L.A. Noir [Audiobook]

L.A. Noir [Audiobook]
LA Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City [Audiobook] by John Buntin, read by Kirby Heyborne
2012 | MP3@320 kbps + EPUB | 16 hrs 59 mins | 2.28GB

Other cities have histories. Los Angeles has legends.

Midcentury Los Angeles. A city sold to the world as "the white spot of America," a land of sunshine and orange groves, wholesome Midwestern values and Hollywood stars, protected by the world’s most famous police force, the Dragnet-era LAPD. Behind this public image lies a hidden world of "pleasure girls" and crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters on the make. Into this underworld came two men–one L.A.’s most notorious gangster, the other its most famous police chief–each prepared to battle the other for the soul of the city.

Former street thug turned featherweight boxer Mickey Cohen left the ring for the rackets, first as mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel’s enforcer, then as his protégé. A fastidious dresser and unrepentant killer, the diminutive Cohen was Hollywood’s favorite gangster–and L.A.’s preeminent underworld boss. Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, and Sammy Davis Jr. palled around with him; TV journalist Mike Wallace wanted his stories; evangelist Billy Graham sought his soul.

William H. Parker was the proud son of a pioneering law-enforcement family from the fabled frontier town of Deadwood. As a rookie patrolman in the Roaring Twenties, he discovered that L.A. was ruled by a shadowy "Combination"–a triumvirate of tycoons, politicians, and underworld figures where alliances were shifting, loyalties uncertain, and politics were practiced with shotguns and dynamite. Parker’s life mission became to topple it–and to create a police force that would never answer to elected officials again.

These two men, one morally unflinching, the other unflinchingly immoral, would soon come head-to-head in a struggle to control the city–a struggle that echoes unforgettably through the fiction of Raymond Chandler and movies such as The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.

For more than three decades, from Prohibition through the Watts Riots, the battle between the underworld and the police played out amid the nightclubs of the Sunset Strip and the mansions of Beverly Hills, from the gritty streets of Boyle Heights to the manicured lawns of Brentwood, intersecting in the process with the agendas and ambitions of J. Edgar Hoover, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X. The outcome of this decades-long entanglement shaped modern American policing–for better and for worse–and helped create the Los Angeles we know today.

A fascinating examination of Los Angeles’s underbelly, the Mob, and America’s most admired–and reviled–police department, L.A. Noir is an enlightening, entertaining, and richly detailed narrative about the city originally known as El Pueblo de Nuestra Se–ora la Reina de los Angeles, "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels."

The Stranger Beside Me [Audiobook]

The Stranger Beside Me
The Stranger Beside Me: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy [Audiobook] by Ann Rule, read by Lorelei King
2012 | MP3 VBR 105 kbps + MOBI | 18 hrs 31 mins | 865.95MB

Utterly unique in its astonishing intimacy, as jarringly frightening as when it first appeared, Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me defies our expectation that we would surely know if a monster lived among us, worked alongside of us, appeared as one of us. With a slow chill that intensifies with each heart-pounding page, Rule describes her dawning awareness that Ted Bundy, her sensitive coworker on a crisis hotline, was one of the most prolific serial killers in America.

He would confess to killing at least thirty-six young women from coast to coast, and was eventually executed for three of those cases. Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.

The Devils of Loudun

The Devils of Loudun
The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley
2010 | EPUB | 0.77MB

Aldous Huxley's acclaimed and gripping account of one of the strangest occurrences in history.

In 1643 an entire convent in the small French village of Loudun was apparently possessed by the devil. After a sensational and celebrated trial, the convent's charismatic priest Urban Grandier—accused of spiritually and sexually seducing the nuns in his charge—was convicted of being in league with Satan. Then he was burned at the stake for witchcraft.

In this classic work by the legendary Aldous Huxley—a remarkable true story of religious and sexual obsession considered by many to be his nonfiction masterpiece—a compelling historical event is clarified and brought to vivid life.

The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece

The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece
The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece by Victor Davis Hanson
1989 | EPUB | 1.9MB

The Greeks of the classical age invented not only the central idea of Western politics--that the power of state should be guided by a majority of its citizens--but also the central act of Western warfare, the decisive infantry battle. Instead of ambush, skirmish, maneuver, or combat between individual heroes, the Greeks of the fifth century b.c. devised a ferocious, brief, and destructive head-on clash between armed men of all ages. In this bold, original study, Victor Davis Hanson shows how this brutal enterprise was dedicated to the same outcome as consensual government--an unequivocal, instant resolution to dispute.

