The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague [TTC Video]

The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague [TTC Video]
The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague [TTC Video] by Dorsey Armstrong
Course No 8241 | M4V, AVC, 852x480 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.45GB

In the late 1340s, a cataclysmic plague shook medieval Europe to its core. The bacterial disease known to us as the Black Death swept westward across the continent, leaving a path of destruction from Crimea and Constantinople to Italy, France, Spain, and ultimately most of Europe, traveling as far west as England and Iceland. Within these locations, the plague killed up to 50% of the population in less than 10 years—a staggering 75 million dead.

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But three vital elements of the story often go unrecognized:

  • The Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural.
  • In its wake, the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the Church, political institutions, law, art, and more.
  • In large measure, by the profundity of the changes it brought, the Black Death produced the modern world we live in today.
While the story of the Black Death is one of destruction and loss, its breathtaking scope and effects make it one of the most compelling and deeply intriguing episodes in human history. Understanding the remarkable unfolding of the plague and its aftermath provides a highly revealing window not only on the medieval world but also on the forces that brought about the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and modernity itself.

Speaking to the full magnitude of this world-changing historical moment, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague, taught by celebrated medievalist Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, takes you on an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization.

A Catastrophe Unprecedented in Human Experience

In 24 richly absorbing lectures, you’ll follow the path of the epidemic in its complete trajectory across medieval Europe. You’ll examine the epidemiological causes of the disaster; the social panic it spawned; its influence on religion, society, politics, economics, and art; and the long-term consequences for a continent that, less than two centuries later, would have the technology and the wherewithal to explore a new world.

In the process, you’ll learn about these remarkable and emblematic effects of the Black Death:

  • By revealing the corruption and inadequacies of the Church in the face of people’s desperate need, the plague sowed the seeds of the Reformation.
  • The plague upended the class system in Europe, permanently changing the balance of power between laborers and lords, peasants and nobles.
  • The epidemic transformed social opportunities for the working and merchant classes: peasants could become clergy, serfs could become tenant farmers, merchants could marry into the nobility, and women could enter trades and professions.
  • Perhaps most surprising of all, those who survived the plague were often wealthier than they’d been before, and had access to more opportunities.

These changes utterly upended structures of social, economic, and religious power that had been in place for centuries, leaving chaos in their wake—and room for new ideas and institutions to arise.

An Epic Story of Loss and Metamorphosis

In measuring the Black Death’s vast societal impact, you’ll explore subject matter such as:

  • The medical causes and underpinnings of the plague – Investigate the epidemiology of Yersinia pestis, the plague bacterium. You’ll study the three main varieties of plague, how the disease was transmitted, and how other disease factors may have contributed to the Black Death’s monumental devastation.
  • The epidemic’s transit across medieval Europe – Track how the plague traveled by both maritime and overland trade routes, and witness the individual stories and shattering drama of its arrival in communities such as Florence, Avignon, Walsham, and Paris.
  • The Black Death’s impact on religion and faith – Discover how the Church appeared powerless to provide any remedy or relief from the plague, which eroded its prestige, moral authority, and temporal power. Observe how direct expressions of religious devotion by common people, such as pilgrimage, flagellation, and veneration of saints, increased dramatically in response to the plague’s ravages.
  • The plague and European economies – Examine how the huge loss of labor and manpower led to social mobility and greatly increased economic opportunities for workers and merchants, and accelerated the rise of the merchant class to rival the economic power of the nobility.
  • Political reverberations of the Black Death – Grasp how the political scene in many places changed dramatically, as nobles came under new economic pressure. The traditional ruling order of those who fight (nobles), those who pray (clergy), and those who work (everyone else) was undone by the new power of labor and trade, and the nobles’ attempts to maintain their previous status triggered unrest and revolts.
  • The historical legacy of the epidemic – Take account of the ways in which the events of the Black Death shaped the future of the West, leaving behind a world in which serfs could buy their freedom, and where, for the first time, leaders and governments were answerable to every level of society.

The Astonishing Human Dimensions of the Plague

In a masterful act of historical storytelling, Professor Armstrong reveals the unfolding of the plague as an endlessly surprising and enthralling saga, illuminating the story with vivid maps, works of art, and manuscripts, as well as gripping contemporary accounts by writers such as Boccaccio and Petrarch. In the course of the narrative, you’ll encounter the full spectrum of poignant human reactions to the epidemic, from terrified families abandoning their stricken children and clergy recoiling from the dying to astounding individual acts of compassion and self-sacrifice for loved ones and strangers alike.

You’ll bear witness to many psychosocial responses, among them the Flagellant movement, whose members publicly tortured themselves to appease the wrath of God; the French town whose populace believed riotous merrymaking would keep the plague at bay; and a range of extreme behavior from hedonistic indulgence and crazed dancing to the tragic scapegoating of Jewish communities. In a fascinating view into the medieval mindset, you’ll explore 14th-century theories of the plague, from theological constructs to explanations of its origins in astrological conjunctions, “corrupted air,” and earthquakes. You’ll also encounter, in medical treatises, the singular figure of the plague doctor, dressed in broad-brimmed hat, long coat, and a beaked, birdlike mask filled with sweet-smelling herbs.

