Who Did It First?: Great Rhythm and Blues Cover Songs [EPUB]

Who Did It First?: Great Rhythm and Blues Cover Songs [EPUB]
Who Did It First: Great Rhythm and Blues Cover Songs and Their Original Artists by Bob Leszczak
2013 | EPUB | 11.65MB

“Everybody has to start somewhere. Businessmen start on the ground floor and try to work their way up the corporate ladder. Baseball players bide their time in the minor leagues wishing for an opportunity to move up and play in the majors. Musical compositions aren’t very different—some songs just don’t climb the charts the first time they’re recorded. However, with perseverance, the ideal singer, the right chemistry, impeccable timing, vigorous promotion, and a little luck, these songs can become very famous.” So writes Bob Leszczak in the opening pages of Who Did It First? Great Rhythm and Blues Cover Songs and Their Original Artists

Here readers will discover the little-known history behind legendary rhythm and blues numbers on their way to the majors. As Leszczak points out, the version you purchased, danced to, romanced to, and grew up with is often not the first version recorded. Like wine and cheese, some tunes just get better with age, and behind each there is a story. Who Did It First? contains interesting facts and amusing anecdotes, often gathered through Leszczak’s vast archive of personal interviews with the singers, songwriters, record producers, and label owners who wrote, sang, recorded, and distributed either the original cut or one of its classic covers.

The first in a series devoted to the story of great songs and their revivals, Who Did It First? is the perfect playlist builder. Whether quizzing friends at a party, answering a radio station contest, or simply satisfying an insatiable curiosity to know who really did do it first, this book is a must-have.

Who Did It First?: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists

Who Did It First?: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists
Who Did It First: Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists by Bob Leszczak
2014 | EPUB | 12.4MB

“Everybody has to start somewhere. Businessmen start on the ground floor and try to work their way up the corporate ladder. Baseball players bide their time in the minor leagues wishing for an opportunity to move up and play in the majors. Musical compositions aren’t very different—some songs just don’t climb the charts the first time they’re recorded. However, with perseverance, the ideal singer, the right chemistry, impeccable timing, vigorous promotion, and a little luck, these songs can become very famous.” So writes Bob Leszczak in the opening pages of Who Did It First? Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists. In this second volume in the Who Did It First? series, Leszczak explores the hidden history of the most famous, indeed legendary, pop songs and standards. As he points out, the version you purchased, swayed to, sang to, and grew up with is often not the first version recorded. Like wine and cheese, some tunes do get better with age, and behind each there is a story. Included are little-known facts and amusing anecdotes, often gathered through Leszczak’s vast archive of personal interviews with the singers and songwriters, record producers and label owners, who wrote, sang, recorded, and distributed either the original first cut or one of its classic covers.

The second in a series of titles devoted to the story of great songs and their revival as great covers, Who Did It First? Great Pop Cover Songs and Their Original Artists is the perfect playlist builder. So whether quizzing friends at a party, answering a radio station contest, or just satisfying an insatiable curiosity to know who really did do it first, this work is a must-have.

When They Were Boys [EPUB]

When They Were Boys [EPUB]
When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles' Rise to the Top by Larry Kane
2013 | EPUB | 1.57MB

This is the story of the Beatles’ harrowing rise to fame: focusing on that seven-year stretch from the time the boys met as teenagers to early 1964, when the Fab Four made their momentous first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. From the boys’ humble beginnings in Liverpool, to the cellars of Hamburg, When They Were Boys includes stories never before told, including the heartbreaks and the lucky breaks.

Included are an eyewitness account of that first meeting between Lennon and McCartney, the inside story of how Ringo replaced Pete Best, an exploration of the brilliant but troubled soul of manager Brian Epstein, and the real scoop on their disastrous first visit to Germany and the death of Stu Sutcliffe. With an eye for life in Liverpool during the 50’s and 60’s and over 65 eyewitness accounts from those closest to the Beatles, Larry Kane brings to life the evolution of the group that changed music forever.

Inside Conducting [EPUB]

Inside Conducting [EPUB]
Inside Conducting by Christopher Seaman
2013 | EPUB | 16.25MB

What does a conductor actually "do"? How much effect does he or she have? Can the orchestra manage without one? Why don't the players look at the conductor more? Is it necessary for the conductor to play every instrument? What about interpretation? What happens at rehearsals? Why do some conductors "thrash around" more than others? Who's the boss in a concerto: the soloist or the conductor?

