Corporate Energy: How to Engage and Inspire Audiences [EPUB]

Corporate Energy: How to Engage and Inspire Audiences [EPUB]
Corporate Energy: How to Engage and Inspire Audiences by Chris Atkinson
2016 | EPUB | 2.07MB

NOW IS A CRITICAL TIME TO INCREASE THE PERSONAL IMPACT YOU HAVE ON COLLEAGUES, CUSTOMERS AND STAKEHOLDERS.

Research into the subject of engagement and inspiration demonstrates the huge impact these elements can have on organisational culture, performance and individual careers. Unfortunately, the weight of research is not matched by clear and descriptive 'how to' guides explaining the techniques available to achieve these things. There are few programmes, very few books and mostly it's been assumed you have either "got it, or you haven't". This simply isn't true. This is the first book to offer a complete guide to the skills and techniques to become a more inspirational and engaging communicator. It is essential reading for anyone who needs to engage audiences whether it be in meetings, training courses or formal presentations. You will learn innovative ways to introduce and discuss content with groups as well as techniques and strategies to energise audiences, transform boring topics and get interest, handle hostile questions or audiences, leverage storytelling as a vehicle for leadership and use novel technologies to engage others.

This truly engaging book is printed in full colour, packed with imagery, graphics and clear illustrations of the concepts which brings the content to life and makes it highly accessible to the reader.

A Geek in China: Discovering the Land of Alibaba, Bullet Trains and Dim Sum [EPUB]

A Geek in China: Discovering the Land of Alibaba, Bullet Trains and Dim Sum [EPUB]
A Geek in China: Discovering the Land of Alibaba, Bullet Trains and Dim Sum by Matthew B Christensen
2016 | EPUB | 7.51MB

For every fan of kung fu, steamed dumplings, Confucius and giant skyscrapers, A Geek in China is a hip, smart and concise guide to the Middle Kingdom.

Packed with photographs and short articles on all aspects of Chinese culture, past and present, A Geek in China introduces readers to everything from Taoism and Confucianism to pop music and China's new middle class. A mix of traditional culture, such as highlights of Chinese history, great historical and mythological figures, traditional medicine, how the Chinese language works, real Chinese food, martial arts, and how the Chinese Communist Party works, is complimented with information on what makes China unique today.

Chapters discuss why China is so crowded, what it's like to work in an office, internet and cell phone culture, dating and marriage practices, top popular movies and movie stars, the contemporary art scene, China's amazing new architecture and infrastructure, and popular holidays. It also contains chapters on what makes the Chinese tick, such as the importance of harmony in society, the practice of humility, and the importance of hierarchy. For visitors to the country, the author includes sections on what to see, both common cultural sites and off-the-beaten-track sites, and how to get around in China. Sections on visiting Hong Kong and Taiwan are also included.

This China travel guide is a unique guide to the world's most populous and longest continuous culture. Readers will learn essential information about China's past and present to be able to understand the many references to history, politics, and pop culture that come up in everyday conversation and in the media.

Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia [Audiobook]

Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia [Audiobook]
Putin Country: A Journey into the Real Russia [Audiobook] by Anne Garrels, read by the Author
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 12 mins | 223.8MB

More than twenty years ago, the NPR correspondent Anne Garrels first visited Chelyabinsk, a gritty military-industrial center a thousand miles east of Moscow. The longtime home of the Soviet nuclear program, the Chelyabinsk region contained beautiful lakes, shuttered factories, mysterious closed cities, and some of the most polluted places on earth. Garrels’s goal was to chart the aftershocks of the U.S.S.R.’s collapse by traveling to Russia’s heartland.

Returning again and again, Garrels found that the area’s new freedoms and opportunities were exciting but also traumatic. As the economic collapse of the early 1990s abated, the city of Chelyabinsk became richer and more cosmopolitan, even as official corruption and intolerance for minorities grew more entrenched. Sushi restaurants proliferated; so did shakedowns. In the neighboring countryside, villages crumbled into the ground. Far from the glitz of Moscow, the people of Chelyabinsk were working out their country’s destiny, person by person.