Professor Armstrong details how the plague brought new forms of visual art, such as the extraordinary paintings of the Danse Macabre and Triumph of Death traditions. In the unusual economic climate of the times, plague-themed works of art were commissioned not only by the nobility, but also by the likes of bakers, gardeners, and blacksmiths. And you’ll discover how, in the midst of devastation, the plague directly inspired some of the greatest literary masterpieces the world has ever produced, such as the works of Boccaccio, William Langland, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Majestic in scope and remarkable in detail, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague takes you to the heart of one of Western history’s most catalytic and galvanizing moments, the effects of which gave us the modern world.

The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague [TTC Video]

Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory [EPUB]

Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory [EPUB]
Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland's Glory by Lisa Jardine
2008 | EPUB | 28.44MB

A fascinating exploration of the relationship of competition and assimilation between the Netherlands and England during the 17th century, revealing the ways in which Dutch tolerance, resilience and commercial acumen effectively conquered Britain by reshaping its intellectual landscape, long before Dutch monarchs sat on the English throne.

Working backwards from the bloodless revolution that set William and Mary of Orange on the English throne in 1688, this bold and ambitious work redefines the history of cultural and commercial interconnection between two of the world's most powerful trading empires at a time of great intellectual and geographical discovery.

Weaving together the lives of the great thinkers of the time, Lisa Jardine demonstrates how individuals such as Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Christiaan Huygens and Margaret Cavendish, usually depicted as instances of isolated genius, in fact evolved within a context of easy Anglo-Dutch exchange that laid the groundwork for the European Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is a fascinating history of big ideas and remarkable individuals. It denounces the traditional view that the rise of England as a world power took place at the expense of the Dutch, asserting instead that what is usually interpreted as the decline of the Dutch trading empire was in fact a 'passing on' of the baton to a Britain expanding in power and influence.

Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West [EPUB]

Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West [EPUB]
Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West by Lisa Jardine, Jerry Brotton
2005 | EPUB | 18.1MB

Looking outward for confirmation of who they were and what defined them as "civilized," Europeans encountered the returning gaze of what we now call the East, in particular the attention of the powerful Ottoman Empire. Global Interests explores the historical interactions that arose from these encounters as it considers three less-examined art objects—portrait medals, tapestries, and equestrian art—from a fresh and stimulating perspective. As portable artifacts, these objects are particularly potent tools for exploring the cultural currents flowing between the Orient and Occident.

Global Interests offers a timely reconsideration of the development of European imperialism, focusing on the Habsburg Empire of Charles V. Lisa Jardine and Jerry Brotton analyze the impact this history continues to have on contemporary perceptions of European culture and ethnic identity. They also investigate the ways in which European culture came to define itself culturally and aesthetically during the century-long span of 1450 to 1550. Ultimately, their study offers a radical and wide-ranging reassessment of Renaissance art.

Counting Down Southern Rock: The 100 Best Songs [EPUB]

Counting Down Southern Rock: The 100 Best Songs [EPUB]
Counting Down Southern Rock: The 100 Best Songs by C Eric Banister
2016 | EPUB | 1.4MB

When Southern rock acts like the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynrd stormed American concert stages, detractors immediately came to the fore declaring the genre to be little more than a marketing gimmick. But those on stage themselves would have called its appearance not only inevitable but also a way of life. In the end, the musicians who played Southern rock reflected a robust and broad variety of influences, drawing deeply from the wellsprings of blues, rock, country, and even jazz. Listeners gravitated to the sounds of the New South, a place that had captured pop culture’s imagination amid the turbulence following President Nixon’s successful Southern strategy and silent majorities. Southern rock garnered a second wave of enthusiasm with the rise of the urban cowboy and Bill Clinton’s ascension to the presidency. For nearly half a century, Southern rock has captured and expressed the energy of the New South, inspiring a legacy that listeners can still hear from jam bands, indie acts, and mainstream country musicians.

In Counting Down Southern Rock: The 100 Best Songs, C. Eric Banister considers the best songs to emerge from the bands who made Southern rock what it is. Banister examines the impact of the songs on the society and culture of devoted fans and delves deep into the history and production of each song. Featuring such well-known bands as the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as less visible groups like Blackhorse and Heartsfield, this book is the perfect introduction for both newbies and dedicated fans.

Exhibitionist: Writing about Art in a Daily Newspaper [EPUB]

Exhibitionist: Writing about Art in a Daily Newspaper [EPUB]
Exhibitionist: Writing about Art in a Daily Newspaper by Richard Dorment
2016 | EPUB | 121.1MB

An extraordinary collection of over 100 essays which distill and commemorate some of the finest and most memorable art exhibitions of the last three decades. Ranging from early prehistoric art of the Ice Age to the performance art of today, and taking in nearly all the significant art in between, the book is an astonishingly readable and accessible introduction to the work of the world's finest artists.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem [EPUB]

Slouching Towards Bethlehem [EPUB]
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
2013 | EPUB | 0.45MB

Here in digital format for the first time is Joan Didion’s landmark collection of essays Slouching Towards Bethlehem, work that helped define the New Journalism of the late 1960s and today stands as some of the very finest nonfiction writing ever produced by an American writer.

