Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:50
2015 | EPUB | 0.59MB
Objective Troy tells the gripping and unsettling story of Anwar al-Awlaki, the once-celebrated American imam who called for moderation after 9/11, a man who ultimately directed his outsized talents to the mass murder of his fellow citizens. It follows Barack Obama’s campaign against the excesses of the Bush counterterrorism programs and his eventual embrace of the targeted killing of suspected militants. And it recounts how the president directed the mammoth machinery of spy agencies to hunt Awlaki down in a frantic, multi-million-dollar pursuit that would end with the death of Awlaki by a bizarre, robotic technology that is changing warfare—the drone.
Scott Shane, who has covered terrorism for The New York Times over the last decade, weaves the clash between president and terrorist into both a riveting narrative and a deeply human account of the defining conflict of our era. Awlaki, who directed a plot that almost derailed Obama’s presidency, and then taunted him from his desert hideouts, will go down in history as the first United States citizen deliberately hunted and assassinated by his own government without trial. But his eloquent calls to jihad, amplified by YouTube, continue to lure young Westerners into terrorism—resulting in tragedies from the Boston marathon bombing to the murder of cartoonists at a Paris weekly. Awlaki’s life and death show how profoundly America has been changed by the threat of terrorism and by our own fears.
Illuminating and provocative, and based on years of in depth reporting, Objective Troy is a brilliant reckoning with the moral challenge of terrorism and a masterful chronicle of our times.
How Our Days Became Numbered [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:47
2015 | EPUB + PDF | 3.08/4.22MB
Long before the age of "Big Data" or the rise of today's "self-quantifiers," American capitalism embraced "risk"--and proceeded to number our days. Life insurers led the way, developing numerical practices for measuring individuals and groups, predicting their fates, and intervening in their futures. Emanating from the gilded boardrooms of Lower Manhattan and making their way into drawing rooms and tenement apartments across the nation, these practices soon came to change the futures they purported to divine.
How Our Days Became Numbered tells a story of corporate culture remaking American culture--a story of intellectuals and professionals in and around insurance companies who reimagined Americans' lives through numbers and taught ordinary Americans to do the same. Making individuals statistical did not happen easily. Legislative battles raged over the propriety of discriminating by race or of smoothing away the effects of capitalism's fluctuations on individuals. Meanwhile, debates within companies set doctors against actuaries and agents, resulting in elaborate, secretive systems of surveillance and calculation.
Dan Bouk reveals how, in a little over half a century, insurers laid the groundwork for the much-quantified, risk-infused world that we live in today. To understand how the financial world shapes modern bodies, how risk assessments can perpetuate inequalities of race or sex, and how the quantification and claims of risk on each of us continue to grow, we must take seriously the history of those who view our lives as a series of probabilities to be managed.
Meditations: A New Translation [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:46
2003 | EPUB | 2.15MB
A new translation, with an Introduction, by Gregory Hays
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (a.d. 121–180) succeeded his adoptive father as emperor of Rome in a.d. 161—and Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. With a profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus provides insights, wisdom, and practical guidance on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity to interacting with others. Consequently, the Meditations have become required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. In Gregory Hays’s new translation—the first in a generation—Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy: never before have they been so directly and powerfully presented.
Ancient Scepticism by Harald Thorsrud [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:44
2009 | EPUB | 3.75MB
Scepticism, a philosophical tradition that casts doubt on our ability to gain knowledge of the world and suggests suspending judgement in the face of uncertainty, has been influential since is beginnings in ancient Greece. Harald Thorsrud provides an engaging, rigorous introduction to the arguments, central themes and general concerns of ancient Scepticism, from its beginnings with Pyrrho of Elis (c.360-c.270 BCE) to the writings of Sextus Empiricus in the second century CE.
Thorsrud explores the differences among Sceptics and examines in particular the separation of the Scepticism of Pyrrho from its later form - Academic Scepticism - which arose when its ideas were introduced into Plato's "Academy" in the third century BCE. He also unravels the prolonged controversy that developed between Academic Scepticism and Stoicism, the prevailing dogmatism of the day. Steering an even course through the many differences of scholarly opinion surrounding Scepticism, Thorsrud provides a balanced appraisal of its enduring significance by showing why it remains so philosophically interesting and how ancient interpretations differ from modern ones.