In Putin Country, Garrels crafts an intimate portrait of Middle Russia. We meet upwardly mobile professionals, impassioned activists who champion the rights of orphans and disabled children, and ostentatious mafiosi. We discover surprising subcultures, such as a vibrant underground gay community and a circle of determined Protestant evangelicals. And we watch doctors and teachers trying to cope with inescapable payoffs and institutionalized negligence. As Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on power and war in Ukraine leads to Western sanctions and a lower standard of living, the local population mingles belligerent nationalism with a deep ambivalence about their country’s direction. Through it all, Garrels sympathetically charts an ongoing identity crisis. In the aftermath of the Soviet Union, what is Russia? What kind of pride and cohesion can it offer? Drawing on close friendships sustained over many years, Garrels explains why Putin commands the loyalty of so many Russians, even those who decry the abuses of power they regularly encounter.

Correcting the misconceptions of Putin’s supporters and critics alike, Garrels’s portrait of Russia’s silent majority is both essential and engaging reading at a time when cold war tensions are resurgent.

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis [EPUB]

The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis [EPUB]
The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis by James Rickards
2016 | EPUB | 1.45MB

The bestselling author of The Death of Money and Currency Wars reveals the global elites' dark effort to hide a coming catastrophe from investors.

A drumbeat is sounding among the global elites. The signs of a worldwide financial meltdown are unmistakable. This time, the elites have an audacious plan to protect themselves from the fallout: hoarding cash now and locking down the global financial system when a crisis hits.

Since 2014, international monetary agencies have been issuing warnings to a small group of finance ministers, banks, and private equity funds: the U.S. government’s cowardly choices not to prosecute J.P. Morgan and its ilk, and to bloat the economy with a $4 trillion injection of easy credit, are driving us headlong toward a cliff.

As Rickards shows in this frightening, meticulously researched book, governments around the world have no compunction about conspiring against their citizens. They will have stockpiled hard assets when stock exchanges are closed, ATMs shut down, money market funds frozen, asset managers instructed not to sell securities, negative interest rates imposed, and cash withdrawals denied.

If you want to plan for the risks ahead, you will need Rickards’s cutting-edge synthesis of behavioral economics, history, and complexity theory. It’s a guidebook to thinking smarter, acting faster, and living with the comfort­ing knowledge that your wealth is secure.

The global elites don’t want this book to exist. Their plan to herd us like sheep to the slaughter when a global crisis erupts—and, of course, to maintain their wealth—works only if we remain complacent and unaware. Thanks to The Road to Ruin, we don’t need to be.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood [Audiobook]

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood [Audiobook]
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood [Audiobook] by Trevor Noah, read by the Author
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 50 mins | 240.24MB

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming-of-age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

Trevor Noah is the host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he gleefully provides America with its nightly dose of serrated satire. He is a light-footed but cutting observer of the relentless absurdities of politics, nationalism, and race - and in particular the craziness of his own young life, which he's lived at the intersections of culture and history.

In his first book, Noah tells his coming-of-age story with his larger-than-life mother during the last gasps of apartheid-era South Africa and the turbulent years that followed. Noah was born illegal - the son of a white Dutch father and a black Xhosa mother, who had to pretend to be his nanny or his father's servant in the brief moments when the family came together. His brilliantly eccentric mother loomed over his life - a comically zealous Christian (they went to church six days a week and three times on Sunday), a savvy hustler who kept food on their table during rough times, and an aggressively involved, if often seriously misguided, parent who set Noah on his bumpy path to stardom.

The stories Noah tells are sometimes dark, occasionally bizarre, frequently tender, and always hilarious - whether he's subsisting on caterpillars during months of extreme poverty or making comically pitiful attempts at teenage romance in a color-obsessed world; whether he's being thrown into jail as the hapless fall guy for a crime he didn't commit or being thrown by his mother from a speeding car driven by murderous gangsters.

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In [Audiobook]

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In [Audiobook]
Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In [Audiobook] by Bernie Sanders, read by Bernie Sanders, Mark Ruffalo
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 18 hrs 35 mins | 511.08MB

This program is read by the author and Mark Ruffalo, an award-winning actor, director, producer, and social activist.

When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a "fringe" campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.

By the time Sanders' campaign came to a close, however, it was clear that the pundits had gotten it wrong. Bernie had run one of the most consequential campaigns in the modern history of the country. He had received more than 13 million votes in primaries and caucuses throughout the country and won 22 states, and more than 1.4 million people had attended his public meetings. Most important, he showed that the American people were prepared to take on the greed and irresponsibility of corporate America and the 1 percent.