Reflective and brilliantly observational, powered by a brave, unblinking vision that sweeps America’s cultural landscape during the Vietnam era, Didion vividly documents the acid-tripping counterculture of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury in the book’s title essay, and elsewhere writes of billionaire Howard Hughes and folk-singer Joan Baez, of John Wayne and Alcatraz Island, of a California murderess and a Las Vegas wedding. She writes of her own Sacramento girlhood, of life in Death Valley; she profiles an L.A. Maoist; she captures the ominous mood in the Golden Land, in southern California, when the dry, hot Santa Ana winds blow in from the desert during autumn. She writes of her eight years in New York City as a young woman, and her departure for L.A., in the revered personal essay “Goodbye to All That.”

A master stylist whose precise, lucid prose, elegantly layered with penetrating reflection and detail, has influenced generations of writers, Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem gives us a book that had she not gone on to write anything else, would still be celebrated today as an essential portrait of America in the 1960s. And now readers of digital books, whether fans of Joan Didion or those curious to discover this remarkable writer, can download her pioneering collection for the first time.

Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook [EPUB]

Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook [EPUB]
Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook by Ram Dass
2012 | EPUB | 5.31MB

Ram Dass is an American psychologist and spiritual teacher who has studied and practiced meditation for many years. Here he shares his understanding and explores the many paths of meditation--from mantra, prayer, singing, visualizations, and "just sitting" to movement meditations such as tai chi--and suggests how you can find methods suitable for you. He illuminates the stages and benefits of meditative practice, and provides wise and often humorous advice on overcoming difficulties along the way.

Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die [EPUB]

Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die [EPUB]
Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die by Chris Santella
2016 | EPUB | 13.53MB

What is the most unforgettable place you’ve ever taken a refreshing sip of a cold beer? In Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die, Chris Santella explores the best destinations to crack open a cold one, reflect on the day, and take in the scenery. The book features the world’s top locations for imbibing, from beautiful landscapes to beer festivals, breweries, classic drinking establishments, and brand-new, under-the-radar spots. With a mix of national and international places to visit—Asheville, Denver, Prague, Munich, Vienna, and more—as well as firsthand accounts from contributors such as Jim Koch (founder of Boston Brewing Company/ Samuel Adams) and Joe Wiebe (author of CraftBeer Revolution), this book will make you want to trek to each must-see destination. Packed with beautiful, vibrant photographs that bring each locale to life, Fifty Places to Drink Beer Before You Die will leave you craving barley and hops and eagerly planning your next trip.

Privacy in the Age of Shakespeare [EPUB]

Privacy in the Age of Shakespeare [EPUB]
Privacy in the Age of Shakespeare by Ronald Huebert
2016 | EPUB | 6.55MB

For at least a generation, scholars have asserted that privacy barely existed in the early modern era. The divide between the public and private was vague, they say, and the concept, if it was acknowledged, was rarely valued. In Privacy in the Age of Shakespeare, Ronald Huebert challenges these assumptions by marshalling evidence that it was in Shakespeare’s time that the idea of privacy went from a marginal notion to a desirable quality.

The era of transition begins with More’s Utopia (1516), in which privacy is forbidden. It ends with Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667), in which privacy is a good to be celebrated. In between come Shakespeare’s plays, paintings by Titian and Vermeer, devotional manuals, autobiographical journals, and the poetry of George Herbert and Robert Herrick, all of which Huebert carefully analyses in order to illuminate the dynamic and emergent nature of early modern privacy.

Vanished in Hiawatha: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians [EPUB]

Vanished in Hiawatha: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians [EPUB]
Vanished in Hiawatha: The Story of the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians by Carla Joinson
2016 | EPUB | 2.54MB

Begun as a pork-barrel project by the federal government in the early 1900s, the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians quickly became a dumping ground for inconvenient Indians. The federal institution in Canton, South Dakota, deprived many Native patients of their freedom without genuine cause, often requiring only the signature of a reservation agent. Only nine Native patients in the asylum’s history were committed by court order. Without interpreters, mental evaluations, or therapeutic programs, few patients recovered. But who cared about Indians and what went on in South Dakota?

After three decades of complacency, both the superintendent and the city of Canton were surprised to discover that someone did care and that a bitter fight to shut the asylum down was about to begin. In this disturbing tale, Carla Joinson unravels the question of why this institution persisted for so many years. She also investigates the people who allowed Canton Asylum’s mismanagement to reach such staggering proportions and asks why its administrators and staff were so indifferent to the misery experienced by patients.

Vanished in Hiawatha is the harrowing tale of the mistreatment of Native American patients at a notorious insane asylum whose history helps us to understand the broader mistreatment of Native peoples under forced federal assimilation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Human Acts [EPUB]

Human Acts [EPUB]
Human Acts by Han Kang
2016 | EPUB | 0.21MB

Human Acts is a very different novel from The Vegetarian, Han Kang’s first novel recently published in English to numerous accolades, including the Man Booker International Prize. And while The Vegetarian was originally published in Korean nearly ten years ago, Human Acts is one of Kang’s most recently written books. The novel centers on the Gwangju Massacre in 1980, when the authoritarian Chun Doo-hwan ordered the military to suppress a democratic uprising in the city of Gwangju using all violent means necessary. The story is told through the point of view of multiple characters who are victims and witnesses of the massacre. Though the novel is slim and spare, like much of Kang’s work, it is epic in ambition and time scale.

