The Agency: A History of the CIA [TTC Video]

The Agency: A History of the CIA [TTC Video]
The Agency: A History of the CIA [TTC Video] by Professor Hugh Wilford, PhD
Course No 8000 | MP4, AVC, 2000 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x28 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 10.68GB

Since the eve of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency has been tasked by the U.S. government with keeping watch on an increasingly dangerous and unstable world. Few organizations are as fascinating, as mysterious—and as controversial.

Also known as “the Agency” or “the Company,” the CIA has a dual mission: to gather critical intelligence and analysis and to conduct covert operations aimed at safeguarding U.S. security interests. To do this, its officers work primarily in the shadows, dealing in spies and secrecy, which has led to questions about the organization’s geopolitical role, and the tradeoffs between intelligence work and democratic transparency:

  • Is the CIA operating as it was intended to, or is it in desperate need of repair?
  • What lessons has the CIA learned from its greatest successes and its worst failures?
  • How does intelligence gathering actually work, both for and against U.S. interests?
  • Has the CIA fulfilled its difficult mission for the world’s largest democracy thus far?

According to CIA expert Hugh Wilford, there’s a fundamental tension buried within the heart of the CIA’s mission to protect the American government and people: a tension between democratic accountability and the inherent need for secret government power. Throughout its epic (and surprisingly recent) history, the CIA has swung back and forth between these principles.

What many don’t realize is that it’s U.S. citizens who check the CIA’s power, and who bear the responsibility of staying informed about what the CIA has done and continues to do at home and abroad in their name. In The Agency: A History of the CIA, Professor Wilford of California State University transforms decades of academic research into an engrossing 24-lecture course that helps you better understand the roles the CIA has played in recent American history, from the eve of the Cold War against communism to the 21st-century War on Terror. With his outsider’s objective perspective, Professor Wilford offers an unbiased exploration of the CIA’s inner workings, its successful—and disastrous—operations, its innovations in technology and espionage, and its complex relationship with U.S. presidents and popular culture. In this course, you will find all the information you need to be able to make your own conclusions about what the CIA might have done right, what it might have done wrong, and what it should do in the future.

Investigate the CIA’s Great Successes…

Prior to the birth of the CIA in 1947, Americans entertained strong suspicions of international involvement and excessive government power. That changed, however, with the onset of World War II and the subsequent Cold War against communism—both of which paved the way for advocates of intelligence and international intervention to overcome the nation’s “anti-spy” tradition.

So, what can we make of the CIA’s record in espionage and intelligence? Does it all add up to a failure or to a success?

To answer this complicated question, The Agency guides you through decades of espionage and covert operations. After a look at the CIA’s origins—including the agency’s most obvious predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS—and the organization’s evolution from a strict intelligence agency to the United States’s premier covert-action unit, you’ll delve into some of the most remarkable and fascinating successes, including:

  • The sound intelligence the CIA’s U-2 spy plane program provided to President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which highlights the agency’s prowess in using technological innovations to fulfill its mission;
  • The admirable performance of the CIA throughout much of the Vietnam War during the 1960s and 1970s, during which it provided solid battlefield intel and sensible strategic assessments about the negative long-term prospects of U.S. involvement; and
  • The recent successful disruptions of terrorist plots in the ongoing War on Terror, including the foiling of a June 2018 plot (involving the deadly toxin ricin) by a suspected Islamist extremist in Cologne, Germany.

…and Its Stunning Failures

A balanced exploration of the CIA should also take into account the CIA’s many controversial intelligence errors, and Professor Wilford devotes equal time to these historic failures.

You’ll learn how these—sometimes catastrophic—moments came about as the result of everything from bureaucratic knots to the Agency’s surprising lack of human intelligence about volatile regions around the world, including the former communist bloc in Eastern Europe and the Muslim world.

Throughout The Agency, you’ll consider how the CIA often failed or fell short concerning:

  • The Soviet Union’s acquisition of the atomic bomb,
  • The fall of China to the forces of communism,
  • North Korea’s invasion of South Korea,
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and
  • How long it took to notice the rise of radical Islamism (including the September 11 attacks).

Meet the Men Who Shaped the CIA

Professor Wilford also takes you inside the shadowy world of the CIA, revealing not just how it operated on the domestic and international stage, but also how it operated as its own organization that evolved in step with changing times in American history.

