Happy 95% of the Time [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 18:38
2015 | EPUB | 2.61MB
In his latest book, Walter Doyle Staples invites his readers to experience life as fully aware, fully conscious, and fully functioning individuals. Dr. Staples presents powerful and life-changing ideas and concepts on how to transcend our ego-based state of consciousness to achieve deep peace, profound love, and infinite joy.
Happy 95% of the Time explains how our attachment to our ego can only create dysfunction and suffering in our lives, resulting in fear, anger, guilt, regret, depression, and/or despair. He contends we need to awaken to a new consciousness and experience a new beginning.
Happy 95% of the Time describes in detail the three primary ways to overcome low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, and depression:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)--an example of Western, left-brain analytical thinking.
- Practical spirituality--an example of Eastern, right-brain mystical thinking.
- Mindfulness meditation--an inner-body, contemplative approach designed to manage our internal thought processes in order to calm the mind.
Numerous world-renowned authorities on personal success--from Jack Canfield, Ken Blanchard, and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale to Art Linkletter, Anthony Robbins, and Brian Tracy--have praised Walter's previous books. We are sure they--and you--will find Happy 95% of the Time just as valuable and compelling.
Move a Little, Lose a Lot [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 18:36
2009 | EPUB | 7.29MB
Escape Your Desk Sentence!
Dr. James Levine, one of the country’s top specialists in obesity, says America suffers from “sitting disease.” We spend nearly ten to fifteen hours of our day sitting–in cars, at our desks, and in front of the television. The age of electronics and the Internet has robbed us of the chance to burn up to 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day, leaving Americans less active (and much heavier) than we were thirty years ago. We are facing a human energy crisis.
What you need, according to this doctor’s orders, is to get moving, or nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is as simple as standing, turning, and bending. Research proves that daily NEAT activity burns more calories than a half hour running on the treadmill. Just by the very act of standing and moving, you can boost your metabolism, lower your blood pressure, and increase your mental clarity. It’s about using your body as it was meant to be used. Move a Little, Lose a Lot gives you literal step-by-step instructions for small changes that equal radical results:
- Give at the office–burn 2,100 calories a week just by changing your daily work routine.
- Hey, Einstein–just like the scientist who thought up his most famous theory while riding his bike, you can increase production of new brain neurons in as little as three hours.
- Tired of being tired–reduce fatigue by 65 percent with low-intensity NEAT workouts.
- Don’t forget–an Italian study showed active men and women were 30 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Spartans: A New History [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 18:27
2011 | EPUB | 1.49MB
Spartans: A New History chronicles the complete history of ancient Sparta from its origins to the end of antiquity.
- Helps bridge the gap between the common conceptions of Sparta and what specialists believe and dispute about Spartan history
- Applies new techniques, perspectives, and archaeological evidence to the question of what it was to be a Spartan
- Takes into account new specialist scholarship and research published in Greek, which is not readily available elsewhere
- Places Spartan society into its wider Greek context
The Columbia History of Western Philosophy [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 18:19
1999 | EPUB | 16.71MB
Richard Popkin has assembled 63 leading scholars to forge a highly approachable chronological account of the development of Western philosophical traditions. From Plato to Wittgenstein and from Aquinas to Heidegger, this volume provides lively, in-depth, and up-to-date historical analysis of all the key figures, schools, and movements of Western philosophy.
The Columbia History significantly broadens the scope of Western philosophy to reveal the influence of Middle Eastern and Asian thought, the vital contributions of Jewish and Islamic philosophers, and the role of women within the tradition. Along with a wealth of new scholarship, recently discovered works in 17th- and 18th-century philosophy are considered, such as previously unpublished works by Locke that inspire a new assessment of the evolution of his ideas. Popkin also emphasizes schools and developments that have traditionally been overlooked. Sections on Aristotle and Plato are followed by a detailed presentation on Hellenic philosophy and its influence on the modern developments of materialism and scepticism. A chapter has been dedicated to Jewish and Moslem philosophical development during the Middle Ages, focusing on the critical role of figures such as Averroës and Moses Maimonides in introducing Christian thinkers to classical philosophy. Another chapter considers Renaissance philosophy and its seminal influence on the development of modern humanism and science.
Turning to the modern era, contributors consider the importance of the Kaballah to Spinoza, Leibniz, and Newton and the influence of popular philosophers like Moses Mendelssohn upon the work of Kant. This volume gives equal attention to both sides of the current rift in philosophy between continental and analytic schools, charting the development of each right up to the end of the 20th century.
Each chapter includes an introductory essay, and Popkin provides notes that draw connections among the separate articles. The rich bibliographic information and the indexes of names and terms make the volume a valuable resource.
Combining a broad scope and penetrating analysis with a keen sense of what is relevant for the modern reader, The Columbia History of Western Philosophy will prove an accessible introduction for students and an informative overview for general readers.
History of Art: A Student's Handbook, 5th Edition [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 18:17
2014 | EPUB | 5.03MB
This fully revised edition of the History of Art: A Student's Handbook introduces students to the kinds of practices, challenges, questions and writings they will encounter in studying the history of art.
Marcia Pointon conveys the excitement of Art History as a multi-faceted discipline addressing all aspects of the study of media, communication and representation. She describes and analyses different methods and approaches to the discipline, explaining their history and their effects on the day-to-day learning process. She also discusses the relationship of Art History to related disciplines including film, literature, design history and anthropology.