The narrative focuses on the death of a middle-school boy named Dong-ho, whose story opens the novel and stays central to the narrative even after his death, as the point of view shifts each section to the many that either knew him intimately or had volunteered by his side during the massacre. His life and death become the initiating action of the story’s central narrative, which is focused less on a particular plot and more on the nature of memory, guilt, and the way that survivors memorialize and mourn what happened in Gwangju and how it continues to affect the present.

The title asks from the book’s outset, “What is a human act?” It then proceeds throughout the novel to ask rather didactic questions concerning conscience, compassion, and guilt in the face of the government machine. Many more questions frame the narrative, a lesson learned well from Anton Chekhov, who once wrote that “the role of the artist is to ask questions, not to answer them.” This is usually effective, but the sheer number of questions in the novel can be overwhelming, and the urgency of the narrative falters at such moments. Regardless, Kang is bold in her exploration of what a novel can do and be. Much as Toni Morrison does in her first novel, The Bluest Eye, Kang pushes the possibilities of the genre by moving from the first, second, and third point of view, traversing large spans of time and incorporating real documents and witness testimonies, all of which contribute to exploring the violence of man against man and the violence of the state against its people.

What follows is an epic battle of the weak against the strong. The people are helpless before the omnipresence of the state. Jin-su, a man who originally resisted the military attack alongside volunteers such as Dong-ho and later resisted military attack in the provincial office, muses that they couldn’t even lift the gun and shoot after soldiers opened fire on them. This starkly demonstrates how the innocent were brutally exterminated and how, after the survivors are imprisoned following sham trials and tortured for being enemies of the state, truth is shaped solely by the government machine. The omnipresence of violence is also counterbalanced by compassion. Dong-ho becomes a kind of abstract figure and symbol for the survivors, perhaps because he was so young and innocent when he was killed during the massacre. All who were acquainted with him remember him over the years and memorialize his sacrifice, making his absent presence central to the novel.

Though violence is vividly depicted throughout the novel, one of the few tender moments is when Dong-ho’s mother recalls him breast-feeding from her “soft right breast,” “pulling at that deformed nipple,” then later sucking his thumb until “the nail wore thin and transparent as paper.” Dong-ho’s mother’s vivid, precise description brings to life her loss and the sadness of the historical tragedy that, in a novel with breadth and scope, had felt just out of reach. Some readers of The Vegetarian will miss the fierce, taut language that visualized the world so precisely, and yet the unadorned writing seems deliberate as well as appropriate. Artistry is muted and takes a backseat to the vivid reality of Gwangju

The Vegetarian: A Novel [EPUB]

The Vegetarian: A Novel [EPUB]
The Vegetarian: A Novel by Han Kang
2015 | EPUB | 0.23MB

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2016

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more 'plant-like' existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister's husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree.

Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

The Dirty Dust: Cré na Cille [EPUB]

The Dirty Dust: Cré na Cille [EPUB]
The Dirty Dust: Cré na Cille by Máirtín Ó Cadhain
2015 | EPUB | 2.37MB

Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s irresistible and infamous novel The Dirty Dust is consistently ranked as the most important prose work in modern Irish, yet no translation for English-language readers has ever before been published. Alan Titley’s vigorous new translation, full of the brio and guts of Ó Cadhain’s original, at last brings the pleasures of this great satiric novel to the far wider audience it deserves.

In The Dirty Dust all characters lie dead in their graves. This, however, does not impair their banter or their appetite for news of aboveground happenings from the recently arrived. Told entirely in dialogue, Ó Cadhain’s daring novel listens in on the gossip, rumors, backbiting, complaining, and obsessing of the local community. In the afterlife, it seems, the same old life goes on beneath the sod. Only nothing can be done about it—apart from talk. In this merciless yet comical portrayal of a closely bound community, Ó Cadhain remains keenly attuned to the absurdity of human behavior, the lilt of Irish gab, and the nasty, deceptive magic of human connection.

The Complete Novels by Thomas Hardy [EPUB]

The Complete Novels by Thomas Hardy [EPUB]
The Complete Novels by Thomas Hardy
2016 | EPUB | 5.76MB

This book contains the complete novels of Thomas Hardy in the chronological order of their original publication.

  • Desperate Remedies
  • Under the Greenwood Tree
  • A Pair of Blue Eyes
  • Far From the Madding Crowd
  • The Hand of Ethelberta
  • Return of the Native
  • The Trumpet-Major
  • A Laodicean
  • Two on a Tower
  • The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • The Woodlanders
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • Jude the Obscure
  • The Well–Beloved

An Exact Likeness: The Portraits of John Wesley [EPUB]

An Exact Likeness: The Portraits of John Wesley [EPUB]
An Exact Likeness: The Portraits of John Wesley by Richard P Heitzenrater
2016 | EPUB | 7.62MB

Faces are more than a montage of organs that see, breathe, speak, hear, eat, sing, smell, and yell. As Josephine Tey points out in her mystery novel, The Daughter of Time, the slant of an eyebrow, the set of a mouth, the look of the eye, the firmness of a chin, often can provide evidence of character that is as telling as a report card or a police blotter. Those features depicted on portraits of individuals can be equally telling of the person’s inner nature or perhaps of what the artist thinks (or wants the viewer to think) about the person being portrayed. Sometimes a portrait might be even more useful than a biography.