Christo-Fiction: The Ruins of Athens and Jerusalem [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:43
2015 | EPUB | 2.18MB
François Laruelle's lifelong project of "nonphilosophy," or "nonstandard philosophy," thinks past the theoretical limits of Western philosophy to realize new relations among religion, science, politics, and art.
In Christo-Fiction, Laruelle targets the rigid, self-sustaining arguments of metaphysics, rooted in Judaic and Greek thought, and the radical potential of Christ, whose "crossing" disrupts their circular discourse. Laruelle's Christ is not the authoritative figure conjured by academic theology, the Apostles, or the Catholic Church. He is the embodiment of generic man, founder of a science of humans, and the herald of a gnostic messianism that calls forth an immanent faith. Explicitly inserting quantum science into religion, Laruelle recasts the temporality of the cross, the entombment, and the resurrection, arguing that it is God who is sacrificed on the cross so that equals in faith may be born. Positioning itself against orthodox religion and naive atheism alike, Christo-Fiction is a daring, heretical experiment that ties religion tightly to the human experience and the lived world.
Mr. America by Mark Adams [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:41
2010 | EPUB | 0.99MB
“A remarkable story. . . . It is to Mark Adams’s great credit that, in Mr. America, he has rescued from obscurity a man whose influence is still felt in this country more than a century after he muscled his way onto the national scene.” —Wall Street Journal
“Hilarious. . . . Delightful. . . . If Macfadden hadn’t existed, we would have had to invent him.” —Washington Post
Mr. America is the fascinating true story of Bernarr Macfadden, a self-made millionaire and founding father of bodybuilding, alternative medicine, and tabloid culture. Madfadden’s impact on popular American culture is everywhere, from yoga to raw food diets to US Weekly, and Mr. America vividly brings to life this charismatic and intriguing character.
Garner's Modern American Usage, 3rd Edition [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:40
2009 | EPUB | 6.88MB
Since first appearing in 1998, Garner's Modern American Usage has established itself as the preeminent guide to the effective use of the English language. Brimming with witty, erudite essays on troublesome words and phrases, this book authoritatively shows how to avoid the countless pitfalls that await unwary writers and speakers whether the issues relate to grammar, punctuation, word choice, or pronunciation.
Now in the third edition, readers will find the "Garner's Language-Change Index," which registers where each disputed usage in modern English falls on a five-stage continuum from nonacceptability (to the language community as a whole) to acceptability, giving the book a consistent standard throughout. Garner's Modern American Usage, 3e is the first usage guide ever to incorporate such a language-change index, and the judgments are based both on Garner's own original research in linguistic corpora and on his analysis of hundreds of earlier studies. Another first in this edition is the panel of critical readers: 120-plus commentators who have helped Garner reassess and update the text, so that every page has been improved.
Hara-Kiri: Japanese Ritual Suicide [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:39
1968 | EPUB | 2.55MB
Hari-Kiri is a definitive text on Japanese ritual suicide, also known as seppuku
To the average westerner, the word hara-kiri conjures up an image of excruciating, self-inflicted pain; of a deep, fatal incision. To the Japanese, this kind of suicide embodies the best qualities of courage, honor, and discipline.
Through extensive research, author Jack Seward brings to the English-speaking public a dissertation on the subject that is thoroughly enlightening. Fluent in speaking, reading, and writing Japanese, he was able to glean information from ancient documents many of them scrolls in the Japanese archives that few foreigners have seen. The earliest writings on hara-kiri (known more formally as seppuku) are thus revealed, as are the intricate rituals surrounding the ceremony.
"The major purpose of this book," says the author, "is to clarify the historical and sociological significance of a unique method of self-destruction." In fulfilling this purpose, author Seward has come up with a definitive work that is sure to arouse interest both as a scholarly effort and as simple, fascinating reading.
Last Man Off: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:37
2015 | EPUB | 9.4MB
In 1998, a young Scotsman named Matt Lewis sought to boost to his budding career as a marine biologist by securing a position as the "scientific observer" on a fishing vessel. Though he would be considered an officer, his role would be limited and relatively tame compared to the rest of the crews’: documenting wildlife the boat encountered, while also keeping notes on the crew’s adherence to fishing regulations. A coin flip landed him aboard the Sudur Havid, a South African boat bound for the outer waters of Antarctica’s frigid and tempestuous Southern Ocean. Even though his novice eyes, Lewis was immediately struck by its apparent unreadiness, including a dearth of adequate boots and survival suits, and a crew seemingly unprepared for work in the harsh polar environment.