The Western Way of War draws from an extraordinary range of sources--Greek poetry, drama, and vase painting, as well as historical records--to describe what actually took place on the battlefield. It is the first study to explore the actual mechanics of classical Greek battle from the vantage point of the infantryman--the brutal spear-thrusting, the difficulty of fighting in heavy bronze armor which made it hard to see, hear and move, and the fear. Hanson also discusses the physical condition and age of the men, weaponry, wounds, and morale.

This compelling account of what happened on the killing fields of the ancient Greeks ultimately shows that their style of armament and battle was contrived to minimize time and life lost by making the battle experience as decisive and appalling as possible. Linking this new style of fighting to the rise of constitutional government, Hanson raises new issues and questions old assumptions about the history of war.

Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus

Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus
Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus [Flavian Signature Edition] by Joseph Atwill
2011 | EPUB | 621.85KB

Was Jesus the invention of a Roman emperor? The author of this ground-breaking book believes he was. "Caesar’s Messiah" reveals the key to a new and revolutionary understanding of Christian origins.

The clues leading to its startling conclusions are found in the writings of the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, whose "Wars of the Jews" is one of the only historical chronicles of this period. Closely comparing the work of Josephus with the New Testament Gospels, "Caesar’s Messiah" demonstrates that the Romans directed the writing of both. Their purpose: to offer a vision of a “peaceful Messiah” who would serve as an alternative to the revolutionary leaders who were rocking first-century Israel and threatening Rome.

Similarly, Caesar’s Messiah will rock our understanding of Christian history as it reveals that Jesus was a fictional character portrayed in four Gospels written not by Christians but Romans. This Flavian Signature edition adds Atwill’s latest discoveries of numerous parallel events in sequence which ultimately reveal the identity of the true authors of the Gospels.

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English by Geza Vermes
2004 | PDF | 25.18MB

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judaean desert between 1947 and 1956 transformed our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and the origins of Christianity. These extraordinary manuscripts appear to have been hidden in the caves at Quumran by members of the Essene community, a Jewish sect in existence before and during the time of Jesus. Some sixty years after the Scrolls' first discovery, this revised and much expanded edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls in English crowns a lifetime of research by the great Qumran scholar Geza Vermes.

As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.

Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.

The Dead Sea Scrolls [TTC Video]

Dead Sea Scrolls [TTC Video]
The Dead Sea Scrolls [TTC Video] by Gary A Rendsburg
The Teaching Company | Course No 6362 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3@128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 4.58GB

The year: 1947. A Bedouin shepherd tracks one of his stray goats into a cave mouth above the shore of the Dead Sea at a desolate place named Qumran. Inside, he discovers a pair of tall, thin clay pots. And what he finds when he opens those pots will be nothing less than the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century: the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Soon enough, archaeologists began swarming the dusty cliffs of Qumran in search of more caves and more scrolls. In time, the original 7 scrolls this Bedouin shepherd haphazardly uncovered grew to 930 scrolls; some of them complete, others merely fragments.

In the 60 years since their dramatic discovery, excavation, reassembly, and translation, the Dead Sea Scrolls have provided us with these and other fascinating insights:

  • Our oldest biblical manuscripts, including all of the book of Isaiah, portions of virtually every other book in the Hebrew Bible, and other texts esteemed by ancient Jews
  • An unprecedented window into two great monotheistic traditions in the pivotal years before and after the time of Jesus, offering insights into Jewish history, culture, and religion, as well as the growth of early Christianity out of Judaism
  • Evidence of both the theological stance and ritual practices of the Yahad, an Essene group that had authored the scrolls and that, thousands of years later, have given scholars a fresh perspective on rival sects like the Sadducees and Pharisees
  • The remarkable consistency in wording and meaning between the biblical texts discovered at Qumran and the great medieval codices that form a part of the spiritual lives of millions of Jews and Christians
  • Enhanced knowledge of how the Bible was transmitted across the ages

Whether complete or only fragmentary, the 930 extant Dead Sea Scrolls irrevocably altered how we look at and understand the foundations of faith and religious practice.