While examining these portraits, the author considers three questions: what was Wesley’s attitude toward the portrait (if any), how did the public respond to these portrayals, and what was the artist attempting to convey? This book focuses on the main portraits and their derivatives, looking at them within the three main categories that developed over the years: Oxford don, Methodist preacher, and notable person. Although these types seemed to arise in chronological order, there is some overlap between categories, especially toward the end of Wesley’s life and beyond.

McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions [EPUB]

McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions [EPUB]
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions: The Most Up-to-Date Reference for the Nonstandard Usage, Popular Jargon, and Vulgarisms of Contempos, 4th Edition by Richard Spears
2005 | EPUB | 3.39MB

More bling for the buck! The #1 guide to American slang is now bigger, more up-to-date, and easier to use

This new edition of McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions offers complete definitions of more than 12,000 slang and informal expressions from various sources, ranging from golden oldies such as . . . golden oldie, to recent coinages like shizzle (gangsta), jonx (Wall Street), and ping (the Internet). Each entry is followed by examples illustrating how an expression is used in everyday conversation and, where necessary, International Phonetic Alphabet pronunciations are given, as well as cautionary notes for crude, inflammatory, or taboo expressions.

This edition also features a fascinating introduction on “What is Slang?,” a Thematic Index that cross-references expressions by standard terms--such as Angry, Drunk, Food, Good-bye, Mess-up, Money, and Stupidity--and a Hidden Word Index that lets you identify and locate even partially remembered expressions and phrases.

McGraw-Hill's Conversational American English [EPUB]

McGraw-Hill's Conversational American English [EPUB]
McGraw-Hill's Conversational American English: The Illustrated Guide to Everyday Expressions of American English by Richard Spears, Betty Birner, Steven Kleinedler, Luc Nisset
2010 | EPUB | 8.03MB

Learn more than 3,000 English expressions and speak and understand the language easily

As a new speaker of English, you may hear some expressions in your daily conversations that you do not understand--yet. McGraw-Hill's Conversational American English will help you learn these expressions, so not only do you know what a person is saying to you, but that you can use the expression yourself! More than 3,000 expressions are organized by theme, so you can find what you are looking for quickly. And each topic is illustrated to further help you understand context.

The book features:

  • Common expressions are batched into 350 themes, ranging from general greetings and asking how someone is, to the more specific needs, like showing disbelief, asking someone’s intentions, and expressions for a forgotten word or name
  • A comprehensive thematic glossary provides an additional means for the learner to locate expressions by key words and concepts

Topics include: Basic Social Encounters, Greetings, Small Talk, Introductions, Ending a Conversation, Good-Byes, Agreeing, Disagreeing Conversational Encounters, Focusing Attention, Launching the Conversation, Making Friends, Complex Matters, Disputes, Discussion and Resolution, Polite Encounters, Prefaces, Communication Barriers

Winning Arguments: What Works and Doesn't Work in Politics, the Bedroom, the Courtroom, and the Classroom [Audiobook]

Winning Arguments: What Works and Doesn't Work in Politics, the Bedroom, the Courtroom, and the Classroom [Audiobook]
Winning Arguments: What Works and Doesn't Work in Politics, the Bedroom, the Courtroom, and the Classroom [Audiobook] by Stanley Fish, read by Joe Barrett
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hours | 165.47MB

A lively and accessible guide to understanding rhetoric by the world-class English and law professor and best-selling author of How to Write a Sentence.

Filled with the wit and observational prowess that shaped Stanley Fish's acclaimed best seller, How to Write a Sentence, Winning Arguments guides listeners through the "greatest hits" of rhetoric. In this clever and engaging guide, Fish offers insight and outlines the crucial keys you need to win any debate, anywhere, anytime - drawn from landmark legal cases, politics, his own career, and even popular film and television.

A celebration of clashing minds and viewpoints, Winning Arguments is sure to become a classic.

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One [EPUB]

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One [EPUB]
How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One by Stanley Fish
2011 | EPUB | 0.56MB

In this entertaining and erudite New York Times bestseller, beloved professor Stanley Fish offers both sentence craft and sentence pleasure. Drawing on a wide range of great writers, from Philip Roth to Antonin Scalia to Jane Austen, How to Write a Sentence is much more than a writing manual—it is a spirited love letter to the written word, and a key to understanding how great writing works.

The Future of Life [Audiobook]

The Future of Life [Audiobook]
The Future of Life [Audiobook] by Edward O Wilson, read by Ed Begley
2002 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 10 mins | 202.4MB

One of the world’s most important scientists, Edward O. Wilson is also an abundantly talented writer who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. In this, his most personal and timely book to date, he assesses the precarious state of our environment, examining the mass extinctions occurring in our time and the natural treasures we are about to lose forever. Yet, rather than eschewing doomsday prophesies, he spells out a specific plan to save our world while there is still time. His vision is a hopeful one, as economically sound as it is environmentally necessary. Eloquent, practical and wise, this book should be read and studied by anyone concerned with the fate of the natural world.