His misgivings were soon realized. As winds rose and whipped the seas into a ship-tossing frenzy, the fuel- and fish-heavy boat listed, taking on water. A disastrous and inexplicable chain of decisions--starting with the Sudur Havid’s chief officers and running down through the ship’s engineers and some of the crew--doomed the ship, putting Lewis in the unlikely position of organizing the frantic evacuation. These are not spoilers--Lewis’s narrative is rich with detail, putting readers in the thick of the action as the panic-struck men stuff themselves into three inadequate rafts and embark on a nightmarish struggle on the open ocean. Last Man Off is a tale of survival, not an adventure story; and while the particulars are often grim and the outcome unhappy, Lewis's book is a sort of catharsis, a compelling testimonial to his experience and the ones that didn’t return. --Jon Foro
The Physicist and the Philosopher [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:36
2015 | EPUB + PDF | 2.59/4.71MB
On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today.
Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period--such as wristwatches, radio, and film--helped to shape people's conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival's legacy--Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion.
The Physicist and the Philosopher reveals how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.
How the French Won Waterloo (or Think They Did) [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 21:34
2015 | EPUB | 1.84MB
Published in the 200th Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo a witty look at how the French still think they won, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde.
Two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, the French are still in denial.
If Napoleon lost on 18 June 1815 (and that's a big 'if'), then whoever rules the universe got it wrong. As soon as the cannons stopped firing, French historians began re-writing history. The Duke of Wellington was beaten, they say, and then the Prussians jumped into the boxing ring, breaking all the rules of battle. In essence, the French cannot bear the idea that Napoleon, their greatest-ever national hero, was in any way a loser. Especially not against the traditional enemy – les Anglais.
Stephen Clarke has studied the French version of Waterloo, as told by battle veterans, novelists, historians – right up to today's politicians, and he has uncovered a story of pain, patriotism and sheer perversion ...
The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:19
2014 | EPUB | 2.79MB
For this newly expanded edition, Avi Shlaim has added four chapters and an epilogue that address the prime ministerships from Barak to Netanyahu in the “one book everyone should read for a concise history of Israel’s relations with Arabs” (Independent). What was promulgated as an “iron-wall” strategy—building a position of unassailable strength— was meant to yield to a further stage where Israel would be strong enough to negotiate a satisfactory peace with its neighbors. The goal still remains elusive, if not even further away. This penetrating study brilliantly illuminates past progress and future prospects for peace in the Middle East.
The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:18
2014 | EPUB | 0.61MB
It’s something most of us have sensed for years—the rise of a world defined only by “mine” and “now.” A world where business shamelessly seeks the fastest reward, regardless of the long-term social consequences; where political leaders reflexively choose short-term fixes over broad, sustainable social progress; where individuals feel increasingly exploited by a marketplace obsessed with our private cravings yet oblivious to our spiritual well-being or the larger needs of our families and communities.
At the heart of The Impulse Society is an urgent, powerful story: how the pursuit of short-term self-gratification, once scorned as a sign of personal weakness, became the default principle not only for individuals, but for all sectors of our society. Drawing on the latest research in economics, psychology, political philosophy, and business management, Paul Roberts shows how a potent combination of rapidly advancing technologies, corrupted ideologies, and bottom-line business ethics has pushed us across a threshold to an unprecedented state: a virtual merging of the market and the self. The result is a socioeconomic system ruled by impulse, by the reflexive, id-like drive for the largest, quickest, most “efficient” reward, without regard for long-term costs to ourselves or to broader society.
More than thirty years ago, Christopher Lasch hinted at this bleak world in his landmark book, The Culture of Narcissism. In The Impulse Society, Roberts shows how that self-destructive pattern has grown so pervasive that anxiety and emptiness are becoming embedded in our national character. Yet it is in this unease that Roberts finds clear signs of change—and broad revolt as millions of Americans try step off the self-defeating treadmill of gratification and restore a sense of balance. Fresh, vital, and free of ideological, right-wing/left-wing formulations, The Impulse Society shows the way back to a world of real and lasting good.
