Storyteller Uprising: Trust and Persuasion in the Digital Age

Storyteller Uprising: Trust and Persuasion in the Digital Age
Storyteller Uprising: Trust and Persuasion in the Digital Age by Hanson R Hosein
2012 | EPUB + AZW3 | 166.04/211.69KB

With the decline of traditional media, there’s an increased need for trusted information. This presents a huge opportunity to individuals, communities, companies and organizations. They can fill that void by telling their own multimedia stories, building their own channels, thereby serving as trusted sources in their own right. That’s the “uprising” — people seizing control of communication by building ongoing credible connection through story and digital technology.

This edition of Storyteller Uprising has been updated with a large final section, "The Storyteller's Seven Hard Truths to Manipulation in a Networked World" which takes an clear-eyed approach to challenges and opportunities in storytelling, social media and leadership (including examples from Kony 2012, the civil war in Syria, the United States Army).

Storyteller Uprising is an ideal guide for professional communicators and leaders who seek to understand the systemic transformation that has taken place in the digital age. Readers of Clay Shirky, Charlene Li and Yochai Benkler will find themselves on familiar ground as the author builds upon those strategic thinkers and extends them into the realm of storytelling and strategic communication.

Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication

Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication
Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication by James P Farwell
2012 | EPUB + AZW3 | 1.96/2.1MB

Now more than ever, in the arenas of national security, diplomacy, and military operations, effective communication strategy is of paramount importance. A 24/7 television, radio, and Internet news cycle paired with an explosion in social media demands it.

According to James P. Farwell, an expert in communication strategy and cyber war who has advised the U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND and the Department of Defense, and worked nationally and internationally as a media and political consultant, this book examines how colorful figures in history from Julius Caesar to Winston Churchill, Napoleon to Hugo Chavez, Martin Luther to Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, have forged communication strategies to influence audiences.

Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself, but rhymes. In showing how major leaders have moved audiences, Farwell bears out Twain's thesis. Obama and Luther each wanted to reach a mass audience. Obama used social media and the Internet. Luther used the printing press. But the strategic mindset was similar. Hugo Chavez identifies with Simon Bolivar, but his attitude towards the media more closely echoes Napoleon. Caesar used coins to build his image in ways that echo the modern use of campaign buttons. His "triumphs," enormous parades to celebrate military victories, celebrated his achievements and aimed to impress the populace with his power and greatness. Adolph Hitler employed a similar tactic with his torchlight parades.

The book shows how the US government's approach to strategic communication has been misguided. It offers a colorful, incisive critical evaluation of the concepts, doctrines, and activities that the US Department of Defense and Department of State employ for psychological operations, military information support operations, propaganda, and public diplomacy.

Persuasion and Power is a book about the art of communication strategy, how it is used, where, and why. Farwell's adroit use of vivid examples produce a well-researched, entertaining story that illustrates how its principles have made a critical difference throughout history in the outcomes of crises, conflicts, politics, and diplomacy across different cultures and societies.

For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business

For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business
For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business by Dan Hunter, Kevin Werbach
2012 | EPUB | 3.22MB

Take your business to the next level—for the win.

Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psychology: A well-designed game goes right to the motivational heart of the human psyche.

In For the Win, authors Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter argue persuasively that gamemakers need not be the only ones benefiting from game design. Werbach and Hunter are lawyers and World of Warcraft players who created the world’s first course on gamification at the Wharton School. In their book, they reveal how game thinking—addressing problems like a game designer—can motivate employees and customers and create engaging experiences that can transform your business.

For the Win reveals how a wide range of companies are successfully using game thinking. It also offers an explanation of when gamifying makes the most sense and a 6-step framework for using games for marketing, productivity enhancement, innovation, employee motivation, customer engagement, and more.

In this illuminating guide, Werbach and Hunter reveal how game thinking can yield winning solutions to real-world business problems. Let the games begin!

Economics Uncut: A Complete Guide to Life, Death and Misadventure

Economics Uncut: A Complete Guide to Life, Death and Misadventure
Economics Uncut: A Complete Guide to Life, Death and Misadventure edited by Simon W Bowmaker
2006 | PDF | 1.81MB

Expertly compiled and deftly edited by Simon W. Bowmaker (Academic Associate in Economics at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, Adjunct Lecturer in Economics at Florida State University, and Visiting Lecturer in Economics at the State University of New York, Buffalo and at the University of Colorado, Denver), Economics Uncut: A Complete Guide To Life, Death and Misadventure features informed and informative essays and seminal articles by eighteen accomplished economists on a variety of economic issues.

The economic implications to diverse range human activities include: drug addiction, prohibition, and legalization; crime, marriage and divorce; pornography, prostitution, suicide and religion; assisted reproduction and abortion; sport, gambling, and rock music. A superbly organized and presented compendium of seminal studies and commentaries adhering to high academic standards of methodology and reporting, Economics Uncut is an important and strongly recommended addition to academic library Economic Studies reference collection, as well as being quite accessible to the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the economic implications and impacts with respect to the social issues of the present day.

Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away

Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away
Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away by Will Luton
2013 | EPUB | 1.09MB
“Will’s knowledge of F2P comes from years of building games, as well as writing about and consulting with developers on the model. All the topics covered in this book—economics, gameplay, monetization, analytics and marketing—are important to consider when you’re building an F2P game, and Will covers each with an easy-to-digest style.” —Ian Marsh, co-founder, NimbleBit

Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away is an accessible and complete guide to the business model that has revolutionized the videogames industry, creating huge hits, multi-billion-dollar startups and a new deal for players: Play for free, spend on what you like.

Written by respected game designer and consultant Will Luton, Free-to-Play gives you the in-the-trenches insight you need to build, run and make money from games you give away. In it you’ll find:

  • Psychology behind player decisions and the motivations to play
  • Simple and accessible explanations of the math and economic theories behind F2P, including working examples
  • Processes for capturing and using player data to improve your game
  • Marketing tips on positioning your game and attracting players
  • Plus: A downloadable F2P spreadsheet, articles from the author, a foreword by NimbleBit co-founder Ian Marsh and an interview with Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus.

Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options

Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options
Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
1997 | PDF | 21.16MB

Dynamic Hedging is the definitive source on derivatives risk. It provides a real-world methodology for managing portfolios containing any nonlinear security. It presents risks from the vantage point of the option market maker and arbitrage operator. The only book about derivatives risk written by an experienced trader with theoretical training, it remolds option theory to fit the practitioner's environment. As a larger share of market exposure cannot be properly captured by mathematical models, noted option arbitrageur Nassim Taleb uniquely covers both on-model and off-model derivatives risks.

The author discusses, in plain English, vital issues, including:

  • The generalized option, which encompasses all instruments with convex payoff, including a trader's potential bonus.
  • The techniques for trading exotic options, including binary, barrier, multiasset, and Asian options, as well as methods to take into account the wrinkles of actual, non-bellshaped distributions.
  • Market dynamics viewed from the practitioner's vantage point, including liquidity holes, portfolio insurance, squeezes, fat tails, volatility surface, GARCH, curve evolution, static option replication, correlation instability, Pareto-Levy, regime shifts, autocorrelation of price changes, and the severe flaws in the value at risk method.
  • New tools to detect risks, such as higher moment analysis, topography exposure, and nonparametric techniques.
  • The path dependence of all options hedged dynamically.

Dynamic Hedging is replete with helpful tools, market anecdotes, at-a-glance risk management rules distilling years of market lore, and important definitions. The book contains modules in which the fundamental mathematics of derivatives, such as the Brownian motion, Ito's lemma, the numeraire paradox, the Girsanov change of measure, and the Feynman-Kac solution are presented in intuitive practitioner's language.

Dynamic Hedging is an indispensable and definitive reference for market makers, academics, finance students, risk managers, and regulators.

The definitive book on options trading and risk management.

Lessons from a Lean Consultant

Lessons from a Lean Consultant
Lessons from a Lean Consultant: Avoiding Lean Implementation Failures on the Shop Floor by Chris A Ortiz
2008 | EPUB | 3.19MB

Making Lean Work: “In-the-Trenches” Help from a World-Class Expert.

Lean manufacturing can improve productivity and quality, shorten lead times, reduce costs, and improve competitiveness. However, succeeding with lean is not easy. Chris A. Ortiz, one of the country’s most respected lean implementers, shows you exactly how to overcome obstacles, drive value from lean, and sustain success for the long term.

Ortiz draws on his experience leading many successful lean transitions and more than 150 kaizen events. He shows you how to prepare for a lean shop floor environment, implement best practice procedures and standards, build executive support, lead kaizen within the factory, and deal with the ups and downs you will inevitably encounter.

Forget theory: This is a step-by-step, what-to-do guide for professionals in the trenches—plant and engineering managers, lean managers and directors, Six Sigma practitioners, and working engineers.

Topics covered include

  • Seven reasons lean can fail—and how to overcome them
  • Establishing successful kaizen programs: champions, events, teams, goals, tracking, and scheduling
  • Avoiding early stumbling blocks in data collection, waste removal, and process design
  • Getting your operators and supervisors to “buy into” lean
  • Training managers, engineers, and new employees
  • Promoting flexibility and cross-training
  • Using lean to drive growth, not just save money
  • Lean leadership made simple: twelve practical techniques, five simple rules—and ten things not to do
  • Sample audit, tracking, and time study forms

The Twitter History of the World

The Twitter History of the World
The Twitter History of the World: Everything You Need to Know About Everything in 140 Characters by Chas Newkey-Burden, Kelvin MacKenzie
2013 | EPUB | 1.59MB

A humourous look at the world's history in 140 characters.

The Iraq War
@TonyBlair
#FF @GeorgeWBush - you should see the DMs he's been sending me about WMDS in Iraq #terrifying
09:32am, September 12, 2001

@GeorgeWBush
@Tony Blair - that's ma boy!
05:04am, March 20, 2003

Who would say what during wartime? What would Jesus tweet? And how would history's most indecent of scandals have played out on our computer screens? This hilarious book takes a 140-character romp through history, exploring what it might be like if Twitter had always been part of our lives. From dinosaurs to Princess Diana, the Magna Carta to phone-hacking, including "Famous Last Tweets," hysterical hashtags, and salacious "Follow Fridays," here is the story of the world told via 140 characters or less.