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything [Audiobook]

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything [Audiobook]
Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything [Audiobook] by Victor J Strecher, read by R C Bray
2016 | MP3@64 kbps | 5 hrs 34 mins | 153.84MB

A pioneer in the field of behavioral science delivers a groundbreaking work that shows how finding your purpose in life leads to better health and overall happiness.

Your life is a boat. You need a rudder. But it doesn't matter how much wind is in your sails if you're not steering toward a harbor - an ultimate purpose in your life.

While the greatest philosophers have pondered purpose for centuries, today it has been shown to have a concrete impact on our health. Recent studies into Alzheimer's, heart disease, stroke, depression, functional brain imaging, and measurement of DNA repair are shedding new light on how and why purpose benefits our lives.

Going beyond the fads, opinions, and false hopes of "expert" self-help books, Life on Purpose explores the incredible connection between purposeful living and the latest scientific evidence on quality of life and longevity. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy, literature, psychology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and neuroscience as well as his experience in public health research, Dr. Vic Strecher reveals the elements necessary for a purposeful life and how to acquire them and outlines an elegant strategy for improving energy, willpower, and long-term happiness and well-being. He integrates these core themes into his own personal story - a tragedy that led him to reconsider his own life - and how a deeper understanding of purposeful living helped him not only to survive but to thrive.

Illuminating, accessible, and authentically grounded in real people's experiences, Life on Purpose is essential for everyone seeking lasting improvement in their lives.

Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science [Audiobook]

Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science [Audiobook]
Life: The Leading Edge of Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, and Environmental Science [Audiobook] edited by John Brockman, read by Mike Chamberlain, Antony Ferguson, Jonathan Yen
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 38 mins | 347.98MB

Scientists' understanding of life is progressing more rapidly than at any point in human history, from the extraordinary decoding of DNA to the controversial emergence of biotechnology. Featuring pioneering biologists, geneticists, physicists, and science writers, Life explains just how far we've come - and takes a brilliantly educated guess at where we're heading. Richard Dawkins and J. Craig Venter compare genes to digital information and sketch the frontiers of genomic research. Edward O. Wilson reveals what ants can teach us about building a superorganism - and, in turn, about how cells build an organism. Elsewhere, David Haig reports new findings on how mothers and fathers individually influence the human genome while Kary Mullis covers cutting-edge treatments for dangerous viruses. And there's much more in this fascinating volume.

We may never have all the answers. But the thinkers collected in Life are asking questions that will keep us dreaming for generations.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game [Audiobook]

Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game [Audiobook]
Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game [Audiobook] by Paul Midler, read by the Author
2010 | MP3@32 kbps + PDF | 8 hrs 3 mins | 109.04MB

It was a world gone wrong, one in which manufacturers thought little of manipulating product quality levels in order to save the smallest amounts, where savvy foreign business leaders were made to feel in control while they were taken for a ride by their partners, where entire manufacturing facilities sometimes vanished right into thin air… Welcome to Poorly Made in China!

At the height of the boom export manufacturing, Paul Midler returned to East Asia, a recently graduated Wharton MBA. In the right place at the right time, he was sought out by a number of foreign companies who wanted help in navigating the new economy. The adventures came fast, as did the business and cultural lessons.

Poorly Made in China is a dramatic romp through China's export manufacturing sector, one that reveals what really goes on behind the scenes. The story follows the author from one project to the next, taking the reader through a diverse set of industries and revealing a number of challenges. An engaging business narrative told with doses of humor and insight, this true story pulls back the curtain on the rising Chinese economy, providing a closer look at the rough-and-tumble environment in which so many of our consumer products are being made. For those trying to make sense of why so many quality failures could come out of China at once, this book is an especially interesting read.

Poorly Made in China is the tale of a modern-day gold rush and its consequences, the chronicling of a rising economic power and its path along a steep growth curve. Entertaining and eye-opening, the book highlights the extent to which culture affects business dealings, and the ultimate suggestion is that we may have more to be concerned about than product failures alone.

Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World [Audiobook]

Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World [Audiobook]
Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World [Audiobook] by Noel Malcolm, read by Greg Wagland
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 23 hrs 46 mins | 646.99MB

In the late 16th century, a prominent Albanian named Antonio Bruni composed a revealing document about his home country. Historian Sir Noel Malcolm takes this document as a point of departure to explore the lives of the entire Bruni family, whose members included an archbishop of the Balkans, the captain of the papal flagship at the Battle of Lepanto - at which the Ottomans were turned back in the Eastern Mediterranean - in 1571, and a highly placed interpreter in Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire that fell to the Turks in 1453.

The taking of Constantinople had profoundly altered the map of the Mediterranean. By the time of Brunis document, Albania, largely a Venetian province from 1405 onward, had been absorbed into the Ottoman Empire. Even under the Ottomans, however, this was a world marked by the ferment of the Italian Renaissance. In Agents of Empire, Malcolm uses the collective biography of the Brunis to paint a fascinating and intimate picture of Albania at a moment when it represented the frontier between empires, cultures, and religions.