In Our Revolution, Sanders shares his personal experiences from the campaign trail, recounting the details of his historic primary fight and the people who made it possible. And for the millions looking to continue the political revolution, he outlines a progressive economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda that will create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, and provide health care for all - and ultimately transform our country and our world for the better. For him, the political revolution has just started. The campaign may be over, but the struggle goes on.

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction [Audiobook]

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction [Audiobook]
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction [Audiobook] by Maia Szalavitz, read by Marisa Vitali
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 36 mins | 346.89MB

More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to or recovering from addiction, whether it's alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the Internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th-century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and equally outdated treatment.

Challenging both the idea of the addict's "broken brain" and the notion of a simple "addictive personality", Unbroken Brain offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addiction is a learning disorder, and shows how seeing the condition this way can untangle our current debates over treatment, prevention, and policy. Like autistic traits, addictive behaviors fall on a spectrum - and they can be a normal response to an extreme situation. By illustrating what addiction is and is not, the book illustrates how timing, history, family, peers, culture, and chemicals come together to create both illness and recovery - and why there is no "addictive personality" or single treatment that works for all.

Combining Maia Szalavitz's personal story with a distillation of more than 25 years of science and research, Unbroken Brain provides a paradigm-shifting approach to thinking about addiction.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing [Audiobook]

Do Not Say We Have Nothing [Audiobook]
Do Not Say We Have Nothing [Audiobook] by Madeleine Thien, read by Angela Lin
2016 | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB | 20 hrs 11 mins | 277.57MB

Winner of the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize
Finalist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize

“In a single year, my father left us twice. The first time, to end his marriage, and the second, when he took his own life. I was ten years old.”

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations―those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences.

With maturity and sophistication, humor and beauty, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of life inside China yet transcendent in its universality.

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Path of the Buddha [Audiobook]

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Path of the Buddha [Audiobook]
Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Path of the Buddha [Audiobook] by Bhante Henepola Gunarantana, read by Julian Elfer
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hrs 41 mins | 264.79MB

In the same engaging style that has endeared him to listeners of Mindfulness in Plain English, Bhante Gunaratana delves deeply into each step of the Buddha's most profound teaching on bringing an end to suffering: the noble eightfold path. With generous and specific advice, Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness offers skillful ways to handle anger, to find right livelihood, and to cultivate loving-friendliness in relationships with parents, children, and partners, as well as tools to overcome all the mental hindrances that prevent happiness. Whether you are an experienced meditator or someone who's only just beginning, this gentle and down-to-earth guide will help you bring the heart of the Buddha's teachings into every aspect of your life.

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English [Audiobook]

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English [Audiobook]
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English [Audiobook] by Bhante Henepola Gunarantana, read by Peter Wickham
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 22 mins | 147.3MB

In simple and straightforward language, Bhante Gunaratana shares the Buddha's teachings on mindfulness and how we can use these principles to improve our daily lives, deepen our mindfulness, and move closer to our spiritual goals. Based on the classic Satipatthana Sutta, one of the most succinct yet rich explanations of meditation, Bhante's presentation is nonetheless thoroughly modern. The Satipatthana Sutta has become the basis of all mindfulness meditation, and Bhante unveils it to the listener in his trademark "plain English" style. Contemplating the Four Foundations of Mindfulness - mindfulness of the body, of feelings, of the mind, and of phenomena themselves - is recommended for all practitioners.

Newcomers will find The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English lays a strong groundwork for mindfulness practice and gives them all they need to get started right away, and old hands will find rich subtleties and insights to help consolidate and clarify what they may have begun to see for themselves. People at every state of the spiritual path will benefit from listening to this book.

Witness to the Revolution [EPUB]

Witness to the Revolution [EPUB]
Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul by Clara Bingham
2016 | EPUB | 65.86MB

The electrifying story of the turbulent year when the sixties ended and America teetered on the edge of revolution

As the 1960s drew to a close, the United States was coming apart at the seams. From August 1969 to August 1970, the nation witnessed nine thousand protests and eighty-four acts of arson or bombings at schools across the country. It was the year of the My Lai massacre investigation, the Cambodia invasion, Woodstock, and the Moratorium to End the War. The American death toll in Vietnam was approaching fifty thousand, and the ascendant counterculture was challenging nearly every aspect of American society. Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham’s unique oral history of that tumultuous time, unveils anew that moment when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long, futile war abroad.

