Extraordinary People: A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World's Most Fascinating Individuals [EPUB]

Extraordinary People: A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World's Most Fascinating Individuals [EPUB]
Extraordinary People: A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World's Most Fascinating Individuals by Michael Hearst
2015 | EPUB | 9.39MB

Inside this book, you'll find stories of 50 extraordinary people such as:

  • Evel Knievel, who jumped his motorcycle over 14 Greyhound buses
  • The Iceman, the most well-preserved human, found in the ice after 5,300 years
  • Sam Patch, who jumped Niagara Falls for $75
  • Helen Thayer, who walked to the North Pole alone
  • Roy Sullivan, who was struck by lightning 7 times

These intriguing facts and hundreds more await curious readers, amateur historians, and anyone who aspires to the altogether extraordinary!

Circulation: William Harvey’s Revolutionary Idea [EPUB]

Circulation: William Harvey’s Revolutionary Idea [EPUB]
Circulation: William Harvey’s Revolutionary Idea by Thomas Wright
2015 | EPUB | 1.87MB

Diminutive, brilliant and choleric, William Harvey had a huge impact on anatomy and modern biology. Arguably the greatest Englishman in the history of science after Newton and Darwin, Harvey's obsessive quest to understand the movement of the blood overturned beliefs held by anatomists and physicians since Roman times. His circulation theory was as controversial in its day as Copernicus' idea that the earth revolved around the sun.

Set in the beating heart of late Renaissance London, Thomas Wright's vivid and visceral biography shows how Harvey drew inspiration not only from his dissections and vivisections, but also from the world around him: from England's bustling trade networks to technological developments of the time. It features a dramatic cast of historical characters, including Francis Bacon, England's Lord Chancellor and a recalcitrant patient of Harvey's; John Donne, a poet and preacher fascinated with anatomy and the human heart; and King Charles I, Harvey's beloved patron and witness to many of his experiments.

Harvey's circulation theory, in turn, permeated and altered the culture and language of its time, influencing poets and economists. To the dismay of the arch-Royalist Harvey, it also encouraged radical political ideas - and just as cherished anatomical orthodoxies could be toppled, so was the King during the Civil War. In more ways than one, Harvey's idea was truly revolutionary, yet astonishingly, it gained currency in his lifetime.

Circulationcharts the remarkable rise of a yeoman's son to the position of King's physician, offers a fresh interpretation of his ideas, and above all, celebrates a brilliant mind that epitomized a rich moment in England's intellectual history.

Climbs & Punishment by Felix Lowe [EPUB]

Climbs & Punishment by Felix Lowe [EPUB]
Climbs & Punishment by Felix Lowe
2014 | EPUB | 12.66MB

After almost a decade of reporting on the exploits of the pro peloton, raconteur Felix Lowe takes to the saddle and sets out to conquer the road from Barcelona to Rome. Powered by local delicacies, painkillers and imaginary fans, Lowe pedals his way through three countries and over three mountain ranges, taking in some of the sport's most fabled climbs.

Following in the tracks of the world's greatest wheelmen, he puts professional cycling's three major stage races - the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia - under the microscope, whilst capturing the potent mix of madness, humour and human spirit that fuels stage winners and pedal spinners alike.

Tracing the footsteps of the celebrated Carthaginian general Hannibal, who led his own pachyderm peloton of thirty-seven elephants over the Alps and all the way to the gates of Rome, Lowe's epic quest pays homage to the sport, examines the psychology of both the crazed amateur and the pedalling pro, and delves into the awesome march of a military genius who almost brought the Roman Empire to its knees.

Picasso by Gertrude Stein [EPUB]

Picasso by Gertrude Stein [EPUB]
Picasso by Gertrude Stein
2012 | EPUB | 14.46MB

For more than a generation, Gertrude Stein's Paris home at 27 rue de Fleurus was the center of a glittering coterie of artists and writers, one of whom was Pablo Picasso. In this intimate and revealing memoir, Stein tells us much about the great man (and herself) and offers many insights into the life and art of the 20th century's greatest painter.

Mixing biological fact with artistic and aesthetic comments, she limns a unique portrait of Picasso as a founder of Cubism, an intimate of Appollinaire, Max Jacob, Braque, Derain, and others, and a genius driven by a ceaseless quest to convey his vision of the 20th century. We learn, for example, of the importance of his native Spain in shaping Picasso's approach to art; of the influence of calligraphy and African sculpture; of his profound struggle to remain true to his own vision; of the overriding need to empty himself of the forms and ideas that welled up within him.

Stein's close relationship with Picasso furnishes her with a unique vantage point in composing this perceptive and provocative reminiscence. It will delight any admirer of Picasso or Gertrude Stein; it is indispensable to an understanding of modern art.

Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict [EPUB]

Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict [EPUB]
Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict by Ronald Bergan
2016 | EPUB | 31.25MB

Now back in print, this acclaimed biography reassesses a titan of early cinema based on new material released after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict tells the dramatic story of one of world cinema’s towering geniuses and principal theorists. Ronald Bergan details Eisenstein’s life from his precocious childhood to his explosion onto the avant-garde scene in revolutionary Russia, through his groundbreaking film career, his relationships with authors and artists such as James Joyce and Walt Disney, and his untimely death at age fifty. Eisenstein’s landmark films, including The Battleship Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible, are still watched, admired, and taught throughout the world.

Drawing upon material recently released from the Soviet archives after the breakup of the USSR and from Eisenstein’s personal letters, diaries, and sketches, Bergan shines a new light on the influence of Eisenstein’s early life on his work, his homosexuality, and his keen interest in the West. This book is the definitive biography of an influential director who saw film as the synthesis of all the arts and whose work displayed a passionate and profound grasp of art, science, philosophy, and religion.

Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story [EPUB]

Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story [EPUB]
Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story by David Buckley
2005 | EPUB | 2.1MB

David Bowie was arguably the most influential artist of his time, reinventing himself again and again, transforming music, style and art for over five decades.

David Buckley's unique approach to unravelling the Bowie enigma, via interviews with many of the singer's closest associates, biography and academic analysis, makes this unrivalled biography a classic for Bowie fans old and new. This revised edition of Strange Fascination captures exclusive details about the tours, the making of the albums, the arguments, the split-ups, the music and, most importantly, the man himself. Also including exclusive photographic material, Strange Fascination is the most complete account of David Bowie and his impact on pop culture ever written.

Becoming Frozen: Memoir of a First Year in Alaska [EPUB]

Becoming Frozen: Memoir of a First Year in Alaska [EPUB]
Becoming Frozen: Memoir of a First Year in Alaska by Jill Homer
2015 | EPUB | 1.66MB

Jill Homer was just another naive young woman who followed a man to the Last Frontier — but it was Alaska that won her heart. This memoir is a love story about the wonderful, humorous, and sometimes harrowing experiences that await when a woman throws her heart to the wind just to see where it lands. After taking a job at a weekly newspaper in Homer, Alaska, Jill and her partner forge a new life in a town where artists and sport fishermen drive the local economy, grizzly bears roam through back yards, social outings feature death-defying ski trips or kayaking rough seas in freezing rain, and business attire means wearing three sweaters to an unheated office. As Jill adapts to Homer's idiosyncrasies, she finds her own quirky hobby — riding a bike on snow. Despite having little in the way of an athletic background or talent, Jill signs up for a hundred-mile race across frozen wilderness. As the harsh Alaskan winter sets in, she launches a tenacious training routine that takes her far out of her comfort zone. Here, under the Northern Lights, battling exhaustion and extreme cold, Jill discovers the heart of Alaska. And there's no going back.

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir [EPUB]

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir [EPUB]
The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner
2016 | EPUB | 1.13MB

A riveting, deeply affecting true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist family.

RUTH WARINER was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turn a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father―the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony―is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant.

In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.

Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable memoir of one girl’s fight for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

Paul John Flory: A Life of Science and Friends [PDF]

Paul John Flory: A Life of Science and Friends [PDF]
Paul John Flory: A Life of Science and Friends by Gary D Patterson, James E Mark, Joel Fried, Do Yoon
2015 | PDF | 26.0MB

Paul John Flory: A Life of Science and Friends is the first full-length treatment of the life and work of Paul John Flory, recipient of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1974. It presents a chronological progression of his scientific, professional, and personal achievements as recounted and written by his former students and colleagues.

This book covers the span of Flory’s life, including a family history and reflections on the marks he left on the lives of various individuals within the scientific community. He played a major role in the consolidation of the macromolecular paradigm in chemistry, physics, and materials science. His influence permeates virtually every aspect of polymer science. The book includes an extensive collection of personal remembrances telling the circumstances under which colleagues worked with Flory, discussing their joint work, and assessing Flory’s place in polymer science, chemistry, and world science.

The contributors memorialize Flory for more than his scientific and technical contributions. Several chapters are written by living friends who reflect upon his impact on their work and careers. He also played a role in human rights within the scientific community, making efforts to liberate scientists who lived and worked behind the Iron Curtain, particularly in the Soviet Union.

Paul John Flory: A Life of Science and Friends illustrates an example of an individual of scientific and personal excellence. His living friends and colleagues believe his story must be told. In telling it and making it available for future generations, his closest friends and colleagues ensure his continued inspiration to people in and outside laboratories worldwide.

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush [EPUB]

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush [EPUB]
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
2015 | EPUB | 122.03MB

In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.

His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics.

With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.

From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.

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