The lives of the polylingual, cosmopolitan Brunis shed new light on the interrelations between the Ottoman and Christian worlds, characterized by both conflict and complex interdependence. The result of years of archival detective work, Agents of Empire brings to life a vibrant moment in European and Ottoman history, challenging our assumptions about their supposed differences. Malcolms book guides us through the exchanges between East and West, Venetians and the Ottomans, and tells a story of worlds colliding with and transforming one another.

The Fat Switch [Audiobook]

The Fat Switch [Audiobook]
The Fat Switch [Audiobook] by Richard J Johnson, read by Brian Holsopple
2013 | M4B@64 kbps | 9 hrs 51 mins | 269.13MB

If you've ever struggled with losing weight and keeping it off, I don't have to tell you it's a challenge. You already know.

What if losing weight could be as easy as flipping a switch? I know that sounds incredible. But now there's an abundance of research telling us that may be possible. In his new book, The Fat Switch, Dr. Richard J. Johnson, presents news-breaking, science-based studies that will reverse current thinking on both the cause and treatment of obesity.

And by looking at why people gain excessive weight, Dr. Johnson has discovered why obesity is so hard to treat, and why so many people lose weight only to rapidly regain it. Based on his breakthrough research, Dr Johnson provides a detailed plan on how to prevent weight gain and to lose weight. He also lays out how this research will soon result in treatments to end obesity, something that has been the Holy Grail for those suffering from being overweight.

In a nutshell, this is what he's uncovered from decades of research: Those of us who are obese eat more because of a faulty "switch" and exercise less because of a low energy state. If you can learn how to control the specific "switch" located in the powerhouse of each of your cells, the mitochondria, you hold the key to fighting obesity. So, if you've noticed you have less energy, tire more easily with exercise, or struggle to burn fat, take heart. We now know the reason why. And in just a few short moments, so will you.

Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can't Really Afford It [EPUB]

Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can't Really Afford It [EPUB]
Grand Ambition: An Extraordinary Yacht, the People Who Built It, and the Millionaire Who Can't Really Afford It by G Bruce Knecht
2013 | EPUB | 3.18MB

G. Bruce Knecht, former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and author of The Proving Ground, describes the creation of an outsized yacht in a sweeping narrative centered on the men and women who made it happen.

DOUG VON ALLMEN, a self-made man who grew up in a landlocked state dreaming of the ocean, was poised to build a 187-foot yacht that would cost $40 million. Lady Linda would not be among the very largest of the burgeoning fleet of oceangoing palaces, but Von Allmen vowed that it would be the best one ever made in the United States. Nothing would be ordinary. The interior walls would be made from rare species of burl wood, the floors paved with onyx and exotic types of marble, the furniture custom made, and the art specially commissioned.

But the 2008 economic crisis changed everything. Von Allmen’s lifestyle suddenly became unaffordable. Then it got worse: desperate to reverse his losses, he fell for an audacious Ponzi scheme. Would Von Allmen be able to complete Lady Linda? Would the shipyard and its one thousand employees survive the financial meltdown?

The divide between the very rich and everyone else had never been greater, yet the livelihoods of the workers, some of them illegal immigrants, and the yacht owners were inextricably intertwined. In a sweeping, high-stakes narrative, the critically acclaimed author of The Proving Ground and Hooked weaves Von Allmen’s story together with those of the men and women who are building his yacht. As the pursuit of opulence collides with the reality of economic decline, everyone involved in the massive project is forced to rethink the meaning of the American Dream.

The Proving Ground [MOBI]

The Proving Ground [MOBI]
The Proving Ground by G Bruce Knecht
2011 | MOBI | 1.41MB

In this 10th Anniversary edition, with a new afterword from the author, G. Bruce Knecht tells the harrowing story of a world-renowned sailing race gone fatally bad.

On December 26, 1998, 115 sailboats crossed the starting line of the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The 630-nautical-mile contest is among the most difficult races in the world, a test of strength and endurance like few others. But no one could have foreseen the tragedy that would befall the competitors, who sailed into a massive storm that tore apart the fleet with hurricane-force winds and eighty-foot waves. What began as a race for glory rapidly became a fight for survival. In this gripping insider’s account, award-winning writer G. Bruce Knecht focuses on three yachts and their crews, weaving together an extraordinary story with vivid detail, outsized personalities, and high drama. Most importantly, he offers a glimpse into how people with very different backgrounds responded to something bigger than they were—and how it changed them forever. Hailed as “harrowing” by the New York Times, “pulse-pounding” by People magazine, and “the Perfect Storm of blue-water sailboat racing” by Walter Cronkite, The Proving Ground is a true-to-life adventure tale as thrilling as any work of fiction.

Partners in Crime: The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit [EPUB]

Partners in Crime: The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit [EPUB]
Partners in Crime: The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit by Jerome R Corsi
2016 | AZW3 | 1.4MB

In Partners in Crime, two-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jerome Corsi presents the detailed research and expert testimony proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Clinton Foundation is “a vast, criminal conspiracy,” also described in these pages as “a slush fund for grifters.”

Corsi exposes how the Clintons amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in personal net worth, while building a $2 billion empire in the Clinton Foundation. The victims are countless thousands of honest people who contributed their hard-earned money to what they thought were philanthropic causes. The sordid tale involves suspicion of Enron-like fraudulent accounting practices by none less than PricewaterhouseCoopers, a “Big Four” firm, as well as the several “shell corporations” and “pass-through” bank accounts Bill Clinton has established in secret to hide what amount to kickbacks from Clinton Foundation donors and sponsors.