The fifth edition of this classic text includes:
- information on why Art History is important and relevant in today’s world
- guidance on choosing a degree course
- case studies of careers pursued by Art History graduates
- advice on study skills and reading methods
- a bibliography and further reading
- detailed up to date advice on electronic resources and links to essential websites
History of Art covers academic, training and vocational aspects of Art History, providing a wealth of information on the characteristics of courses available and on the relationship between Art History and the world of museums and heritage.
Art History: The Basics [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:44
2007 | EPUB | 3.4MB
Art History: The Basics is a concise and accessible introduction for the general reader and the undergraduate approaching the history of art for the first time at college or university.
It will give you answers to questions like:
- What is art and art history?
- What are the main methodologies used to understand art?
- How have ideas about form, sex and gender shaped representation?
- What connects art with psychoanalysis, semiotics and Marxism?
- How are globalization and postmodernism changing art and art history?
Each chapter introduces key ideas, issues and debates in art history, including information on relevant websites and image archives. Fully illustrated with an international range of artistic examples, Art History: The Basics also includes helpful subject summaries, further ideas for reading in each chapter, and a useful glossary for easy reference.
Weimar Culture: The Outsider As Insider [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:43
2001 | EPUB | 1.24MB
A seminal work as melodious and haunting as the era it chronicles, now reissued with a new introduction.
First published in 1968, Weimar Culture is one of the masterworks of Peter Gay's distinguished career. A study of German culture between the two wars, the book brilliantly traces the rise of the artistic, literary, and musical culture that bloomed ever so briefly in the 1920s amid the chaos of Germany's tenuous post-World War I democracy, and crashed violently in the wake of Hitler's rise to power. Despite the ephemeral nature of the Weimar democracy, the influence of its culture was profound and far-reaching, ushering in a modern sensibility in the arts that dominated Western culture for most of the twentieth century. Vivid and eminently readable, Weimar Culture is the finest introduction for the casual reader and historian alike.
Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:41
1998 | EPUB | 3.83MB
A master historian shows us a new side of the Victorian Era--the role of the Bourgeois as reactionaries, revolutionaries, and middle-of-the-roaders in the passage of high culture toward modernism.
The Victorians in this richly peopled narrative maneuvered through decades marked by frequent shifts in taste, some seeking safety in traditional styles, others drawn to the avant-garde of artists, composers, and writers. Peter Gay's panoramic survey offers a fresh view of the ideas and sensibilities that dominated Victorian culture.
Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:40
2011 | EPUB | 1.04MB
“For everyone who loves Nantucket Island this is the indispensable book.” —Russell Baker
Nantucket is a tiny island with a huge history. In his first book of history, Away Off Shore, New York Times-bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick reveals the people and the stories behind what was once the whaling capital of the world. Beyond its charm, quaint local traditions, and whaling yarns, Philbrick explores the origins of Nantucket in this comprehensive history. From the English settlers who thought they were purchasing a “Native American ghost town” but actually found a fully realized society, through the rise and fall of the then thriving whaling industry, the story of Nantucket is a truly unique chapter of American history.
Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Other Writings [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:38
2014 | EPUB | 2.59MB
The first edited volume of work by the legendary undercover journalist
Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran, Nellie Bly was one of the first and best female journalists in America and quickly became a national phenomenon in the late 1800s, with a board game based on her adventures and merchandise inspired by the clothes she wore. Bly gained fame for being the first “girl stunt reporter,” writing stories that no one at the time thought a woman could or should write, including an exposé of patient treatment at an insane asylum and a travelogue from her record-breaking race around the world without a chaperone. This volume, the only printed and edited collection of Bly’s writings, includes her best known works—Ten Days in a Mad-House, Six Months in Mexico, and Around the World in Seventy-Two Days—as well as many lesser known pieces that capture the breadth of her career from her fierce opinion pieces to her remarkable World War I reporting. As 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Bly’s birth, this collection celebrates her work, spirit, and vital place in history.
1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 17:37
2008 | EPUB | 29.25MB
The musical adventure of a lifetime. The most exciting book on music in years. A book of treasure, a book of discovery, a book to open your ears to new worlds of pleasure. Doing for music what Patricia Schultz—author of the phenomenal 1,000 Places to See Before You Die—does for travel, Tom Moon recommends 1,000 recordings guaranteed to give listeners the joy, the mystery, the revelation, the sheer fun of great music.
This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more. It's arranged alphabetically by artist to create the kind of unexpected juxtapositions that break down genre bias and broaden listeners’ horizons— it makes every listener a seeker, actively pursuing new artists and new sounds, and reconfirming the greatness of the classics. Flanking J. S. Bach and his six entries, for example, are the little-known R&B singer Baby Huey and the '80s Rastafarian hard-core punk band Bad Brains. Farther down the list: The Band, Samuel Barber, Cecelia Bartoli, Count Basie, and Afropop star Waldemer Bastos.
Each entry is passionately written, with expert listening notes, fascinating anecdotes, and the occasional perfect quote—"Your collection could be filled with nothing but music from Ray Charles," said Tom Waits, "and you'd have a completely balanced diet." Every entry identifies key tracks, additional works by the artist, and where to go next. And in the back, indexes and playlists for different moods and occasions.