Woven together from one hundred original interviews, Witness to the Revolution provides a firsthand narrative of that period of upheaval in the words of those closest to the action—the activists, organizers, radicals, and resisters who manned the barricades of what Students for a Democratic Society leader Tom Hayden called “the Great Refusal.”

We meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground; Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department employee who released the Pentagon Papers; feminist theorist Robin Morgan; actor and activist Jane Fonda; and many others whose powerful personal stories capture the essence of an era. We witness how the killing of four students at Kent State turned a straitlaced social worker into a hippie, how the civil rights movement gave birth to the women’s movement, and how opposition to the war in Vietnam turned college students into prisoners, veterans into peace marchers, and intellectuals into bombers.

With lessons that can be applied to our time, Witness to the Revolution is more than just a record of the death throes of the Age of Aquarius. Today, when America is once again enmeshed in racial turmoil, extended wars overseas, and distrust of the government, the insights contained in this book are more relevant than ever.

The Closing of the American Mind [Audiobook]

The Closing of the American Mind [Audiobook]
The Closing of the American Mind [Audiobook] by Allan Bloom, read by Christopher Hurt
1999 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 37 mins | 404.7MB

THE BRILLIANT AND CONTROVERSIAL CRITIQUE OF AMERICAN CULTURE WITH NEARLY A MILLION COPIES IN PRINT

In 1987, eminent political philosopher Allan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind, an appraisal of contemporary America that “hits with the approximate force and effect of electroshock therapy” (The New York Times) and has not only been vindicated, but has also become more urgent today. In clear, spirited prose, Bloom argues that the social and political crises of contemporary America are part of a larger intellectual crisis: the result of a dangerous narrowing of curiosity and exploration by the university elites.

The Hunt for Vulcan: …And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe [Audiobook]

The Hunt for Vulcan: …And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe [Audiobook]
The Hunt for Vulcan: And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe [Audiobook] by Thomas Levenson, read by Kevin Pariseau
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 49 mins | 159.41MB

The captivating, all-but-forgotten story of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and the search for a planet that never existed

For more than 50 years, the world's top scientists searched for the "missing" planet Vulcan, whose existence was mandated by Isaac Newton's theories of gravity. Countless hours were spent on the hunt for the elusive orb, and some of the era's most skilled astronomers even claimed to have found it.

There was just one problem: It was never there.

In The Hunt for Vulcan, Thomas Levenson follows the visionary scientists who inhabit the story of the phantom planet, starting with Isaac Newton, who, in 1687, provided an explanation for all matter in motion throughout the universe, leading to Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier, who, almost two centuries later, built on Newton's theories and discovered Neptune, becoming the most famous scientist in the world. Le Verrier attempted to surpass that triumph by predicting the existence of yet another planet in our solar system: Vulcan.

It took Albert Einstein to discern that the mystery of the missing planet was a problem not of measurements or math but of Newton's theory of gravity itself. Einstein's general theory of relativity proved that Vulcan did not and could not exist and that the search for it had merely been a quirk of operating under the wrong set of assumptions about the universe. Levenson tells the previously untold tale of how the "discovery" of Vulcan in the 19th century set the stage for Einstein's monumental breakthrough, the greatest individual intellectual achievement of the 20th century.

A dramatic human story of an epic quest, The Hunt for Vulcan offers insight into how science really advances (as opposed to the way we're taught about it in school) and how the best work of the greatest scientists reveals an artist's sensibility. Opening a new window onto our world, Levenson illuminates some of our most iconic ideas as he recounts one of the strangest episodes in the history of science.

Paper: Paging Through History [Audiobook]

Paper: Paging Through History [Audiobook]
Paper: Paging Through History [Audiobook] by Mark Kurlansky, read by Andrew Garman
2016 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 41 mins | 373.33MB

From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today's world.

Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. One has only to look at history's greatest press run, which produced 6.5 billion copies of Mao zhuxi yulu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong), which doesn't include editions in 37 foreign languages and in brailleto appreciate the range and influence of a single publication, in paper. Or take the fact that one of history's most revered artists, Leonardo da Vinci, left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. And though the colonies were at the time calling for a boycott of all British goods, the one exception they made speaks to the essentiality of the material; they penned the Declaration of Independence on British paper. Now, amid discussion of "going paperless" and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant, we've come to a world-historic juncture.