In Partners in Crime, Corsi provides readers the names and addresses of state attorney generals throughout the country, explaining that any one state in the Union can get a temporary restraining order from a state judge to place the Clinton Foundation in receivership and launch law enforcement examinations of Clinton Family philanthropic fraud accomplished on a global scale.

It is not enough, Corsi concludes, to appeal to Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the 2016 presidential race in disgrace. A national campaign to “Shut Down the Clinton Foundation” must be launched, Corsi insists, to prevent Barack Obama and other heads of state worldwide from following the Clinton Family crime formula to create their own “charitable foundations” to enrich themselves upon leaving office.

No Greater Valor: The Siege of Bastogne and the Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory [EPUB]

No Greater Valor: The Siege of Bastogne and the Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory [EPUB]
No Greater Valor: The Siege of Bastogne and the Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory by Jerome R Corsi
2014 | EPUB | 3.74MB

Jerome Corsi’s newest opus, No Greater Valor, examines the Siege of Bastogne—one of the most heroic victories of WWII—with a focus on the surprising faith of the Americans who fought there.

In December of 1944, an outmanned, outgunned, and surrounded US force fought Hitler’s overwhelming Panzer divisions to a miraculous standstill at Bastogne. The underdogs had saved the war for the Allies. It was nothing short of miraculous.

Corsi’s analysis is based on a record of oral histories along with original field maps used by field commanders, battle orders, and other documentation made at the time of the military command. With a perspective gleaned from newspapers, periodicals, and newsreels of the day, Corsi paints a riveting portrait of one of the most important battles in world history.

Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier [EPUB]

Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier [EPUB]
Cyclogeography: Journeys of a London Bicycle Courier by Jon Day
2016 | EPUB | 1.64MB

Cyclogeography is about the bicycle in the cultural imagination and also a portrait of London as seen from the saddle. In the great tradition of the psychogeographers, Jon Day attempts to depart from the map and reclaim the streets of the city. Informed by several grinding years spent as a bicycle courier, he lifts the lid on the solitary life of the courier. Traveling the unmapped byways, shortcuts, and urban edgelands, couriers are the declining, invisible workforce of the city. The parcels they deliver keep things running. For those who survive the crushing toughness of the job, the bicycle can become what holds them together.

Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters – Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler [AZW3]

Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters – Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler [AZW3]
Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters – Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler by Allan H Ryskind
2015 | AZW3 | 1.36MB

Allan Ryskind, son of Marx Brothers screenwriter Morrie Ryskind (Animal Crackers, A Night at the Opera, Room Service), exposes the ugly truth about the Communists blacklisted from the film industry. Too often, the "Hollywood Ten" brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee are memorialized as victims of an unjust witch-hunt and heroes who stood up for free speech. The truth is shocking: Not only did these supposed liberal paragons adore Josef Stalin and take their orders directly from the Communist Party, but they also sympathized with Adolf Hitler.

Ryskind, who grew up in the heart of the Hollywood scene and personally knew many of the key players in this real-life Hollywood drama, has penned a definitive, myth-busting account of the Hollywood Ten and Hollywood Blacklist that will forever change the way you think about the ideological battle waged in the movie capital of the world. With glossy photographs.

German Europe by Ulrich Beck [EPUB]

German Europe by Ulrich Beck [EPUB]
German Europe by Ulrich Beck
2013 | EPUB | 0.8MB

The euro crisis is tearing Europe apart. But the heart of the matter is that, as the crisis unfolds, the basic rules of European democracy are being subverted or turned into their opposite, bypassing parliaments, governments and EU institutions. Multilateralism is turning into unilateralism, equality into hegemony, sovereignty into the dependency and recognition into disrespect for the dignity of other nations. Even France, which long dominated European integration, must submit to Berlin’s strictures now that it must fear for its international credit rating.

How did this happen? The anticipation of the European catastrophe has already fundamentally changed the European landscape of power. It is giving birth to a political monster: a German Europe.

Germany did not seek this leadership position - rather, it is a perfect illustration of the law of unintended consequences. The invention and implementation of the euro was the price demanded by France in order to pin Germany down to a European Monetary Union in the context of German unification. It was a quid pro quo for binding a united Germany into a more integrated Europe in which France would continue to play the leading role. But the precise opposite has happened. Economically the euro turned out to be very good for Germany, and with the euro crisis Chancellor Angela Merkel became the informal Queen of Europe.

The new grammar of power reflects the difference between creditor and debtor countries; it is not a military but an economic logic. Its ideological foundation is ‘German euro nationalism’ - that is, an extended European version of the Deutschmark nationalism that underpinned German identity after the Second World War. In this way the German model of stability is being surreptitiously elevated into the guiding idea for Europe.

The Europe we have now will not be able to survive in the risk-laden storms of the globalized world. The EU has to be more than a grim marriage sustained by the fear of the chaos that would be caused by its breakdown. It has to be built on something more positive: a vision of rebuilding Europe bottom-up, creating a Europe of the citizen. There is no better way to reinvigorate Europe than through the coming together of ordinary Europeans acting on their own behalf.