Now you can get a comprehensive introduction to this unique series of archaeological documents, and to scholars' evolving understanding of their authorship and significance, with The Dead Sea Scrolls. Taught by Professor Gary A. Rendsburg, a dedicated Dead Sea Scrolls scholar who has spent decades immersed in the study of this amazing find, these 24 lectures will tell you what the scrolls are, what they contain, and how the insights they offered into religious and ancient history came into focus.

And in following the extraordinary story of how the scrolls were acquired and ultimately published—a story fully 40 years in its unfolding—you'll also gain a fascinating peek behind the scholarly curtain to see the rivalries, setbacks, and drama surrounding that process.

Follow a Tale of Scholarly Intrigue

Few areas of historical scholarship can match the Dead Sea Scrolls' combination of intellectual excitement, novel-like intrigue, and curiosity-satisfying forays along fascinating side trails. Organizing his lectures both chronologically and topically, Professor Rendsburg draws on history, religion, archaeology, close textual analysis, linguistics, and other key disciplines to help you share in this excitement.

What kinds of continuities have these ancient scrolls established between periods in ancient history? How can they authenticate biblical texts for both believers and skeptics?

These are just a few of the many provocative questions whose answers you'll uncover in The Dead Sea Scrolls.

An Unlimited Treasure Trove of Insights

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has offered scholars what seems an almost unlimited treasure trove of new facts and insights, which this course shares. You'll learn about these and other topics:

  • The only historical instance of the Jews ever forcibly converting a conquered people to Judaism, which happened when the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus brought the vanquished people of Idumea (the biblical land of Edom) under the rule of Judea
  • The three key sects of Judaism as observed by the great Jewish historian Josephus: the priestly Sadducees and their lack of belief in the immortality of the soul and in fate; the Pharisees, whose monopoly on historical perspective would eventually be shattered by the Dead Sea Scrolls; and the Essenes, whom most scholars regard as including the Qumran sect
  • The rare stroke of scholarly fortune represented in the discovery of the first seven scrolls sealed in jars, and the triumph of recovering more than 900 documents from the ravages of 2,000 years of exposure
  • The extraordinary intrigue (sometimes spanning generations) that overlays the story of the scrolls, such as the tale of Professor Eliezer Sukenik—who purchased three of the original seven scrolls disguised as an Arab—and his son, Yigael Yadin, who later purchased the remaining four scrolls through a classified advertisement in The Wall Street Journal
  • The ways that parchment scrolls of the time were made and written upon
  • The great lengths to which some ancient Jews went to ensure their adherence to the strict interpretations of halakha, or Jewish law

These stories and many more are brought vividly to life by Professor Rendsburg, whose knowledge of and enthusiasm for his subject are enhanced by decades of study and repeated visits to the Qumran site.

Develop an Appreciation for an Unprecedented Find

At the heart of The Dead Sea Scrolls are the documents themselves. Throughout the course, you spend a wealth of time reading parts of the actual scrolls in English translation. Professor Rendsburg continually trains your eye to uncover the salient religious practices and intriguing theological ideas expressed in these documents.

In addition, his specialized knowledge in the history of the Hebrew language and his skilled literary approaches to the Bible show through in every lecture of this wide-ranging exploration of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their invaluable importance. By the conclusion of the final lecture, you'll have developed a newfound understanding and appreciation of an unprecedented historical find and its enduring influence on the way we think about—and talk about—ancient Judaism and Christianity.

Course Lecture Titles:

  1. The Discoveries and Their Significance
  2. The First Seven Scrolls
  3. Opening and Reading the First Scroll
  4. The Historical Backdrop of Ancient Judaism
  5. The Rise of the Jewish Sects
  6. The Dead Sea Site of the Qumran Sect
  7. The Emergence of the Rabbinic System
  8. A Dead Sea Scroll from Medieval Cairo
  9. Pesher Interpretation—Prophecy Read Anew
  10. The War Scroll and Other Apocalyptic Texts
  11. Biblical Manuscripts at Qumran
  12. Alternative Views of Qumran and the Scrolls
  13. Stops and Starts En Route to Publication
  14. The Qumran Vision for a New Temple
  15. Daily Life at Qumran
  16. The Halakhic Letter—Rituals Define the Sect
  17. The Qumran Biblical Canon
  18. The Qumran Calendar
  19. Jewish Scholars and Qumran Ritual Practices
  20. Prayers, Hymns, and the Synagogue
  21. Qumran Hebrew as an Anti-Language
  22. The Enigma of the Copper Scroll
  23. Connections to Christianity
  24. Scroll Fragments and a New View of Judaism

Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah [Audiobook]

Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah [Audiobook]
Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic [Audiobook] by Rabbi Mark Glickman, read by the Author
2011 | MP3@128 kbps | 8 hrs 21 mins | 454.36MB

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code in an old Egyptian synagogue the amazing story of one of the most important discoveries in modern religious scholarship.

In 1896, Rabbi Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University stepped into the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt, and there found the largest treasure trove of medieval and early manuscripts ever discovered. He had entered the synagogue s genizah its repository for damaged and destroyed Jewish texts which held nearly 300,000 individual documents, many of which were over 1,000 years old.

Considered among the most important discoveries in modern religious history, its contents contained early copies of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, early manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, and other sacred literature. The importance of the genizah s contents rivals that of the Rosetta Stone, and by virtue of its sheer mass alone, it will continue to command our attention indefinitely.

This is the first accessible, comprehensive account of this astounding discovery. It will delight you with its fascinating adventure story why this enormous collection was amassed, how it was discovered and the many lessons to be found in its contents. And it will show you how Schechter s find, though still being unpacked today, forever transformed our knowledge of the Jewish past, Muslim history and much more.

The Black Death in London

The Black Death in London
The Black Death in London by Barney Sloane
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.23/1.0MB

A comprehensive historical and archaeological account of the Black Death in England's capital.

The Black Death of 1348–49 may have killed more than 50% of the European population, and this book examines the impact of this appalling disaster on England's most populous city. Using previously untapped documentary sources alongside archaeological evidence, a remarkably detailed picture emerges of the arrival, duration, and public response to this epidemic and subsequent 14th-century outbreaks. Wills and civic and royal administration documents provide clear evidence of the speed and severity of the plague, detail how victims made preparations for their heirs and families, and illuminate the immediate social changes that the aftermath brought. The traditional story of the timing and arrival of the plague is challenged and the mortality rate is revised up to 50%–60% in the first outbreak, with a population decline of 40–45% across Edward III's reign.

Castle: A History of the Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain

Castle: A History of the Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain
Castle: A History of the Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain by Marc Morris
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.96/2.1MB

Beginning with their introduction in the eleventh century, and ending with their widespread abandonment in the seventeenth, Marc Morris explores many of the country’s most famous castles, as well as some spectacular lesser-known examples. At times this is an epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, King John and Edward I, full of sieges and conquest on an awesome scale. But it is also by turns an intimate story of less eminent individuals, whose adventures, struggles and ambitions were reflected in the fortified residences they constructed. Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle was first and foremost a home.

To understand castles – who built them, who lived in them, and why – is to understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.

Kings and Castles

Kings and Castles
Kings and Castles by Marc Morris
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 194.67/414.62KB

Medieval Britain was dominated by its kings, and its kings dominated the land with their castles.

But what were those castles? Were they fortresses? Palaces? Or symbols of their owners power, and of their right to rule.

In this stimulating collection of articles and essays, the best-selling historian and broadcaster Marc Morris answers those fundamental questions - and many more.

He explores some of Britain’s favourite castles, such as Framlingham, Goodrich and Castle Acre, and the castle-building campaigns of famous kings like William the Conqueror and Edward I. And he addresses issues such as the origins of the cult of St George, the changing role of the medieval English earl and the riddle of the Winchester Round Table. Two articles – one on Edward I’s reputation, another on Lanercost Priory – appear here for the first time.

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain
A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris
2009 | EPUB + MOBI | 824.39KB/1.17MB

This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king – a man born to rule England, who believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic and important of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division between the peoples of Britain that has lasted from his day to our own.