Thousands of years ago, Socrates and Plato warned that written language would be the end of "true knowledge", replacing the need to excise memory and think through complex questions. Similar arguments were made about the switch from handwritten to printed books, and today about the role of computer technology. By tracing paper's evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the 21st century and illuminates our times.

The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature [TTC Video]

The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature [TTC Video]
The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature [TTC Video] by Marc C Conner
Course No 8740 | MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.73GB

1902: Yeats’s play Cathleen ni-Houlihan debuts in Dublin, spreading a mythic story that inspires Irish nationalists.

1916: A group of rebels takes over key landmarks throughout Dublin in a failed attempt to spark a revolution across the country.

1916: James Joyce publishes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a deeply personal reflection of his own exploration of identity, mirroring Ireland’s struggle to define its national identity.

1921: Michael Collins returns from England with a treaty by which the transition to an independent Ireland can finally begin, but back home, nationalists are extremely displeased.

These are just a few of the monumental occurrences and artistic events that rocked the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Ireland gradually shook off the shackles of British rule. Alongside a long and painful political process arose one of the greatest flourishings of literature in modern times—a spirited discourse among those who sought to shape their nation’s future, finding the significance of their bloody present intimately entwined with their legendary past. As nationalists including Charles Stewart Parnell, Patrick Pearse, and Michael Collins studied their political situation and sought a road to independence, writers such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, J. M. Synge, Lady Gregory, and many others took a close look at the emerging Irish identity and captured the spirit of the nation’s ongoing history in their works.

The Irish Renaissance—or Irish Revival—that occurred around the turn of the 20th century fused and elevated aesthetic and civic ambitions, fueling a cultural climate of masterful artistic creation and resolute political self-determination reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance. Delve into this remarkable period with The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature. Over the course of 36 enthralling lectures, Professor Marc Conner of Washington and Lee University reveals the multifaceted story of the Irish Renaissance through an exploration of its complex history and remarkable literature.

After laying the groundwork of ancient Irish history and centuries of British rule—from the Norman invasion in the 12th century through the brutal Penal Laws and the Great Famine—Professor Conner brings you inside the Irish Revival, when a group of writers began taking a keen interest in the uniquely Irish culture, from its language to its art to its mythology. This fascination fed into the growing demand for Irish nationhood, for the arts, culture, and politics of the time are inextricable.

Uncovering Ireland’s mythic cultural history worked in tandem with promoting the power of a nationalist political movement. As a consequence of British rule, the Protestant Ascendancy had become the dominant land-owning and political class, leaving Catholics and Irish country folk to nurture their identity, history, and myths under strong—often brutal—oppression. As you’ll discover in these lectures, the formation of the Irish identity in the early 20th century was a fierce struggle—a story clearly captured in the literature of the era.

See How Art Meets Politics in the Irish Revival

The Irish Revival was a literary and cultural movement in which the Irish celebrated their history and heritage through sports, language, and literature. The movement emerged in parallel with the Home Rule efforts to free Ireland from British dominion. You’ll see how politicians such as O’Connell and Parnell pushed for reforms and championed Irish nationalism. Meanwhile, writers including Yeats and Lady Gregory were rediscovering myths and heroes such as Cuchulain and Finn MacCumhaill and bringing them to the center of national consciousness through poetry and plays. The result is some of the world’s most dazzling literature—with Irish political history never far below the surface.

Professor Conner unpacks a wealth of deep insights from this great literature:

  • Go inside George Bernard Shaw’s determination to dominate the London stage, and see how he used his platform to satirize British social classes.
  • Trace the development of W. B. Yeats, who is certainly the greatest Irish poet of the era, from his early explorations of Irish mythology to his later complex Modernism.
  • Find out why Lady Gregory is one of the period’s truly great masters—and consider how she reconciled her background in the Protestant Ascendancy with her love for Irish folk life.
  • Visit the Aran Islands with J. M. Synge and encounter the beauty and wonder of Ireland’s rural life that so captivated him—and then find out why Dublin theatergoers were not enamored of his portrayals of Irish country folk.
  • Survey the life and career of James Joyce, from his early mastery of the short story to his enigmatic Finnegans Wake. Discover a way into even his most complex works.
  • Witness the founding of the Abbey Theatre and see how a national theater empowered playwrights such as Synge, Sean O’Casey, and many others.
  • Meet Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, and other post-Revival poets who understood the intricacies of Irish history but who had different views of national identity that in some cases ran completely against the project of Yeats.

