Arch of Triumph [EPUB]

Arch of Triumph [EPUB]
Arch of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque
2014 | EPUB | 2.27MB

The evocative story of a man without a country, Arch of Triumph is a World War II–era classic from the author of All Quiet on the Western Front.

It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic—a German doctor and refugee living in Paris—has been treating some of the city’s most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians.

Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on—all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he’s given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.

Karl Marx and World Literature [EPUB]

Karl Marx and World Literature [EPUB]
Karl Marx and World Literature by S S Prawer
2011 | EPUB | 2.06MB

"Very few men," said Bakunin, "have read as much, and, it may be added, have read as intelligently, as M. Marx." S. S. Prawer's highly influential work explores how the world of imaginative literature—poems, novels, plays—infused and shaped Marx's writings, from his unpublished correspondence, to his pamphlets and major works. In exploring Marx's use of literary texts, from Aeschylus to Balzac, and the central role of art and literature in the development of his critical vision, Karl Marx and World Literature is a forensic masterpiece of critical analysis.

Sing a Battle Song [EPUB]

Sing a Battle Song [EPUB]
Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements, and Communiques of the Weather Underground 1970-1974 edited by Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Jeff Jones
2011 | EPUB | 3.14MB

Outraged by the Vietnam War and racism in America, a group of young American radicals announced their intention to "bring the war home." The Weather Underground waged a low-level war against the U.S. government through much of the 1970s, bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history.

Sing a Battle Song brings together the three complete and unedited publications produced by the Weathermen during their most active period underground, 1970 to 1974: The Weather Eye: Communiqués from the Weather Underground; Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism; and Sing a Battle Song: Poems by Women in the Weather Underground Organization.

Sing a Battle Song is introduced and annotated by three of the Weather Underground’s original organizers—Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Jeff Jones—all of whom are all still actively engaged in social justice movement work.

Idealistic, inspired, pissed-off, and often way-over-the-top, the writings of the Weather Underground epitomize the sexual, psychedelic, anti-war counterculture of the American 1960s and 1970s.

Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography [EPUB]

Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography [EPUB]
Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup
2012 | EPUB | 9.79MB

In this book, beginner photographers will master:

  • Using composition to take great photos with any camera
  • Adjusting exposure to control the brightness of your photos
  • Setting your shutter speed to freeze action or blur motion
  • Controlling your aperture to blur or focus the background
  • Setting your ISO for bright and dark environments
  • Finding beautiful natural light for landscapes and portraits
  • Using flash without the ugly effects
  • Troubleshooting blurry, dark, and bad pictures
  • Taking great pictures of pets
  • Wildlife photography (mammals, birds, insects, fish, and more)
  • Taking pictures at night, including fireworks, stars, and meteors
  • Photographing sunrises, sunsets, landscapes, cityscapes, flowers, forests, waterfalls, rivers, fireworks, and more

Advanced photographers can skip forward to learn the pro's secrets for:

  • Posing men and women, with checklists
  • Taking candid, casual, formal, and underwater portraits
  • Using RAW files
  • Using HDR to overcome lighting challenges or create art
  • Macro/close-up photography
  • Using diffusers, reflectors, and other light modifiers
  • Remotely triggering multiple flashes for inexpensive studio lighting
  • Building a permanent studio in your home
  • Using studio lighting on any budget
  • Shooting your first wedding
  • High speed photography
  • Location scouting/finding the best spots and times
  • Planning shoots around the sun and moon
  • Creating star trails using two techniques: long exposure and image stacking
  • Light painting
  • Eliminating noise
  • Focus stacking for infinite depth-of-field
  • Underwater photography
  • Getting close to wildlife
  • Using electronic shutter triggers

Drawing the Human Head [PDF]

Drawing the Human Head [PDF]
Drawing the Human Head by Burne Hogart
1989 | PDF | 28.45MB

Using a series of 300 drawings and diagrams, the author analyzes the basic structure, anatomy and proportions of the human head. He delineates the musculature of every facial feature, explains wrinkle patterns and demonstrates how to draw the head from every angle. The text explains how to age the face from infancy to old age, and defines a diverse array of head types by structure, explaining their proportions and the features that go with them. Works by such artists as Vermeer, Degas and Picasso supplement the author's own drawings throughout the text.

Drawing Dynamic Hands [PDF]

Drawing Dynamic Hands [PDF]
Drawing Dynamic Hands by Burne Hogarth
1988 | PDF | 14.28MB
More than three hundred illustrations present a system for visualizing and drawing hands in virtually every conceivable position and gesture, proceeding from basic forms and structures to subtleties of attitude and action.