Edward I is familiar to millions as ‘Longshanks’, conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (‘Braveheart’). Yet this story forms only the final chapter of the king’s astonishingly action-packed life. Earlier Edward had defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructing – at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon – the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. He raised the greatest armies of the English Middle Ages, and summoned the largest parliaments; notoriously, he expelled all the Jews from his kingdom. The longest-lived of all England’s medieval kings, he fathered no fewer than fifteen children with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, and after her death he erected the Eleanor Crosses – the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

In this book, Marc Morris examines afresh the forces that drove Edward throughout his relentless career: his character, his Christian faith, and his sense of England’s destiny – a sense shaped in particular by the tales of the legendary King Arthur. He also explores the competing reasons that led Edward’s opponents (including Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Robert Bruce) to resist him, and the very different societies that then existed in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The result is a sweeping story, immaculately researched yet compellingly told, and a vivid picture of medieval Britain at the moment when its future was decided.

Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder
Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides
2007 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.34/2.99MB

In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed by Mexico. Fueled by the new ideology of “Manifest Destiny,” this land grab would lead to a decades-long battle between the United States and the Navajos, the fiercely resistant rulers of a huge swath of mountainous desert wilderness.

In Blood and Thunder, Hampton Sides gives us a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West. At the center of this sweeping tale is Kit Carson, the trapper, scout, and soldier whose adventures made him a legend. Sides shows us how this illiterate mountain man understood and respected the Western tribes better than any other American, yet willingly followed orders that would ultimately devastate the Navajo nation. Rich in detail and spanning more than three decades, this is an essential addition to our understanding of how the West was really won.

Lost Colony

Lost Colony
Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China's First Great Victory over the West by Tonio Andrade
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 4.57/7.51MB

During the seventeenth century, Holland created the world's most dynamic colonial empire, outcompeting the British and capturing Spanish and Portuguese colonies. Yet, in the Sino-Dutch War--Europe's first war with China--the Dutch met their match in a colorful Chinese warlord named Koxinga. Part samurai, part pirate, he led his generals to victory over the Dutch and captured one of their largest and richest colonies--Taiwan. How did he do it? Examining the strengths and weaknesses of European and Chinese military techniques during the period, Lost Colony provides a balanced new perspective on long-held assumptions about Western power, Chinese might, and the nature of war.

It has traditionally been asserted that Europeans of the era possessed more advanced science, technology, and political structures than their Eastern counterparts, but historians have recently contested this view, arguing that many parts of Asia developed on pace with Europe until 1800. While Lost Colony shows that the Dutch did indeed possess a technological edge thanks to the Renaissance fort and the broadside sailing ship, that edge was neutralized by the formidable Chinese military leadership. Thanks to a rich heritage of ancient war wisdom, Koxinga and his generals outfoxed the Dutch at every turn.

Exploring a period when the military balance between Europe and China was closer than at any other point in modern history, Lost Colony reassesses an important chapter in world history and offers valuable and surprising lessons for contemporary times.

The Ravens: The Men Who Flew in America's Secret War in Laos

The Ravens: The Men Who Flew in America's Secret War in Laos
The Ravens: The Men Who Flew in America's Secret War in Laos by Christopher Robbins
1987 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.97/3.74MB

The Ravens were American forward air-controllers who directed strikes from vulnerable, low-flying spotter planes, mainly in support of a Meo general named Vang Pao in Laos. "Advised" by the CIA, this fierce warlord fought to keep the North Vietnamese out of the strategic Plain of Jars. Robbins (Air America) conveys the unique flavor of Raven-style combat and also explains how the diplomatic-military dynamics of the clandestine war in Laos fit into the overall American effort in Southeast Asia.

The cast of characters is memorable: a swaggering, rowdy bunch of mavericks whom their parent service (the U.S. Air Force) had great difficulty controlling, they seemed to get by on sheer cussedness. According to the author, they suffered the highest casualty rate of the Indochinese War. Robbins describes the poignant plight of displaced Meo/Hmong tribes people who have settled uneasily in the United States including General Pao and their ongoing struggle to "propitiate the alien spirits of America.

Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961

Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961
Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954-1961 by William J Rust
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 4.48/2.9MB

In the decade preceding the first U.S. combat operations in Vietnam, the Eisenhower administration sought to defeat a communist-led insurgency in neighboring Laos. Although U.S. foreign policy in the 1950s focused primarily on threats posed by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the American engagement in Laos evolved from a small cold war skirmish into a superpower confrontation near the end of President Eisenhower's second term. Ultimately, the American experience in Laos foreshadowed many of the mistakes made by the United States in Vietnam in the 1960s.

