Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail [EPUB]

Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail [EPUB]
Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail: Races and Rivalries on the Nineteenth Century High Seas by Sam Jefferson
2014 | EPUB | 11.49MB

In the era of commercial sail, clipper ships were the ultimate expression of speed and grace. Racing out to the gold fields of America and Australia, and breaking speed records carrying tea back from China, the ships combined beauty with breathtaking performance.

With over 200 gorgeous paintings and illustrations, and thrilling descriptions of the adventures and races on the water, this beautiful book brings the era vividly to life.

Chapters include:

  • The origins of the clippers-from the gold rush to the tea trade
  • A hell ship voyage with "Bully" Waterman, one of the most successful and notorious captains of the era
  • Marco Polo, the fastest ship in the world-her rise to prominence and subsequent decline
  • Mary Patten's battle with Cape Horn-a lady captain takes charge in a very male world
  • Mutiny aboard the "wild boat of the Atlantic"
  • The great China tea race of 1866-an amazingly close race across the world, only decided in the final few miles
  • The Sir Lancelot defies the odds-her eccentric captains and rivalry with the legendary Thermopylae
  • The Cutty Sark's longest voyage

First-hand accounts, newspaper reports and log entries add fascinating eyewitness detail, whilst the stunning images show how the designs of these thoroughbreds developed over the years.

A wonderful read and worthy celebration of these racehorses of the sea.

Thomas Jefferson: Uncovering His Unique Philosophy and Vision [EPUB]

Thomas Jefferson: Uncovering His Unique Philosophy and Vision [EPUB]
Thomas Jefferson: Uncovering His Unique Philosophy and Vision by M Andrew Holowchak
2014 | EPUB | 0.7MB

This is the first book to systematize the philosophical content of Thomas Jefferson’s writings. Sifting through Jefferson’s many addresses, messages, and letters, philosopher M. Andrew Holowchak uncovers an intensely curious Enlightenment thinker with a well-constructed, people-sympathetic, and consistent philosophy. As the author shows, Jefferson’s philosophical views encompassed human nature, the cosmos, politics, morality, and education.

Beginning with his understanding of the cosmos, part one considers Jefferson’s philosophical naturalism and the influence on him of Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke. The next section critically examines his political viewpoints, specifically his republicanism, liberalism, and progressivism. The third part, “Jefferson on Morality,” analyzes Jefferson’s thoughts on human nature, his moral-sense theory, and his notion of “natural aristoi” (best or most virtuous citizens). Finally, “Jefferson on Education” reviews his ideas on properly educating the people of the new nation for responsible, participatory citizenry.

Jefferson conceived of the United States as a “great experiment”—embodying a vision of a government responsibly representative of its people and functioning for the sake of them. This book will help readers understand the philosophical perspective that sustained this audacious, innovative, and people-first experiment.

Saving Congress from Itself [EPUB]

Saving Congress from Itself [EPUB]
Saving Congress from Itself: Emancipating the States and Empowering Their People by James L Buckley
2014 | EPUB | 1.08MB

Saving Congress from Itself proposes a single reform: eliminate all federal grants-in-aid to state and local governments. This action would reduce federal spending by over $600 billion a year and have a profound effect on how we govern ourselves. The proliferation of federal grants-in-aid programs is of recent vintage: only about 100 such grants existed before Lyndon Johnson took office, and now they number more than 1,100. Eliminating grants to the states will result in enormous savings in federal and state administrative costs; free states to set their own priorities; and improve the design and implementation of programs now subsidized by Washington by eliminating federal regulations that attend the grants. In short, it will free states and their subdivisions to resume full responsibility for all activities that fall within their competence, such as education, welfare, and highway construction and maintenance. And because members of Congress spend major portions of their time creating grants and allocating funds assigned to them (think earmarks), eliminating grants will enable Congress to devote its time to responsibilities that are uniquely national in character.