You will meet the individuals who shaped the CIA over the course of decades—some of whom had different ideas of what role the CIA should play at home and abroad—including figures such as:

  • William “Wild Bill” Donovan: If any individual could be called the father of the CIA, it’s Donovan, appointed by President Roosevelt in 1941 to coordinate intelligence information with historically unprecedented powers over civilian and military agencies (a department renamed the Office of Strategic Services after the Pearl Harbor attack).
  • George F. Kennan: This State Department Russia expert, responsible for the conversion of the CIA into a covert-ops shop, urged the U.S. government to adopt a series of aggressive measures against the Soviet Union—including the policy of rolling back the borders of the communist empire.
  • Edward Lansdale: As a CIA operative in Vietnam, Lansdale waged political warfare against the northern Vietnamese government of Ho Chi Minh (including the use of psy-ops targeting Catholics in the north); his story helps you form a more complete understanding of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • James Angleton: One of the CIA’s most compelling personalities, Angleton was responsible for leading a dramatic hunt for Soviet moles inside the CIA—a search which had an enormous impact on the agency’s mission at a crucial moment in its existence and which personified national fears that the CIA would abuse its covert power.

Explore Fascinating CIA Operations

How, exactly, did the CIA plan and conduct its intelligence gathering and covert action? The Agency leads you through various operations throughout the CIA’s history; ops that are equal parts controversial and thrilling.

These include:

  • PB-SUCCESS, the CIA’s codename for its 1954 Guatemala operation that proved (for the CIA, at least) that covert action could be a Cold War magic bullet;
  • The Berlin Tunnel, the CIA’s first major venture into SIGINT (signals interception) that involved the construction of a secret tunnel from the U.S. sector to the Soviet side; and
  • MK-ULTRA, a program run by biochemist Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA’s Technical Services Staff that studied the possible effects of hallucinogens in interrogations.

You’ll also get fresh perspectives on historical moments with which you may already have some passing familiarity, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Iran-Contra Affair, and the Iraq War. In many cases, the lectures lead you to consider important questions about both the nature of the CIA and its role in shaping modern history. What makes particular regions of the world ripe for the CIA’s attention? How successful are techniques like drone strikes, rendition, and interrogation? Is the CIA more productive or counterproductive when it comes to foreign affairs?

Along the way, you will also explore how the reality of the CIA compares with the wealth of popular culture that depicts the agency, as well as how the CIA itself has directly and intentionally used literature, film, and other media as tools in its own operations.

An Objective Look at the CIA

For his entire life, Professor Wilford has been fascinated by spies and spying—a fascination that’s undeniably contagious. He’s researched and published extensively on the history of the CIA and international U.S. relations, and has interviewed former spies.

“I’m not going to come down strongly on one side of the debate about the CIA,” Professor Wilford says. “As someone who grew up in England, I still have a bit of an outsider perspective that I think helps make my approach to the CIA fairly objective.”

The result is a thorough, well-balanced exploration of one of America’s most intriguing organizations. So, join the debate with The Agency and start forming your own opinions about an organization that will continue to play a pivotal, game-changing role in history for years to come.

The Agency: A History of the CIA [TTC Video]

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall [Audiobook]

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall [Audiobook]
The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall [Audiobook] by Mark W Moffett, read by Sean Patrick Hopkins
2019 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 15h 26m | 420.74/1.69MB

The epic story and ultimate big history of how human society evolved from intimate chimp communities into the sprawling civilizations of a world-dominating species

If a chimpanzee ventures into the territory of a different group, it will almost certainly be killed. But a New Yorker can fly to Los Angeles - or Borneo - with very little fear. Psychologists have done little to explain this: for years, they have held that our biology puts a hard upper limit - about 150 people - on the size of our social groups. But human societies are in fact vastly larger. How do we manage - by and large - to get along with each other?

In this paradigm-shattering book, biologist Mark W. Moffett draws on findings in psychology, sociology, and anthropology to explain the social adaptations that bind societies. He explores how the tension between identity and anonymity defines how societies develop, function, and fail. Surpassing Guns, Germs, and Steel and Sapiens, The Human Swarm reveals how mankind created sprawling civilizations of unrivaled complexity - and what it will take to sustain them.

Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers [EPUB]

Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers [EPUB]
Common People: An Anthology of Working-Class Writers edited by Kit de Waal
2019 | EPUB | 0.64MB

Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed.

Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences, the everyday wisdom and poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser.

Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class.

Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, Paul McVeigh, Daljit Nagra, Dave O’Brien, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh, Alex Wheatle and more.

Never Ending Nightmare: How Neoliberalism Dismantles Democracy [EPUB]

Never Ending Nightmare: How Neoliberalism Dismantles Democracy [EPUB]
Never Ending Nightmare: How Neoliberalism Dismantles Democracy by Pierre Dardot, Christian Laval, translated by Gregory Elliott
2019 | EPUB | 0.35MB

Neoliberalism's war against democracy and how to resist it

How do we explain the strange survival of the forces responsible for the 2008 economic crisis, one of the worst since 1929? How do we explain the fact that neoliberalism has emerged from the crisis strengthened? When it broke, a number of the most prominent economists hastened to announce the 'death' of neoliberalism. They regarded the pursuit of neoliberal policy as the fruit of dogmatism.

For Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, neoliberalism is no mere dogma. Supported by powerful oligarchies, it is a veritable politico-institutional system that obeys a logic of self-reinforcement. Far from representing a break, crisis has become a formidably effective mode of government.

In showing how this system crystallized and solidified, the book explains that the neoliberal straitjacket has succeeded in preventing any course correction by progressively deactivating democracy. Increasing the disarray and demobilization, the so-called 'governmental' Left has actively helped strengthen this oligarchical logic. The latter could lead to a definitive exit from democracy in favour of expertocratic governance, free of any control.

However, nothing has been decided yet. The revival of democratic activity, which we see emerging in the political movements and experiments of recent years, is a sign that the political confrontation with the neoliberal system and the oligarchical bloc has already begun.

An Introduction to Hand Lettering with Decorative Elements [EPUB]

An Introduction to Hand Lettering with Decorative Elements [EPUB]
An Introduction to Hand Lettering with Decorative Elements (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography) by Annika Sauerborn
2019 | EPUB | 140.03MB
A treasure trove of lettering styles and decorative elements, this handy reference offers an abundance of eye-catching alphabets, numerals, ribbons, borders, flowers, banners, and other easy-to-trace embellishments. With this guide, it's easy to add a personal touch—humorous, dramatic, or romantic—to any handwritten message or meditative journal.

Hundreds of ornaments, all of them hand-drawn by the author, include dozens of alphabets and numerals. You'll also find frames, flourishes, and corner designs that provide pages with a stylish finishing touch. Decorative motifs range from arrows, hearts, and stars to leaves, blossoms, and wreaths. A wealth of fanciful graphics for special occasions includes designs for birthdays, weddings, holidays, and all four seasons. Calligraphers, crafters, and illustrators as well as anyone who wants to add a bit of pizzazz to their writing will prize this imaginative source of inspiration.

Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires [EPUB]

Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires [EPUB]
Arabs: A 3,000-Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
2019 | EPUB | 30.02MB

A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone

This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years before Muhammad and focuses on how Arabic, both spoken and written, has functioned as a vital source of shared cultural identity over the millennia.

Mackintosh-Smith reveals how linguistic developments—from pre-Islamic poetry to the growth of script, Muhammad’s use of writing, and the later problems of printing Arabic—have helped and hindered the progress of Arab history, and investigates how, even in today’s politically fractured post–Arab Spring environment, Arabic itself is still a source of unity and disunity.

The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern [EPUB]

The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern [EPUB]
The Regency Years: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern by Robert Morrison
2019 | EPUB | 37.75MB

A surprising and lively history of an overlooked era that brought the modern world of art, culture, and science decisively into view.

The Victorians are often credited with ushering in our current era, yet the seeds of change were planted in the years before. The Regency (1811–1820) began when the profligate Prince of Wales―the future king George IV―replaced his insane father, George III, as Britain’s ruler.

Around the regent surged a society steeped in contrasts: evangelicalism and hedonism, elegance and brutality, exuberance and despair. The arts flourished at this time with a showcase of extraordinary writers and painters such as Jane Austen, Lord Byron, the Shelleys, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner. Science burgeoned during this decade, too, giving us the steam locomotive and the blueprint for the modern computer.

