Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans [EPUB]

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans [EPUB]
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
2015 | EPUB | 80.73MB

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.

Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Gravity's Rainbow, Domination, and Freedom [EPUB]

Gravity's Rainbow, Domination, and Freedom [EPUB]
Gravity's Rainbow, Domination, and Freedom by Luc Herman, Steven C Weisenburger
2013 | EPUB | 2.65MB

When published in 1973, Gravity’s Rainbow expanded our sense of what the novel could be. Pynchon’s extensive references to modern science, history, and culture challenged any reader, while his prose bent the rules for narrative art and his satirical practices taunted U.S. obscenity and pornography statutes. His writing thus enacts freedom even as the book’s great theme is domination: humanity’s diminished “chances for freedom” in a global military-industrial system birthed and set on its feet in World War II. Its symbol: the V-2 rocket.

“Gravity’s Rainbow,” Domination, and Freedom broadly situates Pynchon’s novel in “long sixties” history, revealing a fiction deeply of and about its time. Herman and Weisenburger put the novel’s abiding questions about freedom in context with sixties struggles against war, restricted speech rights, ethno-racial oppression, environmental degradation, and subtle new means of social and psychological control. They show the text’s close indebtedness to critiques of domination by key postwar thinkers such as Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, and Hannah Arendt. They detail equally powerful ways that sixties countercultural practices—free-speech resistance played out in courts, campuses, city streets, and raucously satirical underground presswork--provide a clearer bearing on Pynchon’s own satirical practices and their implicit criticisms.

If the System has jacketed humanity in a total domination, may not a solitary individual still assert freedom? Or has the System captured all—even supposedly immune elites—in an irremediable dominion? Reading Pynchon’s main characters and storylines, this study realizes a darker Gravity’s Rainbow than critics have been willing to see.

God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan [EPUB]

God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan [EPUB]
God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan by Jonathan D Spence
1996 | EPUB | 5.13MB

Whether read for its powerful account of the largest uprising in human history, or for its foreshadowing of the terrible convulsions suffered by twentieth-century China, or for the narrative power of a great historian at his best, God's Chinese Son must be read.

At the center of this history of China's Taiping rebellion (1845-64) stands Hong Xiuquan, a failed student of Confucian doctrine who ascends to heaven in a dream and meets his heavenly family: God, Mary, and his older brother, Jesus. He returns to earth charged to eradicate the "demon-devils," the alien Manchu rulers of China.

His success carries him and his followers to the heavenly capital at Nanjing, where they rule a large part of south China for more than a decade. Their decline and fall, wrought by internal division and the unrelenting military pressures of the Manchus and the Western powers, carry them to a hell on earth. Twenty million Chinese are left dead.

In The Footsteps Of Private Lynch [EPUB]

In The Footsteps Of Private Lynch [EPUB]
In The Footsteps Of Private Lynch by Will Davies
2009 | EPUB | 0.85MB

Retrace Australia's role in the First World War from the trenches of Somme Mud to the wider war on the Western Front.

Imagine this. You are a country boy and just eighteen. The war has been raging for two years and because of your age, you have not been eligible for enlistment. Your mates, older by a few months are joining up and disappearing to the great adventure across the world in Europe. And there is forever talk of the need for reinforcements, for men like you to join up and support the Empire, Australia and your mates in the line.

Such was the case for Edward Francis Lynch, a typical country boy from Perthville, near Bathurst. When war was declared in early August 1914, he was just sixteen and still at school, but like a generation of young males in Australia, there was something to prove and a need to be there. Will Davies, editor of the bestselling Somme Mud, meticulously tracked Lynch and his battalion's travels; their long route marches to flea ridden billets, into the frontline at such places as Messines, Dernancourt, Stormy Trench and Villers Bretonneux, to rest areas behind the lines and finally, on the great push to the final victory after August 1918.

In words and pictures Davies fills in the gaps in Private Lynch's story and through the movements of the other battalions of the AIF provides impact and context to their plight and achievements. Looking at these battlefields today, the pilgrims who visit and those who attend to the land we come to understand how the spirit of Australia developed and of our enduring role in world politics.

Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan [EPUB]

Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan [EPUB]
Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan by Ronald H Spector
2012 | EPUB | 21.4MB

Historian Ronald H. Spector, drawing on declassified intelligence files, an abundance of British and American archival material, Japanese scholarship and documents, and the research and memoirs of scholars, politicians, and the military men, presents a thrilling narrative of American war in the Pacific.

Spector reassesses U.S. and Japanese strategy and offers some provocative interpretations. He shows that the dual advance across the Pacific by MacArthur and Nimitz was less a product of strategic calculation and more a pragmatic solution to bureaucratic, doctrinal, and public relations problems facing the Army and Navy. He also argues that Japan made its fatal error not in the Midway campaign but in abandoning its offensive strategy after that defeat and allowing itself to be drawn into a war of attrition.

Combining impeccable research with electrifying detail, Spector vividly recreates the major battles, little-known campaigns, and unfamiliar events of this brutal 44-month struggle. He reveals that the U.S. had secret plans to wage unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan months before Pearl Harbor and demonstrates that MacArthur and his commanders ignored important intercepts of Japanese messages that would have saved thousands of lives in Papua and Leyte. He skillfully takes the reader from top-secret strategy meetings in Washington, London, and Tokyo to distant beaches and remote Asian jungles with battle-weary GIs. Throughout, Spector contends that American decisions in the Pacific War were shaped more often by the struggles between the British and the Americans, and between the Army and the Navy, than by strategic considerations. Revealing what really happened in the course of a conflict that ended with the most deadly air raid ever, this contribution to WWII history adds a new dimension to our understanding of the people and forces that determined its outcome.