody Battle of Hastings, in which the Norman bastard William defeated the Anglo-Saxon king, Harold, and laid claim to England under his new title, William the Conqueror. But to truly understand the connection between battle and embroidery, one must retrace the web of international intrigue and scandal that climaxed at Hastings. Bloch demonstrates how, with astonishing intimacy and immediacy, the artisans who fashioned this work of textile art brought to life a moment that changed the course of British culture and history.

Every age has cherished the Tapestry for different reasons and read new meaning into its enigmatic words and images. French nationalists in the mid-nineteenth century, fired by Tapestry’s evocation of military glory, unearthed the lost French epic “The Song of Roland,” which Norman troops sang as they marched to victory in 1066. As the Nazis tightened their grip on Europe, Hitler sent a team to France to study the Tapestry, decode its Nordic elements, and, at the end of the war, with Paris under siege, bring the precious cloth to Berlin. The richest horde of buried Anglo-Saxon treasure, the matchless beauty of Byzantine silk, Aesop’s strange fable “The Swallow and the Linseed,” the colony that Anglo-Saxon nobles founded in the Middle East following their defeat at Hastings–all are brilliantly woven into Bloch’s riveting narrative.

Seamlessly integrating Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Byzantine elements, the Bayeux Tapestry ranks with Chartres and the Tower of London as a crowning achievement of medieval Europe. And yet, more than a work of art, the Tapestry served as the suture that bound up the wounds of 1066.

Enhanced by a stunning full-color insert that includes reproductions of the complete Tapestry, A Needle in the Right Hand of God will stand with The Professor and the Madman and How the Irish Saved Civilization as a triumph of popular history.

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill
1995 | EPUB | 4.93MB

The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.

In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

Unstuff your Life [Audiobook]

Unstuff your Life [Audiobook]

Unstuff your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good [Audiobook] by Andrew Mellen
2012 | M4B | 10 hrs 23 mins | 170.39MB

One of the country's most sought-after professional organizers here makes his foolproof rescue plan available for everyone.

Arguably the most organized man in America, Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for a client list that includes attorneys, filmmakers, and even psychologists. With Unstuff Your Life! he puts his powerful program in the hands of his widest audience yet. Acknowledging that it's often the "stuff behind the stuff" that holds people back, Mellen offers an action-based plan to redirect clutterers from dwelling on their feelings. This simple shift yields immediate results that will help everyone achieve organizational bliss - from the chronic key-loser to the hard-core hoarder. Mellen's mix of humor, honesty, tough love, and foolproof strategies will motivates listeners to work through their feelings and make real behavior changes that will have long-lasting effects.

Written in Mellen's signature no-nonsense yet hilarious tone, Unstuff Your Life! brims with personality, along with approaches not found in other organizing books. Built on the principle that we must distinguish ourselves from our possessions, Unstuff Your Life! starts with truly achievable goals and works toward the nightmare projects everyone tries hard to avoid. From the basement to the bedroom, the kitchen to the car, and more, listeners will learn:

  • Where to find a permanent home for your keys and wallet
  • How to sort the mail in a manageable and time-effective way
  • What it means to group "like with like"
  • How to tackle bills and budget
  • How to problem-solve with your new skills, and more

The result is absolute freedom from the burden of clutter - and more free time than you ever imagined possible.

The Children's House of Belsen [Audiobook]

The Children's House of Belsen [Audiobook]

The Children's House of Belsen [Audiobook] by Hetty E Verolme
2012 | MP3 VBR | 10 hrs 35 mins | 268.14MB

Hetty’s family was torn apart following the German invasion of the Netherlands. Rounded up by the Nazis and then separated from their parents, Hetty and her brothers were sent to the Children’s House, within Belsen concentration camp. As one of the eldest, Hetty became the ‘Little Mother’, helping to care for not only her siblings, but the other children as well.

In a direct and powerful style, Hetty recalls one of the remarkable, largely untold stories of the Holocaust - the extraordinary struggle and survival of this group of children through those terrible years.

eBoys [Audiobook]

eBoys [Audiobook]

eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work [Audiobook] by Randall E Stross
2000 | MP3@64 kbps | 11 hrs 10 mins | 305.74MB

If you want to understand the 1990s, you have to understand venture capitalists. These are the people who listen to business pitches by the score, the financial-world equivalent of miners turning over tons of earth in search of precious metal. They're looking for the next Amazon.com, the next Yahoo!, the next eBay. Randall E. Stross, who teaches business history at San José State University, just happened to be there when a firm called Benchmark Capital discovered eBay. eBoys tells the story of how a group of not-quite-middle-aged men came to make an investment that returned a Silicon Valley record of 100,000 percent.

