The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy [EPUB]

The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy [EPUB]
The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy by Catherine Hickley
2015 | EPUB | 18.51MB

In February 2012, in a Munich flat belonging to the elderly recluse, Cornelius Gurlitt, German customs authorities seized an astonishing hoard of more than 1,400 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. When Hildebrand Gurlitt's trove became public in November 2013, it caused a worldwide media sensation.

Catherine Hickley has delved into archives and conducted dozens of interviews to uncover the story behind the headlines. Her book illuminates a dark period of German history, untangling a web of deceit and silence that has prevented the heirs of Jewish collectors from recovering art stolen from their families more than seven decades ago by the Nazis. Hickley recounts the shady history of the Gurlitt hoard and brings its story right up to date, as 21st-century politicians and lawyers puzzle over the inadequacies of a legal framework that to this day falls short in securing justice for the heirs of those robbed by the Nazis. Hickley is a leading voice in German arts and culture and an expert on Nazi-looted art and appeared on the Imagine documentary on Gurlitt in 2014.

Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure [EPUB]

Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure [EPUB]
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald Kladstrup, Petie Kladstrup
2001 | EPUB | 1.68MB

In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown—until now. Wine and War tells the alternately thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them.

By rooting the narrative in the stories of five prominent winemaking families from France's key wine-producing regions of Burgundy, Alsace, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, and Champagne, journalists Don and Petie Kladstrup vividly illustrate how men and women risked their lives for a cause that meant saving the heart and soul of France as much as protecting its economy. It was a extraordinary partnership involving everyone from the owners of Paris's famed restaurant La Tour d'Argent who rushed to build a wall to conceal their most precious twenty thousand bottles, to French soldiers who triumphantly reclaimed Hitler's enormous cache of stolen wines at the conclusion of the war.

Wine and War portrays the central role wine has long played in France’s military campaigns—how Napoleon ordered wagon loads of champagne to sustain the morale of his armies and how, during World War I, huge quantites of wine were shipped to soldiers in the trenches of Northern France. By the beginning of World War II, wine represented a living for nearly 20 percent of France's population and the authors chronicle the Nazis' determination to seize control of the French wine industry and its profits. At the same time, Wine and War brings to light the resourcefulness of wine producers who employed spiderwebs to "age" false walls hiding their best wines, who foisted off their worst bottles on the Germans or gleefully misdirected shipments, sending champagne to Homburg instead of Hamburg, and who sabotaged trains transporting wine to Germany. It also recounts the heroics of winemakers who hid Jewish refugees and smuggled members of the Resistance across the Demarcation Line in wine barrels, as well as the villainy of collaborators who worked with Nazi occupiers for their own benefit.

Finally, Wine and War reveals that the French were not alone in trying to save their wine. They received help from unexpected quarters: the German weinfuhrers, the very men the Nazis sent to requisition wine, whose close ties to the French wine industry mitigated their actions, and even the collaborationist Vichy regime, which recognized the importance of keeping France's vineyards French, and prevented the Nazis from seizing the Jewish-owned Chateaux Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite-Rothschild.

Based on three years of research and interviews with the survivors who engaged in this epic enterprise, Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.

The Last Battle: When US and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe [Audiobook]

The Last Battle: When US and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe [Audiobook]
The Last Battle: When US and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe [Audiobook] by Stephen Harding, read by Joe Barrett
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 16 mins | 197.78MB

May 1945. Hitler is dead, and the Third Reich is little more than smoking rubble. No GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis. But for cigar-chewing, rough-talking, hard-drinking, hard-charging Captain Jack Lee and his men, there is one more mission: rescue 14 prominent French prisoners held in an SS-guarded castle high in the Austrian Alps. It's a dangerous mission, but Lee has help from a decorated German Wehrmacht officer and his men, who voluntarily join the fight.

Based on personal memoirs, author interviews, and official American, German, and French histories, The Last Battle is the nearly unbelievable story of the most improbable battle of World War II - a tale of unlikely allies, bravery, cowardice, and desperate combat between implacable enemies.

The Dialectic of Duration [EPUB]

The Dialectic of Duration [EPUB]
The Dialectic of Duration by Gaston Bachelard
2016 | EPUB | 1.4MB

In The Dialectic of Duration Gaston Bachelard addresses the nature of time in response to the writings of his great contemporary, Henri Bergson. The work is motivated by a refutation of Bergson’s notion of duration – ‘lived time’, experienced as continuous. For Bachelard, experienced time is irreducibly fractured and interrupted, as indeed are material events. At stake is an entire conception of the physical world, an entire approach to the philosophy of science.

It was in this work that Bachelard first marshalled all the components of his visionary philosophy of science, with its steady insistence on the human context and subtle encompassing of the irrational within the rational. The Dialectic of Duration reaches far beyond local arguments over the nature of the physical world to gesture toward the building of an entirely new form of philosophy.

The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them [Audiobook]

The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them [Audiobook]
The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them [Audiobook] by David Richo, read by Tom Pile
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 51 mins | 216.55MB

Why is it that despite our best efforts, many of us remain fundamentally unhappy and unfulfilled in our lives? In this provocative and inspiring audiobook, David Richo distills 30 years of experience as a therapist to explain the underlying roots of unhappiness - and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. There are certain facts of life that we cannot change - the unavoidable "givens" of human existence: (1) everything changes and ends, (2) things do not always go according to plan, (3) life is not always fair, (4) pain is a part of life, and (5) people are not loving and loyal all the time.