Destroying Libya and World Order

Destroying Libya and World Order
Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade US Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution by Francis A Boyle
2013 | PDF | 5.21MB

It took three decades for the United States government—spanning and working assiduously over five different presidential administrations (Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II , and Obama)—to terminate the 1969 Qaddafi Revolution, seize control over Libya’s oil fields, and dismantle its Jamahiriya system.

This book tells the story of what happened, why it happened, and what was both wrong and illegal with that from the perspective of an international law professor and lawyer who tried for over three decades to stop it. Francis Boyle provides a comprehensive history and critique of American foreign policy toward Libya from when the Reagan administration came to power in January of 1981 up to the 2011 NA TO war on Libya that ultimately achieved the US goal of regime change, and beyond. He sets the record straight on the series of military conflicts and crises between the United States and Libya over the Gulf of Sidra, exposing the Reagan administration’s fraudulent claims of Libyan instigation of international terrorism put forward over his eight years in office.

Boyle reveals the inside story behind the Lockerbie bombing cases against the United States and the United Kingdom that he filed at the World Court for Colonel Qaddafi acting upon his advice—and the unjust resolution of those disputes. Deploying standard criteria of international law, Boyle analyzes and debunks the UN R2P “responsibility to protect” doctrine and its immediate predecessor, “humanitarian intervention”. He addresses how R2P served as the basis for the NATO assault on Libya in 2011, overriding the UN Charter commitment to state sovereignty and prevention of aggression. The purported NATO protection in actuality led to 50,000 Libyan casualties, and the complete breakdown of law and order. And this is just the beginning.

Boyle lays out the ramifications: the destabilization of the Maghreb and Sahel, and the French intervention in Mali—with the USA/NATO/Europe starting a new imperial scramble for the natural resources of Africa. This book is not only a classic case study of the conduct of US foreign policy as it relates to international law, but a damning indictment of the newly-contrived R2P doctrine as legal cover for Western intervention into third world countries.

The Economist Audio Edition [September 14, 2013]

The Economist Audio Edition [September 14, 2013]
The Economist Audio Edition [September 14, 2013]
English | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | ~ 8 hrs | 183.78MB

The audio edition contains word-for-word recordings of all articles published in The Economist, read by professional broadcasters and actors. It is ideal for anyone who wants to listen to articles while travelling, exercising or just relaxing.

The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by "The Economist Newspaper Ltd" and edited in London. It has been in continuous publication since James Wilson established it in September 1843. As of summer 2007, its average circulation topped 1.2 million copies a week, about half of which are sold in North America. Consequently it is often seen as a transatlantic (as opposed to solely British) news source.

The aim of The Economist is "to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress."Subjects covered include international news, economics, politics, business, finance, science, technology, and the arts. The publication is targeted at the high-end "prestige" segment of the market and counts among its audience influential business and government decision-makers.

It takes a strongly argued editorial stance on many issues, especially its support for free trade and fiscal conservatism; it can thus be considered as a magazine which practises advocacy journalism.

Although The Economist calls itself a newspaper and refers to its staff as correspondents, it is printed in magazine form on glossy paper, like a newsmagazine.

Outlaw Journalist [Audiobook]

Outlaw Journalist [Audiobook]
Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S Thompson [Audiobook] by William McKeen, read by Fred Berman
2011 | MP3@192 kbps | 15 hrs 45 mins | 1.27GB

The famous inventor of Gonzo journalism portrayed as never before, both his charisma and his adventurous work.

Hunter S. Thompson detonated a two-ton bomb under the staid field of journalism with his early magazine pieces and revelatory Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 coverage in Rolling Stone. When Thompson was on, there was no one better at capturing who Americans were and what America was, be it in politics, at the Kentucky Derby, or in the Hells Angels' lair.

William McKeen became friends with Thompson after writing a monograph on his journalism. McKeen now has interviewed many of Thompson's associates who wouldn't speak before, from childhood friends to colleagues, to assistants who sat around the Woody Creek, Colorado, kitchen control room late at night when Thompson did most of his work. McKeen gets behind the drinking and drugs to show the man and the writer—one who was happy to be considered an outlaw but took the calling of journalism as his life.

The Lost City of Z [Audiobook]

The Lost City of Z [Audiobook]
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon [Audiobook] by David Grann, read byMark Deakins
2009 | Mp3@96 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 06 mins | 416.9MB

A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon.

After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century": What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z?

In 1925 Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his twenty-one-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization—which he dubbed “Z”—existed. Then he and his expedition vanished.

Fawcett’s fate—and the tantalizing clues he left behind about “Z”—became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists and adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett’s party and the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes, or gone mad. As David Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle’s “green hell.” His quest for the truth and his stunning discoveries about Fawcett’s fate and “Z” form the heart of this complex, enthralling narrative.

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
1997 | EPUB | 4.33MB

When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning, he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn't made it back to their camp and were desperately struggling for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated.

Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of the bestseller Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside Magazine to report on the growing commercialization of the mountain, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas as a client of Rob Hall, the most respected high-altitude guide in the world. A rangy, thirty-five-year-old New Zealander, Hall had summited Everest four times between 1990 and 1995 and had led thirty-nine climbers to the top. Ascending the mountain in close proximity to Hall's team was a guided expedition led by Scott Fischer, a forty-year-old American with legendary strength and drive who had climbed the peak without supplemental oxygen in 1994. But neither Hall nor Fischer survived the rogue storm that struck in May 1996.

Krakauer examines what it is about Everest that has compelled so many people -- including himself -- to throw caution to the wind, ignore the concerns of loved ones, and willingly subject themselves to such risk, hardship, and expense. Written with emotional clarity and supported by his unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer's eyewitness account of what happened on the roof of the world is a singular achievement.

Into the Wild [Audiobook]

Into the Wild [Audiobook]
Into the Wild [Audiobook] by Jon Krakauer, read by Philip Franklin
2007 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 09 mins | 391.93MB

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession
The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean
2000 | EPUB | 2.19MB

Susan Orlean first met John Laroche when visiting Florida to write for the New Yorker about his arrest for stealing rare ghost orchids from a nature reserve. Fascinated both by Laroche and the world she uncovered of orchid collectors and growers, she stayed on, to write this magical exploration of obsession and the strange world both of the orchid obsessives and of Florida, that haunting and weird 'debatable land' of swamps and condos, retirement communities and real-estate scams.

The world of the orchid hunters, breeders and showmen, their rivalries, vendettas and crimes, smuggling, thefts and worse provide the backdrop to a fascinating exploration of one of the byways of human nature, the obsessive world of the collector, and the haunting beauty of the flowers themselves.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much [Audiobook]

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much [Audiobook]
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession [Audiobook] by Allison Hoover Bartlett, read by Judith Brackley
2010 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 07 mins | 333.21MB

What would you do for the love of a good book? For John Charles Gilkey, the answer is: go to prison.

Unrepentant book thief Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for love—the love of books. Perhaps equally obsessive, though, is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed "bibliodick" driven to catch him. Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade.

In following both of these eccentric characters, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged deep into a world of fanatical book lust, and ultimately found herself caught between the many people interested in finding Gilkey's stolen treasure and the man who wanted to keep it hidden: the thief himself. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, Bartlett has woven this cat-and-mouse chase into a narrative that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his crimes and how Sanders eventually caught him, but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them, and the temptation to steal them. All collectors have stories of what first made them fall in love, and Gilkey and Sanders are no different. Bartlett puts their stories into the larger context of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages.

Immersing the reader in a rich, wide world of literary obsession, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much exposes the profound role books play in all of our lives, the reverence in which these everyday objects are still held, and the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love.

Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War

Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War
Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge
2013 | EPUB | 5.05MB

Sergeant Steve Maharidge returned from World War II an angry man. The only evidence that he’d served in the Marines was a photograph of himself and a buddy tacked to the basement wall. On one terrifyingly memorable occasion his teenage son, Dale, witnessed Steve screaming at the photograph: “They said I killed him! But I didn’t kill him! It wasn’t my fault!”

After Steve died, Dale Maharidge began a twelve-year quest to face down his father’s wartime ghosts. He found more than two dozen members of Love Company, the Marine unit in which his father had served. Many of them, now in their eighties, finally began talking about the war. They’d never spoken so openly and emotionally, even to their families. Through them, Maharidge brilliantly re-creates Love Company’s battles and the war that followed them home. In addition, Maharidge traveled to Okinawa to experience where the man in his father’s picture died and meet the families connected to his father’s wartime souvenirs.

The survivors Dale met on both sides of the Pacific Ocean demonstrate that wars do not end when the guns go quiet—the scars and demons remain for decades. Bringing Mulligan Home is a story of fathers and sons, war and postwar, silence and cries in the dark. Most of all it is a tribute to soldiers of all wars—past and present—and the secret burdens they, and their families, must often bear.

American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II

American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II
American Amphibious Gunboats in World War II by Robin L Rielly
2013 | EPUB | 64.83MB

As the United States began its campaign against numerous Japanese-held islands in the Pacific, Japanese tactics required them to develop new weapons and strategies. One of the most crucial to the island assaults was a new group of amphibious gunboats that could deliver heavy fire close in to shore as American forces landed.

These gunboats were also to prove important in the interdiction of inter-island barge traffic and, late in the war, the kamikaze threat. Several variations of these gunboats were developed, based on the troop carrying LCI(L). They included three conversions of the LCI(L), with various combinations of guns, rockets and mortars, and a fourth gunboat, the LCS(L), based on the same hull but designed as a weapons platform from the beginning. By the end of the war the amphibious gunboats had proven their worth.