American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:16
2013 | EPUB | 2.49MB
On the fiftieth anniversary of her death, a startling new vision of Plath--the first to draw from the recently-opened Ted Hughes archive
The life and work of Sylvia Plath has taken on the proportions of myth. Educated at Smith, she had an epically conflict-filled relationship with her mother, Aurelia. She then married the poet Ted Hughes and plunged into the sturm and drang of married life in the full glare of the world of English and American letters. Her poems were fought over, rejected, accepted and, ultimately, embraced by readers everywhere. Dead at thirty, she committed suicide by putting her head in an oven while her children slept.
Her poetry collection titled Ariel became a modern classic. Her novel The Bell Jar has a fixed place on student reading lists. American Isis will be the first Plath bio benefitting from the new Ted Hughes archive at the British Library which includes forty one letters between Plath and Hughes as well as a host of unpublished papers. The Sylvia Plath Carl Rollyson brings to us in American Isis is no shrinking Violet overshadowed by Ted Hughes, she is a modern day Isis, a powerful force that embraced high and low culture to establish herself in the literary firmament.
Forgotten Trials of the Holocaust [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:14
2014 | EPUB | 2.21MB
In the wake of the Second World War, how were the Allies to respond to the enormous crime of the Holocaust? Even in an ideal world, it would have been impossible to bring all the perpetrators to trial. Nevertheless, an attempt was made to prosecute some. Most people have heard of the Nuremberg trial and the Eichmann trial, though they probably have not heard of the Kharkov Trial—the first trial of Germans for Nazi-era crimes—or even the Dachau Trials, in which war criminals were prosecuted by the American military personnel on the former concentration camp grounds.
This book uncovers ten “forgotten trials” of the Holocaust, selected from the many Nazi trials that have taken place over the course of the last seven decades. It showcases how perpetrators of the Holocaust were dealt with in courtrooms around the world—in the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Israel, France, Poland, the United States and Germany—revealing how different legal systems responded to the horrors of the Holocaust. The book provides a graphic picture of the genocidal campaign against the Jews through eyewitness testimony and incriminating documents and traces how the public memory of the Holocaust was formed over time.
The volume covers a variety of trials—of high-ranking statesmen and minor foot soldiers, of male and female concentration camps guards and even trials in Israel of Jewish Kapos—to provide the first global picture of the laborious efforts to bring perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice. As law professors and litigators, the authors provide distinct insights into these trials.
The Maginot Line [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:12
2015 | EPUB | 1.98MB
- Includes pictures
- Explains the origins of the Maginot Line, its construction, and the World War II fighting around it
- Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
- Includes a table of contents
“We could hardly dream of building a kind of Great Wall of France, which would in any case be far too costly. Instead we have foreseen powerful but flexible means of organizing defense, based on the dual principle of taking full advantage of the terrain and establishing a continuous line of fire everywhere.” – Andre Maginot
As the power of Nazi Germany grew alarmingly during the 1930s, the French sought means to defend their territory against the rising menace of the Thousand-Year Reich. As architects of the most punitive measures in the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, the French government made natural targets for Teutonic retribution, so the Maginot Line, a series of interconnected strongpoints and fortifications running along much of France's eastern border, helped allay French fears of invasion.
The popular legend of the Maginot Line portrays the frontier defenses as a useless “white elephant” project that was prompted by a gross misapprehension of warfare's new realities in the mid-20th century and quickly overwhelmed by the forceful advance of the German blitzkrieg. English idiom today invokes this vision of the Maginot Line as a metaphor for any defensive measure strongly believed in but actually useless.
Indeed, usages such as “Maginot Line mentality,” describing an overly defensive, reactive mindset, perpetuate the legend. As a French author and military liaison with the British, Andre Maurois, wrote about his disillusionment with the defensive line he originally enthusiastically supported: “We know now that the Maginot line-complex was a dangerous disease of the mind; but I publish this as it was written in January, 1940.”