These are some of the questions that receive lively and informative answers in this book by renowned conductor Christopher Seaman. Composed of short articles on individual topics, it is accessible and easy to consult. Each article begins with an anecdote or saying and ends with quotations from musicians, often expressing opposing views. There are many books on the art of conducting, but none like this. Music lovers wondering what the figure on the podium actually does, and aspiring conductors eager to learn more about the art and craft of leading an orchestra, will all treasure this wise yet humorous book.

Christopher Seaman has been successful at both ends of the baton. After four years as principal timpanist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he was appointed principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and has enjoyed a busy international conducting career for over forty years. He is now Conductor Laureate for Life of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New York, and he continues to bring great music and wise words to audiences, students, and readers around the world.

Forces of Fortune [Audiobook]

Forces of Fortune [Audiobook]
Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Will Mean for Our World [Audiobook] Vali Nasr, read by Arthur Morey
2009 | MP3@64 kbps | 10 hrs 54 mins | 298.74MB

Leading authority on the Islamic world and influential advisor to the Obama administration Vali Nasr shows that the West’s best hope of winning the battle against Islamic extremists is to foster the growth of a vibrant new Muslim middle class. This flourishing of Muslim bourgeoisie is reshaping the mind-set, politics, and even the religious values of Muslims in much the same way the Western bourgeoisie lead the capitalist and democratic revolution in Europe.

Whereas extremism has grown out of the dismal economic failures of the authoritarian Islamic regimes, Nasr explains, the wealth and aspirations of this Islamic “critical middle” put them squarely at odds with extremism. They have ushered in remarkable transformations already in Dubai, Turkey, and Indonesia, and they are the key to tipping the balance in both Iran and Pakistan. As he writes “the great battle for the soul of the Muslim world will be fought not over religion but over market capitalism.”

Putin's Wars [EPUB]

Putin's Wars [EPUB]
Putin's Wars: The Rise of Russia's New Imperialism by Marcel H Van Herpen
2014 | EPUB | 899.61KB

This book offers the first systematic analysis of Putin’s two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin’s wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide. He shows how the conflicts functioned to consolidate and legitimate Putin’s regime and explores how they were connected to a third, hidden, “internal war” waged by the Kremlin against the opposition. The author convincingly argues that the Kremlin—relying on the secret services, the Orthodox Church, the Kremlin youth “Nashi,” and the rehabilitated Cossacks—is preparing for an imperial revival, most recently in the form of a “Eurasian Union.”

An essential book for understanding the dynamics of Putin’s regime, this study digs deep into the Kremlin’s secret long-term strategies. Readable and clearly argued, it makes a compelling case that Putin’s regime emulates an established Russian paradigm in which empire building and despotic rule are mutually reinforcing. As the first comprehensive exploration of the historical antecedents and political continuity of the Kremlin’s contemporary policies, Van Herpen’s work will make a valuable contribution to the literature on post–Soviet Russia, and his arguments will stimulate vigorous debate.

Blacklisted by History [Audiobook]

Blacklisted by History [Audiobook]
Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies [Audiobook] by M Stanton Evans, read by Tom Weiner
2010 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 23 hrs 02 mins | 1.24MB

Accused of creating a bogus Red Scare and smearing countless innocent victims in a five-year reign of terror, Senator Joseph McCarthy is universally remembered as a demagogue, a bully, and a liar. History has judged him such a loathsome figure that even today, a half century after his death, his name remains synonymous with witch hunts.

But that conventional image is all wrong, as veteran journalist and author M. Stanton Evans reveals in this groundbreaking book. The long-awaited Blacklisted by History, based on six years of intensive research, dismantles the myths surrounding Joe McCarthy and his campaign to unmask Communists, Soviet agents, and flagrant loyalty risks working within the U.S. government. Evans’s revelations completely overturn our understanding of McCarthy, McCarthyism, and the Cold War.

Drawing on primary sources—including never-before-published government records and FBI files, as well as recent research gleaned from Soviet archives and intercepted transmissions between Moscow spymasters and their agents in the United States—Evans presents irrefutable evidence of a relentless Communist drive to penetrate our government, influence its policies, and steal its secrets. Most shocking of all, he shows that U.S. officials supposedly guarding against this danger not only let it happen but actively covered up the penetration. All of this was precisely as Joe McCarthy contended.