Dynamic Figure Drawing [PDF]

Dynamic Figure Drawing [PDF]
Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth
1984 | PDF | 25.6MB

Figure drawing is the most essential - and the most difficult - of all the skills for the artist to learn. In this manual Burne Hogarth introduces his own system of figure drawing, which should make it possible to visualize and accurately render the forms of the human body from every conceivable point of view.

First Hogarth describes the forms of the human figure. Then he demonstrates his "deep space" notion, a systematic sketching order that is the key to drawing the figure with believable interconnection of forms and control of foreshortening. By mastering this remarkable system, artists should be able to draw an amazing variety of poses, actions and gestures without a model, while maintaining the correct relationship between forms.

Art Journal Art Journey [EPUB]

Art Journal Art Journey [EPUB]
Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process by Nichole Rae
2014 | EPUB | 70.0MB

Words--Color--Courage

Bravely document your life's journey with Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process. Artist Nichole Rae is your creative companion and guide as you explore your art journaling journey in three easy steps.

Begin by putting the journal in art journal: A variety of prompts and writing styles help you breathe life into your hopes, feelings and intentions.

Then put the art in art journal: Use your writing to develop a theme for your art journal. Illustrate your story by adding photos, illustrations and ephemera.

Finally, explore your creative process: Ponder color, words and symbols as you build beautifully layered collage pages.

Along this art journaling path, you'll find the strength to listen to your heart and find your creative voice.

All you have to do is Embrace the Journey. Includes:

  • Journaling prompts
  • 15 mixed-media and collage techniques
  • Dozens of inspirational journal pages

Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts [EPUB]

Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts [EPUB]
Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher
2013 | EPUB | 4.14MB

What it really means to “read closely.”

Call it close reading, call it deep reading, call it analytic reading—call it what you like. The point is, it’s a level of understanding that students of any age can achieve with the right kind of instruction. In Rigorous Reading, Nancy Frey and Doug Fisher articulate an instructional plan so clearly, and so squarely built on research, that teachers, schools, and districts need look no further:

  1. Purpose & Modeling
  2. Close & Scaffolded Reading Instruction
  3. Collaborative Conversations
  4. An Independent Reading Staircase
  5. Performance

High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching [EPUB]

High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching [EPUB]
High-Impact Instruction: A Framework for Great Teaching by Jim Knight
2012 | EPUB | 3.82MB

Small changes can lead to big results!

Best-selling author Jim Knight presents the high-leverage strategies that make the biggest difference in student learning. Featuring checklists, numerous observation tools, and online videos of teachers implementing the practices, this revolutionary book focuses on the three areas of high-impact instruction:

  • Content planning, including using guiding questions, learning maps, and formative assessment
  • Instructional practices such as the use of thinking prompts, effective questions, challenging assignments, and experiential learning
  • Community building, in which you shape a classroom culture that promotes well-being, creativity, learning, and high expectations

My Education [Audiobook]

My Education [Audiobook]
My Education [Audiobook] by Susan Choi, read by Tavia Gilbert
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 12 hrs 39 mins | 347.96MB

An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster from the author of American Woman and A Person of Interest

Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.

My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.

A Person of Interest [Audiobook]

A Person of Interest [Audiobook]
A Person of Interest [Audiobook] by Susan Choi, read by Bernadette Dunne
2008 | MP3@64 kbps + MOBI | 16 hrs 02 mins | 441.01MB

From an acclaimed novelist, an emotionally complex and riveting story of suspicion, innocence, and regret.

When a mail bomb explodes in the campus office next door, Lee, an Asian American math professor at a second-tier university in the Midwest, comes under suspicion. The authorities believe he may be the infamous "brain bomber," an elusive terrorist whose primary targets are prominent scientists and mathematicians.

In the midst of campus tumult and grief over the star computer scientist who was killed by the bomb, Lee receives a disturbing letter from a figure in his past. Certain he is being targeted for revenge, he begins confronting key events in his life. Misunderstood by the people around him, Lee is not conscious that his behavior has begun to heighten suspicion in the minds of his colleagues, students, and neighbors, leading the FBI to designate him "a person of interest" and pushing his life and reputation to the verge of ruin.

