Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life [EPUB]
07 February 2015, 19:13
2014 | EPUB | 27.9MB
In the dazzling global metropolis of Shanghai, what has it meant to call this city home? In this account--part microhistory, part memoir--Jie Li salvages intimate recollections by successive generations of inhabitants of two vibrant, culturally mixed Shanghai alleyways from the Republican, Maoist, and post-Mao eras. Exploring three dimensions of private life--territories, artifacts, and gossip--Li re-creates the sounds, smells, look, and feel of home over a tumultuous century.
First built by British and Japanese companies in 1915 and 1927, the two homes at the center of this narrative were located in an industrial part of the former "International Settlement." Before their recent demolition, they were nestled in Shanghai's labyrinthine alleyways, which housed more than half of the city's population from the Sino-Japanese War to the Cultural Revolution. Through interviews with her own family members as well as their neighbors, classmates, and co-workers, Li weaves a complex social tapestry reflecting the lived experiences of ordinary people struggling to absorb and adapt to major historical change. These voices include workers, intellectuals, Communists, Nationalists, foreigners, compradors, wives, concubines, and children who all fought for a foothold and haven in this city, witnessing spectacles so full of farce and pathos they could only be whispered as secret histories.
Norman Rockwell: A Life [EPUB]
05 February 2015, 23:39
2001 | EPUB | 2.87MB
Norman Rockwell’s tremendously successful, prolific career as a painter and illustrator has rendered him a twentieth-century American icon. However, the very popularity and accessibility of his idealized, nostalgic depictions of middleclass life have caused him to be considered not a serious artist but a “mere illustrator”–a disparagement only reinforced by the hundreds of memorable covers he drew for The Sunday Evening Post.
Symptomatic of critics’ neglect is the fact that Rockwell has never before been the subject of a serious critical biography. Based on private family archives and interviews and publishes to coincide with a major two-year travelling retrospective of his work, this book reveals for the first time the driven workaholic who had three complicated marriages and was a distant father —so different from the loving, all-American-dad image widely held to this day. Critically acclaimed author Laura Claridge also breaks new ground with her reappraisal of Rockwell’s art, arguing that despite his popular sentimental style, his artistry was masterful, complex, and far more manipulative than people realize.
Eugene O'Neill: A Life in Four Acts [EPUB]
05 February 2015, 23:36
2014 | EPUB | 6.7MB
This extraordinary new biography fully captures the intimacies of Eugene O'Neill's tumultuous life and the profound impact of his work on American drama. Robert M. Dowling innovatively recounts O'Neill's life in four acts, thus highlighting how the stories he told for the stage interweave with his actual life stories. Each episode also uncovers how O'Neill's work was utterly intertwined with, and galvanized by, the culture and history of his time.
Much is new in this extensively researched book: connections between O'Neill's plays and his political and philosophical worldview; insights into his Irish upbringing and lifelong torment over losing faith in God; his vital role in African American cultural history; unpublished photographs, including a unique offstage picture of him with his lover Louise Bryant; new evidence of O'Neill's desire to become a novelist and what this reveals about his unique dramatic voice; and a startling revelation about the release of Long Day's Journey Into Night in defiance of his explicit instructions. This biography is also the first to discuss O'Neill's lost play Exorcism (a single copy of which was only recently recovered), a dramatization of his own suicide attempt.
Written with lively informality yet a scholar's strict accuracy, Eugene O'Neill: A Life in Four Acts is a biography that America's foremost playwright richly deserves.
Judi: Behind the Scenes [EPUB]
04 February 2015, 07:57
2014 | EPUB | 36.19MB
From her first theatrical roles as a teenager in York to her scene-stealing performances as 'M' in the James Bond films, Dame Judi Dench's professional life has consisted of non-stop acting, leading to numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love.
Behind the Scenes is a candid blend of reminiscences and photos, many of them never-before-seen from her personal collection. It's a uniquely personal take on her life and brilliant career, showing her off-stage as well as on. Looking back, she provides her millions of fans with reflections and remembrances of those who have mattered to her most - her family, fellow actors, directors and writers - communicating them with the truth and insight that is the hallmark of her acting. Behind the Scenes takes up where her New York Times bestselling memoir and furthermore left off. Dame Judi looks back on the last few years to talk about her role as "M" in the Bond films, the joy of ensemble acting in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the chance to tell the story of the heroic woman at the center of Philomena, her joy in appearing with other great actresses in the MaterpieceTheatre Cranford and her return to the stage in Peter and Alice.
Tireless in her desire to perfect her craft, she says "I simply want to go on acting. I suppose I could always be wheeled on stage if necessary. The great thing about acting is that it never ends."
