Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World [EPUB]

Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World [EPUB]
Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World by Robert D Kaplan
2017 | EPUB | 4.6MB

An incisive portrait of the American landscape that shows how geography continues to determine America’s role in the world—from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography and Balkan Ghosts

As a boy, Robert D. Kaplan listened to his truck-driver father tell evocative stories about traveling across America in his youth, travels in which he learned to understand the country literally from the ground up. There was a specific phrase from Kaplan’s childhood that captured this perspective: A westward traveler must “earn the Rockies” by driving—not flying—across the flat Midwest and Great Plains.

In Earning the Rockies, Kaplan undertakes his own cross-country journey to recapture an appreciation of American geography often lost in the jet age. Traveling west, in the same direction as the pioneers, Kaplan traverses a rich and varied landscape that remains the primary source of American power. Along the way, he witnesses both prosperity and decline—increasingly cosmopolitan cities that thrive on globalization, impoverished towns denuded by the loss of manufacturing—and paints a bracingly clear picture of America today.

The history of westward expansion is examined here in a new light—as a story not just of genocide and individualism, but also of communalism and a respect for the limits of a water-starved terrain, a frontier experience that bent our national character toward pragmatism. Kaplan shows how the great midcentury works of geography and geopolitics by Bernard DeVoto, Walter Prescott Webb, and Wallace Stegner are more relevant today than ever before. Concluding his journey at Naval Base San Diego, Kaplan looks out across the Pacific Ocean to the next frontier: China, India, and the emerging nations of Asia. And in the final chapter, he provides a gripping description of an anarchic world and explains why America’s foreign policy response ought to be rooted in its own geographical situation.

In this short, intense meditation on the American landscape, Robert D. Kaplan reminds us of an overlooked source of American strength: the fact that we are a nation, empire, and continent all at once. Earning the Rockies is an urgent reminder of how a nation’s geography still foreshadows its future, and how we must reexamine our own landscape in order to confront the challenges that lie before us.

Daily Life of the Ancient Romans [EPUB]

Daily Life of the Ancient Romans [EPUB]
Daily Life of the Ancient Romans by David Matz
2001 | EPUB | 4.95MB

Use this fascinating reference resource to find out what it meant to be a typical Ancient Roman. Using plenty of anecdotal material written by Romans themselves, this volume explores the ins and outs of daily living for ordinary people, from their homes, to the foods they ate, to the sports and games they enjoyed. The ancient civilization is brought to life, and students can easily make comparisons between the people of that culture and the people of our own, discovering the similarities and differences between the two.

Many different aspects of life in Ancient Rome are presented to provide a full and varied picture. Discover what the education system was like and what the critics had to say about it. Find out who the most successful gladiators and charioteers were, the equivalent of our modern-day sports superstars. Examine what life was like for slaves. These details and more help to provide an understanding of this ancient society that at first glance may seem very foreign but that upon closer study seems to have much in common with modern day society.

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference [Audiobook]

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference [Audiobook]
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference [Audiobook] by William MacAskill, read by Sean Pratt
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 2 mins | 193.65MB

Most of us want to make a difference. We donate our time and money to charities and causes we deem worthy, choose careers we consider meaningful, and patronize businesses and buy products we believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately we often base these decisions on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result even our best intentions often lead to ineffective - and sometimes downright harmful - outcomes. How can we do better?

While a researcher at Oxford, trying to figure out which career would allow him to have the greatest impact, William MacAskill confronted this problem head on. He discovered that much of the potential for change was being squandered by lack of information, bad data, and our own prejudice. As an antidote he and his colleagues developed effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach that allows each of us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists believe that it's not enough simply to do good; we must do good better.

At the core of this philosophy are five key questions that help guide our altruistic decisions: How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing I can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be? By applying these questions to real-life scenarios, MacAskill shows how many of our assumptions about doing good are misguided.

MacAskill urges us to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. When we do this - when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors - we find that each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good.

Michelangelo: His Epic Life [EPUB]

Michelangelo: His Epic Life [EPUB]
Michelangelo: His Epic Life by Martin Gayford
2015 | EPUB | 79.98MB

A new biography of Michelangelo by the acclaimed author of Man with a Blue Scarf and The Yellow House

There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo's life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived (and, by his enemies, to be an arrogant, uncouth, swindling miser). For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic center of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works—including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David, and the Last Judgment—were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology, such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth, he was subject to constant trials and labors.

Here Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship [EPUB]

Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship [EPUB]
Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship by Gian Maria Annovi
2017 | EPUB | 8.74MB

Before his mysterious murder in 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini had become famous—and infamous—not only for his groundbreaking films and literary works but also for his homosexuality and criticism of capitalism, colonialism, and Western materialism. In Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship, Gian Maria Annovi revisits Pasolini's oeuvre to examine the author's performance as a way of assuming an antagonistic stance toward forms of artistic, social, and cultural oppression. Annovi connects Pasolini's notion of authorship to contemporary radical artistic practices and today's multimedia authorship.