Intricately plotted and engrossing, A Person of Interest asks how far one man can run from his past, and explores the impact of scrutiny and suspicion in an age of terror. With its propulsive drive and vividly realized characters, Susan Choi's latest novel is as thrilling as it is lyrical, and confirms her place as one of the most important young novelists chronicling the American experience.

American Woman: A Novel [EPUB]

American Woman: A Novel [EPUB]
American Woman: A Novel by Susan Choi
2003 | EPUB | 0.41MB

On the lam for an act of violence against the American government, 25-year-old Jenny Shimada agrees to care for three younger fugitives whom a shadowy figure from her former radical life has spirited out of California. One of them, the kidnapped granddaughter of a wealthy newspaper magnate in San Francisco, has become a national celebrity for embracing her captors' ideology and joining their revolutionary cell.

American Woman unfolds the story of Jenny and her charges -- Pauline, Juan, and Yvonne, the remains of the busted revolutionary cadre -- as they pursue their destinies from an old farmhouse in upstate New York back to California. Provocative, suspenseful, and often wickedly comic, the novel explores the psychology of the young radicals -- outsiders all -- as isolation and paranoia inevitably undermine their ideals. American Woman is a tour de force with chilling resonance for readers today.

The Madonnas of Leningrad [Audiobook]

The Madonnas of Leningrad [Audiobook]
The Madonnas of Leningrad [Audiobook] by Debra Dean, read by Liza Ross
2006 | MP3@128 kbps | 6 hrs 51 mins | 376.92MB

Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. An elderly Russian woman now living in America, she cannot hold on to fresh memories—the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild—yet her distant past is miraculously preserved in her mind's eye.

Vivid images of her youth in war-torn Leningrad arise unbidden, carrying her back to the terrible fall of 1941, when she was a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum and the German army's approach signaled the beginning of what would be a long, torturous siege on the city. As the people braved starvation, bitter cold, and a relentless German onslaught, Marina joined other staff members in removing the museum's priceless masterpieces for safekeeping, leaving the frames hanging empty on the walls to symbolize the artworks' eventual return. As the Luftwaffe's bombs pounded the proud, stricken city, Marina built a personal Hermitage in her mind—a refuge that would stay buried deep within her, until she needed it once more. . . .

The Elephant's Journey [EPUB]

The Elephant's Journey [EPUB]
The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago
2011 | EPUB | 0.48MB

In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. The elephant’s journey from Lisbon to Vienna was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people. Out of this material, José Saramago has spun a novel already heralded as “a triumph of language, imagination, and humor” (El País).

Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub.

Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, our unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars. They make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy: Genoa, Piacenza, Mantua, Verona, Venice, and Trento, where the Council of Trent is in session. They brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; they sail across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River (elephants, it turns out, are natural sailors). At last they make their grand entry into the imperial city. The Elephant’s Journey is a delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure.

The Miniaturist: A Novel [EPUB]

The Miniaturist: A Novel [EPUB]
The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.43/0.63MB

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

”There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .“

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Brazil's Dance with the Devil [EPUB]

Brazil's Dance with the Devil [EPUB]
Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, The Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy by Dave Zirin
2014 | EPUB | 0.81MB

The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the twentieth World Cup (June 12–July 13, 2014), the world's most-viewed sporting tournament, and the thirty-first Summer Olympics (August 5–21, 2016).

Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades, with Brazilians taking to the streets to try to reclaim the sports they love but see being corrupted by powerful corporate interests, profiteering, and greed. In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.

The Obstacle Is the Way [Audiobook]

The Obstacle Is the Way [Audiobook]
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph [Audiobook] by Ryan Holiday, read by the Author
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 07 mins | 168.36MB
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius

We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn't be this way. There is a formula for success that's been followed by the icons of history - from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs - a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek.

These men and women were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success came from timeless philosophical principles laid down by a Roman emperor who struggled to articulate a method for excellence in any and all situations.

This book reveals that formula for the first time - and shows us how we can turn our own adversity into advantage.

America: Imagine a World without Her [EPUB]

America: Imagine a World without Her [EPUB]
America: Imagine a World without Her by Dinesh D'Souza
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.28/0.45MB

Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder, or is America still the hope of the world?

New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise. It is the Progressive view that is taught in our schools, that is preached by Hollywood, and that shapes the policies of the Obama administration. If America is a force for inequality and injustice in the world, its power deserves to be diminished; if traditional America is based on oppression and theft, then traditional America must be reformed—and the federal government can do the reforming.