America in Retreat [EPUB]

America in Retreat [EPUB]
America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder by Bret Stephens
2014 | EPUB | 0.7MB

In a brilliant book that will elevate foreign policy in the national conversation, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Bret Stephens makes a powerful case for American intervention abroad.

In December 2011 the last American soldier left Iraq. “We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq,” boasted President Obama. He was proved devastatingly wrong less than three years later as jihadists seized the Iraqi city of Mosul. The event cast another dark shadow over the future of global order—a shadow, which, Bret Stephens argues, we ignore at our peril.

America in Retreat identifies a profound crisis on the global horizon. As Americans seek to withdraw from the world to tend to domestic problems, America’s adversaries spy opportunity. Vladimir Putin’s ambitions to restore the glory of the czarist empire go effectively unchecked, as do China’s attempts to expand its maritime claims in the South China Sea, as do Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear capabilities. Civil war in Syria displaces millions throughout the Middle East while turbocharging the forces of radical Islam. Long-time allies such as Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, doubting the credibility of American security guarantees, are tempted to freelance their foreign policy, irrespective of U.S. interests.

Deploying his characteristic stylistic flair and intellectual prowess, Stephens argues for American reengagement abroad. He explains how military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan was the right course of action, foolishly executed. He traces the intellectual continuity between anti-interventionist statesmen such as Henry Wallace and Robert Taft in the late 1940s and Barack Obama and Rand Paul today. And he makes an unapologetic case for Pax Americana, “a world in which English is the default language of business, diplomacy, tourism, and technology; in which markets are global, capital is mobile, and trade is increasingly free; in which values of openness and tolerance are, when not the norm, often the aspiration.”

In a terrifying chapter imagining the world of 2019, Stephens shows what could lie in store if Americans continue on their current course. Yet we are not doomed to this future. Stephens makes a passionate rejoinder to those who argue that America is in decline, a process that is often beyond the reach of political cures. Instead, we are in retreat—the result of faulty, but reversible, policy choices. By embracing its historic responsibility as the world’s policeman, America can safeguard not only greater peace in the world but also greater prosperity at home.

At once lively and sobering, America in Retreat offers trenchant analysis of the gravest threat to global order, from a rising star of political commentary.

The Second Arab Awakening [EPUB]

The Second Arab Awakening [EPUB]
The Second Arab Awakening: And the Battle for Pluralism by Marwan Muasher
2014 | EPUB | 2.19MB

This important book is not about immediate events or policies or responses to the Arab Spring. Instead, it takes a long, judicious view of political change in the Arab world, beginning with the first Awakening in the nineteenth century and extending into future decades when—if the dream is realized—a new Arab world defined by pluralism and tolerance will emerge.

Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan, asserts that all sides—the United States, Europe, Israel, and Arab governments alike—were deeply misguided in their thinking about Arab politics and society when the turmoil of the Arab Spring erupted. He explains the causes of the unrest, tracing them back to the first Arab Awakening, and warns of the forces today that threaten the success of the Second Arab Awakening, ignited in December 2010. Hope rests with the new generation and its commitment to tolerance, diversity, the peaceful rotation of power, and inclusive economic growth, Muasher maintains. He calls on the West to rethink political Islam and the Arab-Israeli conflict, and he discusses steps all parties can take to encourage positive state-building in the freshly unsettled Arab world.

Humans: From the Beginning [EPUB]

Humans: From the Beginning [EPUB]
Humans: From the Beginning: From the First Apes to the First Cities by Christopher Seddon
2014 | EPUB | 3.68MB

Every few months a discovery about the human past is announced that makes national or even international news. Humans: from the beginning will appeal to anybody who reads about these discoveries, is intrigued by them, and would like to know more about prehistory.

Humans: From the Beginning is a single-volume guide to the human past. Drawing upon expert literature and the latest multi-disciplinary research, this rigorous but accessible book traces the whole of the human story from the first apes to the first cities. The end product of five years of research, it has also been planned from the ground up to take advantage of the eBook format and ease access to visual matter, references and glossary items.

