Unruly Places [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 14:46
2014 | EPUB | 8.86MB
A tour of the world’s hidden geographies—from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts—and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today
At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite’s remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it’s hard to imagine there’s any uncharted ground left on the planet. In Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.
Bonnett’s remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man’s lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, an island included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery store’s produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.
An intrepid guide down the road much-less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, Unruly Places will change the way you see the places you inhabit.
America's Dumbest Criminals [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 14:24
1995 | EPUB | 0.91MB
100 crazy stories of Americas dumbest criminals.
WARNING: The crimes you are about to read are true. The names have been changed . . . to protect the ignorant.
Here is the ultimate collection of the most incredibly stupid and painfully dumb attempts at crime ever brought together.
- The woman who invalidated her winning $5,000 lottery ticket by altering it to match the $20 prize number
- The accused vending-machine thief who paid his $400 bail entirely in quarters
- The streaking robber who thought clothes would make him more identifiable
- The convenience store thief who got away with just a hotdog, only to end up in the parking lot choking on the wiener
The Haunting of the Gemini [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 14:16
2014 | EPUB | 4.23MB
On a sweltering summer day in 1992, the body of Patricia Fonti was found in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Highland Park.
She had been stabbed more than 100 times.
The Zodiac Killer had struck again.
Renowned psychic medium Jackie Barrett is no stranger to visits from the dead. But when the spirit of Patricia Fonti comes to her twenty years after her death, Jackie finds herself caught in an unexpected battle for the restless, schizophrenic soul of a murder victim. Here is Jackie's first-person account of her connection with Patricia Fonti and her murderer, New York Zodiac Killer Heriberto “Eddie” Seda, whose early 1990s killing spree paralyzed the city with fear.
In exclusive letters, drawings and recorded telephone conversations from prison, Eddie divulges things to Jackie that have never been made public, including how he killed and why. Her astounding interviews with the man who calls himself “The Soul Collector” give rare insight into the recesses of a very dark mind. And while Jackie struggles to help Patricia Fonti find peace, Eddie insists he and Jackie are two halves of a whole, that together they make up the astrological sign of the twins—the Gemini…
Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 14:07
2014 | EPUB | 5.9MB
He spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice—and a second chance at life.
On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple’s bed—and the Williamson County Sherriff’s office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed.
He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over.
It would take twenty-five years—and thousands of hours of effort on the part of Michael’s lawyers, including the team at the New York-based Innocence Project—before DNA evidence was brought to light that would ultimately set Michael free. The evidence had been collected only days after the murder—but was never investigated.
Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than one thousand pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the treasure trove of evidence, including a bandana with the killer’s DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife’s credit card (a message that was received, recorded, and never returned by local police); and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again.
Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.
The Secret Garden [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 13:46
2005 | EPUB | 3.29MB
Though Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote more than forty books, none remains so popular as her miraculous and magical masterpiece, The Secret Garden. Has any story ever dared to begin by calling its heroine, “the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen” and, just a few sentences later, “as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived?” Mary Lennox is the “little pig,” sent to Misselthwaite Manor, on the Yorkshire moors, to live with her uncle after her parents die of cholera. There she discovers her sickly cousin Colin, who is equally obnoxious and imperious. Both love no one because they have never been loved. They are the book’s spiritual secret gardens, needing only the right kind of care to bloom into lovely children.
Mary also discovers a literal secret garden, hidden behind a locked gate on her uncle’s estate, neglected for the ten years since Colin’s birth and his mother’s death. Together with a local child named Dickon, Mary and Colin transform the garden into a paradise bursting with life and color. Through their newfound mutual love of nature, they nurture each other, until they are brought back to health and happiness.
With Charles Robinson's original illustrations.
The Book Thief [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 13:39
2007 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.07/1.45MB
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 13:34
2003 | EPUB | 2.05MB
Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs is written especially for business professionals who want to make it in today's extremely aggressive business environment. No force or unit has ever had more success than the SEALs.
Author Robert Needham uses the lessons he's learned as a Navy SEAL to guide the reader through the role of being or becoming a leader. "To some, leadership is exemplified by the blind obedience to orders. It is a misconception that to coerce another person to do your bidding makes you a 'leader.'"Navy SEALs are recognized around the world as being the best. From their start as Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDU) in WWII to the founding of the SEALs in 1962, only 8,000 men have been allowed to join this top-notch unit.