Endgame, 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II

Endgame, 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II
Endgame, 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II by David Stafford
2007 | EPUB | 1.1MB

To end a history of World War II at VE Day is to leave the tale half told. While the war may have seemed all but over by Hitler's final birthday (April 20), Stafford's chronicle of the three months that followed tells a different, and much richer, story.

ENDGAME, 1945 highlights the gripping personal stories of nine men and women, ranging from soldiers to POWs to war correspondents, who witnessed firsthand the Allied struggle to finish the terrible game at last. Through their ground-level movements, Stafford traces the elaborate web of events that led to the war's real resolution: the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini, the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau, and the Allies' race with the Red Army to establish a victors' foothold in Europe, to name a few. From Hitler's April decision never to surrender to the start of the Potsdam Conference, Stafford brings an unprecedented focus to the war's "final chapter."

Narrative history at its most compelling, ENDGAME, 1945 is the riveting story of three turbulent months that truly shaped the modern world.

Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42

Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42
Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42 by William F Buckingham
2008 | EPUB | 3.29MB

The siege of Tobruk was the longest in British military history. The coastal fortress and deep-water port was of crucial importance to the battle for North Africa, and the key that would unlock the way to Egypt and the Suez Canal. For almost a year the isolated garrison held out against all attempts to take it. For both sides it assumed a propaganda role that outweighed even its great strategic value. Goebbels referred to its defenders as "rats," which, in characteristic British fashion, the whole army proudly adopted as their title, the "Desert Rats," and the port became a symbol of resistance when the war was going badly for Britain.

When it fell and 25,000 men surrendered to an armored assault on 21 June 1942, Churchill said it was "one of the heaviest blows I can recall during the war." William F. Buckingham’s startling account, drawing extensively on first-hand testimony from veterans on both sides, is a comprehensive history of this epic struggle, and essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Western Desert Campaign.

Operation Typhoon: Hitler's March on Moscow, October 1941

Operation Typhoon: Hitler's March on Moscow, October 1941
Operation Typhoon: Hitler's March on Moscow, October 1941 by David Stahel
2013 | PDF | 6.59MB

In October 1941 Hitler launched Operation Typhoon the German drive to capture Moscow and knock the Soviet Union out of the war. As the last chance to escape the dire implications of a winter campaign, Hitler directed seventy-five German divisions, almost two million men and three of Germany's four panzer groups into the offensive, resulting in huge victories at Viaz'ma and Briansk - among the biggest battles of the Second World War.

David Stahel's groundbreaking new account of Operation Typhoon captures the perspectives of both the German high command and individual soldiers, revealing that despite success on the battlefield the wider German war effort was in far greater trouble than is often acknowledged. Germany's hopes of final victory depended on the success of the October offensive but the autumn conditions and the stubborn resistance of the Red Army ensured that the capture of Moscow was anything but certain.

The Battle of the St. Lawrence: The Second World War in Canada

The Battle of the St. Lawrence: The Second World War in Canada
The Battle of the St Lawrence: The Second World War in Canada by Nathan M Greenfield
2004 | EPUB | 3.16MB

On May 11, 1942, a German U-boat torpedoed SS Nicoya, violently ending a peace in Canada's waters that stretched back to 1812. By the end of 1944, another 18 merchant ships and four Canadian warships would be destroyed. More than 300 men, women and children— including at least 260 Canadians— died by explosion, fire or icy drowning.

Drawing on numerous first-hand accounts from both Canadians and Germans, respected writer and historian Nathan Greenfield has penned a lively, revealing narrative, the first popular account of World War II in Canadian waters. This is a must-read for military history enthusiasts, veterans and their families.

Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias

Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias
Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias by Jane Velez-Mitchell
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.37/1.53MB

On June 9, 2008, the butchered body of Travis Alexander was found in his Mesa, Arizona home. The grisly nature of his death made instant headlines: with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit, and a gunshot to the head, Travis was left to die. The prime suspect in the case was Alexander’s ex-girlfriend, the attractive and soft-spoken Jodi Arias. Though Arias initially said that she was nowhere near the scene of the crime, little about this case was as it seemed, and before long she had been caught lying to police. As the investigation progressed, her lies evolved multiple times before finally resting on an appalling claim: she had killed Travis in self-defense. Along the way, startling details emerged about the Mormon couple’s relationship, and soon graphic stories of their lurid sexual encounters and jealousy-driven blowouts revealed a dark side to their life together. These revelations launched a trial filled with sex and deception but also raised substantial questions about Arias’s deceit, as people from across the country struggled to understand the bizarre world of Jodi Arias.

Now, award-winning broadcast journalist and bestselling author Jane Velez-Mitchell, a veteran of some of the most storied court cases in recent memory, goes behind the scenes of the trial and into the mind of a killer. Using insider accounts from friends who knew Travis and Jodi, Velez-Mitchell turns her sharply-focused lens on Arias and offers her seasoned perspective on the case’s most pressing questions. Separating fact from fiction, she reports on the bizarre and explicit stories that have both shocked and fascinated the American public—from Jodi’s romantic history before meeting Travis, to their torrid sex life together, to the complicated role their Mormon faith played in the relationship’s demise. With unbridled access to the evidence and the case’s key players, Velez-Mitchell unearths Jodi’s contentious life with those closest to her, examining the paranoid and erratic behavior behind each relationship and illustrating the disturbing pattern of a murderer in the making.

Complete with photos from the case and Jane Velez-Mitchell’s fresh insights on the crime, Exposed takes readers behind closed bedroom doors to uncover the truth behind the secret and sordid life of Jodi Arias.

Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years

Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years
Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years by Michael Esslinger
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 34.52/40.54MB

Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years is a comprehensive reference with hundreds of pages of historic photographs, documents, and information that breaks away from traditional tourist style books. This book is the result of years of intensive research, and navigates the Island's history through rarely seen documents, interviews, and historic photographs.

Historian Michael Esslinger thoroughly details the prominent events, inmates, and life inside the most infamous prison in American History. His research included hundreds of hours examining actual Alcatraz inmate files (including rare original documents from Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and over a hundred others) exploring the prison grounds from the rooftop to the waterfront to help retrace events, escape routes, in addition to conducting various interviews with former inmates & guards. His study has resulted in detailed accounts of both the 1946 & 1962 Escape attempts. A definitive account of the 1962 escape of Frank Morris and the Anglin Brothers provides rare insight extracted through photos, and over 1,700 pages of FBI investigative notes.

Detailed narratives of Alcatraz's most notable inmates who include Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz), Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Frank Morris, the Anglin Brothers, Doc Barker, Joe Cretzer, Bernard Coy, Miran Thompson, Sam Shockley, and many-many others. Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years, is a comprehensive reference on the history of Alcatraz and contains one of the most comprehensive archives of inmate and prison life photographs (nearly 1,000) from 1934-1963.

Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World

Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World
Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World by Fred E Basten
2012 | EPUB | 9.38MB

Nice women never wore makeup. Even the word was taboo in polite society—until Max Factor entered the scene. Born in Poland in 1877, Factor worked as a beautician for the Russian royal family, the Romanovs. In 1904, he fled to America, where he opened a cosmetics store in Los Angeles. Creating makeup originally for silent films, then the talkies, and, ultimately, color motion pictures, Factor designed looks for Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, and countless other beauties of the day.

Soon women everywhere wanted to look like their favorite glamorous stars, and Factor was there to help, bringing his innovative cosmetics to the general public. He revolutionized the world of beauty by producing many firsts: false eyelashes, lip gloss, foundation, eye shadow, the eyebrow pencil, concealer, wand-applicator mascara, and water-resistant makeup. A true innovator, he also introduced the concept of color harmony and the celebrity-endorsed cosmetics advertising that forms the glamorous backbone of the modern industry.

Max Factor was the father of modern makeup. This is his extraordinary story.

The Butler: A Witness to History

The Butler: A Witness to History
The Butler: A Witness to History by Wil Haygood
2013 | EPUB | 55.03MB

From Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow Wil Haygood comes a mesmerizing inquiry into the life of Eugene Allen, the butler who ignited a nation's imagination and inspired a major motion picture: Lee Daniels' The Butler, the highly anticipated film that stars six Oscar winners, including Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey (honorary and nominee), Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Redgrave, and Robin Williams; as well as Oscar nominee Terrence Howard, Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Alan Rickman, and Liev Schreiber.

With a foreword by the Academy Award nominated director Lee Daniels, The Butler not only explores Allen's life and service to eight American Presidents, from Truman to Reagan, but also includes an essay, in the vein of James Baldwin’s jewel The Devil Finds Work, that explores the history of black images on celluloid and in Hollywood, and fifty-seven pictures of Eugene Allen, his family, the presidents he served, and the remarkable cast of the movie.

American Prometheus [Audiobook]

American Prometheus [Audiobook]
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer [Audiobook] by Kai Bird, Martin J Sherwin, read by Jeff Cummings
2007 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 26 hrs 31 mins | 728.57MB

American Prometheus is the first full-scale biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of the atomic bomb,” the brilliant, charismatic physicist who led the effort to capture the awesome fire of the sun for his country in time of war. Immediately after Hiroshima, he became the most famous scientist of his generation–one of the iconic figures of the twentieth century, the embodiment of modern man confronting the consequences of scientific progress.

He was the author of a radical proposal to place international controls over atomic materials–an idea that is still relevant today. He opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb and criticized the Air Force’s plans to fight an infinitely dangerous nuclear war. In the now almost-forgotten hysteria of the early 1950s, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup, and, in response, Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss, Superbomb advocate Edward Teller and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover worked behind the scenes to have a hearing board find that Oppenheimer could not be trusted with America’s nuclear secrets.

American Prometheus sets forth Oppenheimer’s life and times in revealing and unprecedented detail. Exhaustively researched, it is based on thousands of records and letters gathered from archives in America and abroad, on massive FBI files and on close to a hundred interviews with Oppenheimer’s friends, relatives and colleagues.