The Angel of Bang Kwang Prison [EPUB]
04 February 2015, 07:33
2011 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Susan Aldous had been on a path to self-destruction when she decided to give her life to others instead of wasting it away in Melbournes dark underbelly. Working as a Playboy bunny girl, an admirer sponsored her to travel abroad for charity. She left a world of drugs and petty crime behind and moved to Singapore, then to Thailand to work on a nine day project helping the socially disadvantaged. 18 years later she is still there. A single mother with no salary and few possessions, she devotes her life to helping others, visiting prisoners who have nobody else to turn to.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: Modern American Revolutionary [EPUB]
04 February 2015, 03:30
2015 | EPUB | 5.25MB
In 1906, fifteen-year old Elizabeth Gurley Flynn mounted a soapbox in Times Square to denounce capitalism and proclaim a new era for women’s freedom. Quickly recognized as a formidable public speaker and organizer, she devoted her life to creating a socialist America “free from poverty, exploitation, greed and injustice.” Flynn became the most important female leader of the Industrial Workers of the World and of the American Communist Party, fighting tirelessly for workers’ rights to organize and to express dissenting ideas. Weaving together Flynn’s personal and political life, this biography reveals previously unrecognized connections between feminism, socialism, free love, and free speech. Flynn’s remarkable career casts new light on the long and varied history of radicalism in the United States.
Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words [EPUB]
01 February 2015, 18:37
2014 | EPUB | 4.68MB
A lush exploration of Joni Mitchell’s career and art
When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer she’d first met late one night in 1966 at a Yorkville coffeehouse. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their last recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process.
In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni’s childhood, love and loss, playing dives and huge festivals, acclaim and criticism, poverty and affluence, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes . . .
This riveting narrative, told in interviews, lyrics, paintings, and photographs, is shared in the hope of illuminating a timeless body of work and inspiring others.
Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News [EPUB]
01 February 2015, 02:33
2012 | EPUB | 2.35MB
This memoir by Dan Rather is told in a straightforward and conversational voice, and covers all the important moments of his journalistic career, including a frank accounting of his dismissal from CBS, the Abu Ghraib story, the George W. Bush Air National Guard controversy, new insights on the JFK assassination, the origin of "Hurricane Dan" as well as inside stories about all the U.S. Presidents he covered and all the top personalities Dan has either interviewed or worked with over his distinguished career.
The book will also include Dan's thoughts on the state of journalism today and what he sees for its future, as well as never-before-revealed personal observations and commentary.
The Wizard of Menlo Park [EPUB]
31 January 2015, 18:20
2007 | EPUB | 1.43MB
At the height of his fame Thomas Alva Edison was hailed as “the Napoleon of invention” and blazed in the public imagination as a virtual demigod. Newspapers proclaimed his genius in glowing personal profiles and quipped that “the doctor has been called” because the great man “has not invented anything since breakfast.” Starting with the first public demonstrations of the phonograph in 1878 and extending through the development of incandescent light, a power generation and distribution system to sustain it, and the first motion picture cameras—all achievements more astonishing in their time than we can easily grasp today—Edison’s name became emblematic of all the wonder and promise of the emerging age of technological marvels.
But as Randall Stross makes clear in this critical biography of the man who is arguably the most globally famous of all Americans, Thomas Edison’s greatest invention may have been his own celebrity. Edison was certainly a technical genius, but Stross excavates the man from layers of myth-making and separates his true achievements from his almost equally colossal failures. How much credit should Edison receive for the various inventions that have popularly been attributed to him—and how many of them resulted from both the inspiration and the perspiration of his rivals and even his own assistants? How much of Edison’s technical skill helped him overcome a lack of business acumen and feel for consumers’ wants and needs?
This bold reassessment of Edison’s life and career answers these and many other important questions while telling the story of how he came upon his most famous inventions as a young man and spent the remainder of his long life trying to conjure similar success. We also meet his partners and competitors, presidents and entertainers, his close friend Henry Ford, the wives who competed with his work for his attention, and the children who tried to thrive in his shadow—all providing a fuller view of Edison’s life and times than has ever been offered before. The Wizard of Menlo Park reveals not only how Edison worked, but how he managed his own fame, becoming the first great celebrity of the modern age.
As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling [EPUB]
27 January 2015, 19:24
2014 | EPUB | 2.53MB
In Twilight Zone reruns, I search for my father in the man on the screen, but I can't always find him there. Instead, he appears in unexpected ways. Memory summoned by a certain light, a color, a smell--and I see him again on the porch of our old red lakeside cottage, where I danced on the steps as a child.
To Anne Serling, the imposing figure the public saw hosting The Twilight Zone each week, intoning cautionary observations about fate, chance, and humanity, was not the father she knew. Her fun-loving dad would play on the floor with the dogs, had nicknames for everyone in the family, and was apt to put a lampshade on his head and break out in song. He was her best friend, her playmate, and her confidant.
After his unexpected death at 50, Anne, just 20, was left stunned. Gradually, she found solace for her grief by talking to his friends, poring over old correspondence, and recording her childhood memories. Now she shares personal photos, eloquent, revealing letters, and beautifully rendered scenes of his childhood, war years, and their family's time together. Idyllic summers in upstate New York, the years in Los Angeles, and the myriad ways he filled their time with laughter, strength, and endearing silliness--all are captured here with deep affection and candor.
Though begun in loss, Anne's story is a celebration of her extraordinary relationship with her father and the qualities she came to prize through him--empathy, kindness, and an uncompromising sense of social justice. As I Knew Him is a lyrical, intimate tribute to Rod Serling's legacy as visionary, storyteller, and humanist, and a moving testament to the love between fathers and daughters.