Richo shows us that by dropping our deep-seated resistance to these givens, we can find liberation and discover the true richness that life has to offer. Blending Western psychology and Eastern spirituality, including practical exercises, Richo shows us how to open up to our lives - including to what is frightening, painful, or disappointing - and discover our greatest gifts.

Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers [Audiobook]

Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers [Audiobook]
Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P L Travers [Audiobook] by Valerie Lawson, read by Terry Donnelly
2013 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 12 mins | MB

The story of Mary Poppins, the quintessentially English and utterly magical children's nanny, is remarkable enough. She flew into the lives of the unsuspecting Banks family in a children's book that was instantly hailed as a classic, then became a household name when Julie Andrews stepped into the starring role in Walt Disney's hugely successful and equally classic film. Now she is a Broadway sensation all over again.

But the story of Mary Poppins's creator, as this first biography reveals, is just as unexpected and remarkable. The fabulous English nanny was conceived by an Australian, Pamela Lyndon Travers, who in 1924 came to London from Sydney as a journalist. She became involved with theosophy and traveled in the literary circles of W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot. Most famously, she clashed with "the great convincer" Walt Disney over the adaptation of the Mary Poppins books into film.

Travers, whom Disney accused of vanity for "thinking you [Travers] know more about Mary Poppins than I do," was as tart and opinionated as Julie Andrews's big-screen Mary Poppins was cheery and porcelain beautiful. "You've got the nose for it," Travers candidly assessed the star. Yet it was a love of mysticism and magic that shaped P. L. Travers's life as well as the character of Mary Poppins. The clipped, strict, and ultimately mysterious nanny was the conception of someone who remained thoroughly inscrutable and enigmatic to the end of her 96 years.

"Who is P. L. Travers?" the American press inquired of "this unknown Englishwoman" whose creation resulting in Hollywood gold had won her international fame. Valerie Lawson's illuminating biography, Mary Poppins, She Wrote, provides the first and only glimpse into the mind of a writer who fervently believed that "Everyday life is the miracle."

Masking Evil: When Good Men and Women Turn Criminal [EPUB]

Masking Evil: When Good Men and Women Turn Criminal [EPUB]
Masking Evil: When Good Men and Women Turn Criminal by Carol Anne Davis
2016 | EPUB | 0.5MB

All of these men and women were in good professions… and all of them were hiding dark secrets.

Why do outwardly normal people commit horrendous crimes? In this collection of incisive profiles, veteran crime writer Carol Anne Davis turns the spotlight on men and women from respectable backgrounds who crossed the line into depravity. Whether a model pupil, a trusted member of the clergy or the chief of police, these otherwise ordinary people revealed their hidden capacity for the darkest crimes.

Over 35 profiles, including:

  • The Sunday school teachers who killed their spouses in order to be together
  • The nurse who wanted a baby so badly that she cut one from another woman’s womb
  • The trainee vet who tried to kill his ex-girlfriend’s entire family out of jealousy

The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts [EPUB]

The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts [EPUB]
The Philosopher and the Druids: A Journey Among the Ancient Celts by Philip Freeman
2006 | EPUB + PDF | 0.6/2.74MB

Early in the first century B.C. a Greek philosopher named Posidonius began an ambitious and dangerous journey into the little-known lands of the Celts. A man of great intellectual curiosity and considerable daring, Posidonius traveled from his home on the island of Rhodes to Rome, the capital of the expanding empire that had begun to dominate the Mediterranean. From there Posidonius planned to investigate for himself the mysterious Celts, reputed to be cannibals and savages. His journey would be one of the great adventures of the ancient world.

Posidonius journeyed deep into the heart of the Celtic lands in Gaul. There he discovered that the Celts were not barbarians but a sophisticated people who studied the stars, composed beautiful poetry, and venerated a priestly caste known as the Druids. Celtic warriors painted their bodies, wore pants, and decapitated their foes. Posidonius was amazed at the Celtic women, who enjoyed greater freedoms than the women of Rome, and was astonished to discover that women could even become Druids.

Posidonius returned home and wrote a book about his travels among the Celts, which became one of the most popular books of ancient times. His work influenced Julius Caesar, who would eventually conquer the people of Gaul and bring the Celts into the Roman Empire, ending forever their ancient way of life. Thanks to Posidonius, who could not have known that he was recording a way of life soon to disappear, we have an objective, eyewitness account of the lives and customs of the ancient Celts.

The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder [EPUB]

The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder [EPUB]
The Spider and the Fly: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder by Claudia Rowe
2017 | EPUB | 0.6MB

In this superb work of literary true crime—a spellbinding combination of memoir and psychological suspense—a female journalist chronicles her unusual connection with a convicted serial killer and her search to understand the darkness inside us.

"Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I’ll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you’re honest, as honest as any reporter. . . . You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn’t it?"—Kendall Francois

In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite twenty-seven-year-old community college student, shared with his parents and sister.

Growing up amid the safe, bourgeois affluence of New York City, Rowe had always been secretly fascinated by the darkness, and soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed with the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women—and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims’ rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil.

Reaching out after Francois was arrested, Rowe and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion, and control; an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss, forcing her to clearly see herself and her own past—and why she was drawn to danger.