We follow him from his earliest education at the turn of the twentieth century at New York City’s Ethical Culture School, through personal crises at Harvard and Cambridge universities. Then to Germany, where he studied quantum physics with the world’s most accomplished theorists; and to Berkeley, California, where he established, during the 1930s, the leading American school of theoretical physics, and where he became deeply involved with social justice causes and their advocates, many of whom were communists. Then to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he transformed a bleak mesa into the world’s most potent nuclear weapons laboratory–and where he himself was transformed. And finally, to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which he directed from 1947 to 1966.

American Prometheus is a rich evocation of America at midcentury, a new and compelling portrait of a brilliant, ambitious, complex and flawed man profoundly connected to its major events–the Depression, World War II and the Cold War. It is at once biography and history, and essential to our understanding of our recent past–and of our choices for the future.

The Strangest Man [Audiobook]

The Strangest Man [Audiobook]
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom [Audiobook] by Graham Farmelo, read by B J Harrison
2009 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 19 hrs 27 mins | 537.3MB

Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics.

One of Einstein's most admired colleagues, Dirac was in 1933 the youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Dirac's personality is legendary. He was an extraordinarily reserved loner, relentlessly literal-minded, and appeared to have no empathy with most people. Yet he was a family man and was intensely loyal to his friends. His tastes in the arts ranged from Beethoven to Cher, from Rembrandt to Mickey Mouse.

Based on previously undiscovered archives, The Strangest Man reveals the many facets of Dirac's brilliantly original mind. A compelling human story, The Strangest Man also depicts a spectacularly exciting era in scientific history.

Fatal Dive [Audiobook]

Fatal Dive [Audiobook]
Fatal Dive: Solving the World War II Mystery of the USS Grunion [Audiobook] by Peter F Stevens, read by Robertson Dean
2012 | MP3@160 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 45 mins | 465.94MB

On July 31, 1942, the Naval submarine USS Grunion, along with her seventy-man crew, vanished without a trace in the icy waters off Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. For decades, the U.S. Navy was unable to reveal further information about the sub’s fate—it had simply vanished. But Commander Jim Abele’s family never gave up their quest to discover the truth. They repeatedly applied to the Navy, corresponded with the families of crew members, consulted with Japanese sources, and finally undertook the quixotic task of locating the Grunion herself. More than six decades after the submarine’s loss, Jim Abele’s three sons astonished the experts by locating the lost submarine 3,000 feet below the surface of one of the world’s most dangerous bodies of water.

But the question remained: What sank the Grunion?

In this explosive new account of the search for the Grunion, author Peter F. Stevens draws on the experiences and the exhaustive research of Bruce, Brad, John, and Susan Abele and Mary and Richard Bentz to provide a cliffhanging account of the submarine’s loss, of its improbable discovery more than half a century later, and ultimately of the Abeles’ final quest—to establish how the Grunion was lost. Using obscure government documents and eyewitness accounts from Japanese naval officers who were the last to see the Grunion, Stevens lays out the compelling case that the true reason for sinking may well have been too embarrassing for the Navy to reveal.

Explorers of the Nile [Audiobook]

Explorers of the Nile [Audiobook]
Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure [Audiobook] by Tim Jeal, read by Clive Chafer
2011 | MP3@64 kbps + PDF | ~ 15 hrs | 411.36MB

Nothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the planet's most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others. Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the fierce competition. Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped "Dark Continent," its jungle deprivations, and the courage—as well as malicious tactics—of the explorers.

On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Jeal weaves the story with authentic new detail and examines the tragic unintended legacy of the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of Uganda and Sudan.

Champlain's Dream

Champlain's Dream
Champlain's Dream by David Hackett Fischer
2009 | EPUB | 17.84MB

In this sweeping, enthralling biography, acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer brings to life the remarkable Samuel de Champlain -- soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France.

Born on France's Atlantic coast, Champlain grew to manhood in a country riven by religious warfare. The historical record is unclear on whether Champlain was baptized Protestant or Catholic, but he fought in France's religious wars for the man who would become Henri IV, one of France's greatest kings, and like Henri, he was religiously tolerant in an age of murderous sectarianism. Champlain was also a brilliant navigator. He went to sea as a boy and over time acquired the skills that allowed him to make twenty-seven Atlantic crossings without losing a ship.

But we remember Champlain mainly as a great explorer. On foot and by ship and canoe, he traveled through what are now six Canadian provinces and five American states. Over more than thirty years he founded, colonized, and administered French settlements in North America. Sailing frequently between France and Canada, he maneuvered through court intrigue in Paris and negotiated among more than a dozen Indian nations in North America to establish New France. Champlain had early support from Henri IV and later Louis XIII, but the Queen Regent Marie de Medici and Cardinal Richelieu opposed his efforts. Despite much resistance and many defeats, Champlain, by his astonishing dedication and stamina, finally established France's New World colony. He tried constantly to maintain peace among Indian nations that were sometimes at war with one another, but when he had to, he took up arms and forcefully imposed a new balance of power, proving himself a formidable strategist and warrior.

Throughout his three decades in North America, Champlain remained committed to a remarkable vision, a Grand Design for France's colony. He encouraged intermarriage among the French colonists and the natives, and he insisted on tolerance for Protestants. He was a visionary leader, especially when compared to his English and Spanish contemporaries -- a man who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world of cruelty and violence.

This superb biography, the first in decades, is as dramatic and exciting as the life it portrays. Deeply researched, it is illustrated throughout with many contemporary images and maps, including several drawn by Champlain himself.

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer
1989 | EPUB | 6.38MB

This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins.

While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.

The Rough Riders [Audiobook]

The Rough Riders [Audiobook]
The Rough Riders [Audiobook] by Theodore Roosevelt, read by John Randolph Jones
1993 | MP3 VBR + EPUB | 5 hrs 34 mins | 441.14MB

In 1898, as the Spanish-American War was escalating, Theodore Roosevelt assembled an improbable regiment of Ivy Leaguers, cowboys, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Western Territory land speculators. This group of men, which became known as the Rough Riders, trained for four weeks in the Texas desert and then set sail for Cuba. Over the course of the summer, Roosevelt's Rough Riders fought valiantly, and sometimes recklessly, in the Cuban foothills, incurring casualties at a far greater rate than the Spanish.

Roosevelt kept a detailed diary from the time he left Washington until his triumphant return from Cuba later that year. The Rough Riders was published to instant acclaim in 1899. Robust in its style and mesmerizing in its account of battle, it is exhilarating, illuminating, and utterly essential reading for every armchair historian and at-home general.

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile

Conspirator: Lenin in Exile
Conspirator: Lenin in Exile by Helen Rappaport
2010 | EPUB | 2.58MB

The father of Communist Russia, Vladimir Ilych Lenin now seems to have emerged fully formed in the turbulent wake ofWorldWar I and the Russian Revolution. But Lenin’s character was in fact forged much earlier, over the course of years spent in exile, constantly on the move, and in disguise.

In Conspirator, Russian historian Helen Rappaport narrates the compelling story of Lenin’s life and political activities in the years leading up to the revolution. As he scuttled between the glittering capital cities of Europe—from London and Munich to Vienna and Prague—Lenin found support among fellow émigrés and revolutionaries in the underground movement. He came to lead a ring of conspirators, many of whom would give their lives in service to his schemes.

A riveting account of Lenin’s little-known early life, Conspirator tracks in gripping detail the formation of one of the great revolutionaries of the twentieth century.

The Rasputin File

The Rasputin File
The Rasputin File by Edvard Radzinsky
2010 | EPUB | 6.03MB

From the bestselling author of Stalin and The Last Tsar comes The Rasputin File, a remarkable biography of the mystical monk and bizarre philanderer whose role in the demise of the Romanovs and the start of the revolution can only now be fully known.

For almost a century, historians could only speculate about the role Grigory Rasputin played in the downfall of tsarist Russia. But in 1995 a lost file from the State Archives turned up, a file that contained the complete interrogations of Rasputin’s inner circle. With this extensive and explicit amplification of the historical record, Edvard Radzinsky has written a definitive biography, reconstructing in full the fascinating life of an improbable holy man who changed the course of Russian history.

Stalin: The First In-depth Biography

Stalin: The First In-depth Biography
Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives by Edvard Radzinsky
1997 | EPUB | 2.29MB

From the author of The Last Tsar, the first full-scale life of Stalin to have what no previous biography has entirely gotten hold of: the facts. Granted privileged access to Russia's secret archives, Edvard Radzinsky paints a picture of the Soviet strongman as more calculating, ruthless, and blood-crazed than has ever been described or imagined. Stalin was a man for whom power was all, terror a useful weapon, and deceit a constant companion.

As Radzinsky narrates the high drama of Stalin's epic quest for domination-first within the Communist Party, then over the Soviet Union and the world-he uncovers the startling truth about this most enigmatic of historical figures. Only now, in the post-Soviet era, can what was suppressed be told: Stalin's long-denied involvement with terrorism as a young revolutionary; the crucial importance of his misunderstood, behind-the-scenes role during the October Revolution; his often hostile relationship with Lenin; the details of his organization of terror, culminating in the infamous show trials of the 1930s; his secret dealings with Hitler, and how they backfired; and the horrifying plans he was making before his death to send the Soviet Union's Jews to concentration camps-tantamount to a potential second Holocaust. Radzinsky also takes an intimate look at Stalin's private life, marked by his turbulent relationship with his wife Nadezhda, and recreates the circumstances that led to her suicide.

As he did in The Last Tsar, Radzinsky thrillingly brings the past to life. The Kremlin intrigues, the ceaseless round of double-dealing and back-stabbing, the private worlds of the Soviet Empire's ruling class-all become, in Radzinsky's hands, as gripping and powerful as the great Russian sagas. And the riddle of that most cold-blooded of leaders, a man for whom nothing was sacred in his pursuit of absolute might--and perhaps the greatest mass murderer in Western history--is solved.

