Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life [EPUB]
31 August 2015, 21:22
2009 | EPUB | 3.64MB
The first biography of america’s best-known short story writer of the late twentieth century.
The London Times called Raymond Carver "the American Chekhov." The beloved, mischievous, but more modest short-story writer and poet thought of himself as "a lucky man" whose renunciation of alcohol allowed him to live "ten years longer than I or anyone expected."
In that last decade, Carver became the leading figure in a resurgence of the short story. Readers embraced his precise, sad, often funny and poignant tales of ordinary people and their troubles: poverty, drunkenness, embittered marriages, difficulties brought on by neglect rather than intent. Since Carver died in 1988 at age fifty, his legacy has been mythologized by admirers and tainted by controversy over a zealous editor’s shaping of his first two story collections.
Carol Sklenicka penetrates the myths and controversies. Her decade-long search of archives across the United States and her extensive interviews with Carver’s relatives, friends, and colleagues have enabled her to write the definitive story of the iconic literary figure. Laced with the voices of people who knew Carver intimately, her biography offers a fresh appreciation of his work and an unbiased, vivid portrait of the writer.
The Last Stalinist: The Life of Santiago Carrillo [EPUB]
28 August 2015, 02:19
2014 | EPUB | 5.39MB
The life of the complex, ruthless adversary of General Franco, whose life spanned much of Spain’s turbulent 20th century.
From 1939 to 1975, the Spanish Communist Party, effectively lead for two decades by Santiago Carrillo, was the most determined opponent of General Franco’s Nationalist regime. Admired by many on the left as a revolutionary and a pillar of the anti-Franco struggle, and hated by others as a Stalinist gravedigger of the revolution, Santiago Carrillo was arguably the dictator’s most consistent left-wing enemy.
For many on the right, Carrillo was a monster to be vilified as a mass murderer for his activities during the Civil War. But his survival owed to certain qualities that he had in abundance – a capacity for hard work, stamina and endurance, writing and oratorical skills, intelligence and cunning – though honesty and loyalty were not among them.
One by one he turned on those who helped him in his desire for advancement, revealing the ruthless streak that he shared with Franco, and a zeal for rewriting his past. Drawing on the numerous, continuously revised accounts Carillo created of his life, and contrasting them with those produced by his friends and enemies, Spain’s greatest modern historian Paul Preston unravels the legend of a devastating and controversial figure at the heart of 20th-century Spanish politics.
The Magic World of Orson Welles [EPUB]
28 August 2015, 02:17
2015 | EPUB + PDF | 3.61/4.12MB
Prodigy. Iconoclast. Genius. Exile. Orson Welles remains one of the most discussed figures in cinematic history. James Naremore presents a revised third edition of his incomparable study, including a new section on the unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind. Naremore analyzes the political and psychological implications of the films, Welles's idiosyncratic style, and the biographical details--both playful and vexing--that impacted the works. Itself a historic film study, The Magic World of Orson Welles unlocks the soaring art and quixotic methods of a master.
Monty and Rommel: Parallel Lives [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:17
2011 | EPUB | 2.48MB
The first comparative biography of two of the most charismatic, and strategically important, military leaders of the Second World War.
This is the story of two men with electrifying personal qualities born around the same time, who between them altered our understanding of leadership in battle.
The book traces Montgomery and Rommel's lives from their provincial upbringing, through to facing each other across the trenches in the First World War, to North Africa and Europe in the second. Both were on the periphery of the military establishment. Both were in part creations of the propaganda of their own and that of their superiors. As this book will show, they were alike in many ways and they represent the first time military commanders proactively and systematically used (and were used by) the media as they came to prominence in the North Africa campaign.
Peter Caddick Adams explores and compares their tactical talents and their personalities in battle. They each brought something special to their respective commands. Rommel's performance with the 7th Panzer in 1940 was inspired. Montgomery is a gift for leadership gurus in the way he took over a demoralised Eighth Army in August 1942 and lead it to victory just two months later. As the author shows he brought with him an extraordinary personal charisma not just 300 new American Sherman tanks.
In this first comparative biography the author shows that both commanders also brought something entirely new of the business of modern command: they gave trusted subordiates room to use their initiative. And he explores their natural instinctive feel for combat -- the German term for this (there is no direct translation) is fingerspitengefuhl.
This ground-breaking work is both scholarly and entertaining and marks the debut of a major new talent in historical biography.
Robert E. Lee: A Biography [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:16
1997 | EPUB | 3.87MB
"The best and most balanced of the Lee biographies."—New York Review of Books
The life of Robert E. Lee is a story not of defeat but of triumph—triumph in clearing his family name, triumph in marrying properly, triumph over the mighty Mississippi in his work as an engineer, and triumph over all other military men to become the towering figure who commanded the Confederate army in the American Civil War. But late in life Lee confessed that he "was always wanting something."
In this probing and personal biography, Emory Thomas reveals more than the man himself did. Robert E. Lee has been, and continues to be, a symbol and hero in the American story. But in life, Thomas writes, Lee was both more and less than his legend. Here is the man behind the legend.