Blacklisted by History shows, for instance, that the FBI knew as early as 1942 that J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the atomic bomb project, had been identified by Communist leaders as a party member; that high-level U.S. officials were warned that Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy almost a decade before the Hiss case became a public scandal; that a cabal of White House, Justice Department, and State Department officials lied about and covered up the Amerasia spy case; and that the State Department had been heavily penetrated by Communists and Soviet agents before McCarthy came on the scene.

Evans also shows that practically everything we’ve been told about McCarthy is false, including conventional treatment of the famous 1950 speech at Wheeling, West Virginia, that launched the McCarthy era (“I have here in my hand . . .”), the Senate hearings that casually dismissed his charges, the matter of leading McCarthy suspect Owen Lattimore, the Annie Lee Moss case, the Army-McCarthy hearings, and much more.

In the end, Senator McCarthy was censured by his colleagues and condemned by the press and historians. But as Evans writes, “The real Joe McCarthy has vanished into the mists of fable and recycled error, so that it takes the equivalent of a dragnet search to find him.” Blacklisted by History provides the first accurate account of what McCarthy did and, more broadly, what happened to America during the Cold War. It is a revealing exposé of the forces that distorted our national policy in that conflict and our understanding of its history since.

The Deaths of Others [Audiobook]

The Deaths of Others [Audiobook]
The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars [Audiobook] by John Tirman, read by Christopher Price
2014 | MP3@32 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 18 hrs 20 mins | 251.24MB

Americans are greatly concerned about the number of our troops killed in battle--100,000 dead in World War I; 300,000 in World War II; 33,000 in the Korean War; 58,000 in Vietnam; 4,500 in Iraq; over 1,000 in Afghanistan--and rightly so. But why are we so indifferent, often oblivious, to the far greater number of casualties suffered by those we fight and those we fight for?

This is the compelling, largely unasked question John Tirman answers in The Deaths of Others. Between six and seven million people died in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq alone, the majority of them civilians. And yet Americans devote little attention to these deaths. Other countries, however, do pay attention, and Tirman argues that if we want to understand why there is so much anti-Americanism around the world, the first place to look is how we conduct war. We understandably strive to protect our own troops, but our rules of engagement with the enemy are another matter. From atomic weapons and carpet bombing in World War II to napalm and daisy cutters in Vietnam and beyond, we have used our weapons intentionally to kill large numbers of civilians and terrorize our adversaries into surrender. Americans, however, are mostly ignorant of these facts, believing that American wars are essentially just, necessary, and "good." Tirman investigates the history of casualties caused by American forces in order to explain why America remains so unpopular and why US armed forces operate the way they do.

Trenchant and passionate, The Deaths of Others forces readers to consider the tragic consequences of American military action not just for Americans, but especially for those we fight.

Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon [EPUB]

Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon [EPUB]
Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon by David Landau
2014 | EPUB | 11.65MB

From the former editor in chief of Haaretz, the first in-depth, comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, the most dramatic and imposing Israeli political and military leader of the last forty years.

The life of Ariel Sharon spans much of modern Israel’s history. A commander in the Israeli Army from its inception in 1948, Sharon participated in the 1948 War of Independence, played decisive roles in the 1956 Suez War and the Six-Day War of 1967, and is credited here with the shift in the outcome of the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

After leaving the professional army, Sharon became a political leader and served in numerous governments, most prominently as the defense minister during the 1982 Lebanon War in which he bore “personal responsibility,” according to the state’s commission of inquiry, for massacres of Palestinian civilians by Lebanese militia. As a general and as a politician, he championed the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. But as prime minister, he performed a dramatic reversal: orchestrating Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Landau brilliantly chronicles Sharon’s surprising about-face, combining the immediacy of firsthand reportage with the analysis and independent insight of a historian’s perspective. Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state. This biography recounts the life of the man who is considered by many to be Israel’s greatest military leader and political statesman, illustrating how Sharon’s leadership transformed Israel, and how his views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society.

The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression [EPUB]

The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression [EPUB]
The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America by John F Kasson
2014 | EPUB | 1.58MB

How the smile and fortitude of a child actress revived a nation.

Her image appeared in periodicals and advertisements roughly twenty times daily; she rivaled FDR and Edward VIII as the most photographed person in the world. Her portrait brightened the homes of countless admirers: from a black laborer’s cabin in South Carolina and young Andy Warhol’s house in Pittsburgh to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s recreation room in Washington, DC, and gangster “Bumpy” Johnson’s Harlem apartment. A few years later her smile cheered the secret bedchamber of Anne Frank in Amsterdam as young Anne hid from the Nazis.