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II [Audiobook]

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II [Audiobook]
The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II [Audiobook] by Edvard Radzinsky, read by David McCallum
1993 | MP3@160 kbps | 5 hrs 47 mins | 397.92MB

Russian historian Radzinsky mines sources never before available to create a this portrait of a monarch.

Historians have long believed that Lenin personally ordered the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family in July 1918; this contradicts the official Soviet version, in which Siberian Bolsheviks ordered the executions without Moscow's clearance. Radzinsky, a Russian playwright, adds many valuable pieces to the jigsaw puzzle in an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the slaying, based on royal diaries and newly uncovered eyewitness accounts from the executioners. The author unearthed the testimony of Lenin's bodyguard, who said that Lenin had ordered him to destroy a secret telegram (and its transmittal ribbon), which contained the top Bolshevik's order to carry out the executions. Oral testimony by a soldier who participated in the killings, given decades later to an informant whom Radzinsky interviewed, alleges that two bodies were missing from the truck that took the executed royal family to an unmarked grave; this will fuel speculation that Anastasia and Alexei, heir to the throne, survived the fatal night. Using the diaries of Czar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra, Radzinsky also presents a fragmentary account of Romanov family life, their kidnapping and the abortive plots to save them.

A prominent Russian playwright has turned his talents to historical investigation and produced an account containing intriguing new details for the Western reader and revelations for the previously uninformed citizenry of the former Soviet Union. Long fascinated by the death of Nicholas II, his wife, and his children, Radzinsky gained access to long-closed national archives containing state documents, diaries of the tsar and his family, and eyewitness accounts. To the well-known fact that the Bolsheviks who held the royal family executed them hastily out of fear that advancing White forces might recover the tsar, Radzinsky adds documentation of Lenin's approval of the local Reds' actions and full descriptions (from participant accounts) of the killings and disposal of the bodies. He also introduces evidence suggesting that two of the Romanovs survived. Early chapters are routine, and a trained historian might have handled the material differently, but this book will attract attention.

Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations

Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations
Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations edited by Edward S Rogers, Donald B Smith
1994 | EPUB | 9.23MB

Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations contains seventeen essays on aspects of the history of the First Nations living within the present-day boundaries of Ontario. This volume review the experience of both the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples in Southern Ontario, as well as the Algonquians in Northern Ontario.

The first section describes the climate and landforms of Ontario thousands of years ago. It includes a comprehensive account of the archaeologists' contributions to our knowledge of the material culture of the First Nations before the arrival of the Europeans. The essays in the second and third sections look respectively at the Native peoples of Southern Ontario and Northern Ontario, from 1550 to 1945. The final section looks at more recent developments. The volume includes numerous illustrations and maps, as well as an extensive bibliography.

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians
The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch
2005 | MOBI | 847.19KB

On New Year's Day in 1870, ten-year-old Adolph Korn was kidnapped by an Apache raiding party. Traded to Comaches, he thrived in the rough, nomadic existence, quickly becoming one of the tribe's fiercest warriors. Forcibly returned to his parents after three years, Korn never adjusted to life in white society. He spent his last years in a cave, all but forgotten by his family.

That is, until Scott Zesch stumbled over his own great-great-great uncle's grave. Determined to understand how such a "good boy" could have become Indianized so completely, Zesch travels across the west, digging through archives, speaking with Comanche elders, and tracking eight other child captives from the region with hauntingly similar experiences. With a historians rigor and a novelists eye, Zesch paints a vivid portrait of life on the Texas frontier, offering a rare account of captivity.

The Farfarers: A New History of North America

The Farfarers: A New History of North America
The Farfarers: A New History of North America by Farley Mowat
2011 | EPUB | 9.85MB

In this bestseller, Farley Mowat challenges the conventional notion that the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach North America, offering an unforgettable portrait of the Albans, a race originating from the island now known as Britain. Battered by repeated invasions from their aggressive neighbors Celt, Roman, and Norse the Albans fled west. Their search for safety, and for the massive walrus herds on which their survival depended, eventually took them to the land now known as Newfoundland and Labrador. Skillfully weaving together clues gathered from forty years of research, Mowat presents a fascinating account of a forgotten history.

The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict 1793 - 1815

The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict 1793 - 1815
The War of Wars: The Great European Conflict 1793 - 1815 by Robert Harvey
2007 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.76/4.74MB

At the turn of the 18th century the greatest nations in Europe offered history two distinct ideals that would shape the new century: England was a democratic, constitutional monarchy; while France had suffered the cataclysm of Revolution that ripped the absolute king from the throne and replaced him with the mob. Out of this maelstrom emerged a military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, commander of the revolutionary army, who would conquer Italy and Egypt before returning to Paris to proclaim himself emperor. As Napoleon gained power in France, the world stood on the brink of total war. By 1805 the general was making plans to cross the channel and invade England. The subsequent drama reaches from the frozen plains surrounding Moscow to the Caribbean waters, from the debating chamber of the Parliament to the muddy fields of Waterloo.

The Great French Wars (1793–1815) can truly be called the first global war; it was also the first conflict driven by industrial might. As Napoleon's revolutionary guard ravaged Europe, men like the Duke of Wellington, Horatio Nelson, as well as their allies, Duke Charles of Hapsburg and Gebhard von Blucher stopped his complete domination of the continent.

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution
Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama
1997 | EPUB | 6.27MB

This monumental book attempts to chronicle the French Revolution from its inception to the end of the Reign of Terror in 1794, using a slightly different style than most conventional histories. In the preface, Schama notes that studies of personalities have largely been replaced by studies of grain supplies, indicating a pattern to seek explanations for historical events and trends in obscure economic factors, rather than in the personalities of the leading figures involved. This Schama is determined to fight against, and he resurrects the nineteenth-century chronicle, with its emphasis on people, high and low. The first section is largely concerned with the Old Régime, which the author reveals a dynamic and rapidly changing society, where the pace of change was indeed too fast instead of too slow, as the popular perception goes. He meticulously shows the rise of revolutionary and nationalist culture, as well as of a new economic order, and the incapacity of Louis XVI and his governments to deal with the new realities. The accounts of the demise of the Old Regime and the beginnings of Revolution are extremely detailed, but also move at a fast pace, with numerous stories of the participants interspersed in the narrative. Schama's use of primary sources is exhaustive, and sometimes even tends to be overwhelming, but the overall effect is an impressive display of historical writing at its finest. But it is in relating the power struggles within the National Assembly and the Convention that Schama truly shines. We hear the strident rhetoric of the Brissotins and later the Jacobins, calling for the bloody consummation of the Revolution. We are at the side of the major players as they are elbowed aside, which often means assassination or execution. We are taken to the provinces, where the Vendéan revolt and the subsequent massacres of thousands by the revolutionary authorities provide horrifying preludes of twentieth century violence and genocide. Indeed the most striking aspect of the book is just how much the forces of totalitarianism in our time owe to their Jacobin predecessors. The speeches of Saint-Just and Marat could have just as easily been uttered by Lenin. The vast outdoor pageants and revolutionary festivals conceived by Jacques-Louis David could measure up considerably well to Albert Speer's monstrous but impeccably designed rallies for Hitler. Schama pulls off an astounding effect, for as the reader progresses in the story, the revolutionary fervor almost creeps out of the page, and one feels the all-encompassing madness. The ending of the book is bleak, showing a disturbing lithograph of Robespierre decapitating the last executioner amidst a forest of guillotines and in the shadow of a giant chimney of cremation bearing the inscription "Here lies all of France." The Terroristes' own pathetic endings provide no closure, merely a bitter aftertaste of disgust.

Schama's contentions are well-reasoned and he succeeds magnificently in exposing both the workings and the soul of the Revolution. His view is a bit too complex to encapsulate in a few words, but it largely centers on the idea that violence was not just another "aspect" of the Revolution, but was always a crucial part of it. The two were effectively inseparable. The roots of this violence were to be found in the patriotic culture and in the enormous influence exercised by Romanticism and especially by the writings of Rousseau, wherefrom came the notions of patriotic sacrifice and patriotic death. Schama claims, with considerable credibility, that the Revolution did not achieve any of the significant reformist objectives of 1789 (indeed, the Jacobins were almost immediately forced to impose economic paternalism), and worse, it inaugurated an era when violence determined the direction of the state more than anything else. What the Revolution did create was "a military-technocratic state of immense power and emotional solidarity," but "its other principal invention had been a political culture that perennially and directly challenged it." The meaning of the entire book, and indeed of the Revolution itself, is summarized next: "Suddenly, subjects were told they had become Citizens...Before the promise of 1789 could be realized, it was necessary to root out Uncitizens." Citizens is a remarkable book, a life-changing read that will reveal mankind at its darkest but also at its most complicated, and that will fiercely bring to life one of the most momentous events in history.

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King
2000 | EPUB + MOBI | 4.28/3.29MB

Anyone alive in Florence on August 19, 1418, would have understood the significance of the competition announced that day concerning the city’s magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, already under construction for more than a century. “Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome…shall do so before the end of the month of September.” The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design eschewed (shunned) the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.

Of the many plans submitted, one stood out—a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clock maker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then 41, who would dedicate the next 28 years to solving the puzzles of the dome’s construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.

Brunelleschi’s Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes (some among the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers’ platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction—all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amidst plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence—events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi’s bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near capture of Florence by the Duke of Milan. King also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows onto fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker’s art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, the power of the guilds.

Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. In telling the story of the greatest engineering puzzle of the Renaissance and one of the world’s architectural marvels, Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.

The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire

The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire
The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire edited by Jonathan Shepard
2008 | PDF | 17.35MB

Byzantium lasted a thousand years, ruled to the end by self-styled ‘emperors of the Romans’. It underwent kaleidoscopic territorial and structural changes, yet recovered repeatedly from disaster: even after the near-impregnable Constantinople fell in 1204, variant forms of the empire reconstituted themselves.