Needham is still on active duty as a SEAL and knows how to achieve results. "The ruthless effectiveness and efficiency of the SEAL Teams stems from the fact that we always start from, perfect, and practice the basics. The Team is a dynamic that works toward success, not hindered by pride, preservation, and self-interest. "Needham's principles define and illustrate the word "team," and they will motivate business people working toward that common goal.
Virtual Unreality [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 13:27
2014 | EPUB | 0.93MB
Digital information is a powerful tool that spreads unbelievably rapidly, infects all corners of society, and is all but impossible to control—even when that information is actually a lie. In Virtual Unreality, Charles Seife uses the skepticism, wit, and sharp facility for analysis that captivated readers in Proofiness and Zero to take us deep into the Internet information jungle and cut a path through the trickery, fakery, and cyber skullduggery that the online world enables.
Taking on everything from breaking news coverage and online dating to program trading and that eccentric and unreliable source that is Wikipedia, Seife arms his readers with actual tools—or weapons—for discerning truth from fiction online.
Proofiness: How You're Being Fooled by the Numbers [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 13:24
2010 | EPUB | 0.63MB
From the author of Zero, comes this "admirable salvo against quantitative bamboozlement by the media and the government" (The Boston Globe)
In Zero, Charles Seife presented readers with a thrilling account of the strangest number known to humankind. Now he shows readers how the power of skewed metrics-or "proofiness"- is being used to alter perception in both amusing and dangerous ways. Proofiness is behind such bizarre stories as a mathematical formula for the perfect butt and sprinters who can run faster than the speed of sound. But proofiness also has a dark side: bogus mathematical formulas used to undermine our democracy-subverting our justice system, fixing elections, and swaying public opinion with lies. By doing the real math, Seife elegantly and good-humoredly scrutinizes our growing obsession with metrics while exposing those who misuse them.
Everything Is Bullshit: The Greatest Scams on Earth Revealed [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 12:08
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.43/0.58MB
Many of our society’s most cherished traditions are actually based on historical accident, the profit motives of a few companies, or the agenda of someone who died long ago. A lot of what we believe and do is bullshit, yet we walk around thinking our way of doing things is inherently correct.
Why do we exchange diamond engagement rings? Why is wine so expensive? How does art become “art”? Why do so many non-profits want us to donate cars to them? Why does college cost so much? Why do so many pets die in animal shelters? Why is the world the way it is?
Everything is Bullshit, by Priceonomics, is an investigation to find the answers.
Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 12:07
2014 | EPUB | 2.53MB
Written in a flowing narrative style, Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences presents the story of the horrific and infamous murder of Kitty Genovese, a young woman stalked and stabbed on the street where she lived in Queens, New York in 1964. The case sparked national outrage when the New York Times revealed that dozens of witnesses had seen or heard the attacks on Kitty Genovese and her struggle to reach safety but had failed to come to her aid—or even call police until after the killer had fled.
This book cuts through misinformation and conjecture to present a definitive portrait of the crime, the aftermath, and the people. Based on six years of research, Catherine Pelonero’s book presents the facts from the police reports, archival material, court documents, and first-hand interviews. Pelonero offers a personal look at Kitty Genovese, an ambitious young woman viciously struck down in the prime of her life; Winston Moseley, the killer who led a double life as a responsible family man by day and a deadly predator by night; the consequences for a community condemned; and others touched by the tragedy.
Beyond just a true crime story, the book embodies much larger themes: the phenomenon of bystander inaction, the evolution of a serial killer, and the fears and injustices spawned by the stark prejudices of an era, many of which linger to this day.
The Aesthetic of Johann Sebastian Bach [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 11:54
2014 | EPUB | 23.49MB
The Aesthetic of Johann Sebastian Bach (L’Esthéthique de Jean-Sébastien Bach), by the celebrated French musicologist André Pirro (1869-1943), was originally published in 1907 and reissued in 1973. It is offered here for the first time in English, as translated by Joe Armstrong. Pirro’s work is based primarily on an examination of the close relationships between language and music in Bach’s vocal works and provides us with an extensive and well-researched lexicon of the expressive resources of Bach and his contemporaries. As a consequence, Pirro’s study also serves as a sound basis for understanding and interpreting Bach’s instrumental works.