For four consecutive years Shirley Temple was the world’s box-office champion, a record never equaled. By early 1935 her mail was reported as four thousand letters a week, and hers was the second-most popular girl’s name in the country.

What distinguished Shirley Temple from every other Hollywood star of the period—and everyone since—was how brilliantly she shone. Amid the deprivation and despair of the Great Depression, Shirley Temple radiated optimism and plucky good cheer that lifted the spirits of millions and shaped their collective character for generations to come. Distinguished cultural historian John F. Kasson shows how the most famous, adored, imitated, and commodified child in the world astonished movie goers, created a new international culture of celebrity, and revolutionized the role of children as consumers.

Tap-dancing across racial boundaries with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, foiling villains, and mending the hearts and troubles of the deserving, Shirley Temple personified the hopes and dreams of Americans. To do so, she worked virtually every day of her childhood, transforming her own family as well as the lives of her fans.

The Cambridge Companion to Descartes' Meditations [PDF]

The Cambridge Companion to Descartes' Meditations [PDF]
The Cambridge Companion to Descartes' Meditations by David Cunning
2014 | PDF | 3.65MB

Descartes' enormously influential Meditations seeks to prove a number of theses: that God is a necessary existent; that our minds are equipped to track truth and avoid error; that the external world exists and provides us with information to preserve our embodiment; and that minds are immaterial substances. The work is a treasure-trove of views and arguments, but there are controversies about the details of the arguments and about how we are supposed to unpack the views themselves.

This Companion offers a rich collection of new perspectives on the Meditations, showing how the work is structured literally as a meditation and how it fits into Descartes' larger philosophical system. Topics include Descartes' views on philosophical method, knowledge, skepticism, God, the nature of mind, free will, and the differences between reflective and embodied life. The volume will be valuable to those studying Descartes and early modern philosophy more generally.

The Temple and the Lodge [EPUB]

The Temple and the Lodge [EPUB]
The Temple and the Lodge: The Strange and Fascinating History of the Knights Templar and the Freemasons by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh
2011 | EPUB | 14.79MB

Coauthors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh recount the events that led to the strange and sudden disappearance of the Knights Templar in the fourteenth century and their reappearance in the court of excommunicate Scottish king Robert the Bruce. Following the survival of certain unexpected Templar traditions, the authors document the evolution of a world-changing order through the birth of the Masonic lodge. They chart the history of Freemasonry through its medieval roots and into the modern era.

The book posits that the order’s contribution to the fostering of tolerance, progressive values, and cohesion in English society aided in preempting a French-style revolution in England; that Freemasonry was an essential keystone in the formation of the United States; and that America itself is an embodiment of the ideal “Masonic Republic.” This groundbreaking thread of analysis challenges the accepted traditions of Western history as it is currently taught. What is the true source of our most valued traditions? Twenty years since its original publication, The Temple and the Lodge remains a trenchant and essential edition to any collection of Western history.

The Jesus Papers [EPUB]

The Jesus Papers [EPUB]
The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History by Michael Baigent
2009 | EPUB | 3.82MB

What if everything we have been told about the origins of Christianity is a lie?
What if a small group had always known the truth and had kept it hidden . . . until now?
What if there is evidence that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion?

In Holy Blood, Holy Grail Michael Baigent and his co-authors Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh stunned the world with a controversial theory that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene married and founded a holy bloodline. The book became an international publishing phenomenon and was one of the sources for Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code. Now, with two additional decades of research behind him, Baigent's The Jesus Papers presents explosive new evidence that challenges everything we know about the life and death of Jesus.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail [Audiobook]

Holy Blood, Holy Grail [Audiobook]
Holy Blood, Holy Grail [Audiobook] by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, read by Simon Prebble
2006 | MP3@128 kbps | 9 hrs 39 mins | 528.46MB

Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

  • Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
  • Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
  • Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
  • Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible — they are probably true! so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

Public Zen, Personal Zen [EPUB]

Public Zen, Personal Zen [EPUB]
Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction by Peter D Hershock
2014 | EPUB | 1.38MB

Among Buddhist traditions, Zen has been remarkably successful in garnering and sustaining interest outside the Buddhist homelands of Asia, and “zen” is now part of the global cultural lexicon. This deeply informed book explores the history of this enduring Japanese tradition—from its beginnings as a form of Buddhist thought and practice imported from China to its reinvention in medieval Japan as a force for religious, political, and cultural change to its role in Japan’s embrace of modernity. Going deeper, it also explores Zen through the experiences and teachings of key individuals who shaped Zen as a tradition committed to the embodiment of enlightenment by all. By bringing together Zen’s institutional and personal dimensions, Peter D. Hershock offers readers a nuanced yet accessible introduction to Zen as well as distinctive insights into issues that remain relevant today, including the creative tensions between globalization and localization, the interplay of politics and religion, and the possibilities for integrating social transformation with personal liberation.