In America: Imagine a World without Her D'Souza offers a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America, knocking down every important accusation made by Progressives against our country.

Provocative in its analysis, stunning in its conclusions, Dinesh D'Souza's America will be the most talked about book of the year.

VHS: Absurd, Odd, and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era [EPUB]

VHS: Absurd, Odd, and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era [EPUB]
VHS: Absurd, Odd, and Ridiculous Relics from the Videotape Era by Joe Pickett, Nick Prueher
2011 | EPUB | 13.55MB

The decade of 1988-1998 was the Golden Age of VHS, a time when anybody with a pulse, a camcorder, and a few bucks could market a video. Comedy writers Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have spent the last 20 years collecting the best odd and unintentionally hilarious videotapes ever produced. Since 2004, they’ve resurrected them for sold-out audiences across the country as part of their touring show, the Found Footage Festival. Now, for the very first time, they’ve collected the greatest VHS covers into one handsome compendium—along with their priceless snarky commentary throughout.

Revolution in the Age of Social Media [EPUB]

Revolution in the Age of Social Media [EPUB]
Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet by Linda Herrera
2014 | EPUB | 1.56MB

An accessible guide to the enduring struggle between people and power in the digital age

Egypt's January 25 Revolution of 2011 was a dramatic demonstration of the role social media has come to play in radical activism. A key moment was the appearance of the Facebook page "We Are All Khaled Said," which linked activists across the country. But how useful are social media in radical politics? And how readily can they be turned against the activists?

Revolution in the Age of Social Media looks at the role of that seminal Facebook page and the conspiracy theories that swirled around its administrator, Wael Ghonim. Herrera reveals the immense power struggles that took place in virtual arenas, showing how social media can serve not only as a site of liberation, but also as a place where powerful forces—such the US State Department, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Egyptian military—vie for control over the hearts and minds of the young.

The Egyptian uprising, while in many ways a distinctly Arab event, is also a universal story of power and insurrection in the age of social media.

Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA [Audiobook]

Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA [Audiobook]
Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA [Audiobook] by E G Vallianatos, McKay Jenkins, read by Michael McConnahie
2014 | MP3 VBR V5 | 9 hrs 48 mins | 270.49MB

Imagine walking into a restaurant and finding chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, or neonicotinoid insecticides listed in the description of your entree. They may not be printed in the menu, but many are in your food.

These are a few of the literally millions of pounds of approved synthetic substances dumped into the environment every day, not just in the US but around the world. They seep into our water supply, are carried thousands of miles by wind and rain from the site of application, remain potent long after they are deposited, and constitute, in the words of one scientist, “biologic death bombs with a delayed time fuse and which may prove to be, in the long run, as dangerous to the existence of mankind as the arsenal of atom bombs.” All of these poisons are sanctioned--or in some cases, ignored--by the EPA.

For twenty-five years E.G. Vallianatos saw the EPA from the inside, with rising dismay over how pressure from politicians and threats from huge corporations were turning it from the public's watchdog into a "polluter's protection agency." Based on his own experience, the testimony of colleagues, and hundreds of documents Vallianatos collected inside the EPA, Poison Spring reveals how the agency has continually reinforced the chemical-industrial complex.

Writing with acclaimed environmental journalist McKay Jenkins, E.G. Vallianatos provides a devastating exposé of how the agency created to protect Americans and our environment has betrayed its mission. Half a century after after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring awakened us to the dangers of pesticides, we are poisoning our lands and waters with more toxic chemicals than ever.

Communism: A History [Audiobook]

Communism: A History [Audiobook]
Communism: A History [Audiobook] by Richard Pipes, read by George Wilson
2005 | MP3 + EPUB | 5 hrs 50 mins | 79.84MB

From one of our greatest historians, a magnificent reckoning with the modern world's most fateful idea.

With astonishing authority and clarity, Richard Pipes has fused a lifetime's scholarship into a single focused history of Communism, from its hopeful birth as a theory to its miserable death as a practice.

At its heart, the book is a history of the Soviet Union, the most comprehensive reorganization of human society ever attempted by a nation-state. Drawing on much new information, Richard Pipes explains the countryís evolution from the 1917 revolution to the Great Terror and World War II, global expansion and the Cold War chess match with the United States, and the regime's decline and ultimate collapse. There is no more dramatic story in modern history, nor one more crucial to master, than that of how the writing and agitation of two mid-nineteenth-century European thinkers named Marx and Engels led to a great and terrible world religion that brought down a mighty empire, consumed the world in conflict, and left in its wake a devastation whose full costs can only now be tabulated.