Yet the dark side of the era was visible in poverty, slavery, pornography, opium, and the gothic imaginings that birthed the novel Frankenstein. With the British military in foreign lands, fighting the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in the United States, the desire for empire and an expanding colonial enterprise gained unstoppable momentum. Exploring these crosscurrents, Robert Morrison illuminates the profound ways this period shaped and indelibly marked the modern world.

Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women [EPUB]

Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women [EPUB]
Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women by Anna Francese Gass
2019 | EPUB | MB

A gorgeous, full-color illustrated cookbook and personal cultural history, filled with 100 mouthwatering recipes from around the world, that celebrates the culinary traditions of strong, empowering immigrant women and the remarkable diversity that is American food.

As a child of Italian immigrants, Anna Francese Gass grew up eating her mother’s Calabrian cooking. But when this professional cook realized she had no clue how to make her family’s beloved meatballs—a recipe that existed only in her mother’s memory—Anna embarked on a project to record and preserve her mother’s recipes for generations to come.

In addition to her recipes, Anna’s mother shared stories from her time in Italy that her daughter had never heard before, intriguing tales that whetted Anna’s appetite to learn more. Reaching out to her friends whose mothers were also immigrants, Anna began cooking with dozens of women who were eager to share their unique memories and the foods of their homelands.

In Heirloom Kitchen, Anna brings together the stories and dishes of forty-five strong, exceptional women, all immigrants to the United States, whose heirloom recipes have helped shape the landscape of American food. Organized by region, the 100 tantalizing recipes include:

  • Magda’s Pork Adobo from the Phillippines
  • Shari’s Fersenjoon, a walnut and pomegranate stew, from Iran
  • Tina’s dumplings from Northern China
  • Anna’s mother’s Calabrian Meatballs from Southern Italy

In addition to the dishes, these women share their recollections of coming to America, stories of hardship and happiness that illuminate the power of food—how cooking became a comfort and a respite in a new land for these women, as well as a tether to their native cultural identities.

Accented with 175 photographs, including food shots, old family photographs, and ephemera of the cooks’ first years in America—such as Soon Sun’s recipe book pristinely handwritten in Korean or Bea’s cherished silver pitcher, a final gift from her own mother before leaving Serbia—Heirloom Kitchen is a testament to empowerment and strength, perseverance and inclusivity, and a warm and inspiring reminder that the story of immigrant food is, at its core, a story of American food.

The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes [EPUB]

The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes [EPUB]
The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes by America's Test Kitchen
2019 | EPUB | 320.51MB

Achieve burger greatness, with updated classics, regional favorites, homemade everything (from meat blends to pretzel buns), and craft-burger creations, plus fries and other sides, and frosty drinks.

What is the "ultimate" burger? Ask that question and you will ignite an enthusiastic debate about meats, cooking methods, degree of doneness, bun types, condiments, toppings, and accompaniments. The Ultimate Burger has the best answer to all of these questions: The ultimate burger is what you want it to be. And America's Test Kitchen shows you how to get there.

Craving an all-American beef burger? We've got 'em: steak burgers, double-decker burgers, and easy beef sliders. Travel beyond beef, with options for turkey, pork, lamb, bison, salmon, tuna, and shrimp burgers before exploring the world of meat-free burgers, both vegetarian and vegan. Then it's go for broke, featuring out-of-this-world creations like a Surf and Turf Burger, Loaded Nacho Burger, Grilled Crispy Onion-Ranch Burger, and Reuben Burger. You want sides with that? The sides chapter covers the crunchiest kettle chips, the crispiest French fries, and the creamiest coleslaws, and we've even thrown in some boozy milkshakes and other drinks to help everything go down just right. We even guarantee bun perfection with all sorts of homemade buns to lovingly cradle your juicy patties. And we reveal the ATK-approved store-bought buns, ketchups, mustards, and relishes to complement your burger, along with recipes for plenty of homemade condiments like Classic Burger Sauce, Quick Pickle Chips, and Black Pepper Candied Bacon to mix and match with the recipes.

The Big Bottom Biscuit: Specialty Biscuits and Spreads from Sonoma's Big Bottom Market [EPUB]

The Big Bottom Biscuit: Specialty Biscuits and Spreads from Sonoma's Big Bottom Market [EPUB]
The Big Bottom Biscuit: Specialty Biscuits and Spreads from Sonoma's Big Bottom Market by Michael Volpatt
2019 | EPUB | 160.1MB

In the heart of wine country, Big Bottom Market has perfected and elevated the humble biscuit with a decidedly California twist.