The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire tells the story, tracing political and military events, religious controversies and economic change. It offers clear, authoritative chapters on the main events and periods, with more detailed chapters on particular outlying regions, neighbouring powers or aspects of Byzantium. With aids such as a glossary, an alternative place-name table and references to English translations of sources, it will be valuable as an introduction. However, it also offers stimulating new approaches and important new findings, making it essential reading for postgraduates and for specialists.

  • Most detailed and authoritative single-volume account of Byzantine history to date
  • Written by a strong team of leading international scholars, each an expert in his or her own field
  • Provides even coverage across the whole history of the Byzantine Empire, offering both narrative and in-depth analysis

From Rome to Byzantium AD 363 to 565

From Rome to Byzantium AD 363 to 565
From Rome to Byzantium AD 363 to 565: The Transformation of Ancient Rome by A D Lee
2013 | PDF | 4.47MB

Between the deaths of the Emperors Julian (363) and Justinian (565), the Roman Empire underwent momentous changes. Most obviously, control of the west was lost to barbarian groups during the fifth century, and although parts were recovered by Justinian, the empire's centre of gravity shifted irrevocably to the east, with its focal point now the city of Constantinople. Equally important was the increasing dominance of Christianity not only in religious life, but also in politics, society and culture. Doug Lee charts these and other significant developments which contributed to the transformation of ancient Rome and its empire into Byzantium and the early medieval west.

By emphasising the resilience of the east during late antiquity and the continuing vitality of urban life and the economy, this volume offers an alternative perspective to the traditional paradigm of decline and fall.

Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History

Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History
Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What they Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris
2010 | EPUB | 2.92MB

Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West’s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?

Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate. As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.

Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules—for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines—from ancient history to neuroscience—not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.

Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott

Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott
Ten Billion by Stephen Emmott
2013 | EPUB | 4.06MB

Just over two hundred years ago, there were one billion humans on Earth.

There are now over seven billion of us.

And, sometime this century, the world population will reach at least ten billion.

Deforestation. Desertification. Species extinction. Global warming. Growing threats to food and water. The driving issues of our times are the result of one huge problem: Us.

As the population continues to grow, our problems will increase. And this means that every way we look at it, a planet of ten billion people is likely to be a nightmare.

Stephen Emmott, a scientist whose lab is at the forefront of research into complex natural systems, sounds the alarm. TEN BILLION is a snapshot of our planet, and our species, approaching a crisis, and a stark analysis of where this leaves us. TEN BILLION is not another climate book. TEN BILLION is a book about us.

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder [Audiobook]

Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder [Audiobook]
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder [Audiobook] by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, read by Joe Ochman
2012 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 16 hrs 13 mins | 669.21MB

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

The Bed of Procrustes [Audiobook]

The Bed of Procrustes [Audiobook]
The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms [Audiobook] by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, read by Sean Pratt
2011 | MP3@192 kbps + EPUB | 1 hour 41 mins | 69.42MB

By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.

The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

Playful and irreverent, these aphorisms will surprise you by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized.

With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable [Audiobook]

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable [Audiobook]
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable [Audiobook] by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, read by David Chandler
2007 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 20 mins | 394.19MB

Four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon warned that our minds are wired to deceive us. "Beware the fallacies into which undisciplined thinkers most easily fall--they are the real distorting prisms of human nature." Chief among them: "Assuming more order than exists in chaotic nature." Now consider the typical stock market report: "Today investors bid shares down out of concern over Iranian oil production." Sigh. We're still doing it.

Our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. And so we tell ourselves simple stories to explain complex thing we don't--and, most importantly, can't--know. The truth is that we have no idea why stock markets go up or down on any given day, and whatever reason we give is sure to be grossly simplified, if not flat out wrong.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb first made this argument in Fooled by Randomness, an engaging look at the history and reasons for our predilection for self-deception when it comes to statistics. Now, in The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, he focuses on that most dismal of sciences, predicting the future. Forecasting is not just at the heart of Wall Street, but it’s something each of us does every time we make an insurance payment or strap on a seat belt.

The problem, Nassim explains, is that we place too much weight on the odds that past events will repeat (diligently trying to follow the path of the "millionaire next door," when unrepeatable chance is a better explanation). Instead, the really important events are rare and unpredictable. He calls them Black Swans, which is a reference to a 17th century philosophical thought experiment. In Europe all anyone had ever seen were white swans; indeed, "all swans are white" had long been used as the standard example of a scientific truth. So what was the chance of seeing a black one? Impossible to calculate, or at least they were until 1697, when explorers found Cygnus atratus in Australia.

Nassim argues that most of the really big events in our world are rare and unpredictable, and thus trying to extract generalizable stories to explain them may be emotionally satisfying, but it's practically useless. September 11th is one such example, and stock market crashes are another. Or, as he puts it, "History does not crawl, it jumps." Our assumptions grow out of the bell-curve predictability of what he calls "Mediocristan," while our world is really shaped by the wild powerlaw swings of "Extremistan."

In full disclosure, I'm a long admirer of Taleb's work and a few of my comments on drafts found their way into the book. I, too, look at the world through the powerlaw lens, and I too find that it reveals how many of our assumptions are wrong. But Taleb takes this to a new level with a delightful romp through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature. --Chris Anderson

Fooled by Randomness

Fooled by Randomness
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
2006 | EPUB | 852.68KB
“[Taleb is] Wall Street’s principal dissident. . . . [Fooled By Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-nine theses were to the Catholic Church.”
–Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

In Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a professional trader and mathematics professor, examines what randomness means in business and in life and why human beings are so prone to mistake dumb luck for consummate skill. This eccentric and highly personal exploration of the nature of randomness meanders from the court of Croesus and trading rooms in New York and London to Russian roulette, Monte Carlo engines, and the philosophy of Karl Popper.

Part of what makes this book so good is Taleb's ability to make seemingly arcane mathematical concepts (at least to this reviewer) entirely relevant in evaluating and understanding everything from the stock market to the success of those millionaires cited in the aforementioned bestsellers. Here's an articulate, wise, and humorous meditation on the nature of success and failure that anyone who wants a little more of the former would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards

Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy by David Wolfsdorf
2013 | PDF | 3.12MB

The Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy series provides concise books, written by major scholars and accessible to non-specialists, on important themes in ancient philosophy that remain of philosophical interest today.

In this volume Professor Wolfsdorf undertakes the first exploration of ancient Greek philosophical conceptions of pleasure in relation to contemporary conceptions. The book provides broad coverage of the ancient material, from pre-Platonic to Old Stoic treatments; and in the contemporary period, from World War II to the present. Examination of the nature of pleasure in ancient philosophy largely occurred within ethical contexts. In the contemporary period, the topic has, to a greater extent, been pursued within philosophy of mind and psychology. This divergence reflects the dominant philosophical preoccupations of the times. But Wolfsdorf argues that the various treatments are complementary. Indeed, the Greeks' examinations of pleasure were incisive, their debates vigorous and their results have enduring value for contemporary discussion.

  • Provides an accessible treatment of ancient Greek philosophical conceptions of pleasure
  • Broad coverage, from pre-Platonic up to Old Stoic treatments
  • The first book to compare contemporary conceptions of pleasure with the ancient ones and examines the relevance of the latter to the former

Magnificent Principia: Exploring Isaac Newton's Masterpiece

Magnificent Principia: Exploring Isaac Newton's Masterpiece
Magnificent Principia: Exploring Isaac Newton's Masterpiece by Colin Pask
2013 | EPUB | 6.65MB

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg has written that "all that has happened since 1687 is a gloss on the Principia." Now you too can appreciate the significance of this stellar work, regarded by many as the greatest scientific contribution of all time. Despite its dazzling reputation, Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, or simply the Principia, remains a mystery for many people. Few of even the most intellectually curious readers, including professional scientists and mathematicians, have actually looked in the Principia or appreciate its contents. Mathematician Pask seeks to remedy this deficit in this accessible guided tour through Newton's masterpiece.

Using the final edition of the Principia, Pask clearly demonstrates how it sets out Newton's (and now our) approach to science; how the framework of classical mechanics is established; how terrestrial phenomena like the tides and projectile motion are explained; and how we can understand the dynamics of the solar system and the paths of comets. He also includes scene-setting chapters about Newton himself and scientific developments in his time, as well as chapters about the reception and influence of the Principia up to the present day.

The Bonobo and the Atheist [Audiobook]

The Bonobo and the Atheist [Audiobook]
The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates [Audiobook] by Frans de Waal, read by Jonathon Davis
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 09 mins |

In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution.

For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy.

But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book’s title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life?

Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Ever a pioneering thinker, de Waal delivers a heartening and inclusive new perspective on human nature and our struggle to find purpose in our lives.

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved [Audiobook]

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved [Audiobook]
Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved [Audiobook] by Frans de Waal, read by Alan Sklar
2010 | MP3@96 kbps | 6 hrs 08 mins | 250.68MB

"It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primates and Philosophers tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality.

In this provocative book, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes. Science has thus exacerbated our reciprocal habits of blaming nature when we act badly and labeling the good things we do as "humane". Seeking the origin of human morality not in evolution but in human culture, science insists that we are moral by choice, not by nature.

Citing remarkable evidence based on his extensive research of primate behavior, de Waal attacks "Veneer Theory", which posits morality as a thin overlay on an otherwise nasty nature. He explains how we evolved from a long line of animals that care for the weak and build cooperation with reciprocal transactions.

Drawing on both Darwin and recent scientific advances, de Waal demonstrates a strong continuity between human and animal behavior. In the process, he also probes issues such as anthropomorphism and human responsibilities toward animals.

Based on the Tanner Lectures de Waal delivered at Princeton University's Center for Human Values in 2004, Primates and Philosophers includes responses by the philosophers Peter Singer, Christine M. Korsgaard, and Phillip Kitcher, and the science writer Robert Wright. They press de Waal to clarify the differences between humans and other animals, yielding a lively debate that will fascinate all those who wonder about the origins and reach of human goodness.

Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong

Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong
Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals by Frans de Waal
1997 | PDF | 9.87MB

To observe a dog's guilty look, to witness a gorilla's self-sacrifice for a wounded mate, to watch an elephant herd's communal effort on behalf of a stranded calf--to catch animals in certain acts is to wonder what moves them. Might there he a code of ethics in the animal kingdom? Must an animal be human to he humane? In this provocative book, a renowned scientist takes on those who have declared ethics uniquely human. Making a compelling case for a morality grounded in biology, he shows how ethical behavior is as much a matter of evolution as any other trait, in humans and animals alike.

World famous for his brilliant descriptions of Machiavellian power plays among chimpanzees-the nastier side of animal life--Frans de Waal here contends that animals have a nice side as well. Making his case through vivid anecdotes drawn from his work with apes and monkeys and holstered by the intriguing, voluminous data from his and others' ongoing research, de Waal shows us that many of the building blocks of morality are natural: they can he observed in other animals. Through his eyes, we see how not just primates but all kinds of animals, from marine mammals to dogs, respond to social rules, help each other, share food, resolve conflict to mutual satisfaction, even develop a crude sense of justice and fairness.

Natural selection may be harsh, but it has produced highly successful species that survive through cooperation and mutual assistance. De Waal identifies this paradox as the key to an evolutionary account of morality, and demonstrates that human morality could never have developed without the foundation of fellow feeling our species shares with other animals. As his work makes clear, a morality grounded in biology leads to an entirely different conception of what it means to he human--and humane.

Practical Duct Tape Projects

Practical Duct Tape Projects
Practical Duct Tape Projects edited by Noah Weinstein
2013 | EPUB | 45.27MB

Creative and innovative step-by-step projects for duct tape creations of all kinds!

Duct tape has gotten a reputation as the quick-fix tape for every situation. However, did you know that you can use duct tape to create practical items for everyday use? Did you also know that duct tape now comes in a variety of colors, so your creations can be fun and stylish? Originating from Instructables, a popular project-based community made up of all sorts of characters with wacky hobbies and a desire to pass on their wisdom to others, Practical Duct Tape Projects contains ideas from a number of authors who nurse a healthy urge to create anything possible from duct tape.

Practical Duct Tape Projects provides step-by-step instructions on a variety of useful and fun objects involving duct tape. Guided through each endeavor by detailed photographs, the reader will create articles of clothing, tools, and more, such as:

  • Fishing net
  • Messenger bag
  • Wallet with change pouch
  • Duck tub stopper
  • Laptop case
  • Pencil case
  • And much more!

The Instructables community has provided a compilation of guides on a variety of duct tape exploits. The most outrageous projects are definitely the most fun, and this book shows that duct tape can make just about anything.

The Soapmaker's Companion

The Soapmaker's Companion
The Soapmaker's Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How by Susan Miller Cavitch
1997 | EPUB | 5.6MB

The most comprehensive guide to soapmaking ever!

From the author of the best-selling The Natural Soap Book comes this illustrated guide to making over 40 specialty soaps -- from exquisite stained-glass, marbled, and layered soaps to soothing masseuse bars, hardworking laundry soap, and practical liquid soaps.

Through clear, step-by-step instructions, master soapmaker Susan Miller Cavitch leads you through every step of the soapmaking process and teaches you how to:

  • craft exotic and practical soaps in your home
  • blend and use essential oils and natural colorants
  • design multi-colored, marbled, and imprinted soaps
  • understand the chemistry of soapmaking and create your own personal bars

Plus, you'll get tips on how to get started selling soaps!

Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening

Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening
Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening: The No Yard, No Time, No Problem Way To Grow Your Own Food by William Moss
2012 | EPUB | 108.39MB

Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening is all about growing your own food—no matter where you live.

No yard? No problem! You can grow food almost anywhere—even on patios, balconies, and rooftop gardens—when you grow the right vegetable, fruit, or herb and know the techniques to maximize the use of the space you have.

No time? No problem! There are plenty of vegetables, herbs, and even fruits that you can grow that don’t need day-to-day attention. We give you all kinds of time-saving tips.

This book teaches you everything you need to know to get started. Author and garden expert William Moss shares his hands-on experience with you; he’s a veteran of growing vegetables within big-city limits. He knows what to do—and what not do—to have a successful harvest anywhere you garden.

If you have a patio, space for containers or window boxes, a rooftop, or any size yard and you want to grow your own food, this is the book for you. Using William’s unique techniques, you will be enjoying your homegrown harvest, no matter where you live or how much time you have.

It’s time to get out and grow!

Starting Seeds

Starting Seeds
Starting Seeds: How to Grow Healthy, Productive Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers from Seed by Barbara Ellis
2013 | EPUB | 5.13MB

Every spring, grocery-store sidewalks are lined with newly sprouted plants waiting to be transplanted in backyard plots by amateur gardeners. According to veteran gardening expert Ellis, most of these seedlings are overpriced, nonorganic, and quickly fall prey to transplant shock. In this slender, do-it-yourself guide to growing all varieties of plants from seed, Ellis demonstrates how much greater control the enterprising gardener acquires with germinating methods, from being able to choose from a much wider variety of vegetables and herbs to keeping seedlings free of pesticides.

In three easy-to-follow, jargon-free sections, complete with useful illustrations, Ellis covers the fundamentals of seed selection, soil preparation, proper moisture, and choosing the best containers. An invaluable section includes troubleshooting tips, a frost-dates map, and an Internet resource guide. Whether you’re a novice gardener just breaking in a new greenhouse or a veteran fine-tuning your germination skills, Ellis’ book offers plenty of sound advice on working botanical magic from one of nature’s most fundamental units of life.

The Gingerbread Book

The Gingerbread Book
The Gingerbread Book: 54 Cookie-Construction Projects for Party Centerpieces and Holiday Decorations by Allen Bragdon
2011 | EPUB | 8.3MB

This charming step-by-step guide shows readers how to bake, assemble, and decorate over fifty-four gingerbread projects for all seasons.

This book provides life size patterns and an entire section entitled, Basic Skills, to help any beginner start decorating in no time. With over a 154 color photos and simple instructions, the book is fun and easy to follow. This guide will show you how easy it can be to create your very own gingerbread masterpiece. Quick, cookie-constructions like The Monsters’ Picnic and charming period pieces like The Christmas Carolers can be made with edible gingerbread or modeling clay to be passed down from generation to generation. The options are endless! 152 full-color photographs and 115 black-and-white photographs.

Cooking Well: Wheat Allergies

Cooking Well: Wheat Allergies
Cooking Well: Wheat Allergies: The Complete Health Guide for Gluten-Free Nutrition, Includes Over 145 Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes by Marie-Annick Courtier
2009 | EPUB | 4.32MB

Delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare gluten-free recipes.

Today, living a gluten-free lifestyle is gaining popularity as more and more people around the world develop serious health aversions to wheat. Wheat intolerances and allergies are among the top food allergies in the United States.

Cooking Well: Wheat Allergies features over 145 gluten-free recipes designed to improve daily functioning with a variety of delicious meal choices, including breakfast, soups, salads, entrees, snacks and desserts. Enjoy everything from orange pumpkin muffins, to black bean soup, to a Waldorf salad, to chicken cacciatore, to an apple tart, without having to worry about your wheat intolerance or allergy.

Cooking Well: Wheat Allergies also includes:

  • An overview on wheat allergies
  • A list of foods to avoid
  • A meal diary and checklist to track your progress

Recipes and meals in the Cooking Well series have been specially created by renowned health and diet expert, Chef Marie-Annick Courtier. Each book in the series also includes general nutrition information as well as tips on which foods to avoid along the path of nutritional healing.

Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty

Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty
Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty: Over 75 Recipes, Remedies and Natural Treatments by Marie Courtier, The National Honey Board
2009 | EPUB | 3.66MB

Discover the proven and powerful health, beauty and healing properties of nature’s miracle medicine: honey.

For millions of years, bees have worked tirelessly to create nature’s miracle medicine: honey. In this important book, Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty, the unique healing properties of honey are revealed, placing the power of this low-cost and effective natural treatment in your family's hands.

Whether as a healing agent for minor wounds and burns, a soothing ingredient for sore throats and coughs, a beauty treatment rich in anti-oxidants for youthful skin, or as a potent antibiotic, honey has become and essential part of natural cures and remedies.

Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty also explains how the recent, rapid decline in honeybee population is damaging to our environment and lists ways that you can help honeybees thrive. After all, the health of our planet, the health of the honeybee, and our health as individuals are inextricably linked.

Featuring over 75 honey-based recipes for better health, beauty and nutrition, Cooking Well: Honey for Health & Beauty is all you need to harness the precious gift of honey bees.

Mind Mapping with FreeMind

Mind Mapping with FreeMind
Mind Mapping with FreeMind by Silvina P Hillar
2012 | EPUB | 4.29MB

Easy recipes to increase productivity and creativity using powerful free tools—FreeMind and Freeplane.

Overview

  • Design, write, add visual aids, link and share your mind maps
  • Increase productivity and creativity.

In Detail

FreeMind is the powerful free mind mapping software used by millions of people worldwide to capture their ideas and communicate them visually.

Mind mapping with FreeMind will teach you how to develop different kinds of mind maps to capture and arrange your ideas. You will learn how to combine FreeMind or FreePlane with other free software in order to enhance the mind maps. You will learn to link and share them for use with mobile devices.

Mind mapping with FreeMind provides easy to follow instructions to design different types of mind maps according to the needs of teachers and students. The book includes visual aids and example charts. Mind maps can be created in a simple way and throughout the book they can be enhanced using all the features that FreeMind offers. Visually attractive mind maps are displayed in the book as examples for you to build on.

What you will learn from this book

  • Design a mind map that's visually attractive using icons and writing enough text and adding notes where necessary
  • Represent the subject matter using key words developing a radiant hierarchy through word sizes
  • Associate ideas through words, icons and images
  • Develop a graphic technique working with bitmaps, designing SVG for the mind map or inserting external objects
  • Link the mind map to an email address, local or external hyperlinks
  • Export and share the mind map in different formats

Approach

The book is presented in easy to follow Cookbook recipes covering a wide variety of tasks and applications.