Up Your Score: ACT, 2016-2017 Edition [PDF]
12 August 2015, 17:34
2015 | PDF | 148.01MB
It’s the ACT’s turn. No longer considered a “regional” test and accepted at all four-year colleges throughout the United States, it’s the most popular college admissions test in the country. More than 1.8 million students from the class of 2013 took it.
Now updated to address the changes planned for the ACT in 2015, Up Your Score: ACT is the test prep and survival guide that kids will actually want to use. Written by Chris Arp, a Princeton graduate and top ACT tutor— with the help of four students who aced the test (and went on to the colleges of their choice)—it’s a true insider’s guide, filled with effective strategies and tips, delivered with the attitude, smarts, and wit that make Up Your Score the best-selling alternative test prep series in print.
Beginning in 2015, the ACT will include more layers in its scoring (including separate STEM, English language arts, and “progress toward career readiness” sub-scores); in some places it will be administered digitally (and those tests will include optional “constructed-response” questions, in which students will have to come up with the answers, not select among multiple choices); and the essay will be less open ended, requiring more analysis. In addition to addressing these changes, the book explains how to crush the reading section by developing the Five Habits of Lean Forward Reading. Master the math section through techniques like “plugging in,”?an amazing trick that simplifies all algebra word problems. Annihilate the English section by absorbing six key punctuation and eight essential grammar rules. And sail through the science section by understanding that it actually tests reasoning.
Plus there is an ACT fitness regime, tongue-in-cheek fashion and beauty tips, and a recipe for energy-boosting GameFace Quintuple Sugar Blast Bars. Good luck finding that in any other test prep book.
Shifting Sands: The Unravelling of the Old Order in the Middle East [PDF]
12 August 2015, 08:23
2015 | EPUB | 1.3MB
At a time when the Middle East dominates media headlines more than ever - and for reasons that become ever more heartbreaking - Shifting Sands brings together fifteen impassioned and informed voices to talk about a region with unlimited potential, and yet which can feel, as one writer puts it, 'as though the world around me is on fire'?
Collecting together the thoughts and insights of writers who live or have deep roots in there, Shifting Sands takes a look at aspects of the Middle East from the catastrophic long-term effects of the carving up of the region by the colonial powers after World War One to the hopes and struggles of the Arab spring in relation to Egypt, Iran and Syria. And it asks questions such as: what is it like to be a writer in the Middle East? What does the future hold? And where do we go from here?
For all those who are wearied by the debates surrounding the Middle East - often at best ill-informed and at worst, defeatist propaganda - this intelligent, reasoned perspective on life in the Middle East is a breath of fresh air.
A History of the Hellenistic World: 323 - 30 BC [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 08:21
2008 | EPUB | 1.61MB
A History of the Hellenistic World provides an engaging look at the Macedonian monarchies in the period following the reign of Alexander the Great, and examines their impact on the Greek world.
- Offers a clearly organized narrative with particular emphasis on state and governmental structures
- Makes extensive use of inscriptions in translation to illustrate the continuing vitality of the Greek city states prior to the Roman conquest
- Emphasizes the specific Macedonian origins of all active participants in the creation of the Hellenistic world
- Highlights the relationships between Greek city-states and Macedonian monarchies
A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca 1200-479 BCE, 2 Edition [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 08:20
2013 | EPUB | 5.44MB
A History of the Archaic Greek World offers a theme-based approach to the development of the Greek world in the years 1200-479 BCE.
- Updated and extended in this edition to include two new sections, expanded geographical coverage, a guide to electronic resources, and more illustrations
- Takes a critical and analytical look at evidence about the history of the archaic Greek World
- Involves the reader in the practice of history by questioning and reevaluating conventional beliefs
- Casts new light on traditional themes such as the rise of the city-state, citizen militias, and the origins of egalitarianism
- Provides a wealth of archaeological evidence, in a number of different specialties, including ceramics, architecture, and mortuary studies
A History of the Classical Greek World: 478 - 323 BC, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 08:19
2010 | EPUB | 5.15MB
Thoroughly updated and revised, the second edition of this successful and widely praised textbook offers an account of the ‘classical’ period of Greek history, from the aftermath of the Persian Wars in 478 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.
- Two important new chapters have been added, covering life and culture in the classical Greek world
- Features new pedagogical tools, including textboxes, and a comprehensive chronological table of the West, mainland Greece, and the Aegean
- Enlarged and additional maps and illustrative material
- Covers the history of an important period, including: the flourishing of democracy in Athens; the Peloponnesian war, and the conquests of Alexander the Great
- Focuses on the evidence for the period, and how the evidence is to be interpreted
Discovering Computers 2016 [PDF]
12 August 2015, 08:17
2015 | PDF | 131.77MB
Teach students how to maximize the use of mobile devices, make the most of the latest online tools for collaboration and communications, and fully utilize today’s Internet capabilities with the latest edition of the comprehensive DISCOVERING COMPUTERS. Introductory computing students clearly see how technology skills can assist in gaining employment or advancing their careers.
DISCOVERING COMPUTERS ©2016 highlights the most recent developments in computer tools and technology with an emphasis on actionable content, a proven learning structure, and variety of practice and reinforcement opportunities to reinforce key skills. Each chapter begins with a self-assessment that enables learners to target their study and learn more in less time. To keep content as current as possible, the authors offer additional coverage of contemporary technology developments online that build upon this edition’s discussions. Other leading teaching, study and testing resources save you time in class preparation. DISCOVERING COMPUTERS not only offers content students need to succeed, but also presents it in a way that ensures understanding and success.