In reality, however, the actual Maginot Line proved considerably more functional than memory has served. The true flaw in French military strategy during the opening days of World War II lay not in reliance on the Maginot fortifications but in the army's neglect to exploit the military opportunities the Line created. In other words, the border defense performed as envisioned, but the other military arms supported it insufficiently to halt the Germans. The French Army squandered the opportunity not because the Maginot Line existed but because they failed to utilize their own defensive plan properly. Some French commentary contributed to the legend, but the bloviating of politicians altered nothing regarding the Maginot Line's actual purpose or history: “General Maurin, defended the status quo in these words: ‘[H]ow could one think that we are still thinking about an offensive when we have spent billions to establish a fortified barrier? Would we be mad enough to advance beyond this barrier to undertake some adventure?’ [...] but the Maginot Line had never been conceived as a sort of Great Wall of China sealing France off from the outside world. Its purpose was to free manpower for offensive operations elsewhere.” (Jackson, 2004, 27).
In fact, a forgotten battle in the southeast of France, where four French divisions (later reduced to three by the redeployment of one northwards in a futile effort to stem the German tide) held off 32 Italian divisions thanks to the defensive power of the so-called “Little Maginot Line of the Alps,” proved the soundness of both the concept and engineering. Though the Italians suffered from poor equipment and the meddling incompetence of Mussolini's personal “leadership,” the fighting on the Alpine front brilliantly highlighted the Maginot Line's success as a “force multiplier.” French soldiers held off brave but futile Italian attacks at odds of 8:1 or 10:1 in favor of the Italians for five days until an armistice with the Axis put an end to this undeniable display of the Maginot Line's effectiveness.
Stalingrad and Leningrad: The Deadliest Battles of World War II [EPUB]
11 July 2015, 20:10
2014 | EPUB | 3.04MB
- Includes pictures.
- Includes accounts of the battles by citizens, soldiers and important generals.
- Includes a bibliography for further reading.
“When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment.” - Hitler
World War II was fought on a scale unlike anything before or since in human history, and the unfathomable casualty counts are attributable in large measure to the carnage inflicted between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during Hitler’s invasion of Russia and Stalin’s desperate defense. The invasion came in 1941 following a nonaggression pact signed between the two in 1939, which allowed Hitler to focus his attention on the west without having to worry about an attack from the eastern front. While Germany was focusing on the west, the Soviet Union sent large contingents of troops to the border region between the two countries, and Stalin’s plan to take territory in Poland and the Baltic States angered Hitler. By 1940, Hitler viewed Stalin as a major threat and had made the decision to invade Russia: “In the course of this contest, Russia must be disposed of...Spring 1941. The quicker we smash Russia the better.” (Hoyt, p. 17)
Once the Siege of Leningrad began in the fall of 1941, the Soviets knew they were in a desperate struggle to the death. In fact, the Russians wouldn’t have even been given a chance to surrender if they had wanted to, because the orders to the German forces instructed them to completely raze the city: "After the defeat of Soviet Russia there can be no interest in the continued existence of this large urban center…Following the city's encirclement, requests for surrender negotiations shall be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot and should not be solved by us. In this war for our very existence, we can have no interest in maintaining even a part of this very large urban population."
Even though the Nazis never managed to entirely cut off that supply route, during the nearly 900 day siege, which lasted from September 1941 - January 1944, at least 750,000 civilians starved to death, one out of every three or four members of the pre-siege population. The siege was so devastating that estimates of civilian dead from all causes were estimated at over a million. To put the massive death toll of the siege of Leningrad in perspective, roughly 4 times more civilians died at Leningrad than in the two atomic bombings. Of course, the civilians were hardly the only ones struggling around Leningrad during the siege, because soldiers on both sides had to deal with combat and terrible weather conditions over the course of nearly 28 months. By the time the siege was lifted, the Germans had suffered an estimated 1 million casualties, while the Soviets suffered an estimated 1 million dead or missing and over 2 million wounded. Not surprisingly, the city itself was a hollow shell of itself, with over 11,000 buildings destroyed and wreckage strewn everywhere.
In the spring of 1942, Germany once more made inroads toward Stalingrad, Stalin’s own pet city. Not surprisingly, he ordered that it be held no matter what. There was more than vanity at stake though. Stalingrad was all that stood between Hitler and Moscow. It also was the last major obstacle to the Russian oil fields in the Caucuses which Stalin needed and Hitler coveted. If the city fell, so would the rest of the country, and Hitler would have an invaluable resource to fuel his armies.
Altogether, the Battle of Stalingrad was the deadliest battle in the history of warfare, and the Soviets’ decisive victory there is considered one of the biggest turning points in the entire war, and certainly in the European theater.