Including an introduction to the basic teachings and practices of Buddhism and an account of their spread across Asia, Public Zen, Personal Zen deftly blends historical detail with the felt experiences of Zen practitioners grappling with the meaning of human suffering, personal freedom, and the integration of social and spiritual progress.

Better than Human [EPUB]

Better than Human [EPUB]
Better than Human: The Promise and Perils of Enhancing Ourselves by Allen Buchanan
2011 | EPUB | 1.83MB

Is it right to use biomedical technologies to make us better than well or even perhaps better than human? Should we view our biology as fixed or should we try to improve on it? College students are already taking cognitive enhancement drugs. The U.S. army is already working to develop drugs and technologies to produce "super soldiers." Scientists already know how to use genetic engineering techniques to enhance the strength and memories of mice and the application of such technologies to humans is on the horizon.

In Better Than Human, philosopher-bioethicist Allen Buchanan grapples with the ethical dilemmas of the biomedical enhancement revolution. Biomedical enhancements can make us smarter, have better memories, be stronger, quicker, have more stamina, live much longer, avoid the frailties of aging, and enjoy richer emotional lives. In spite of the benefits that biomedical enhancements may bring, many people instinctively reject them. Some worry that we will lose something important-our appreciation for what we have or what makes human beings distinctively valuable. Others assume that biomedical enhancements will only be available to the rich, with the result that social inequalities will worsen.

Buchanan shows that the debate over enhancement has been distorted by false assumptions and misleading rhetoric. To think clearly about enhancement, we have to acknowledge that human nature is a mixed bag and that our species has many "design flaws." We should be open be open to the possibility of becoming better than human, while never underestimating the risks that our attempts to improve may back-fire.

The Bombers and the Bombed [EPUB]

The Bombers and the Bombed [EPUB]
The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940-1945 by Richard Overy
2014 | EPUB | 17.32MB

The ultimate history of the Allied bombing campaigns in World War II

Technology shapes the nature of all wars, and the Second World War hinged on a most unpredictable weapon: the bomb. Day and night, Britain and the United States unleashed massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize occupied Europe, destroying its cities. The grisly consequences call into question how “moral” a war the Allies fought.

The Bombers and the Bombed radically overhauls our understanding of World War II. It pairs the story of the civilian front line in the Allied air war alongside the political context that shaped their strategic bombing campaigns, examining the responses to bombing and being bombed with renewed clarity.

The first book to examine seriously not only the well-known attacks on Dresden and Hamburg but also the significance of the firebombing on other fronts, including Italy, where the crisis was far more severe than anything experienced in Germany, this is Richard Overy’s finest work yet. It is a rich reminder of the terrible military, technological, and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all the war’s participants into an abyss.

Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II [EPUB]

Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II [EPUB]
Big Week: Six Days that Changed the Course of World War II by Bill Yenne
2012 | EPUB | 2.78MB

In just six days, the United States Strategic Air Forces changed the course of military offense in World War II. During those six days, they launched the largest bombing campaign of the war, dropping roughly 10,000 tons of bombs in a rain of destruction that would take the skies back from the Nazis…

The Allies knew that if they were to invade Hitler’s Fortress Europe, they would have to wrest air superiority from the mighty Luftwaffe.

The plan of the Unites States Strategic Air Forces was risky. During the week of February 20th, 1944—and joined by the RAF Bomber Command—the USAAF Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force bombers took on this vital and extremely risky mission. They ran the gauntlet of the most heavily defended air space in the world to deal a death blow to Germany’s aircraft industry, and made them pay with the planes already in the air. In the coming months, this Big Week would prove a deciding factor in the war.

Both sides were dealt losses, and whereas the Allies could recover, damage to the Luftwaffe was irreparable. Thus Big Week became one of the most important episodes of World War II, and coincidentally, one of the most overlooked—until now.