American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement's Hidden Spaces of Hate [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:20
2015 | EPUB | 2.84MB
This second edition of the acclaimed American Swastika provides an up-to-date perspective on the white power movement in America. The book takes readers through hidden enclaves of hate, exploring how white supremacy movements thrive nationwide and how we can work to prevent future violence. Filled with powerful case studies, interviews, and first-person accounts, the book explains the differences between various hate groups, then shows how white supremacy groups cultivate their membership through Aryan homes, parties, rituals, music festivals, and online propaganda.
Featuring updated statistics and examples throughout, the second edition of American Swastika describes most of today’s active white power groups and the legacy of recently disbanded groups. It also discusses new players in the world of white power websites and music and shares new research on how people exit hate groups.
As recent events have made clear that the idea of a “post–racial America” is a myth, American Swastika is essential reading for understanding both how hate builds and how we can work to prevent violence.
How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:19
2010 | EPUB | 1.79MB
Gregory Levey’s modest goal is to solve the Middle East conflict—all by himself. After returning to North America following a stint in his midtwenties writing speeches for the Israeli government—first at the United Nations and then for the prime minister in Jerusalem—he thinks he is leaving the madness of the Middle East conflict behind. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Levey soon discovers that everyone on this side of the Atlantic seems to think that they have the solution to the intractable conflict—and they all feel the need to tell him about it. Fatigued by the endless debate, the constant hostility, and the cacophony of shrill voices, he decides that the only way he is going to escape it all is if he solves the conflict himself, once and for all.
So Levey sets out on a hilarious, quixotic, and surprisingly illuminating quest to broker a peace deal where a long line of world leaders have failed.
Interacting with White House officials, DC lobbyists, congressmen, advisors to presidential candidates, high-profile journalists, secretive fundraisers, former Israeli spies now living in North America, and hundreds and hundreds of Jewish grandmothers, Levey tries to understand why the Middle East situation refuses to be resolved, and why so many people who live a world away are so obsessed with it.
He combs through theories ranging from the eminently reasonable to the completely insane, engages in virtual peacemaking simulations, investigates an “online suicide bombing,” spends time with a former advisor to Yasser Arafat, undergoes training with a half-baked Jewish paramilitary group, goes undercover as an Evangelical Christian, and somehow ends up at a real-life castle owned by an eccentric, cape-wearing crusader for peace.
In How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less Without Leaving Your Apartment, Levey brings his trademark brand of street-smart levity to a situation that many see as hopeless— and thereby reveals the very human and sometimes very silly side of a brutal, decades-old geopolitical conflict. Along the way, he meets a cast of characters that would be outright funny if the situation weren’t so dire. The result is a fast-paced, humorous, and insightful romp through U.S. policymaking in the Middle East.
Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:17
2011 | EPUB | 2.48MB
The first comparative biography of two of the most charismatic, and strategically important, military leaders of the Second World War.
This is the story of two men with electrifying personal qualities born around the same time, who between them altered our understanding of leadership in battle.
The book traces Montgomery and Rommel's lives from their provincial upbringing, through to facing each other across the trenches in the First World War, to North Africa and Europe in the second. Both were on the periphery of the military establishment. Both were in part creations of the propaganda of their own and that of their superiors. As this book will show, they were alike in many ways and they represent the first time military commanders proactively and systematically used (and were used by) the media as they came to prominence in the North Africa campaign.
Peter Caddick Adams explores and compares their tactical talents and their personalities in battle. They each brought something special to their respective commands. Rommel's performance with the 7th Panzer in 1940 was inspired. Montgomery is a gift for leadership gurus in the way he took over a demoralised Eighth Army in August 1942 and lead it to victory just two months later. As the author shows he brought with him an extraordinary personal charisma not just 300 new American Sherman tanks.
In this first comparative biography the author shows that both commanders also brought something entirely new of the business of modern command: they gave trusted subordiates room to use their initiative. And he explores their natural instinctive feel for combat -- the German term for this (there is no direct translation) is fingerspitengefuhl.
This ground-breaking work is both scholarly and entertaining and marks the debut of a major new talent in historical biography.
Robert E. Lee: A Biography [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:16
1997 | EPUB | 3.87MB
"The best and most balanced of the Lee biographies."—New York Review of Books
The life of Robert E. Lee is a story not of defeat but of triumph—triumph in clearing his family name, triumph in marrying properly, triumph over the mighty Mississippi in his work as an engineer, and triumph over all other military men to become the towering figure who commanded the Confederate army in the American Civil War. But late in life Lee confessed that he "was always wanting something."
In this probing and personal biography, Emory Thomas reveals more than the man himself did. Robert E. Lee has been, and continues to be, a symbol and hero in the American story. But in life, Thomas writes, Lee was both more and less than his legend. Here is the man behind the legend.
Beethoven: The Music and the Life [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:15
2005 | EPUB | 19.22MB
An authoritative work offering a fresh look at Beethoven’s life, career, and milieu. “Magisterial” —New York Review of Books.
This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music.
A Reader's Book of Days [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:13
2013 | EPUB | 5.74MB
A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion.
At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie.
A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky.
Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
Thinking Like Your Editor [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:12
2010 | EPUB | 0.33MB
Over 50,000 books are published in America each year, the vast majority nonfiction. Even so, many writers are stymied in getting their books published, never mind gaining significant attention for their ideas—and substantial sales.