Focusing first on the meanings of the motifs and other compositional devices that Bach uses to depict the emotions, actions, and atmospheres of particular vocal settings, Pirro then carefully explores how Bach makes use of these devices in his instrumental accompaniments, his orchestrations, his pieces without a text, and even choice of compositional forms. Pirro’s study concludes with an examination of the influence Bach’s predecessors and contemporaries had on his work and offers Bach as an exemplar of a uniquely German spirit through the religious devotion and attitudes toward love, nature, and humor manifested in his music.
Pirro’s research supports a uniquely engaging analysis that has informed and even moved discerning readers for more than a century. This translation introduces his work to a new audience of performers, music teachers and their students, composers, musicologists, and all who wish to have a greater understanding of the expressive import of Bach’s music.
The Fine Print [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 11:47
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.55/0.83MB
“No other modern country gives corporations the unfettered power found in America to gouge customers, shortchange workers, and erect barriers to fair play. A big reason is that so little of the news . . . addresses the private, government-approved mechanisms by which price gouging is employed to redistribute income upward.”
You are being systematically exploited by powerful corporations every day. These companies squeeze their trusting customers for every last cent, risk their retirement funds, and endanger their lives. And they do it all legally. How? It’s all in the fine print.
David Cay Johnston, the bestselling author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch, is famous for exposing the perfidies of our biggest institutions. Now he turns his attention to the ways huge corporations hide sneaky stipulations in just about every contract, often with government permission.
Johnston has been known to whip out a utility bill and explain line by line what all that mumbo jumbo actually means (and it doesn’t mean anything good, unless you happen to be the utility company). Within all that jargon, disclosed in accordance with all legal requirements, lie the tools these companies use to rob you blind. Even worse is what’s missing—all the contractually binding clauses that companies hide elsewhere yet still enforce and abuse. Consider, for example, how:
- An insurance company repeatedly delayed paying for a paralyzed man’s vital care despite court orders to pay up.
- Laws in nineteen states let companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble pocket the state income taxes withheld from their workers’ paychecks for up to twenty-five years.
- A little-known government rule gives safety waivers to deadly industrial facilities secretly located underneath schools and playgrounds.
- The “FCC Charge” on your phone bill, which appears to be a government fee, actually goes straight to the phone company.
Johnston shares solutions you can use to fight back against the hundreds of obscure fees and taxes that line the pockets of big corporations, and to help end these devious practices once and for all.
Free Lunch [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 11:45
2007 | EPUB | 0.64MB
The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé
How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today's government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few.
Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches-but of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill.
Johnston's many revelations include:
- How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world
- How homeowners title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly
- How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses
- How Paris Hilton's grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children
- How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds
In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.
With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives-and shows us how we can finally make things better.
Perfectly Legal [PDF]
21 July 2014, 11:42
2003 | PDF | 0.99MB
One of the country's top investigative reporters reveals how the richest people within the top 1 percent of the country has rigged the tax code and other laws in its favor.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has been breaking pieces of this story on the front page of The New York Times for nine years, work for which one business school professor calls him "the de facto chief tax enforcement officer of the United States". With Perfectly Legal, he puts the whole shocking narrative together in a way that will stir up media attention and make readers angry about the state of our country. And he has sound advice on what to do.
Since the mid-1970s, there has been a dramatic shift in who benefits from the American economy and bears the burden of taxes. CEOs, big investors and business owners can delay paying their taxes for years and sometimes escape them almost entirely, while wage earners have their taken from each paycheck. Discreet lobbying by the political donor class has made tax policies and enforcement a disaster. Because of obligations to these donors Washington has been unable, or unwilling, to fix these problems. The news media have largely ignored official favors to those who are supposed to pay the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the gift tax. Millions of families expecting tax cuts are losing some or all of them to a stealth tax that was originally enacted only to apply to the tax-avoiding rich, but that now stings single mothers making as little as $28,000. But the cumulative results are remarkable: the 400 richest Americans pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than someone making $100,000. The 400 richest pay less and less of their income in taxes while the middle class pays more and more. And while the incomes of the very rich skyrocketed over three decades, the average income for the bottom 90 percent fell.