Stross is a gifted storyteller who weaves the personal histories of the Benchmark partners with stories of how the firm came to back such companies as Priceline.com and Webvan. We meet guys who weren't born to privilege, men who took unconventional routes into the venture capital business. Probably the most intriguing is Dave Beirne, a hyperaggressive executive recruiter who went into the business after realizing venture capitalists are the ones who really call the shots at high-tech start-ups. We also see the problems Silicon Valley guys have when they try to dot-com the bricks-and-mortar world. The short tale of an aborted partnership between Benchmark and Toys 'R' Us illustrates why the old economy is so mystified by the new.

Anyone interested in how business works should find something of interest in eBoys. From the organizational structure and corporate culture of Benchmark to the histories and personalities of its partners to its adventures in the world of Internet start-ups, it's a digital snapshot that reveals how successful businesses look, think, and mine gold in today's economy. --Lou Schuler

The Great Deformation [Audiobook]

The Great Deformation [Audiobook]

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America [Audiobook] by David A Stockman
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF | 36 hrs 52 mins | 1008.21 MB

A coruscating, brilliantly insightful exegesis of where capitalism went wrong, how it was corrupted, and how it might be restored, by outspoken former Reagan budget director and bestselling author David Stockman.

David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution meant to restore sound money principles to the United States government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. In The Great Deformation, Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis overturns the assumptions of Keynesians and monetarists alike, showing how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous. Over time, crony capitalism has made fools of us all, transforming Republican treasury secretaries into big -- government interventionists and populist Democrat presidents into industry-wrecking internationalists. Today's national debt stands at nearly $16 trillion. Divided equally among taxpayers, each of us is $52,000 in debt. This book explains how we got here -- and why this warped crony capitalism has betrayed so many of our hopes and dreams.

Ryokan: Japan's Finest Spas and Inns

Ryokan: Japan's Finest Spas and Inns

Ryokan: Japan's Finest Spas and Inns by Akihiko Seki, Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
2007 | EPUB | 33.92MB

This book features Japanese inns, or ryokan, both old and new-from inns with a history dating back a thousand years to modern inns with the latest facilities that nonetheless capture the spirit of old Japan. Each of the properties has been handpicked by the authors for their strong design aesthetic, commitment to service and purity of their spring waters. The photographs showcase the resorts at their best, and accurately express the unique architectural design of each ryokan.

Each chapter begins by introducing the area surrounding the inns and their spas, or onsen, and provides a background of its local history, culture and traditions, as well as the natural environment. The text provides information on the design and development of each ryokan, and descriptions of the owners and their clientele. For those planning a visit to an onsen, this book provides contact details and information on the number of rooms, type of facilities and food, as well as vital information on travel and booking procedures and whether English is spoken. For those fascinated by Japanese culture and design, this book is an absolute delight.

Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front

Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front

Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front by David Glantz
2004 | PDF | 33.26MB

With the opening of long-sealed Soviet archives beginning in the 1990s, English-speaking readers have begun to better comprehend the enormity and decisive nature of the fighting between Germany and her many allies and the Soviet Union. Despite the massive scale of the fighting, much of its history remains obscure and imperfectly understood. Slaughterhouse is the first book of its kind to present a history of the Eastern Front that includes up-to-date information culled from long-sealed archives and synthesized by some of the foremost historians of the Soviet and German militaries.

  • 2 chapters by famed Sovietologist David Glantz - Chronology of events that occurred on the Eastern Front, with nine detailed maps; Forgotten battles of the Eastern Front
  • Thumbnail histories of 487 units - army groups, armies, corps, and divisions - that saw combat on the Eastern Front with the German Armed Forces and their allies
  • Thumbnail histories of 881 Red Army and Air Force units - fronts, armies, corps, and divisions - on the Eastern Front
  • Biographical sketches of 57 key Axis and Soviet wartime personalities
  • Highly-detailed organizational diagrams of 55 types of Axis and Red Army divisions that served on the Eastern Front
  • Comprehensive, meticulously-researched performance data comparisons of hundreds of Axis and Red Army weapons, including small arms, mortars, artillery, tanks, assault guns, combat aircraft, and more.

For Home and Country

For Home and Country

For Home and Country: World War I Propaganda on the Home Front by Celia M Kingsbury
2010 | PDF | 32.72MB

World War I prompted the first massive organized propaganda campaign of the twentieth century. Posters, pamphlets, and other media spread fear about the “Hun,” who was often depicted threatening American families in their homes, while additional campaigns encouraged Americans and their allies to support the war effort. With most men actively involved in warfare, women and children became a special focus—and a tool—of social manipulation during the war. For Home and Country examines the propaganda that targeted noncombatants on the home front in the United States and Europe during World War I.

Cookbooks, popular magazines, romance novels, and government food agencies targeted women in their homes, especially their kitchens, pressuring them to change their domestic habits. Children were also taught to fear the enemy and support the war through propaganda in the form of toys, games, and books. And when women and children were not the recipients of propaganda, they were often used in propaganda to target men.

By examining a diverse collection of literary texts, songs, posters, and toys, Celia Malone Kingsbury reveals how these pervasive materials were used to fight the war’s cultural battle.