This is the book editors have been recommending to would-be authors. Filled with trade secrets, Thinking Like Your Editor explains:
- why every proposal should ask and answer five key questions;
- how to tailor academic writing to a general reader, without losing ideas or dumbing down your work;
- how to write a proposal that editors cannot ignore;
- why the most important chapter is your introduction;
- why "simple structure, complex ideas" is the mantra for creating serious nonfiction;
- why smart nonfiction editors regularly reject great writing but find new arguments irresistible.
Whatever the topic, from history to business, science to philosophy, law, or gender studies, this book is vital to every serious nonfiction writer.
Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:10
2014 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Bestselling author of Ella Enchanted and fairy-tale master Gail Carson Levine shares her secrets of great writing in this companion to the popular Writing Magic.
Have you ever wanted to captivate readers with a great opening, create spectacular and fantastical creatures, make up an entire country, realize a dastardly villain, write an epic love story, or make your characters leap off the page? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Gail Carson Levine can help you achieve your goals.
Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine offers a behind-the-scenes take on writing and teaches you how to become a world-class author. Drawing from her popular blog, Gail answers readers' fiction- and poetry-writing questions and dives into how to make a story come alive. If you're interested in writing prose and poetry or just want to be a better and more rounded writer, this book will help you on your creative journey.
With her trademark humor and vast writing knowledge, Gail Carson Levine reveals the tricks of her trade, writer to writer.
The House of Owls [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:08
2015 | EPUB | 10.36MB
For a quarter of a century, Tony Angell and his family shared the remarkable experience of closely observing pairs of western screech owls that occupied a nesting box outside the window of their forest home. The journals in which the author recorded his observations, and the captivating drawings he created, form the heart of this compelling book—a personal account of an artist-naturalist’s life with owls. Angell’s extensive illustrations show owls engaged in what owls do—hunting, courting, raising families, and exercising their inquisitive natures—and reveal his immeasurable respect for their secret lives and daunting challenges.
Angell discusses the unique characteristics that distinguish owls from other bird species and provides a fascinating overview of the impact owls have had on human culture and thought. He also offers detailed scientific descriptions of the nineteen species of owls found in North America, as well as their close relatives elsewhere. Always emphasizing the interaction of humans and owls, the author affirms by his own example the power of these birds both to beguile and to inspire.
A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:07
2015 | EPUB | 0.31MB
A CONSERVATIONIST'S DEEPLY PERSONAL AND FASCINATING REFLECTION ON OWNING AND REVITALIZING A FARM IN RURAL FRANCE
A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bees, was a powerful call to arms for nature lovers everywhere. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best nonfiction book of the year, and debuted the already renowned conservationist's ability to charm and educate, and tell an absorbing story.
In A Buzz in the Meadow, Goulson returns to tell the tale of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France. Over the course of a decade, on thirty-three acres of meadow, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, myriad insects of every kind, many of which Goulson had studied before in his career as a biologist. You'll learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, why butterflies have spots on their wings, and see how a real scientist actually conducts his experiments.
But this book is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and observe the natural world. The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it.
The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:05
2015 | EPUB |
The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for any Disaster is the new abridged version of the bestselling book The Survival Medicine Handbook.
This unique medical book is meant to enable the average person to handle injuries and illness in situations in which modern medical facilities and professionals aren’t available due to a disaster.
This book is written by America’s top medical preparedness experts: Joe Alton, MD, and Amy Alton, ARNP. Their mission: to put a medically prepared person in every family for when medical help is not on the way. Using decades of medical experience, they address, in plain language, dozens of medical issues associated with surviving disasters and epidemics. The Altons also discuss the medical supplies needed to become a medical asset to your family and community as well as alternative and natural strategies for when pharmaceuticals aren’t available.
Most medical books will send you to the doctor or hospital when an emergency happens. The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide assumes what might actually happen—that the average person could be left without medical help in a disaster. With this unique book, you’ll have a head start on keeping your family healthy in times of trouble.
Enter the Kettlebell: Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:03
2006 | EPUB | 8.87MB
Once the prized and jealously-guarded training secret of elite, (Russian athletes, old-school strongmen and the military) the kettlebell, has invaded the West.
Pavel lays out a foolproof master system that guarantees you success—if you simply follow the commands!
With Enter the Kettlebell! Pavel delivers a significant upgrade to his original landmark work. Drawing on five years of developing and leading the world's first and premiere kettlebell instructor certification program, and after spending five years of additional research into what really works for dramatic results with the kettlebell—we have Enter the Kettlebell!
With Enter the Kettlebell you will:
- Develop all-purpose strength—to easily handle the toughest and most unexpected demand
- Maximize staying power—because the last round decides all
- Forge a fighter's physique—because the form must follow the function
Are you ready for the ultimate Challenge? Then Enter the Kettlebell
Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:13
2015 | EPUB | 0.96MB
Is heterosexual sex inherently damaging to women? This is the central question of Straight Sex, Lynne Segal’s account of twentyfive years of feminist thinking on sexuality. Covering the thought of sixties-era sexual liberationists, alongside the ensuing passionate debates over sex and love within feminist and lesbian communities, Segal covers certain shifts toward greater sexual conservatism in the eighties. Straight Sex examines an array of issues, including sex as a subversive activity, the “liberated orgasm,” sex advice literature, gender uncertainties, queer politics, anti-pornography campaigns and the rise of the moral right.