The Big Bottom Biscuit: Specialty Biscuits and Spreads from Sonoma's Big Bottom Market brings the experience of dining at the market to everyone who can't make it to Sonoma. In 2016, the Big Bottom Market biscuit mix and honey was heralded as one of Oprah's Favorite Things-- and with good reason! Volpatt's passion for this simple food showcases its versatility in easy to prepare, accessible recipes. Try any of the following:

  • Egg in a Biscuit: the classic!
  • Sea Biscuit: with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, pickled onions, and capers
  • Sweet biscuits like Chocolate Bacon and Apple Pie

Volpatt's charming recipes will delight all tastes. The cookbook also includes butters, jams, and spreads, as well as savory embellishments. The voice is accessible and light, and will appeal to Californians, Southerners, Yankees, and just about anyone who can't resist a piping-hot biscuit.

My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions [EPUB]

My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions [EPUB]
My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions by Gabriela Camara, Malena Watrous
2019 | EPUB | 206.15MB

Innovative chef and culinary trend-setter Gabriela Cámara shares 150 recipes for her vibrant, simple, and sophisticated contemporary Mexican cooking.

Inspired by the flavors, ingredients, and flair of culinary and cultural hotspot Mexico City, Gabriela Cámara's style of fresh-first, vegetable-forward, legume-loving, and seafood-centric Mexican cooking is a siren call to home cooks who crave authentic, on-trend recipes they can make with confidence and regularity. With 150 recipes for Basicos (basics), Desayunos (breakfasts), Primeros (starters), Platos Fuertos (mains), and Postres (sweets), Mexican food-lovers will find all the dishes they want to cook--from Chilaquiles Verdes to Chiles Rellenos and Flan de Cajeta--and will discover many sure-to-be favorites, such as her signature tuna tostadas. More than 150 arresting images capture the rich culture that infuses Cámara's food and a dozen essays detail the principles that distinguish her cooking, from why non-GMO corn matters to how everything can be a taco. With celebrated restaurants in Mexico City and San Francisco, Cámara is the most internationally recognized figure in Mexican cuisine, and her innovative, simple Mexican food is exactly what home cooks want to cook.

Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour [EPUB]

Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour [EPUB]
Lonely Planet's Global Distillery Tour by Lonely Planet Food
2019 | EPUB | 244.96MB

Explore the exciting world of spirits with Lonely Planet. Featuring the best distilleries and bars in over 30 countries, we’ll tell you where to go and what to taste – from gin, bourbon and whisky to vodka, cachaca, tequila and more. Includes unmissable regional drinks from South Africa, Canada, the USA, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, France, Italy, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Within each of the 33 countries in Lonely Planet’s Global Distillery Tour, we’ve organised the distilleries alphabetically by region. Each distillery has a suggested must-try drink or tasting experience and also recommended local sights so you can explore the local area in between tasting sessions.

We’ve also included bars that are best-in-class for their selection of one particular drink, such as arak in Lebanon or tuak in Malaysia. At the back of the book, you’ll find a section dedicated to cocktails: our take on the best mixology magic in the world, and the bars that serve them. Contributions come from specialist spirit reviewers, writers and bloggers.

Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World [EPUB]

Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World [EPUB]
Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M R O'Connor
2019 | EPUB | 2.12MB

At once far flung and intimate, a fascinating look at how finding our way make us human.

In this compelling narrative, O'Connor seeks out neuroscientists, anthropologists and master navigators to understand how navigation ultimately gave us our humanity. Biologists have been trying to solve the mystery of how organisms have the ability to migrate and orient with such precision―especially since our own adventurous ancestors spread across the world without maps or instruments. O'Connor goes to the Arctic, the Australian bush and the South Pacific to talk to masters of their environment who seek to preserve their traditions at a time when anyone can use a GPS to navigate.

O’Connor explores the neurological basis of spatial orientation within the hippocampus. Without it, people inhabit a dream state, becoming amnesiacs incapable of finding their way, recalling the past, or imagining the future. Studies have shown that the more we exercise our cognitive mapping skills, the greater the grey matter and health of our hippocampus. O'Connor talks to scientists studying how atrophy in the hippocampus is associated with afflictions such as impaired memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, depression and PTSD.