The Worldly Philosophers [EPUB]

The Worldly Philosophers [EPUB]
The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers, Seventh Edition by Robert L Heilbroner
2011 | EPUB | 2.04MB

The bestselling classic that examines the history of economic thought from Adam Smith to Karl Marx—“all the economic lore most general readers conceivably could want to know, served up with a flourish” (The New York Times).

The Worldly Philosophers not only enables us to see more deeply into our history but helps us better understand our own times. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner provides a new theme that connects thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The theme is the common focus of their highly varied ideas—namely, the search to understand how a capitalist society works. It is a focus never more needed than in this age of confusing economic headlines.

In a bold new concluding chapter entitled “The End of the Worldly Philosophy?” Heilbroner reminds us that the word “end” refers to both the purpose and limits of economics. This chapter conveys a concern that today’s increasingly “scientific” economics may overlook fundamental social and political issues that are central to economics. Thus, unlike its predecessors, this new edition provides not just an indispensable illumination of our past but a call to action for our future.

Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure [PDF]

Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure [PDF]
Learnability and Cognition: The Acquisition of Argument Structure by Steven Pinker
2013 | PDF | 4.44MB

Before Steven Pinker wrote bestsellers on language and human nature, he wrote several technical monographs on language acquisition that have become classics in cognitive science. Learnability and Cognition, first published in 1989, brought together two big topics: how do children learn their mother tongue, and how does the mind represent basic categories of meaning such as space, time, causality, agency, and goals? The stage for this synthesis was set by the fact that when children learn a language, they come to make surprisingly subtle distinctions: pour water into the glass and fill the glass with water sound natural, but pour the glass with water and fill water into the glass sound odd. How can this happen, given that children are not reliably corrected for uttering odd sentences, and they don't just parrot back the correct ones they hear from their parents? Pinker resolves this paradox with a theory of how children acquire the meaning and uses of verbs, and explores that theory's implications for language, thought, and the relationship between them.

As Pinker writes in a new preface, "The Secret Life of Verbs," the phenomena and ideas he explored in this book inspired his 2007 bestseller The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. These technical discussions, he notes, provide insight not just into language acquisition but into literary metaphor, scientific understanding, political discourse, and even the conceptions of sexuality that go into obscenity.

Operation Valuable Fiend [EPUB]

Operation Valuable Fiend [EPUB]
Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain by Albert Lulushi
2014 | EPUB | 2.79MB

In 1949, a newly minted branch of the CIA (the precursor of today’s National Clandestine Service), flush with money and burning with determination to roll back the Iron Curtain, embarked on the first paramilitary operation in the history of the agency. They hatched an elaborate plan, coordinated with the British Secret Intelligence Service, to foment popular rebellion and detach Albania, the weakest of the Soviet satellites in Europe, from Moscow’s orbit. The operation resulted in dismal failure and was shut down by 1954.

In Operation Valuable Fiend, Albert Lulushi gives the first full accounting of this CIA action, based on hundreds of declassified documents, memoirs, and recollections of key participants, including Albanian exiles recruited for missions and their Communist opponents. Up till now, the story of the operation has been obfuscated and even distorted. Some blamed the Soviet mole Kim Philby for sabotaging it; the communists credited the prowess of their secret police; and CIA memoirs were heavily sanitized. Lulushi documents a range of factors that led to the failure, from inexperienced CIA case officers outsmarted in spy-vs-spy games by their ruthless Stalinist opponents; to rivalries between branches of the CIA and between the agency and friendly intelligence services; and conflicts among anti-Communist factions that included Albania’s colorful exiled leader, King Zog.

The book also shows how this operation served as the proving ground for techniques used in later CIA Cold War paramilitary actions—involving some of the same agency operatives—including the coup d’états in Iran and Guatemala and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

The Lords of Creation [EPUB]

The Lords of Creation [EPUB]
The Lords of Creation: The History of America's 1 Percent by Frederick Lewis Allen
2014 | EPUB | 1.79MB

An acclaimed classic detailing the economic history of America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and exposing the capitalist giants who changed the world

Frederick Lewis Allen’s insightful financial history of the United States—from the late 1800s through the stock market collapse of 1929—remains a seminal work on what brought on America’s worst economic disaster: the Great Depression. In the decades following the Civil War, America entered an era of unprecedented corporate expansion, with ultimate financial power in the hands of a few wealthy industrialists who exploited the capitalist system for everything it was worth. The Rockefellers, Fords, Morgans, and Vanderbilts were the “lords of creation” who, along with like-minded magnates, controlled the economic destiny of the country, unrestrained by regulations or moral imperatives. Through a combination of foresight, ingenuity, ruthlessness, and greed, America’s giants of industry remolded the US economy in their own preferred image. In so doing, they established their absolute power and authority, ensuring that they—and they alone—would control the means of production, transportation, energy, and commerce—thereby setting the stage for the most devastating global financial collapse in history.