In Before the Quagmire: American Intervention in Laos, 1954--1961, William J. Rust delves into key policy decisions made in Washington and their implementation in Laos, which became first steps on the path to the wider war in Southeast Asia. Drawing on previously untapped archival sources, Before the Quagmire documents how ineffective and sometimes self-defeating assistance to Laotian anticommunist elites reflected fundamental misunderstandings about the country's politics, history, and culture. The American goal of preventing a communist takeover in Laos was further hindered by divisions among Western allies and U.S. officials themselves, who at one point provided aid to both the Royal Lao Government and to a Laotian general who plotted to overthrow it. Before the Quagmire is a vivid analysis of a critical period of cold war history, filling a gap in our understanding of U.S. policy toward Southeast Asia and America's entry into the Vietnam War.

Assignment to Hell

Assignment to Hell
Assignment to Hell: The War Against Nazi Germany with Correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A J Liebling, Homer Bigart, and Hal Boyle by Timothy M Gay
2012 | EPUB | 4.42MB

THEIR WORK ON THE FRONT LINES MADE HEADLINES

In February 1943, a group of journalists—including a young wire service correspondent named Walter Cronkite and cub reporter Andy Rooney—clamored to fly along on a bombing raid over Nazi Germany. Seven of the sixty-four bombers that attacked a U-boat base that day never made it back to England. A fellow survivor, Homer Bigart of the New York Herald Tribune, asked Cronkite if he’d thought through a lede. “I think I’m going to say,” mused Cronkite, “that I’ve just returned from an assignment to hell.”

Assignment to Hell tells the powerful and poignant story of the war against Hitler through the eyes of five intrepid reporters. Cronkite crashed into Holland on a glider with U.S. paratroopers. Rooney dodged mortar shells as he raced across the Rhine at Remagen. Behind enemy lines in Sicily, Bigart jumped into an amphibious commando raid that nearly ended in disaster. The New Yorker’s A. J. Liebling ducked sniper fire as Allied troops liberated his beloved Paris. The Associated Press’s Hal Boyle barely escaped SS storm troopers as he uncovered the massacre of U.S. soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

This book serves as a stirring tribute to five of World War II’s greatest correspondents and to the brave men and women who fought on the front lines against fascism—their generation’s “assignment to hell.”

Who Owns America's Past?

Who Owns America's Past?
Who Owns America's Past: The Smithsonian and the Problem of History by Robert C Post
2013 | EPUB | 7.86MB

In 1994, when the National Air and Space Museum announced plans to display the Enola Gay, the B-29 sent to destroy Hiroshima with an atomic bomb, the ensuing political uproar left the museum's parent Smithsonian Institution entirely unprepared. As the largest such complex in the world, the Smithsonian cares for millions of objects and has displayed everything from George Washington's sword to moon rocks to Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Why did this particular object arouse such controversy? From an insider’s perspective, Robert C. Post’s Who Owns America’s Past? offers insight into the politics of display and the interpretation of history.

Never before has a book about the Smithsonian detailed the recent and dramatic shift from collection-driven shows, with artifacts meant to speak for themselves, to concept-driven exhibitions, in which objects aim to tell a story, displayed like illustrations in a book. Even more recently, the trend is to show artifacts along with props, sound effects, and interactive elements in order to create an immersive environment. Rather than looking at history, visitors are invited to experience it.

Who Owns America’s Past? examines the different ways that the Smithsonian’s exhibitions have been conceived and designed—whether to educate visitors, celebrate an important historical moment, or satisfy donor demands or partisan agendas. Post gives the reader a behind-the-scenes view of internal tempests as they brewed and how different personalities and experts passionately argued about the best way to present the story of America.

Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times

Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times
Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times by Mickey Huff, Andy Lee Roth
2013 | EPUB | 4.08MB

Every year since 1976, Project Censored, our nation's oldest news-monitoring group--a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff--has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship.