Wayfinding is a captivating book that charts how our species' profound capacity for exploration, memory and storytelling results in topophilia, the love of place.

Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste [Audiobook]

Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste [Audiobook]
Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste [Audiobook] by Nolan Gasser, read by the Author
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 38h 56m | 1.06GB/47.61MB

From the chief architect of the Pandora Radio's Music Genome Project comes a definitive and groundbreaking examination of how your mind, body, and upbringing influence the music you love.

Everyone loves music. But what is it that makes music so universally beloved and gives it such a powerful effect on us?

In this sweeping and authoritative audiobook, Dr. Nolan Gasser - a composer, pianist, and musicologist, and the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, which powers Pandora Radio - breaks down what musical taste is, where it comes from, and what our favorite songs say about us.

Dr. Gasser delves into the science, psychology, and sociology that explains why humans love music so much; how our brains process music; and why you may love Queen but your best friend loves Kiss. He sheds light on why babies can clap along to rhythmic patterns and reveals the reason behind why different cultures across the globe identify the same kinds of music as happy, sad, or scary.

Using easy-to-follow notated musical scores, Dr. Gasser teaches music fans how to become engaged listeners and provides them with the tools to enhance their musical preferences. He takes listeners under the hood of their favorite genres - pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, electronica, world music, and classical - and covers songs from Taylor Swift to Led Zeppelin to Kendrick Lamar to Bill Evans to Beethoven - and through their work, introduces the musical concepts behind why you hum along, tap your foot, and feel deeply.

Why You Like It will teach you how to follow the musical discourse happening within a song and thereby empower your musical taste, so you will never hear music the same way again.

Digital Civil War: Confronting the Far-Right Menace [EPUB]

Digital Civil War: Confronting the Far-Right Menace [EPUB]
Digital Civil War: Confronting the Far-Right Menace by Peter Daou
2019 | EPUB | 0.94MB

A frontline account of the social media battles raging between red and blue Americans – and how to find moral clarity in the chaos of digital civil war.

Are rural white Christians the real Americans? Should teachers be armed or should the Second Amendment be repealed? Is abortion murder or an ethically sound choice for women? Should migrant babies be caged or should ICE be abolished? Should billionaires exist while children go hungry?

These are some of the bitter ideological disputes that have turned social media into a political battlefield. In Digital Civil War, Peter Daou, a veteran digital-media adviser to presidential candidates, investigates the underlying value systems and moral arguments of the warring parties, arguing that democracy itself is under assault by an emboldened and empowered Far Right.

Daou shows how the digital civil war is waged with words and images that are designed to inflict psychological harm, to injure through verbal violence, to wreak havoc with rhetoric. And he explains that the relentless toxicity of social media – often treated as an aberration – is a feature, not a bug, of digital warfare.

The Role of the Scroll: An Illustrated Introduction to Scrolls in the Middle Ages [EPUB]

The Role of the Scroll: An Illustrated Introduction to Scrolls in the Middle Ages [EPUB]
The Role of the Scroll: An Illustrated Introduction to Scrolls in the Middle Ages by Thomas Forrest Kelly
2019 | EPUB | 214.54MB

A beautifully illustrated, full-color guide to scrolls and their uses in medieval life.

Scrolls have always been shrouded by a kind of aura, a quality of somehow standing outside of time. They hold our attention with their age, beauty, and perplexing format. Beginning in the fourth century, the codex―or book―became the preferred medium for long texts. Why, then, did some people in the Middle Ages continue to make scrolls?

In The Role of the Scroll, music professor and historian Thomas Forrest Kelly brings to life the most interesting scrolls in medieval history, placing them in the context of those who made, commissioned, and used them, and reveals their remarkably varied uses. Scrolls were the best way to keep ever-expanding lists, for example, those of debtors, knights, and the dead, the names of whom were added to existing rolls of parchment through the process of “enrollment.” While useful for keeping public records, scrolls could also be extremely private. Forgetful stage performers relied on them to recall their lines―indeed, “role” comes from the French word for scroll―and those looking for luck carried either blessings or magic spells, depending on their personal beliefs. Finally, scrolls could convey ceremonial importance, a purpose that lives on with academic diplomas.