Personality Type: An Owner's Manual [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:11
2014 | EPUB | 3.42MB
The type test inside will tell you about the choices you've made and the direction you're taking—according to C. G. Jung's theory of psychological types.
For Jung, knowing your type was essential to understanding yourself: a way to measure personal growth and change. But his ideas have been applied largely in the areas of career and marital counseling, so type has come to seem predictive: a way to determine your job skills and social abilities.
This book reclaims type as a way to talk about people's inner potential and the choices they make in order to honor it. Using everyday examples from popular culture—films, "Star Trek," soap operas, comic strips—it describes the sixteen basic ways people come to terms with their gifts and values.
In this book you will find tools to understand:
- How your personality takes shape
- How your type reflects not only your current priorities, but your hidden potential
- How unlived possibilities are trying to get your attention
- How relationships at home and at work can help you to tap your unrealized gifts
Whether you're trying to figure out who you are and what you need to do in life, or recognizing that deeper meaning lies beyond what you've already accomplished, this book will help you to become aware of your greatest strengths, your opportunities to live them out, and your ability to make the most of your unique potential.
How Champions Think: In Sports and in Life [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:10
2015 | EPUB | 0.74MB
“Straightforward and simple...Do the math. Read Rotella.” —The Wall Street Journal
America’s preeminent sports psychologist delivers a groundbreaking guide to success in all aspects of life—not just sports—from business to relationships to personal challenges of every variety.
Acclaimed sports psychologist Bob Rotella has advised everyone from professional golfers to NBA superstars to business executives on how to flourish under pressure and overcome challenges. Now, for the first time, he’s distilled his decades of in-depth research and practical experience into a potential-unlocking guide for everyone.
This exciting book is not a collection of Rotella’s theories; it consists of performance principles that have proven themselves in countless competitive situations, in arenas from which only the strongest minds emerge triumphant. It’s a book full of insights that you can learn and use the next morning—in the office, the classroom, or wherever your quest takes you—told not in abstractions, but through case studies and stories drawn from Rotella’s years teaching sports psychology, counseling athletes, and consulting for Fortune 500 companies. It explores how to keep the mind from holding you back, whatever your physical gifts or other talents. It’s about how to make a commitment, how to persevere, how to deal with failure—and how to train your mind to create a self-image that promotes confidence and accomplishment.
Any successful life starts with how you see yourself. And with these pearls of wisdom from the nation’s preeminent sports psychologist, you can learn to achieve the success of your dreams.
What Doesn't Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:09
2011 | EPUB | 0.53MB
For the past twenty years, pioneering psychologist Stephen Joseph has worked with survivors of trauma. His studies have yielded a startling discovery: that a wide range of traumatic events - from illness, divorce, separation, assault, and bereavement to accidents, natural disasters, and terrorism - can act as catalysts for positive change. Boldly challenging the conventional wisdom about trauma and its aftermath, Joseph demonstrates that rather than ruining one’s life, a traumatic event can actually improve it.
Drawing on the wisdom of ancient philosophers, the insights of evolutionary biologists, and the optimism of positive psychologists, What Doesn’t Kill Us reveals how all of us can navigate change and adversity - traumatic or otherwise - to find new meaning, purpose, and direction in life.
Survivor Personality [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:08
2010 | EPUB | 0.45MB
The classic guide to what makes people survivors, now in a revised and updated new edition.
Who survives? Who thrives? As a psychologist who spent more than forty years studying the phenomenon of survival, Al Siebert gained valuable insight into the qualities and habits that help human beings overcome difficult situations-from everyday conflicts to major life stresses. In this revised and updated edition, he delineates the "survivor personality" and examines the latest research to show how survival skills can be learned, leading to better coping, increased success in work and relationships, and a vastly brighter outlook on the future.
Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 03:07
2012 | EPUB | 1.8MB
You can enjoy more happy chemicals if you know what turns them on. In the state of nature, happy chemicals turn on to meet survival needs. Whatever met your needs in youth triggered happy chemicals and paved your neural pathways. You are wired to seek more of whatever felt good before. You can re-wire yourself by repeating a new behavior for 45 days.
This book helps you choose healthy ways to stimulate dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin. Dopamine is the good feeling you get when you approach a reward. Serotonin is the good feeling of getting respect. Oxytocin is the feeling of trust, and endorphin is the euphoria that masks physical pain. These happy chemicals were not meant to surge all the time. They fall back to neutral so you’re ready to respond to new information. You can accept your natural droops instead of rushing to fix them. You have power when you know how your brain works, and it feels good.
The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 02:46
2014 | EPUB | 4.04MB
Trevor Cox is on a hunt for the sonic wonders of the world. A renowned expert who engineers classrooms and concert halls, Cox has made a career of eradicating bizarre and unwanted sounds. But after an epiphany in the London sewers, Cox now revels in exotic noises—creaking glaciers, whispering galleries, stalactite organs, musical roads, humming dunes, seals that sound like alien angels, and a Mayan pyramid that chirps like a bird.
With forays into archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment, how our body reacts to peculiar noises, and how these mysterious wonders illuminate sound’s surprising dynamics in everyday settings—from your bedroom to the opera house.
The Sound Book encourages us to become better listeners in a world dominated by the visual and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony all around us.