Annovi considers the entire range of Pasolini's work, including his poetry, narrative and documentary film, dramatic writings, and painting, as well as his often scandalous essays on politics, art, literature, and theory. He interprets Pasolini's multimedia authorial performance as a masochistic act to elicit rejection, generate hostility, and highlight the contradictions that structure a repressive society. Annovi shows how questions of authorial self-representation and self-projection relate to the artist's effort to undermine the assumptions of his audience and criticize the conformist practices that the culture industry and mass society impose on the author. Pasolini reveals the critical potential of his spectacular celebrity by using the author's corporeal or vocal presence to address issues of sexuality and identity, and through his strategic self-fashioning in films, paintings, and photographic portraits he destabilizes the audience's assumptions about the author.

Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks [EPUB]

Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks [EPUB]
Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks by William Novak
2016 | EPUB | 21.26MB

From the co-creator of the celebrated Big Book of Jewish Humor comes a laugh-out-loud collection of jokes about growing older that makes fun of memory loss, marriages, medicine, sex, the afterlife, and much more, making this the perfect gift for almost anyone who was born before you were.

Growing older can be unsettling and surprising. (How on earth did this happen? Where did the years go?) So what better way to deal with this new stage of life than to laugh about your new reality? Die Laughing includes more than enough jokes (not to mention cartoons!) to let that laughter burst out.

Whether it’s dealing with doctors, dating in one’s seventies, or unexpected bodily changes (not to mention funny noises), some things are easier to face with a smile of recognition. That’s why Die Laughing is the perfect gift for your parents, anyone celebrating a significant birthday, or any boomer with a sense of humor whose age begins with a six or higher.

Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life [EPUB]

Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life [EPUB]
Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life by William V Madison
2015 | EPUB | 7,15MB

Best known for her Oscar-nominated roles in the smash hits Paper Moon and Blazing Saddles, Madeline Kahn (1942–1999) was one of the most popular comedians of her time―and one of the least understood. In private, she was as reserved and refined as her characters were bold and bawdy. Almost a Method actor in her approach, she took her work seriously. When crew members and audiences laughed, she asked why―as if they were laughing at her―and all her life she remained unsure of her gifts.

William V. Madison examines Kahn’s film career, including not only her triumphs with Mel Brooks and Peter Bogdanovich, but also her overlooked performances in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother and Judy Berlin, her final film. Her work in television―notably her sitcoms―also comes into focus. New York theater showered her with accolades, but also with remarkably bad luck, culminating in a disastrous outing in On the Twentieth Century that wrecked her reputation on Broadway. Only with her Tony-winning performance in The Sisters Rosensweig, fifteen years later, did Kahn regain her standing.

Drawing on new interviews with family, friends, and such colleagues as Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Gene Wilder, Harold Prince, and Eileen Brennan, as well as archival press and private writings, Madison uncovers Kahn’s lonely childhood and her struggles as a single woman working to provide for her erratic mother. Above all, Madison reveals the paramount importance of music in Kahn’s life. A talented singer, she entertained offers for operatic engagements long after she was an established Hollywood star, and she treated each script as a score. As Kahn told one friend, her ambition was “to be the music.”

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady [Audiobook]

Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady [Audiobook]
Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady [Audiobook] by Susan Quinn, read by Kimberly Farr
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 44 mins | 378.02MB

A warm, intimate account of the love between Eleanor Roosevelt and reporter Lorena Hickok - a relationship that, over more than three decades, transformed both women's lives and empowered them to play significant roles in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the first lady with dread. By that time she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life - now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next 30 years, until Eleanor's death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: They were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends.

They couldn't have been more different. Eleanor had been raised in one of the nation's most powerful political families and was introduced to society as a debutante before marrying her distant cousin, Franklin. Hick, as she was known, had grown up poor in rural South Dakota and worked as a servant girl after she escaped an abusive home, eventually becoming one of the most respected reporters at the AP. Her admiration drew the buttoned-up Eleanor out of her shell, and the two quickly fell in love. For the next 13 years, Hick had her own room at the White House, next door to the first lady.

These fiercely compassionate women inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. During the Depression Hick reported from the nation's poorest areas for the WPA, and Eleanor used these reports to lobby her husband for New Deal programs. Hick encouraged Eleanor to turn their frequent letters into her popular and long-lasting syndicated column "My Day" and to befriend the female journalists who became her champions. When Eleanor's tenure as first lady ended with FDR's death, Hick pushed her to continue to use her popularity for good - advice Eleanor took by leading the UN's postwar Human Rights Commission. At every turn the bond these women shared was grounded in their determination to better their troubled world.

Deeply researched and told with great warmth, Eleanor and Hick is a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the most consequential years in American history.