In these colorful pages, Kelly explores the scroll’s incredible diversity and invites us to examine showy court documents for empresses and tiny amulets for pregnant women. A recipe for turning everyday metal into gold offers a glimpse into medieval alchemy, and a log of gifts for Queen Elizabeth I showcases royal flattery and patronage. Climb William the Conqueror’s family tree and take a journey to the Holy Land using a pilgrimage map marked with such obligatory destinations as Jaffa, where Peter resurrected Tabitha, and Ramada, the city of Saint Joseph’s birth. A lively and accessible guide, The Role of the Scroll is essential reading―and viewing―for anyone interested in how people keep record of life through the ages.

The Global Age: Europe 1950-2017 [Audiobook]

The Global Age: Europe 1950-2017 [Audiobook]
The Global Age: Europe 1950-2017 [Audiobook] by Ian Kershaw, read by James Langton
2019 | M4B@64 kbps | 27 hours | 741.87MB

After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as being 'to hell and back', the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative prosperity to most of Europe. Enormous economic improvements transformed the continent. The catastrophic era of the world wars receded into an ever more distant past, though its long shadow continued to shape mentalities.

Yet Europe was now a divided continent, living under the nuclear threat in a period intermittently fraught with anxiety. There were, by most definitions, striking successes: the Soviet bloc melted away, dictatorships vanished, and Germany was successfully reunited. But accelerating globalization brought new fragilities. The interlocking crises after 2008 were the clearest warnings to Europeans that there was no guarantee of peace and stability, and, even today, the continent threatens further fracturing.

In this remarkable book, Ian Kershaw has created a grand panorama of the world we live in and where it came from. Drawing on examples from all across Europe, The Global Age is an endlessly fascinating portrait of the recent past and present and a cautious look into our future.

The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A Rare Photographic History [EPUB/PDF]

The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A Rare Photographic History [EPUB/PDF]
The Space-Age Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A Rare Photographic History by John Bisney, J L Pickering
2019 | EPUB + PDF | 43.69/432.33MB

This engaging and unprecedented work captures the compelling story of President Kennedy's role in shaping the United States space program, set against the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The stunning collection of photographs, documents and artifacts illustrates Kennedy's close association with the race to space during his storied time in office.

In addition to the exhaustive research and rare photographs, many unpublished, the authors have also included excerpts from Kennedy's speeches, news conferences, and once-secret White House recordings to provide the reader with more context through the president's own words. While Kennedy did not live to see the fruition of many of the endeavors he supported, his legacy lives on in many ways--many of which are captured in this important work.

The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy's Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat [Audiobook]

The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy's Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat [Audiobook]
The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy's Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat [Audiobook] by Eric Haseltine, read by the Author
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8h 29m | 233.34/1.08MB

The thrilling true story of the race to find a leak in the US embassy in Moscow - before more American assets are rounded up and killed.

Foreword by Gen. Michael V. Hayden (Retd.), former director of NSA and CIA.

In the late 1970s, the National Security Agency still did not officially exist - those in the know referred to it dryly as the No Such Agency. So why, when NSA engineer Charles Gandy filed for a visa to visit Moscow, did the Russian Foreign Ministry assert with confidence that he was a spy?

Outsmarting honey traps and encroaching deep enough into enemy territory to perform complicated technical investigations, Gandy accomplished his mission in Russia but discovered more than State and CIA wanted him to know.

Eric Haseltine's The Spy in Moscow Station tells of a time when - much like today - Russian spycraft had proven itself far beyond the best technology the United States had to offer. The perils of American arrogance mixed with bureaucratic infighting left the country unspeakably vulnerable to ultra-sophisticated Russian electronic surveillance and espionage.

This is the true story of unorthodox underdog intelligence officers who fought an uphill battle against their own government to prove that the KGB had pulled off the most devastating penetration of US national security in history. If you think The Americans isn't riveting enough, you'll love this toe-curling nonfiction thriller.

Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes to Make Any Meal a Smash Hit [PDF]

Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes to Make Any Meal a Smash Hit [PDF]
Steak and Cake: More Than 100 Recipes to Make Any Meal a Smash Hit by Elizabeth Karmel
2019 | PDF | 80.39MB

Discover just how luscious and indulgent both steak and cake can be with Elizabeth Karmel, Southern baker extraordinaire and one of America’s leading pitmasters.

Let them eat cake—and steak! This unique cookbook shares more than 100 recipes that beg to be prepared, paired, and eaten with pure joy. How about a Cowboy Steak with Whiskey Butter followed by a Whiskey Buttermilk Bundt Cake? Or a Porterhouse for Two with My Mother’s Freshly Grated Coconut Cake? Or mix and match yourself—maybe an Indoor/Outdoor Tomahawk Steak paired with a Classic Key Lime Cheesecake?

Not only will you find some of the best recipes ever for steak—and steakhouse sides and sauces—and those all-butter-eggs-and-sugar cakes, but you will also pick up tips and tricks for choosing and cooking steaks and baking cakes. The result is an instant dinner party, the kind of universally loved meal that makes any and every occasion special.

The Brisket Chronicles [PDF]

The Brisket Chronicles [PDF]
The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World's Most Epic Cut of Meat by Steven Raichlen
2019 | PDF | 79.6MB

Grill master Steven Raichlen shares more than 60 foolproof, mouthwatering recipes for preparing the tastiest, most versatile, and most beloved cut of meat in the world—outside on the grill, as well as in the kitchen.

Take brisket to the next level: ’Cue it, grill it, smoke it, braise it, cure it, boil it—even bake it into chocolate chip cookies. Texas barbecued brisket is just the beginning: There’s also Jamaican Jerk Brisket and Korean Grilled Brisket to savor. Old School Pastrami and Kung Pao Pastrami, a perfect Passover Brisket with Dried Fruits and Sweet Wine, even ground brisket—Jakes Double Brisket Cheeseburgers.

In dozens of unbeatable tips, Raichlen shows you just how to handle, prep, and store your meat for maximum tenderness and flavor. Plus plenty more recipes that are pure comfort food, perfect for using up leftovers: Brisket Hash, Brisket Baked Beans, Bacon-Grilled Brisket Bites—or for real mind-blowing pleasure, Kettle Corn with Burnt Ends. And side dishes that are the perfect brisket accents, including slaws, salads, and sauces.

A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season [PDF]

A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season [PDF]
A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season by Margaret Roach
2019 | PDF | 51.56MB

For Margaret Roach, gardening is more than a hobby, it’s a calling. Her unique approach, which she refers to as “horticultural how-to and woo-woo,” is a blend of vital information you need to memorize (like how to plant a bulb) and intuitive steps you must simply feel and surrender to. In A Way to Garden, Roach imparts decades of garden wisdom on seasonal gardening, ornamental plants, vegetable gardening, design, gardening for wildlife, organic practices, and much more. She also challenges gardeners to think beyond their garden borders and to consider the ways gardening can enrich the world. Brimming with beautiful photographs of Roach’s own garden, A Way to Garden is practical, inspiring, and a must-have for every passionate gardener.

The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food [EPUB]

The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food [EPUB]
The Way to Eat Now: Modern Vegetarian Food by Alice Hart
2019 | EPUB | 34.99MB

This is the way to eat now—feel-good food to satisfy every craving, from morning to night, and for every occasion

Here is food that surprises and thrills through contrasts—think crisp and soft, sweet and sour, chile heat and refreshing herb—with meals that include:

  • Roasted Carrot Soup with Flatbread Ribbons
  • Chickpea Crepes with Wild Garlic
  • Brown Rice Bibimbap Bowls with Smoky Peppers
  • Toasted Marzipan Ice Cream

Thoughtfully organized chapters will help you find just the right dish at any time of day, and for every occasion:

  • Mornings
  • Grazing
  • Quick
  • Thrifty
  • Gatherings
  • Grains
  • Raw-ish
  • Afters
  • Pantry

The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media [EPUB]

The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media [EPUB]
The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media by Nathan Jurgenson
2019 | EPUB | 0.25MB

A set of bold theoretical reflections on how the social photo has remade our world.

With the rise of the smart phone and social media, cameras have become ubiquitous, infiltrating nearly every aspect of social life. The glowing camera screen is the lens through which many of seek to communicate our experience. But our thinking about photography has been slow to catch-up; this major fixture of everyday life is still often treated in the terms of art or journalism.

In The Social Photo, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson develops bold new ways of understanding photography in the age of social media and the new kinds of images that have emerged: the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have remade the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.