Seven Stories Press has been publishing this yearbook since 1994, featuring the top stories listed democratically in order of importance according to an international panel of judges. Beyond the Top-25 stories, additional chapters delve further into timely media topics: The Censored News and Media Analysis section provides annual updates on Junk Food News and News Abuse, Censored Deja Vu, signs of hope in the alternative and news media, and the state of media bias and alternative coveragearound the world. In the Truth Emergency section, scholars and journalists take a critical look at the US/NATO military-industrial-media empire. And in the Project Censored International section, the meaning of media democracy worldwide is explored in close association with Project Censored affiliates in universities and at media organizations all over the world.

A perennial favorite of booksellers, teachers, and readers everywhere, Censored is one of the strongest lifesigns of our current collective desire to get the news we citizens need--despite what Big Media tells us.

The Horologicon

The Horologicon
The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt through the Lost Words of the English Language by Mark Forsyth
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.11MB

The characteristically brilliant sequel to The Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon, The Horologicon – which means ‘a book of things appropriate to each hour’ - follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words.

From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there’s a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day. Do you tend to lie in bed before dawn worrying? Then you have the Old English ailment of uhtceare. Uhtceare can lead on to dysania (inability to get out of bed) and other zwoddery problems, which many have suffered but few can name. From encounters with office ultracrepidarians, lunchtime scamblers and six o’clock sturmovschinas to the post-work joys of thelyphthoric grinagogs and nimtopsical nympholepsy, Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, unearths words that you didn’t even know you needed. From antejentacular to bedward by way of nuncheon, at last you can say exactly what you mean.

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle [Audiobook]

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle [Audiobook]
Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov, read by Arthur Morey
2011 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 20 hrs 46 mins | 1.12GB

Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist. It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue. Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.

This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

The Chosen [Audiobook]

The Chosen [Audiobook]
The Chosen [Audiobook] by Chaim Potok, read by Jonathan Davis
2005 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 41 mins | 586.07MB
"Anyone who finds it is finding a jewel. Its themes are profound and universal." - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

It is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again....

The Promise by Chaim Potok

The Promise by Chaim Potok
The Promise by Chaim Potok
2005 | EPUB | 1.86MB

Reuven Malter lives in Brooklyn, he’s in love, and he’s studying to be a rabbi. He also keeps challenging the strict interpretations of his teachers, and if he keeps it up, his dream of becoming a rabbi may die.

One day, worried about a disturbed, unhappy boy named Michael, Reuven takes him sailing and cloud-watching. Reuven also introduces him to an old friend, Danny Saunders–now a psychologist with a growing reputation. Reconnected by their shared concern for Michael, Reuven and Danny each learns what it is to take on life–whether sacred truths or a troubled child–according to his own lights, not just established authority.

In a passionate, energetic narrative, The Promise brilliantly dramatizes what it is to master and use knowledge to make one’s own way in the world.

The Luminaries: A Novel [Audiobook]

The Luminaries: A Novel [Audiobook]
The Luminaries: A Novel [Audiobook] by Eleanor Catton, read by Mark Meadows
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 29 hrs 14 mins | 808.12MB

Winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems....

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

The Rehearsal: A Novel

The Rehearsal: A Novel
The Rehearsal: A Novel by Eleanor Catton
2010 | EPUB | 422.54KB

A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage.

But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances--the musicians' and the acting students'--approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men [Audiobook]

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men [Audiobook]
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men [Audiobook] by David Foster Wallace, read by the author, with Bobby Cannavale, Michael Cerveris, Josh Charles, Will Forte, Malcolm Goodwin, John Krasinski, Christopher Meloni, Chris Messina, Max Minghella, Dennis O'Hare, Lou Taylor Pucci, Ben Shenkman, Joey Slotnick, and Corey Stoll
2009 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 10 mins | 236.27MB

Amid the screams of adulation for bandanna-clad wunderkind David Foster Wallace, you might hear a small peep. It is the cry for some restraint. On occasion the reader is left in the dust wondering where the story went, as the author, literary turbochargers on full-blast, suddenly accelerates into the wild-blue-footnoted yonder in pursuit of some obscure metafictional fancy. Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Wallace's latest collection, is at least in part a response to the distress signal put out by the many readers who want to ride along with him, if he'd only slow down for a second.