Johnston exposes exactly how the middle class is being squeezed to create a widening income gap that threatens the stability of the country. By relating the compelling tales of real people across all areas of society, he reveals the truth behind:
- "middle class" tax cuts and exactly whom they benefit
- how workers are being cheated out of their retirement plans while disgraced CEOs walk away with hundreds of millions
- how some corporations avoid paying any federal income tax
- how CEOs fly on vacation in corporate jets for less than you pay for a middle seat in coach ñ and stick you with most of the cost
- why the working poor are seven times more likely to be audited by the IRS than everyone else
- how the IRS became so weak that even when it was handed complete banking records detailing massive cheating by 1,600 people, it prosecuted only 4 percent of them
The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginner's Guide [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 05:38
2014 | EPUB | 26.51MB
The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginners Guide is the ANSWER to the questions we all really have about the handstand.
It is the ONLY book on the market to address the big handstand problem: fear.
When learning to handstand, you are normally dealing with a fear of falling over; and The 15-Second handstand lays out a progression that conquers fear, builds strength and ENABLES you to HIT YOUR GOAL in record time. Just look at what others are saying about it...
"I basically couldn't put the book down. It really tremendous. I get the feeling that you REALLY know what you're talking about. It's really neat the way you present the 6 Challenges right away, then leave all the WHY for later. Plus, you really clarified for me what I need to pay attention to: locked elbows and active shoulders. And getting past my fear by learning to bail. The rest is gravy for going from 15s to one minute. I never had this feeling before of knowing what to do." - Dan R.
"I found the book very clear and simple, never boring. It is perfect for people who want to know why and how something works, but the step-by-step progression is perfect for people who don't care about the details." - Giacomo B.
"I finished your book in one day!! I like it, it's very helpful for me and the progression is very good!! I changed my training following your progression and trained much more face to the wall, every day the 'holy' five minutes. I trained 4 months before, but had fear to move to freestanding, without any wall." - Dr. Jürgen Föhlinger
"As a kid I remember my father standing on his hands and walking up and then down a flight of stairs on his hands. At 67 years old I doubt I will ever be able to duplicate that feat, but thanks to Chris Salvato's systematic approach I'm now able to stand [freestanding] on my hands for a few seconds (and get off my hands without destroying myself and nearby furniture) a feat that has eluded me for years. Using his program I'm looking forward to extending that time into minutes." - Marshall R. Peterson
"Chris Salvato did a really good job with The 15-Second Handstand book. You can start your way into the progressions within 10 minutes of reading, and learn the why and how later through the book. The finer points of technique are spot on and prevent bad habits from developing (bent arms, sagging shoulders). Also, the pirouette progression makes you understand the act of bailing, and saves you from having to rollout, which may be troublesome depending on the kind of surface you are training in. This book is definitely going to help in building a handstand addiction." - Lucas Serur
"This is the third or fourth handstand book I bought, and the first one I have liked. The other ones were complete garbage. This one stands out by having a straightforward progression towards a clearly defined final goal, and no detours. There are clear, realistic targets for every step. I love how everything is sliced into small, doable pieces, such as your advice on adding the four form cues one at a time. Best of all I liked that there's a step in the progression dedicated to bailing. I'm actually starting to lose my fear of falling now."- Barry L.
"I have not read any other books about the handstand. This book is very easy to follow. It is also very detailed about what to do, and what not to do. It convinces me that it is possible for me to learn it." - Anders I.
Advanced Krav Maga [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 05:26
2008 | EPUB | 1.93MB
GET IN THE BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE AND MASTER REAL FIGHTING TECHNIQUES WITH ADVANCED KRAV MAGA
Based on the principles of enhancing natural instincts and using appropriate force for self-protection and weapons defense, anyone can master the moves of krav maga – the international self-defense Martial Arts and physical fitness sensation designed by the Israel Defense Forces. This follow up to Krav Maga: An Essential Guide to the Renowned Method - for Fitness and Self-Defense, explores essential combative tactics including standing, clinch, and extensive groundwork from yellow, orange and green belt levels, to help you update and improve your skills. In this guide to advance techniques and training, David Kahn will teach you:
- How krav maga saved Ernest Kovary, Imi Lichtenfeld’s oldest living student, the day WWII began
- The mindset of effective self-defense
- Upper and lower body combatives and defenses
- Powerful retzev workouts
- New techniques for mastering escapes against chokes, grabs, and takedowns
- Krav maga groundwork and instruction
- Women's self-defense principles
Regardless of strength, size, age, or gender, you can learn advanced techniques for fending off any attacker – swiftly, powerfully, and simply. And the conditioning you will achieve by practicing these techniques will tone your muscles, improve your reflexes, and get you fighting fit.