Humans: From the Beginning is written for the non-specialist, but it is sufficiently comprehensive in scope, rigorous in content, and well-referenced to serve as an ideal ‘one-stop’ text not only for undergraduate students of relevant disciplines, but also to postgraduates, researchers and other academics seeking to broaden their knowledge.

This 32-chapter work presents an even-handed coverage of topics including:

  • How climate change has long played a pivotal role in our affairs and those of our ancestors.
  • How humans evolved from apes at a time when the apes were facing extinction.
  • Why the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees (our closest living relatives) might have been more like a human than a chimpanzee.
  • A possible Asian rather than African origin for the earliest humans.
  • Why the Neanderthals were not the dimwits of popular imagination.
  • How language and modern human behaviour evolved: an examination of theories including those of Robin Dunbar, Steven Mithen and Derek Bickerton.
  • How the small group of modern humans that eventually colonised the whole of the non-African world might have started from Arabia rather than Africa.
  • David Lewis-Williams’ theory that the cave art of Ice Age Europe was linked to a shamanistic belief system that might be rooted in the very architecture of the human brain.
  • Why the Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture was a lengthy process, with many down sides.
  • Colin Renfrew’s still-controversial theory that the spread of farming communities in Neolithic times was responsible for the languages now spoken in many parts of the world.
  • How an ‘Urban Revolution’ replaced egalitarian farming communities with socially-stratified kingdoms and city-states in just a few millennia.
  • How the complex, technological societies of today have much in common with not only the earliest states but much earlier primate societies.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind [EPUB]

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind [EPUB]
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
2014 | EPUB | 13.78MB

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code [EPUB]

p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code [EPUB]
p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code by Sue Armstrong
2015 | EPUB | 0.4MB

All of us have lurking in our DNA a most remarkable gene. Its job is straightforward – to protect us from cancer. This gene – known simply as p53 – constantly scans our cells to ensure that they grow and divide without mishap, as part of the routine maintenance of our bodies. If a cell makes a mistake in copying its DNA as part of its process of division, p53 stops it in its tracks, sending in the repair team before allowing the cell to carry on dividing. If the mistake is irreparable and the rogue cell threatens to grow out of control (as happens in cancer), p53 commands the cell to commit suicide. Cancer cannot develop unless p53 itself is damaged and malfunctioning. Not surprisingly, p53 is the most studied gene in history.

Sue Armstrong's p53: The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code is the story of the quest to unravel the mysteries of p53 and to get at the heart of what happens in our cells when they turn cancerous. Discovered in 1979, most notably by David Lane at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and Arnie Levine at Princeton University, p53 has teased the minds of some of the most colorful and ambitious scientists around the world. As the twenty-first century revolution in personalized cancer treatments finally has started to take off, p53 is at the forefront of the hunt for new cures. This is a timely tale of scientific discovery and advances in our understanding of a disease that still affects more than one in three of us at some point in our lives.

Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake [EPUB]

Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake [EPUB]
Wanting Enlightenment Is a Big Mistake: Teachings of Zen Master Seung San edited and compiled by Hyon Gak
2006 | EPUB | 0.3MB

A major figure in the transmission of Zen to the West, Zen Master Seung Sahn was known for his powerful teaching style, which was direct, surprising, and often humorous. He taught that Zen is not about achieving a goal, but about acting spontaneously from “don’t-know mind.” It is from this “before-thinking” nature, he taught, that true compassion and the desire to serve others naturally arises. This collection of teaching stories, talks, and spontaneous dialogues with students offers readers a fresh and immediate encounter with one of the great Zen masters of the twentieth century.

Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies [EPUB]

Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies [EPUB]
Witches, Werewolves, and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages by Claude Lecouteux
2011 | EPUB | 1.67MB

Reveals the true nature of medieval belief in the Double of the Soul

  • Demonstrates the survival of a pagan belief that each individual owns three souls, including a double that can journey outside the physical body
  • Explains the nature of death and the Other World hidden beneath the monsters and superstitions in stories from the Middle Ages

Monsters, werewolves, witches, and fairies remain a strong presence in our stories and dreams. But as Claude Lecouteux shows, their roots go far deeper than their appearance in medieval folklore; they are survivors of a much older belief system that predates Christianity and was widespread over Western Europe. Through his extensive analysis of Germano-Scandinavian legends, as well as those from other areas of Europe, Lecouteux has uncovered an almost forgotten religious concept: that every individual owns three souls and that one of these souls, the Double, can—in animal or human form—leave the physical body while in sleep or a trance, journey where it chooses, then reenter its physical body. While there were many who experienced this phenomenon involuntarily, there were others—those who attracted the unwelcome persecution of the Church—who were able to provoke it at will: witches.

In a thorough excavation of the medieval soul, Claude Lecouteux reveals the origin and significance of this belief in the Double, and follows its transforming features through the ages. He shows that far from being fantasy or vague superstition, fairies, witches, and werewolves all testify to a consistent ancient vision of our world and the world beyond.

Myths and Legends of the Polynesians [EPUB]

Myths and Legends of the Polynesians [EPUB]
Myths and Legends of the Polynesians by Johannes C. Andersen
2011 | EPUB | 8.62MB

This authoritative volume combines a wealth of myths and legends with a lively commentary on Polynesian life and culture. Captivating tales include ancient stories of the gods and creation, nature and the supernatural, love and war, revenge, and more.

The Devil in Dover [EPUB]

The Devil in Dover [EPUB]
The Devil in Dover: An Insider's Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-town America by Lauri Lebo
2008 | EPUB | 0.2MB

Local newspaper reporter Lauri Lebo was handed the story of a lifetime when the Dover (Pennsylvania) School Board adopted a measure to require its ninth-grade biology students to learn about intelligent design. In a case that recalled the famed 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial and made international headlines, eleven parents sued the school board. When the case wound up in federal court before a George W. Bush–appointed judge, Lebo had a front-row seat.

Destined to become required reading for a generation of journalists, scientists, and science teachers, as well as for anyone concerned about the separation of church and state, The Devil in Dover is Lebo’s widely praised account of a perfect storm of religious intolerance, First Amendment violations, and an assault on American science education. Lebo skillfully probes the compelling background of the case, introducing us to the plaintiffs, the defendants, the lawyers, and a parade of witnesses, along with Judge John E. Jones, who would eventually condemn the school board’s decision as one of “breathtaking inanity.”

With the antievolution battle having moved to the state level—and the recent passage of state legislation that protects the right of schools to teach alternatives to evolution—the story will continue to be relevant for years to come.

WTF, Evolution: A Theory of Unintelligible Design [EPUB]

WTF, Evolution: A Theory of Unintelligible Design [EPUB]
WTF, Evolution: A Theory of Unintelligible Design by Mara Grunbaum
2014 | EPUB | 48.82MB

We all have our off days. Why should Evolution be any different? Maybe Evolution got carried away with an idea that was just a little too crazy—like having the Regal Horned Lizard defend itself by shooting three-foot streams of blood from its eyes. Or maybe Evolution ran out of steam (Memo to Evolution: The Irrawaddy Dolphin looks like a prototype that should have been left on the drawing board). Or maybe Evolution was feeling cheeky—a fish with hands? Joke's on you, Red Handfish! Or maybe Evolution simply goofed up: How else to explain the overgrown teeth of the babirusas that curl backward over their face? Oops.

Mara Grunbaum is a very smart, very funny science writer who celebrates the best—or, really, the worst—of Evolution's blunders. Here are more than 100 outlandish mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, birds, and other creatures whose very existence leaves us shaking our heads and muttering WTF?! Ms. Grunbaum's especially brilliant stroke is to personify Evolution as a well-meaning but somewhat oblivious experimenter whose conversations with a skeptical narrator are hilarious.

For almost 4 billion years, Evolution has produced a nonstop parade of inflatable noses, bizarre genitalia, and seriously awkward necks. What a comedian!