The Pleasure Instinct [PDF]
12 August 2015, 02:45
2009 | PDF | 1.07MB
An immensely fascinating look at the origins and evolutionary purpose of human pleasure
From our enjoyment of music to our cravings for chocolate, from our love for children and family to our attraction to things of beauty, this book embarks on an intriguing and accessible exploration of the purpose of pleasure in our lives and in human history. How did pleasure evolve and why? How does it develop in children? How does the pursuit of pleasure play a critical role in brain development? The Pleasure Instinct explores everything we need to know about our urge to feel good.
The Great Pheromone Myth [PDF]
12 August 2015, 02:44
2010 | PDF | 2.03MB
Mammalian pheromones, audiomones, visuomones, and snarks―Richard Doty argues that they all belong in the same category: objects of imagination.
For more than 50 years, researchers―including many prominent scientists―have identified pheromones as the triggers for a wide range of mammalian behaviors and endocrine responses. In this provocative book, renowned olfaction expert Richard L. Doty rejects this idea and states bluntly that, in contrast to insects, mammals do not have pheromones.
Doty systematically debunks the claims and conclusions of studies that purport to reveal the existence of mammalian pheromones. He demonstrates that there is no generally accepted scientific definition of what constitutes a mammalian pheromone and that attempts to divide stimuli and complex behaviors into pheromonal and nonpheromonal categories have primarily failed. Doty's controversial assertion belies a continued fascination with the pheromone concept, numerous claims of its chemical isolation, and what he sees as the wasted expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars by industry and government.
The Great Pheromone Myth directly challenges ideas about the role chemicals play in mammalian behavior and reproductive processes. It is a must-have reference for biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and readers interested in animal behavior, ecology, and evolution.
Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noosphere [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 02:42
2011 | EPUB | 2.64MB
Are humans unwitting partners in evolution with psychedelic plants?
Darwin's Pharmacy shows they are by weaving the evolutionary theory of sexual selection and the study of rhetoric together with the science and literature of psychedelic drugs. Long suppressed as components of the human tool kit, psychedelic plants can be usefully modeled as "eloquence adjuncts" that intensify a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse.
Psychedelic plants seduce us to interact with them, building an ongoing interdependence: rhetoric as evolutionary mechanism. In doing so, they engage our awareness of the noosphere, or thinking stratum of the earth. The realization that the human organism is part of an interconnected ecosystem is an apprehension of immanence that could ultimately benefit the planet and its inhabitants.
To explore the rhetoric of the psychedelic experience and its significance to evolution, Doyle takes his readers on an epic journey through the writings of William Burroughs and Kary Mullis, the work of ethnobotanists and anthropologists, and anonymous trip reports. The results offer surprising insights into evolutionary theory, the war on drugs, the internet, and the nature of human consciousness itself.
DMT and the Soul of Prophecy [Audiobook]
12 August 2015, 02:39
2015 | MP3@128 kbps | 11 hrs 13 mins | 399.56MB
After completing his groundbreaking research chronicled in DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Rick Strassman, MD, was left with one fundamental question: What does it mean that DMT, a simple chemical naturally found in all of our bodies, instantaneously opens us to an interactive spirit world that feels more real than our own world? When his decades of clinical psychiatric research and Buddhist practice were unable to provide answers to this question, Strassman began searching for a more resonant spiritual model. He found that the visions of the Hebrew prophets were strikingly similar to those of the volunteers in his DMT studies.
Carefully examining the concept of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, he characterizes a "prophetic state of consciousness" and explains how it may share biological and metaphysical mechanisms with the DMT effect. Examining medieval commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, Strassman reveals how Jewish metaphysics provides a top-down model for both the prophetic and DMT states, a model he calls "theoneurology". Theoneurology addresses issues critical to the full flowering of the psychedelic drug experience. Perhaps even more important, it points the way to a renewal of classical prophetic consciousness, the soul of Hebrew Bible prophecy, and unexpected directions for the evolution of contemporary spiritual practice.
DMT: The Spirit Molecule [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 02:32
2001 | EPUB | 0.49MB
A clinical psychiatrist explores the effects of DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known.
- A behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of psychedelic research.
- Provides a unique scientific explanation for the phenomenon of alien abduction experiences.
From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted U.S. Government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical found in the psychedelic Amazon brew, ayahuasca, is also manufactured by the human brain. In Strassman's volunteers, it consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, aliens, angels, and spirits. Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.
Strassman's research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by Rene Descartes to be the seat of the soul. DMT: The Spirit Molecule makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul's movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence. Strassman also believes that "alien abduction experiences" are brought on by accidental releases of DMT. If used wisely, DMT could trigger a period of remarkable progress in the scientific exploration of the most mystical regions of the human mind and soul.
Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel [Audiobook]
12 August 2015, 02:28
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 16 hrs 5 mins | 458.66mb
I wanted to know what they were experiencing, and why to us they feel so compelling, and so-close. This time I allowed myself to ask them the question that for a scientist was forbidden fruit: Who are you?
Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina's landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.
Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity's place in the world.
Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder [Audiobook]
12 August 2015, 02:16
2010 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 53 mins | 336.78MB
Borderline personality disorder. “What in the hell was that?” raged Rachel Reiland after discovering the term on her discharge papers from the hospital psychiatric ward. As the twenty-nine-year-old accountant, wife, and mother of young children would soon learn, borderline personality disorder (BPD) was the diagnosis that finally explained her explosive anger, manipulative behaviors, and self-destructive bent, including devastating episodes of substance abuse, anorexia, and sexual promiscuity.