Beethoven: The Music and the Life [EPUB]
12 August 2015, 06:15
2005 | EPUB | 19.22MB
An authoritative work offering a fresh look at Beethoven’s life, career, and milieu. “Magisterial” —New York Review of Books.
This brilliant portrayal weaves Beethoven's musical and biographical stories into their historical and artistic contexts. Lewis Lockwood sketches the turbulent personal, historical, political, and cultural frameworks in which Beethoven worked and examines their effects on his music.
Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped [EPUB]
10 August 2015, 21:04
2015 | EPUB | 3.48MB
A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of late twentieth-century fashion, an iconic designer whose colorful creations, including the “wrap dress,” captured the modern feminist spirit.
The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and wife of an Austrian nobleman, Diane von Furstenberg burst onto New York’s fashion scene in 1969, and within a few years became an international sensation with her colorful wrap dress in printed jersey. Embraced by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object and symbol of women’s liberation, tied inexorably to the image of youth, independence, and sex Diane herself projected.
In this masterful biography, Gioia Diliberto brings Diane’s extraordinary life into focus, from her post-World-War-II childhood in Belgium, through her rise to the top of the fashion world during the decadent seventies and glamorous go-go eighties, to her humiliating failures both professional and personal, and her remarkable comeback in the nineties. Like Coco Chanel, Diane has always been her own best advertisement. Morphing from a frizzy brunette outsider in a sea of sleek blondes to a stunning pop cultural icon, she embodied the brand she created—“the DVF woman,” a model of self-sufficiency, sensuality, and confidence.
Diliberto’s captivating, balanced portrait, based on scores of interviews with Diane’s family, friends, lovers, employees, and the designer herself, explores von Furstenberg’s relationships with her husbands and lovers, and illuminates fashion’s evolution from rare luxury to marketing monster and the development of a uniquely American style. Lively and insightful, the book also explores the larger world of the nation’s elite, where fashion, culture, society, politics, and Hollywood collide. Diane von Furstenberg is a modern fable of self-invention, fame, wealth, failure, and success that mirrors late-twentieth century America itself.
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age [PDF]
10 August 2015, 21:03
2013 | PDF | 13.8MB
Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius. Even at the end of his life when he was living in poverty, Tesla still attracted reporters to his annual birthday interview, regaling them with claims that he had invented a particle-beam weapon capable of bringing down enemy aircraft.
Plenty of biographies glamorize Tesla and his eccentricities, but until now none has carefully examined what, how, and why he invented. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time, and focusing on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. Drawing on original documents from Tesla's private and public life, Carlson shows how he was an "idealist" inventor who sought the perfect experimental realization of a great idea or principle, and who skillfully sold his inventions to the public through mythmaking and illusion.
This major biography sheds new light on Tesla's visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his most important technological breakthroughs.
Mozart, Haydn and Early Beethoven: 1781-1802 [EPUB]
10 August 2015, 21:02
2009 | EPUB | 23.19MB
A vivid portrait of Mozart and Haydn's greatest achievements and young Beethoven's works under their influence.
Completing the trilogy begun with Haydn, Mozart and the Viennese School, 1740-1780 and continued in Music in European Capitals: The Galant Style, 1720-1780, Daniel Heartz concludes his extensive chronicle of the Classical Era with this much-anticipated third volume. By the early years of the nineteenth century, "Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven" had become a catchphrase―a commonplace expression signifying musical excellence. Indeed, even in his early career, Beethoven was hailed as the only musician worthy to stand beside Haydn and Mozart. In this volume, Heartz winds up the careers of Haydn and Mozart (who during the 1780s produced their most famous and greatest works) and describes Beethoven's first decade in Vienna, during which he began composing by patterning his works on the two masters. The tumult and instability of the French Revolution serves as a vivid historical backdrop for the tale.
Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness [EPUB]
10 August 2015, 21:00
2010 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Two titans of twentieth-century thought: their lives, loves, ideas, and politics.
Shaking up the content and method by which generations of students had studied Western philosophy, Martin Heidegger sought to ennoble man’s existence in relation to death. Yet in a time of crisis, he sought personal advancement, becoming the most prominent German intellectual to join the Nazis.
Hannah Arendt, his brilliant, beautiful student and young lover, sought to enable a decent society of human beings in relation to one other. She was courageous in the time of crisis. Years later, she was even able to meet Heidegger once again on common ground and to find in his past behavior an insight into Nazism that would influence her reflections on “the banality of evil”―a concept that remains bitterly controversial and profoundly influential to this day.
But how could Arendt have renewed her friendship with Heidegger? And how has this relationship affected her reputation as a cultural critic? In Stranger from Abroad, Daniel Maier-Katkin offers a compassionate portrait that provides much-needed insight into this relationship.
Maier-Katkin creates a detailed and riveting portrait of Arendt’s rich intellectual and emotional life, shedding light on the unique bond she shared with her second husband, Heinrich Blücher, and on her friendships with Mary McCarthy, W. H. Auden, Karl Jaspers, and Randall Jarrell―all fascinating figures in their own right. An elegant, accessible introduction to Arendt’s life and work, Stranger from Abroad makes a powerful and hopeful case for the lasting relevance of Arendt’s thought.