Who this book is written for

The book is for users of FreeMind and FreePlane or new users who would like to explore the world of free mind mapping software. No previous experience is required.

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments
E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout
2012 | EPUB | 268.66KB

E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments that prove reality is malleable, consciousness trumps matter, and you shape your life with your mind. Yes, you read that right. It says prove.

The nine experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion.

Rather than take it on faith, E-Squared invites you to prove the following principles:

  • There is an invisible energy force or field of infinite possibilities.
  • You impact the field and draw from it according to your beliefs and expectations.
  • You, too, are a field of energy.
  • Whatever you focus on expands.
  • Your connection to the field provides accurate and unlimited guidance.
  • Your thoughts and consciousness impact matter.
  • Your thoughts and consciousness provide the scaffolding for your physical body.
  • You are connected to everything and everyone else in the universe.
  • The universe is limitless, abundant, and strangely accommodating.

Open Water Swimming Manual

Open Water Swimming Manual
Open Water Swimming Manual: An Expert's Survival Guide for Triathletes and Open Water Swimmers by Lynne Cox
2013 | EPUB | 3.1MB

Lynne Cox has set open water swimming records across the world, and now she has focused her decades-long experience and expertise into this definitive guide to swimming. Cox methodically addresses what is needed to succeed at and enjoy open water swimming, including choosing the right bathing suit and sunscreen; surviving in dangerous weather conditions, currents, and waves; confronting various marine organisms; treating ailments, such as being stung or bitten, and much more. Cox calls upon Navy SEAL training materials and instructors’ knowledge of open water swimming and safety procedures to guide her research. In addition, first-hand anecdotes from SEAL specialists and stories of Cox’s own experiences serve as both warnings and proper practices to adopt.

Open Water Swimming Manual provides a wealth of knowledge for all swimmers, from seasoned triathletes and expert swimmers to beginners exploring open water swimming for the first time. It is, as well, the first manual of its kind to make use of oceanography, marine biology, and to weave in stories about the successes and failures of other athletes, giving us a deeper, broader understanding of this exhilarating and fast growing sport.

The Complete Book of Swimming

The Complete Book of Swimming
The Complete Book of Swimming by Phillip Whitten
1994 | EPUB | 14.44MB

This book is great for getting started. If your first thought is,"do I really wanna go all the way up to the pool, get in my swimming trunks and jump into the cold wet?", just open this book and you'll already be in the water. Dr. Whitten has so much enthusiasm for the sport, that he could probably even convince a cat to take up swimming. I bet there are better books for competitive swimmers, which have more complete work-outs or are more technical, but this book gives you a bit of everything and it also explains WHY you should take up swimming. - from Amazon review

Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide

Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide
Essential Yoga: An Illustrated Guide to Over 100 Yoga Poses and Meditations by Olivia H Miller
2004 | EPUB | 15.83MB

From the author of the best-selling Yoga Deck comes Essential Yoga -- the only hatha yoga book to offer this many poses (over 100), this many illustrations (over 180), and this many suggested sequences (over 50). Practical and interactive, it focuses on the poses themselves, providing clear, concise instructions and detailed illustrations for each, all in a lay-flat format that's easy to refer to during yoga practice. It also includes six classic moving meditations (such as Sun Salutation and Camel Vinyasa), 10 beginner-to-advanced sessions, and 48 mini-sequences designed to build strength for specific activities or alleviate health problems.

Essential Yoga combines physical poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayamas), and meditations (dhyanas) into a simple and complete reference guide for yoga practitioners of all levels. Along the way, author Olivia Miller provides guidance on proper technique and alignment; modifications for beginners or those with knee, neck, or back pain; suggestions for preventing injury; and ways to keep a regular practice interesting and active. For beginners as much as experts looking for one complete book that has it all, Essential Yoga is it.

Trigger Point Therapy Workbook [Third Edition]

Trigger Point Therapy Workbook [Third Edition]
Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief [Third Edition] by Clair Davies
2013 | EPUB | 10.6MB

Trigger point therapy is one of the fastest-growing and most effective pain therapies in the world. Medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists are all beginning to use this technique to relieve patients’ formerly undiagnosable muscle and joint pain, both conditions that studies have shown to be the cause of nearly 25 percent of all doctor visits.

This book addresses the problem of myofascial trigger points—tiny contraction knots that develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. Restricted circulation and lack of oxygen in these points cause referred pain. Massage of the trigger is the safest, most natural, and most effective form of pain therapy. Trigger points create pain throughout the body in predictable patterns characteristic to each muscle, producing discomfort ranging from mild to severe. Trigger point massage increases circulation and oxygenation in the area and often produces instant relief.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, Third Edition, has made a huge impact among health professionals and the public alike, becoming an overnight classic in the field of pain relief. This edition includes a new chapter by the now deceased author, Clair Davies’ daughter, Amber Davies, who is passionate about continuing her father’s legacy. The new edition also includes postural assessments and muscle tests, an illustrated index of symptoms, and clinical technique drawings and descriptions to assist both practitioners and regular readers in assessing and treating trigger points.

If you have ever suffered from, or have treated someone who suffers from myofascial trigger point pain, this is a must-have book.

Reversing Disease Naturally

Reversing Disease Naturally
Reversing Disease Naturally: Natural Non-toxic Remedies and Forbidden Cures They Do Not Want You to Know About by Mike Cavalli
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.32/3.2MB

Reversing Disease Naturally uncovers the labyrinth that governments and their agencies have created to protect primarily corporate interests. In this book you will discover the dirty little secrets which cell phone companies want to keep from you, secrets that are making you sick.

You will discover the food labelling laws that trick you into believing you are getting what it says on the label, where 'Natural' does not mean as nature intended and 'Meat' does not mean the flesh of an animal - two examples of how the health-conscious shopper is duped.

This book will show you in simple terms why you are becoming sick and how you can reverse even the so-called terminal diseases both naturally and safely.

For every problem presented in this book one or many exciting solutions will be on offer including forgotten or ‘forbidden’ cures not available to doctors and therapists but still perfectly legal and simple to self-administer at a fraction of the cost of more expensive treatments.

Hope: A Tragedy [Audiobook]

Hope: A Tragedy [Audiobook]
Hope: A Tragedy [Audiobook] by Shalom Auslander
2012 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 7 hrs 22 mins | 405.66MB

The rural town of Stockton, New York, is famous for nothing: no one was born there, no one died there, nothing of any historical import at all has ever happened there, which is why Solomon Kugel, like other urbanites fleeing their pasts and histories, decided to move his wife and young son there. To begin again. To start anew. But it isn't quite working out that way. His ailing mother stubbornly holds on to life, and won't stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she never actually suffered through. To complicate matters further, some lunatic is burning down farmhouses just like the one he bought, and when, one night, Kugel discovers history—a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history—hiding upstairs in his attic, bad quickly becomes worse.

Hope: A Tragedy is a hilarious and haunting examination of the burdens and abuse of history, propelled with unstoppable rhythm and filled with existential musings and mordant wit. It is a comic and compelling story of the hopeless longing to be free of those pasts which haunt our every present.

The Invention of Solitude

The Invention of Solitude
The Invention of Solitude by Paul Auster
2007 | EPUB | 201.23KB

'One day there is life...and then, suddenly, it happens there is death.' So begins Paul Auster's moving and personal meditation on fatherhood. The first section, 'Portrait of an Invisible Man', reveals Auster's memories and feelings after the death of his father. In 'The Book of Memory' the perspective shifts to Auster's role as a father. The narrator, 'A', contemplates his separation from his son, his dying grandfather and the solitary nature of writing and story-telling.

Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir [Audiobook]

Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir [Audiobook]
Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir [Audiobook] by Shalom Auslander
2007 | MP3@56 kbps | 7 hrs 04 mins | 168.38MB

Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up and was estranged from his community, his religion and its traditions, he could not find his way to a life where he didn't struggle against God daily.

Foreskin's Lament reveals Auslander's youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. Auslander remembers his youthful attempt to win the "blessing bee" (the Orthodox version of a spelling bee), his exile to an Orthodox-style reform school in Israel after he's caught shoplifting Union Bay jeans from the mall, and his fourteen mile hike to watch the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden without violating the Sabbath. Throughout, Auslander struggles to understand God and His complicated, often contradictory laws. He tries to negotiate with God and His representatives-a day of sin-free living for a day of indulgence, a blessing for each profanity. But ultimately, Shalom settles for a peaceful cease-fire, a standoff with God, and accepts the very slim remaining hope that his newborn son might live free of guilt, doubt, and struggle.

Auslander's combination of unrelenting humor and anger--one that draws comparisons to memoirists David Sedaris and Dave Eggers--renders a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith, family, and community.

Proust and the Squid [Audiobook]

Proust and the Squid [Audiobook]
Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain [Audiobook] by Maryanne Wolf, read by Kirsten Potter
2008 | MP3@96 kbps | 8 hrs 26 mins |

Reading is a miracle, because the brain was never wired for written language. This eloquent, accessible look at reading explores how it has transformed our brains, our lives, and the world.

It took 2,000 years for written language to develop, and it takes 2,000 days for a child's brain to learn to read. During that time, the brain must literally rearrange itself in order to understand written symbols. What happens when a child has difficulty mastering these abilities?

Using down-to-earth examples and personal anecdotes, a preeminent researcher and literacy lover embarks on a lively journey through the reading brain. Drawing on her vast knowledge of neurology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and child development, she shows how the brain that read Sumerian cuneiforms on clay tablets is different from the brain that reads images on a computer screen. Just as writing reduced our need for memory, technology is reducing the need for written language—a change sure to have profound consequences for our future.

Fascinating and revelatory for anyone interested in the science of the brain, for parents of young children learning to read, and for those who want to know more about dyslexia.