As Gretchen Morgenson thoughtfully states in her introduction, “It is not immediately clear why the frequency and severity of financial scandals is increasing in the United States. What is clear is that we need to understand the origins of these disasters, as well as the policies and people that bring them on. . . . While distant actions may seem unrelated to current events, rereading about the past almost always provides surprising insights into the present.”

The Lords of Creation, first published in the midst of the Great Depression, when the financial catastrophe was still painfully fresh, is a fascinating story of bankers, railroad tycoons, steel magnates, speculators, scoundrels, and robber barons. It is a tale of innovation and shocking exploitation—and a sobering reminder that history can indeed repeat itself.

The Most Dangerous Book [EPUB]

The Most Dangerous Book [EPUB]
The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham
2014 | EPUB | 9.17MB

For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as “obscene, lewd, and lascivious.” Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933.

Literary historian Kevin Birmingham follows Joyce’s years as a young writer, his feverish work on his literary masterpiece, and his ardent love affair with Nora Barnacle, the model for Molly Bloom. Joyce and Nora socialized with literary greats like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Beach. Their support helped Joyce fight an array of anti-vice crusaders while his book was disguised and smuggled, pirated and burned in the United States and Britain. The long struggle for publication added to the growing pressures of Joyce’s deteriorating eyesight, finances and home life.

Salvation finally came from the partnership of Bennett Cerf, the cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a dogged civil liberties lawyer. With their stewardship, the case ultimately rested on the literary merit of Joyce’s master work. The sixty-year-old judicial practices governing obscenity in the United States were overturned because a federal judge could get inside Molly Bloom’s head.

Birmingham’s archival work brings to light new information about both Joyce and the story surrounding Ulysses. Written for ardent Joyceans as well as novices who want to get to the heart of the greatest novel of the twentieth century, The Most Dangerous Book is a gripping examination of how the world came to say yes to Ulysses.

The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope [EPUB]

The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope [EPUB]
The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope by Ronald Florence
2011 | EPUB | 0.96MB

Almost a half-century after is completion, the 200-inch Palomar telescope remains an unparalleled combination of vast scale and microscope detail. As huge as the Pantheon of Rome and as heavy as the Statue of Liberty, this magnificent instrument is so precisely built that its seventeen-foot mirror was hand-polished to a tolerance of 2/1,000,000 of an inch. The telescope's construction drove some to the brink of madness, made others fearful that mortals might glimpse heaven, and transfixed an entire nation. Ronald Florence weaves into his account of the creation of "the perfect machine" a stirring chronicle of the birth of Big Science and a poignant rendering of an America mired in the depression yet reaching for the stars.

Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place [EPUB]

Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place [EPUB]
Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place by Will Self, Ralph Steadman
2007 | EPUB | 8.44MB

For those interested in the connection between people and place, the best of the decade long collaboration between literary brat packer Will Self and gonzo illustrator Ralph Steadman.

Opening with a dazzling new 20,000-word essay on walking from London to New York, Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place is a collection of 50 short pieces written over the last four years, together with 50 four-color illustrations by Ralph Steadman. In Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place Self and Steadman explore the relationship between psyche and place in the contemporary world. Self thinks most people have a "wind-screen-based virtuality" on long- and short-distance travel. We drive, take buses and trains, fly. To combat this compromised reality, Will Self walks, relating intimately to place, as pedestrians do. Ranging in subject from swimming the Ganges to motorcycling across the Australian outback, shopping in an Iowa mall to surfing a tsunami, Psychogeography is at once a map of our world and the psychoanalysis of the way we inhabit it. The pieces are serious, humorous, facetious, and rambunctious.

Psychogeography, the study of the effects of geographical environment on the emotions and behavior of individuals, has captivated other writers including W. G. Sebald and Peter Ackroyd, but Self and Steadman have their own unique spin on how place shapes people and vice versa.

See also Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley