Francis I: The Maker of Modern France [Audiobook]

Francis I: The Maker of Modern France [Audiobook]
Francis I: The Maker of Modern France [Audiobook] by Leonie Frieda, read by Carole Boyd
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 9 mins | 363.41MB

Francis I (1494-1547) was inconstant, amorous, hotheaded and flawed. Yet he was also arguably the most significant king that France ever had. This is his story.

A contemporary of Henry VIII of England, Francis saw himself as the first Renaissance king, a man who was the exemplar of courtly and civilised behaviour throughout Europe. A courageous and heroic warrior, he was also a keen aesthete, an accomplished diplomat and an energetic ruler who turned his country into a force to be reckoned with. Yet he was also capricious, vain and arrogant, taking hugely unnecessary risks, at least one of which nearly resulted in the end of his kingdom. His great feud with his nemesis Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, defined European diplomacy and sovereignty, but his notorious alliance with the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to destroy everything.

With access to never-before-seen private archives, Leonie Frieda's comprehensive and sympathetic account explores the life of the most human of all Renaissance monarchs - and the most enigmatic.

No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies [EPUB]

No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies [EPUB]
No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies by William T Vollmann
2018 | EPUB | 86.63MB

A timely, eye-opening book about climate change and energy generation that focuses on the consequences of nuclear power production, from award-winning author William T. Vollmann

In his nonfiction, William T. Vollmann has won acclaim as a singular voice tackling some of the most important issues of our age, from poverty to violence to the dark soul of American imperialism as it has played out on the U.S./Mexico border. Now, Vollmann turns to a topic that will define the generations to come--the factors and human actions that have led to global warming. Vollmann begins No Immediate Danger, the first volume of Carbon Ideologies, by examining and quantifying the many causes of climate change, from industrial manufacturing and agricultural practices to fossil fuel extraction, economic demand for electric power, and the justifiable yearning of people all over the world to live in comfort. Turning to nuclear power first, Vollmann then recounts multiple visits that he made at significant personal risk over the course of seven years to the contaminated no-go zones and sad ghost towns of Fukushima, Japan, beginning shortly after the tsunami and reactor meltdowns of 2011. Equipped first only with a dosimeter and then with a scintillation counter, he measured radiation and interviewed tsunami victims, nuclear evacuees, anti-nuclear organizers and pro-nuclear utility workers.

Featuring Vollmann's signature wide learning, sardonic wit, and encyclopedic research, No Immediate Danger, whose title co-opts the reassuring mantra of official Japanese energy experts, builds up a powerful, sobering picture of the ongoing nightmare of Fukushima.

Watch for No Good Alternative, the second volume of Carbon Ideologies, focusing on human experiences related to coal mining and oil and natural gas production - coming in June 2018.

'You Can't Fire the Bad Ones!': And 20 Other Myths About Teachers and Teaching [EPUB]

You Can't Fire the Bad Ones! : And 20 Other Myths About Teachers and Teaching [EPUB]
"You Can't Fire the Bad Ones": And 20 Other Myths About Teachers and Teaching by William Ayers, Laura Crystal, Rick Ayers
2018 | EPUB | 0.59MB

Overturns common misconceptions about charter schools, school "choice," standardized tests, common core curriculum, and teacher evaluations.

Three distinguished educators, scholars, and activists flip the script on many enduring and popular myths about teachers, teachers' unions, and education that permeate our culture. By unpacking these myths, and underscoring the necessity of strong and vital public schools as a common good, the authors challenge readers--whether parents, community members, policy makers, union activists, or educators themselves--to rethink their assumptions.

Last Works: Lessons in Leaving [EPUB]

Last Works: Lessons in Leaving [EPUB]
Last Works: Lessons in Leaving by Mark C. Taylor
2018 | EPUB | 10.23MB

For many today, retirement and the leisure said to accompany it have become vestiges of a slower, long‑lost time. In a world where the sense of identity is tied to work and careers, to stop working often is to become nobody. In this deeply perceptive and personal exploration of last works, Mark C. Taylor explores the final reflections of writers and thinkers from Kierkegaard to David Foster Wallace. How did they either face or avoid ending and leaving? What do their lessons in ending teach us about living in the time that remains for us?

Some leavings brought relief, even joy, while others brought pain and suffering. Whether the cause was infirmity, impending death, or simply exhaustion and ennui, the ways these influential voices fell silent offer poignant examples of people negotiating the challenges of ending. Throughout this profound and moving book, Taylor probes how the art of living involves learning to leave gracefully.

The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life [EPUB]

The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life [EPUB]
The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life (The Franz Rosenzweig Lecture Series) by David N Myers
2018 | EPUB | 2.3MB

A leading scholar of Jewish history’s bracing and challenging case for the role of the historian today

Why do we study history? What is the role of the historian in the contemporary world? These questions prompted David N. Myers’s illuminating and poignant call for the relevance of historical research and writing. His inquiry identifies a number of key themes around which modern Jewish historians have wrapped their labors: liberation, consolation, and witnessing. Through these portraits, Myers revisits the chasm between history and memory, revealing the middle space occupied by modern Jewish historians as they work between the poles of empathic storytelling and the critical sifting of sources.

History, properly applied, can both destroy ideologically rooted myths that breed group hatred and create new memories that are sustaining of life. Alive in these investigations is Myers’s belief that the historian today can and should attend to questions of political and moral urgency. Historical knowledge is not a luxury to society but an essential requirement for informed civic engagement, as well as a vital tool in policy making, conflict resolution, and restorative justice.

Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age [EPUB]

Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age [EPUB]
Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age by Peter O'Leary
2017 | EPUB | 1.15MB

How do poets use language to render the transcendent, often dizzyingly inexpressible nature of the divine? In an age of secularism, does spirituality have a place in modern American poetry?

In Thick and Dazzling Darkness, Peter O’Leary reads a diverse set of writers to argue for the existence and importance of religious poetry in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature. He traces a poetic genealogy that begins with Whitman and Dickinson and continues in the work of contemporary writers to illuminate an often obscured but still central spiritual impulse that has shaped the production and imagination of American poetry.

O’Leary presents close and comprehensive readings of the modernist, late-modernist, and postmodern poets Robinson Jeffers, Frank Samperi, and Robert Duncan, as well as the contemporary poets Joseph Donahue, Geoffrey Hill, Fanny Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Pam Rehm, and Lissa Wolsak. Examining how these poets drew on a variety of traditions, including Catholicism, Gnosticism, the Kabbalah, and mysticism, the book considers how modern and contemporary poets have articulated the spiritual in their work. O’Leary also argues that an anxiety of misunderstanding exists in the study and writing of poetry between secular and religious impulses and that the religious nature of poets’ works is too often marginalized or misunderstood. Examining the works of a specific poet in each chapter, O’Leary reveals their complexity and offers a defense of the value and meaning of religious poetry against the grain of a secular society.

Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, 2nd Edition [EPUB]

Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class, 2nd Edition edited by Michelle Tea
2018 | EPUB | 2.54MB

An urgent testament to the trials of life for women living without a financial safety net

Indie icon Michelle Tea--whose memoir The Chelsea Whistle details her own working-class roots in gritty Chelsea, Massachusetts--shares these fierce, honest, tender essays written by women who can't go home to the suburbs when ends don't meet. When jobs are scarce and the money has dwindled, these writers have nowhere to go but below the poverty line. The writers offer their different stories not for sympathy or sadness, but an unvarnished portrait of how it was, is, and will be for generations of women growing up working class in America. These wide-ranging essays cover everything from selling blood for grocery money to the culture shock of "jumping" class. Contributors include Dorothy Allison, Bee Lavender, Eileen Myles, and Daisy Hernández.

History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times [EPUB]

History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times [EPUB]
History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times by Mary Frances Berry
2018 | EPUB | 0.53MB

Historian and civil rights activist proves how progressive movements can flourish even in conservative times.

Despair and mourning after the election of an antagonistic or polarizing president, such as Donald Trump, is part of the push-pull of American politics. But in this incisive book, historian Mary Frances Berry shows that resistance to presidential administrations has led to positive change and the defeat of outrageous proposals, even in challenging times. Noting that all presidents, including ones considered progressive, sometimes require massive organization to affect policy decisions, Berry cites Indigenous peoples' protests against the Dakota pipeline during Barack Obama's administration as a modern example of successful resistance built on earlier actions.

Beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Berry discusses that president's refusal to prevent race discrimination in the defense industry during World War II and the subsequent March on Washington movement. She analyzes Lyndon Johnson, the war in Vietnam, and the antiwar movement and then examines Ronald Reagan's two terms, which offer stories of opposition to reactionary policies, such as ignoring the AIDS crisis and retreating on racial progress, to show how resistance can succeed.

The prochoice protests during the George H. W. Bush administration and the opposition to Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, as well as his budget cuts and welfare reform, are also discussed, as are protests against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act during George W. Bush's presidency. Throughout these varied examples, Berry underscores that even when resistance doesn't achieve all the goals of a particular movement, it often plants a seed that comes to fruition later.

Berry also shares experiences from her six decades as an activist in various movements, including protesting the Vietnam War and advocating for the Free South Africa and civil rights movements, which provides an additional layer of insight from someone who was there. And as a result of having served in five presidential administrations, Berry brings an insider's knowledge of government.

History Teaches Us to Resist is an essential book for our times which attests to the power of resistance. It proves to us through myriad historical examples that protest is an essential ingredient of politics, and that progressive movements can and will flourish, even in perilous times.

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine [EPUB]

Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine [EPUB]
Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine by Alex de Waal
2018 | EPUB | 1.65MB

The world almost conquered famine. Until the 1980s, this scourge killed ten million people every decade, but by early 2000s mass starvation had all but disappeared. Today, famines are resurgent, driven by war, blockade, hostility to humanitarian principles and a volatile global economy.

In Mass Starvation, world-renowned expert on humanitarian crisis and response Alex de Waal provides an authoritative history of modern famines: their causes, dimensions and why they ended. He analyses starvation as a crime, and breaks new ground in examining forced starvation as an instrument of genocide and war. Refuting the enduring but erroneous view that attributes famine to overpopulation and natural disaster, he shows how political decision or political failing is an essential element in every famine, while the spread of democracy and human rights, and the ending of wars, were major factors in the near-ending of this devastating phenomenon.

Hard-hitting and deeply informed, Mass Starvation explains why man-made famine and the political decisions that could end it for good must once again become a top priority for the international community.

Great Convict Stories: Dramatic and Moving Tales From Australia's Brutal Early Years [EPUB]

Great Convict Stories: Dramatic and Moving Tales From Australia's Brutal Early Years [EPUB]
Great Convict Stories: Dramatic and Moving Tales From Australia's Brutal Early Years by Graham Seal
2017 | EPUB | 3.35MB

Graham Seal takes us back to Australia's ignominious beginnings, when a hungry child could be transported to the other side of the globe for the theft of a handkerchief.

It was a time when men were flogged till they bled for a minor misdemeanour, or forced to walk the treadmill for hours. Teams in iron chains carved roads through sandstone cliffs with hand picks, and men could select wives from a line up at the Female Factory. From the notorious prison regimes at Norfolk Island, Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour came chilling accounts of cruelty, murder and even cannibalism.

Despite the often harsh conditions, many convicts served their prison terms and built successful lives for themselves and their families. With a cast of colourful characters from around the country--the real Artful Dodger, intrepid bushrangers like Martin Cash and Moondyne Joe, and the legendary nurse Margaret Catchpole--Great Convict Stories offers a fascinating insight into life in Australia's first decades.

Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience [EPUB]

Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience [EPUB]
Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience by Rongbin Han
2018 | EPUB | 3.39MB

The Internet was supposed to be an antidote to authoritarianism. It can enable citizens to express themselves freely and organize outside state control. Yet while online activity has helped challenge authoritarian rule in some cases, other regimes have endured: no movement comparable to the Arab Spring has arisen in China. In Contesting Cyberspace in China, Rongbin Han offers a powerful counterintuitive explanation for the survival of the world’s largest authoritarian regime in the digital age.

Han reveals the complex internal dynamics of online expression in China, showing how the state, service providers, and netizens negotiate the limits of discourse. He finds that state censorship has conditioned online expression, yet has failed to bring it under control. However, Han also finds that freer expression may work to the advantage of the regime because its critics are not the only ones empowered: the Internet has proved less threatening than expected due to the multiplicity of beliefs, identities, and values online. State-sponsored and spontaneous pro-government commenters have turned out to be a major presence on the Chinese internet, denigrating dissenters and barraging oppositional voices. Han explores the recruitment, training, and behavior of hired commenters, the “fifty-cent army,” as well as group identity formation among nationalistic Internet posters who see themselves as patriots defending China against online saboteurs.

Drawing on a rich set of data collected through interviews, participant observation, and long-term online ethnography, as well as official reports and state directives, Contesting Cyberspace in China interrogates our assumptions about authoritarian resilience and the democratizing power of the Internet.

Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to the Dark Side of the Moon [EPUB]

Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to the Dark Side of the Moon [EPUB]
Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to the Dark Side of the Moon by Bill Kopp
2018 | EPUB | 1.64MB

The Dark Side of the Moon, Bill Kopp explores the ingenuity with which Pink Floyd rebranded itself following the 1968 departure of Syd Barrett. Not only did the band survive Barrett’s departure, but it went on to release landmark albums that continue to influence generations of musicians and fans.

Reinventing Pink Floyd follows the path taken by the remaining band members to establish a musical identity, develop a songwriting style, and create a new template for the manner in which albums are made and even enjoyed by listeners. As veteran music journalist Bill Kopp illustrates, that path was filled with failed experiments, creative blind alleys, one-off musical excursions, abortive collaborations, general restlessness, and—most importantly—a dedicated search for a distinctive musical personality.

This exciting guide to the works of 1968 through 1973 highlights key innovations and musical breakthroughs of lasting influence. Kopp places Pink Floyd in its historical, cultural, and musical contexts while celebrating the test of fire that took the band from the brink of demise to enduring superstardom.

Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses Of The Art Market In The 21st Century [EPUB]

Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses Of The Art Market In The 21st Century [EPUB]
Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses Of The Art Market In The 21st Century by Georgina Adam
2017 | EPUB | 1.24MB

This book scrutinizes the excesses and extravagances that the 21st-century explosion of the contemporary art market brought in its wake. The buying of art as an investment, temptations to forgery and fraud, tax evasion, money laundering and pressure to produce more and more art all form part of this story, as do the upheavals in auction houses and the impact of the enhanced use of financial instruments on art transactions.

Drawing on a series of tenaciously wrought interviews with artists, collectors, lawyers, bankers and convicted artist forgers, the author charts the voracious commodification of artists and art objects, and art's position in the clandestine puzzle of the highest echelons of global capital. Adam's revelations appear even more timely in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations, for example incorporating examples of the way tax havens have been used to stash art transactions – and ownership – away from public scrutiny.

With the same captivating style of her bestselling Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century, Georgina Adam casts her judicious glance over a section of the art market whose controversies and intrigues will be of eye-opening interest to both art-world players and observers.

Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century [EPUB]

Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century [EPUB]
Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century by Georgina Adam
20148 | EPUB | 2.18MB

This highly readable and timely book explores the transformation of the modern and contemporary art market in the 21st century from a niche trade to a globalised operation worth an estimated $50 billion a year.

Drawing on her personal experience, the author describes in fascinating detail the contributions made by a range of actors and institutions to these recent developments. The author's engaging style makes this informative text ideal for collectors, students, and anyone interested in learning more about the evolution of the unprecedented market for art which exists today.

The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup [Audiobook]

The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup [Audiobook]
The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup [Audiobook] by Noam Wasserman, read by Mark Moseley
2012 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 29 mins | 367.67MB

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team.

Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas. He highlights the need at each step to strike a careful balance between controlling the startup and attracting the best resources to grow it, and demonstrates why the easy short-term choice is often the most perilous in the long term.

The Founder's Dilemmas draws on the inside stories of founders like Evan Williams of Twitter and Tim Westergren of Pandora, while mining quantitative data on almost 10,000 founders. People problems are the leading cause of failure in startups. This book offers solutions.

Systems Thinking For Social Change [EPUB]

Systems Thinking For Social Change [EPUB]
Systems Thinking For Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results by David Peter Stroh
2015 | EPUB | 3.92MB

Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation.

How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results.

Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert.

Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people improve their efforts to end homelessness, improve public health, strengthen education, design a system for early childhood development, protect child welfare, develop rural economies, facilitate the reentry of formerly incarcerated people into society, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more.

The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Unleashing the Ideavirus: Stop Marketing AT People EPUB]

Unleashing the Ideavirus: Stop Marketing AT People EPUB]
Unleashing the Ideavirus: Stop Marketing AT People, Turn Your Ideas into Epidemics by Helping Your Customers Do the Marketing Thing for You by Seth Godin
2014 | EPUB | 2.72MB

The book that sparked a marketing revolution.

"This is a subversive book. It says that the marketer is not--and ought not to be--at the center of successful marketing. The customer should be. Are you ready for that?" --From the Foreword by Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point.

Counter to traditional marketing wisdom, which tries to count, measure, and manipulate the spread of information, Seth Godin argues that the information can spread most effectively from customer to customer, rather than from business to customer. Godin calls this powerful customer-to- customer dialogue the ideavirus, and cheerfully eggs marketers on to create an environment where their ideas can replicate and spread.

In lively detail, Godin looks at the ways companies such as PayPal, Hotmail, GeoCities, even Volkswagen have successfully launched ideaviruses. He offers a "recipe" for creating your own ideavirus, identifies the key factors in the successful spread of an ideavirus (powerful sneezers, hives, a clear vector, a smooth, friction-free transmission), and shows how any business, large or small, can use ideavirus marketing to succeed in a world that just doesn't want to hear it anymore from the traditional marketers.

Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow [Audiobook]

Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow [Audiobook]
Making Work Visible: Exposing Time Theft to Optimize Work & Flow [Audiobook] by Dominica Degrandis, read by Erin Bennett
2017 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 10 mins | 142.96MB

If someone stole your wallet, you'd notice it. So why don't people notice when they are robbed of something much more valuable than their wallet - time?

Today's workers are drowning: nonstop requests for time, days filled to the brim with meetings, and endless nights spent heroically fixing the latest problems. This churn and burn is creating a workforce constantly on the edge of burnout.

In this timely book, IT time management expert Dominica DeGrandis reveals the real crime of the century - time theft, one of the most costly factors impacting enterprises in their day-to-day operations.

Through simple solutions that make work visible, DeGrandis helps people round up the five thieves of time and take back their lives with time-saving solutions. Chock-full of exercises, takeaways, real-world examples, and an easy-going writing style, readers will quickly learn effective practices to create high-performing workflows within an organization.

The technology world - and indeed the whole business world - is moving at a pace faster than ever before, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Instead of consigning ourselves to the pressure cooker of the modern world, it's time to elevate how we work. It's time to level up our game. It's time to make work visible.

The Economist Audio Edition [April 14, 2018]

The Economist Audio Edition [April 14, 2018]
The Economist Audio Edition [April 14, 2018]
MP3@48 kbps + EPUB + AZW3 | 188.4MB

Cool Germany: Germany is becoming more open and diverse

  • End of the Castro era
  • Mr Zuckerberg goes to Washington
  • A cheaper Reaper -- Why undertakers are worried
  • Panspermia: spreading life to the galaxy
  • US-China trade: Drawing the battle lines
  • A silk road through ice: China wants to be a polar power

A SPECIAL REPORT on GERMANY