With astonishing honesty, Reiland reveals what mental illness feels like and looks like from the inside. Her story is horrifying, but in the end, hopeful―offering living proof that healing from this tenacious psychiatric disorder is possible through intensive therapy and the support of loved ones.
Dance With the Devil: A Memoir of Murder and Loss [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 00:46
2015 | EPUB | 1.23MB
Immortalized in the spellbinding documentary Dear Zachary, this angry, raw, and brutally honest memoir of murder and loss chronicles a system’s failure to prevent the death of a child.
In November 2001, the body of a young doctor named Andrew Bagby was discovered in Keystone State Park outside Latrobe, Pennsylvania, five bullet wounds in his face, chest, buttocks, and the back of the head. For parents Dave and Kate, the pain was unbearable—but Andrew’s murder was only the first in a string of tragic events.
The chief suspect for Andrew’s murder was his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner—also a doctor. Obsessive and unstable, Shirley Turner lied to the police and fled to her family home in Newfoundland before she could be arrested. While fending off extradition efforts by U.S. law enforcement, she announced she was pregnant with Andrew's son, Zachary. The Bagbys—hoping to gain custody of Zachary—moved to Newfoundland and began a long, drawn-out battle in court and with Canadian social services to protect their grandson from the woman who had almost certainly murdered their son. Then, in August 2003, Shirley Turner killed herself and the one-year-old Zachary by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean.
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL is a eulogy for a dead son, an elegy for lives cut tragically short, and a castigation of a broken system.
An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 00:44
2013 | EPUB + PDF | 8.93/37.3MB
Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of full-color images, this family-oriented art resource introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their work, with corresponding activities and explorations that inspire artistic development, focused looking, and creative writing. This treasure trove of artwork from the National Gallery of Art includes, among others, works by Raphael, Rembrandt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Henri Matisse, Chuck Close, Jacob Lawrence, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder, representing a wide range of artistic styles and techniques.
Written by museum educators with decades of hands-on experience in both art-making activities and making art relatable to children, the activities include sculpting a clay figure inspired by Edgar Degas; drawing an object from touch alone, inspired by Joan Miro's experience as an art student; painting a double-sided portrait with one side reflecting physical traits and the other side personality traits, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci; and creating a story based on a Mary Cassatt painting. Educators, homeschoolers, and families alike will find their creativity sparked by this art extravaganza.
A History of Japanese Art: From Prehistory to the Taisho Period [PDF]
12 August 2015, 00:43
2009 | PDF | 52.0MB
A History of Japanese Art offers readers a comprehensive view of Japanese art through Japanese eyes—a view that is the most revealing of all perspectives. At the same time, it provides readers with a guide to the places in Japan where the best and most representative creations of Japanese art are to be seen.
The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 00:42
2007 | EPUB | 2.96MB
The Partition of India in 1947 promised its people both political and religious freedom—through the liberation of India from British rule, and the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan. Instead, the geographical divide brought displacement and death, and it benefited the few at the expense of the very many. Thousands of women were raped, at least one million people were killed, and ten to fifteen million were forced to leave their homes as refugees. One of the first events of decolonization in the twentieth century, Partition was also one of the most bloody.
In this book Yasmin Khan examines the context, execution, and aftermath of Partition, weaving together local politics and ordinary lives with the larger political forces at play. She exposes the widespread obliviousness to what Partition would entail in practice and how it would affect the populace. Drawing together fresh information from an array of sources, Khan underscores the catastrophic human cost and shows why the repercussions of Partition resound even now, some sixty years later. The book is an intelligent and timely analysis of Partition, the haste and recklessness with which it was completed, and the damaging legacy left in its wake.
God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 00:40
2009 | EPUB | 2.43MB
"A furiously complex age; a powerful narrative."--New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice
At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a momentous revolution in power, religion, and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis's masterful history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the rise of the prophet Muhammad and the creation of Muslim Spain. Five centuries of engagement between the Muslim imperium and an emerging Europe followed, from the Muslim conquest of Visigoth Hispania in 711 to Latin Christendom's declaration of unconditional warfare on the Caliphate in 1215. Lewis's narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished--a beacon of cooperation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity--while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war, and slavery.
A cautionary tale, God's Crucible provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains as current as today's headlines. Some images in the ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.
A History of Greece, 1300 to 30 BC [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 00:39
2014 | EPUB | 13.98MB
A History of Greece: 1300‒30 BC, offers a comprehensive introduction to the foundational political history of Greece, from the late Mycenaean Age through to the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Hellenistic monarch of Egypt.
- Introduces textual and archaeological evidence used by historians to reconstruct historical events during Greece’s Bronze, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods
- Reveals the political and social structure of the Greek world in the late Mycenaean period (thirteenth century BC) through analysis of the Linear B tablets, the oldest surviving records in Greek
- Features numerous references to original source materials, including various fragmentary papyri, inscriptions, coins, and other literary sources
- Provides extensive coverage of the Hellenistic period, and covers areas excluded from most Greek history texts, including the Greek West
- Features judicious use of illustrations throughout, and considers instructors’ teaching needs by structuring the later sections to facilitate teaching a parallel course in Roman History
- Balances scholarship with a reader-friendly approach to create an accessible introduction to the political history of one of most remarkable ancient civilizations and sophisticated periods of world history