Great art is historical, and while this survey of great writers goes deep into both ancient myths and the modern aesthetic, this course presents historical context you wouldn’t find in an ordinary literature class. Likewise, this literary vantage presents a unique view of history that facts and figures alone wouldn’t cover.

Survey the Political and Aesthetic Quest for an Irish Identity

One central tension Irish writers faced was what language to write in. Did they express national solidarity by writing in Irish, and risk a career of provincial obscurity? Or did they choose to reach a wider audience in English, the language of the conqueror? This choice is fraught with complex political questions about freedom and identity—a long and complicated battle over many decades.

Here, Professor Conner unpacks the quest for an independent identity and introduces you to many of its key figures.

  • Meet Wolfe Tone and the other early revolutionaries who saw independence as a worthy goal.
  • Encounter Daniel O’Connell as he succeeded in achieving Catholic emancipation but failed to secure a repeal of the Act of Union.
  • Follow the rise and fall of Charles Stewart Parnell and his Home Rule Bill.
  • Witness James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, and other revolutionaries stage the Easter Rising of 1916.
  • Watch as Michael Collins led a guerilla campaign culminating in a treaty that laid the groundwork for a free Ireland.
  • Find out how Eamon de Valera re-entered politics after the Irish Civil War and eventually led the country to a complete break with Britain.

The literature of the period presents a unique window into this captivating story, because while the political leaders and revolutionaries were acting to carve out an Irish identity on the world’s stage, poets, playwrights, and novelists were creating the Irish identity in their works and capturing the essence of this epic struggle. For instance, Yeats’s great poem “Easter 1916” contains the famous lines, “All changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born.” Find out what Yeats meant and how he viewed the political turmoil of his day.

Another masterful Irish author, James Joyce, spent his career largely in exile and is often viewed as a primarily European-Modernist writer. But as you’ll discover in this course, it is impossible to separate his Irish identity from his fiction. The struggle for independence underlies all of his great works, from the citizens’ paralysis in the stories of Dubliners to the domestic concerns of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to his new notion of heroism in Ulysses. Stepping into the events contemporary with their writing deepens our understanding of these books, and engaging with these books deepens our understanding of history.

Gain New Appreciation for the Irish Identity

The course of Irish history is often a story of conflict, but it is also the story of endurance. The people of Ireland persevered through a centuries-long pursuit of independence, and the culmination of their political fight for self-determination also coincided with the flowering of their quest to define cultural identity.

Whether you’re studying the Dublin lockouts and Bloody Sunday or re-thinking the definition of heroism in Ulysses (written against the backdrop of World War I), the Irish Renaissance is a powerful, complex period—and Professor Conner’s unique approach in The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature brings this riveting history to life.

“Many monumental occurrences and artistic events rocked the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as Ireland gradually shook off the shackles of British rule. Alongside a long and painful political process arose one of the greatest flourishings of literature in modern times—a spirited discourse among those who sought to shape their nation’s future, finding the significance of their bloody present intimately entwined with their legendary past.

  • 1902: Yeats’s play Cathleen ni-Houlihan debuts in Dublin, spreading a mythic story that inspires Irish nationalists.
  • 1916: A group of rebels takes over key landmarks throughout Dublin in a failed attempt to spark a revolution across the country.
  • 1916: James Joyce publishes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a deeply personal reflection of his own exploration of identity, mirroring Ireland’s struggle to define its national identity.
  • 1921: Michael Collins returns from England with a treaty by which the transition to an independent Ireland can finally begin, but back home, nationalists are extremely displeased.

As nationalists including Charles Stewart Parnell, Patrick Pearse, and Michael Collins studied their political situation and sought a road to independence, writers such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, J. M. Synge, Lady Gregory, and many others took a close look at the emerging Irish identity and captured the spirit of the nation’s ongoing history in their works.”

The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature [TTC Video]