From the American expert and Israeli Grandmaster Haim Gidon’s United States representative in the fitness and combat techniques of krav maga, this is the most up to date, authoritative, and advanced guide to real fighting techniques and rigorous conditioning.
The Ultimate Interactive Basic Training Workbook [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 05:18
2007 | EPUB | 6.42MB
The Ultimate Interactive Basic Training Workbook is a comprehensive interactive guide crafted especially for today's computer-savvy recruit (any branch, male or female). When used together with Volkin's original guidebook, the Workbook provides every recruit with the inside knowledge of basic training he/she needs to not only survive, but thrive in the military.
This remarkable cutting-edge book includes interactive activities, multiple choice and true/false questions, short answer, word association games, and flash cards you cut out and use to enhance memory and recall. Everyone who purchases this title will be allowed entry into the special "Workbook" section of Sergeant Volkin's dynamic website, where they will find additional in-depth answers and tips for every question asked in the book-and much more! Audio and video graphic icons placed throughout the Workbook let readers know additional information is available on Sergeant Volkin's website.
The Workbook also includes a complete exercise program designed to turn civilians into "military-fit" recruits before they enter basic training. Is Volkin's physical training program really indispensable? Absolutely! This workbook walks every reader through a comprehensive preparatory fitness program. As any recruit who has passed through basic training will tell you, there is a giant differencebetween "civilian fit" and "military fit." Sergeant Volkin's book has the charts, tables, photos, and graphs you need every step of the way to get yourself "military fit" and ready for boot camp.
Knowledge is power, and stepping off the bus and into boot camp armed with everything you need to know will give you an enormous advantage over most of the other recruits.
The Ultimate Interactive Basic Training Workbook was written by a soldier for men and women who want to become soldiers . . . exceptional soldiers. No one should enter boot camp without having read and reread Sergeant Volkin's indispensable books.
Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:49
2014 | EPUB | 6.08MB
The financial crisis keeps us on edge and creates a diffuse sense of helplessness. Well-nigh unfathomable problems lead to measures that seem like emergency operations on the open heart of the Western world, performed with no knowledge of the patient's clinical history. The gravity of the situation is matched by the paucity of our understanding of it, and of how it came about in the first place.
In this book, compiled from his Adorno Lectures given in Frankfurt, Wolfgang Streeck lays bare the roots of the present financial, fiscal and economic crisis, seeing it as part of the long neoliberal transformation of postwar capitalism that began in the 1970s. Linking up with the crisis theories of that decade, he analyses the subsequent tensions and conflicts involving states, governments, voters and capitalist interests—a process in which the defining focus of the European state system has shifted from taxation through debt to budgetary “consolidation.” The book then ends by exploring the prospects for a restoration of social and economic stability.
Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism is a model of enlightenment. It shows that something deeply disturbing underlies the current situation: a metamorphosis of the whole relationship between democracy and capitalism.
City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940's [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:47
2014 | EPUB | 2.36MB
In 1939, fifty million Americans went to the movies every week, Louis B. Mayer was the highest-paid man in the country, and Hollywood produced 530 feature films a year. One decade and five thousand movies later, the studios were faltering. The 1940s became the decade of Hollywood's decline: anticommunist hysteria excommunicated some of its best talent, while a 1948 antitrust consent decree ended many of the business practices that had made the studio system so profitable.
In this masterful work of cultural history, the legendary Otto Friedrich tells the story of Hollywood's heyday and decline in a vivid narrative featuring an all-star cast of the actors, writers, musicians, composers, producers, directors, racketeers, labor leaders, journalists, and politicians who played major parts in the movie capital during the turbulent decade from World War II to the Korean War.