The intellectual gymnastics and ceaseless rumination endure (if you don't have a tolerance for that kind of thing, your nose doesn't belong in this book), but they are for the most part couched in simpler, less frenzied narratives. The book's four-piece namesake takes the form of interview transcripts, in which the conniving horror that is the male gender is revealed in all of its licentious glory. In the short, two-part "The Devil Is a Busy Man," Wallace strolls through the Hall of Mirrors that is human motivation. (Is it possible to completely rid an act of generosity of any self-serving benefits? And why is it easier to sell a couch for five dollars than it is to give it away for free?) The even shorter glimpse into modern-day social ritual, "A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life," stretches the seams of its total of seven lines with scathing economy: "She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces." Wallace also imbues his extreme observational skills with a haunting poetic sensibility. Witness what he does to a diving board and the two darkened patches at the end of it in "Forever Overhead":

It's going to send you someplace which its own length keeps you from seeing, which seems wrong to submit to without even thinking.... They are skin abraded from feet by the violence of the disappearance of people with real weight.

Of course, not every piece is an absolute winner. "The Depressed Person" slips from purposefully clinical to unintentionally boring. "Tri-Stan: I Sold Sissee Nar to Ecko" reimagines an Arthurian tale in MTV terms and holds your attention for about as long as you'd imagine from such a description. Ultimately, however, even these failed experiments are a testament to Mr. Wallace's endless if unbridled talent. Once he gets the reins completely around that sucker, it's going to be quite a ride. --Bob Michaels

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
Consider the Lobster and Other Essays by David Foster Wallace
2007 | EPUB | 570.7KB

Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a sick sense of humour? What is John Updike's deal anyway? And who won the Adult Video News' Female Performer of the Year Award the same year Gwyneth Paltrow won her Oscar? David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in his new book of hilarious non-fiction.

For this collection, David Foster Wallace immerses himself in the three-ring circus that is the presidential race in order to document one of the most vicious campaigns in recent history. Later he strolls from booth to booth at a lobster festival in Maine and risks life and limb to get to the bottom of the lobster question. Then he wheedles his way into an L.A. radio studio, armed with tubs of chicken, to get the behind-the-scenes view of a conservative talkshow featuring a host with an unnatural penchant for clothing that only looks good on the radio. In what is sure to be a much-talked-about exploration of distinctly modern subjects, one of the sharpest minds of our time delves into some of life's most delicious topics.

The Broom of the System: A Novel

The Broom of the System: A Novel
The Broom of the System: A Novel by David Foster Wallace
2004 | EPUB + MOBI | 436.66/675.27KB

Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman.

The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting
Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey
2013 | EPUB | 11.17MB

Steeped in the Palmer Method of Handwriting she learned in Catholic school, Kitty Burns Florey is a self-confessed “penmanship nut” who loves the act of taking pen to paper. So when she discovered that schools today forego handwriting drills in favor of teaching something called keyboarding, it gave her pause: “There is a widespread belief that, in a digital world, forming letters on paper with a pen is pointless and obsolete,” she says, “and anyone who thinks otherwise is right up there with folks who still have fallout shelters in their backyards.”

Florey tackles the importance of writing by hand and its place in our increasingly electronic society in this fascinating exploration of the history of handwriting. Weaving together the evolution of writing implements and scripts, pen-collecting societies, the golden age of American penmanship, the growth in popularity of handwriting analysis, and the many aficionados who still prefer scribbling on paper to tapping on keys, she asks the question: Is writing by hand really no longer necessary in today’s busy world?

Illustrators 54

Illustrators 54
Illustrators 54 by The Society of Illustrators
2013 | EPUB | 67.96MB

This latest volume of the Society of Illustrators’ annual is a gorgeous collection of the year’s best illustrations derived from books, advertising, comics, and un-commissioned works of artistic expression.

Designed by D. J. Stout of the prestigious Pentagram Design firm, this compilation presents not only the year’s finest graphic design work, but also the ideas behind the art as explained by the artists themselves. In Illustrators 54, each artist discusses the “how to” and “why” of their art, marking this annual a visually stunning art book and a riveting read into the creative process of today’s top working illustrators.

The Economist Audio Edition [October 19, 2013]

The Economist Audio Edition [October 19, 2013]
The Economist Audio Edition [October 19, 2013]
English | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 152.16MB

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.