Friedrich draws on sources from celebrity biographies to trade-union history, mingling lively gossip with analysis of Hollywood's seedier business dealings and telling the stories of legendary movies such as Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, and All About Eve.
A classic portrait of a special place in a special time, City of Nets gives us a singular behind-the-scenes glimpse into a bygone era that still captivates our imaginations.
At the Point of a Cutlass [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:43
2014 | EPUB | 4.6MB
Based on a rare manuscript from 1725, At the Point of a Cutlass uncovers the amazing voyage of Philip Ashton -- a nineteen-year old fisherman who was captured by pirates, escaped on an uninhabited Caribbean island, and then miraculously arrived back home three years later to tell his incredible story.
Taken in a surprise attack near Nova Scotia in June 1722, Ashton was forced to sail across the Atlantic and back with a crew under the command of Edward Low, a man so vicious he tortured victims by slicing off an ear or nose and roasting them over a fire. "A greater monster," one colonial official wrote, "never infested the seas." Ashton barely survived the nine months he sailed with Low's crew -- he was nearly shot in the head at gunpoint, came close to drowning when a ship sank near the coast of Brazil, and was almost hanged for secretly plotting a revolt against the pirates.
Like many forced men, Ashton thought constantly about escaping. In March of 1723, he saw his chance when Low's crew anchored at the secluded island of Roatan, at the western edge of the Caribbean. Ashton fled into the thick, overgrown woods and, for more than a year, had to claw out a living on the remote strip of land, completely alone and with practically nothing to sustain him. The opportunity to escape came so unexpectedly that Ashton ran off without a gun, a knife, or even a pair of shoes on his feet. Yet the resilient young castaway -- who has been called America's real-life Robinson Crusoe -- was able to find food, build a crude shelter, and even survive a debilitating fever brought on by the cool winter rains before he was rescued by a band of men sailing near the island. Based on Ashton's own first-hand account, as well trial records, logbooks, and a wealth of other archival evidence, At the Point of a Cutlass pieces together the unforgettable story of a man thrust into the violent world of a pirate ship and his daring survival and escape.
Inside the Gas Chambers [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:31
2011 | EPUB | 3.65MB
This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine.
Shlomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a ‘Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the ‘special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies.
Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, ‘Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944.
It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a ‘Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story.
1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:12
2014 | EPUB | 4.36MB
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?
In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.
A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.
The Case for the Jordan Lead Codices [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 03:58
2014 | EPUB | 6.66MB
Arguably the most important religious discovery of all time, the Jordan Lead Codices are considered by many to be more significant in the history of the Christian Church than the Dead Sea Scrolls and Gnostic Gospels.
Much has been going on behind the scenes to try to prevent the publication of any related analytical material. News of the discovery of the codices was suppressed in Jordan in early 2013. Academics refused to acknowlege both the authors and their efforts to rationalize and analyze the hoard; they even prevented excavation of the cave site in which the codices were found. Furthermore, bloggers and scholars with vested interests aided this suppression by seeking to discredit the discovery.
The Case for the Jordan Lead Codices brings together for the first academic papers to be written abouth this ancient find.
In Discovering the Lead Codices, David Elkington provides a first-hand account of the uncovering of the hoard. Following this is Forgery and the Bible by Professor Philip Davies, who was prominent in breaking the embargo on the Dead Sea Scrolls in the early 1990s. A groundbreaking article by Dr. Margaret Barker, Those Codices, places the artefacts in their proper historical and theological contexts, making the case for their authenticity as well as the necessity for further research.
A specialist Chartered Engineer in the private sector underscores Barker's argument in an extensive paper, Summary of Technical Analysis of the Jordan Codices, which points to the codices being the earliest Christian texts ever discovered. An essay by Dr Keith Hearne explores the effect of unscrupulous blogging upon the delivery of fact and context in history in Encounters with the Cyber Commentariat.
And finally, in A Right to Reply, Jennifer Elkington discusses the 'Thonemann Affair' (in which Oxford lecturer Peter Thonemann declared that 'the material had been faked') within the framework of proper academic behaviour. Elkington also reveals the fact that very few individuals have had, or have asked for, access to proper samples and analyses of the codices. This is underlined by further background material describing the activities of certain players in the field.