To Fight Alongside Friends [EPUB]

To Fight Alongside Friends [EPUB]
To Fight Alongside Friends: The First World War Diaries of Charlie May edited by Gerry Harrison
2014 | EPUB | 5.36MB

The First World War Diaries of Manchester Pals Captain Charlie May – written and kept in secret and published now for the first time. A born storyteller, Charlie May’s vivid eye for detail and warm good humour brings his experience in the trenches (and the experience of millions of ordinary men like him) to life for a 21st-century readership.

Captain Charlie May was killed, aged 27, in the early morning of 1st July 1916, leading the men of ‘B Company’, 22nd Manchester Service Battalion (the Manchester Pals) into action on the first day of the Somme.

This tolerant and immensely likeable man had been born in New Zealand and – against King’s regulations – he kept a diary in seven small, wallet-sized pocket books. A journalist before the war and a born storyteller, May’s diaries give a vivid picture of battalion life in and behind the trenches during the build-up to the greatest battle fought by a British army and are filled with the friendships and tensions, the home-sickness, frustrations, delays and endless postponements, the fog of ignorance, the combination of boredom and terror to which every man that has ever fought could testify.

His diaries reflect on the progress of the war, tell jokes – good and bad, give details of horse-rides along the Somme valley, afternoons with a fishing rod, lunch in Amiens, a gastronomic celebration of Christmas 1915 and concerts in ‘Whiz Bang Hall’. He describes battles not just with the enemy, but with rats, crows and on the makeshift football pitch – all recorded with a freshness that brings these stories home as if for the first time.

The diaries are also written as an extended and deeply-moving love letter to his wife Maude and baby daughter Pauline. ‘I do not want to die’, he wrote – ‘Not that I mind for myself. If it be that I am to go, I am ready. But the thought that I may never see you or our darling baby again turns my bowels to water.’

Fresh, eloquent and warm, these diaries were kept secret from the censor and were delivered to his wife after his death by a fellow soldier in Charlie’s company. Edited by his great-nephew and published for the first time, these diaries give an unforgettable account of the war that took Charlie May’s life, and millions of others like him.

Betrayed: Escape from Iraq [EPUB]

Betrayed: Escape from Iraq [EPUB]
Betrayed: Escape from Iraq (A terrifying true story of a young woman dragged back to Iraq by her parents to live under threat of death from the ancient custom of honour killing) Latifa Ali, Richard Shears
2011 | EPUB | 2.59MB

A true story of how a clash of cultures threatens a young woman’s life!

She must escape from Iraq as soon as possible or she will be forced to die for her family's honour.

No passport. No freedom. No escape.

This is the true story of Latifa Ali, raised as a westerner, but betrayed by her family and friends and left prisoner of her father in Iraq. She has no allies, no liberty as a Muslim woman and no access to any embassy.

As the war on terror rages around her, Latifa is at war with the culture and customs. Imprisoned, abused and violated, her efforts to escape Iraq fail and her death looms closer.

Working as a spy, consorting with the UN and racing for the border, Latifa has a dangerous secret that will threaten her life if exposed.

Fierce Patriot [EPUB]

Fierce Patriot [EPUB]
Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman by Robert L O'Connell
2014 | EPUB | 8.26MB

William Tecumseh Sherman was more than just one of our greatest generals. Fierce Patriot is a bold, revisionist portrait of how this iconic and enigmatic figure exerted an outsize impact on the American landscape—and the American character.

America’s first “celebrity” general, William Tecumseh Sherman was a man of many faces. Some of them were exalted in the public eye. Others were known only to intimates—his family, friends and lovers, and the soldiers under his command. In this rich and layered portrait, Robert L. O’Connell captures the man in full for the first time. From his early exploits in Florida, to his role in California at the start of the Gold Rush, through his brilliant but tempestuous generalship during the Civil War, and to his postwar career as a key player in the building of the transcontinental railroad, Sherman was, as O’Connell puts it, the “human embodiment of Manifest Destiny.”

Here is Sherman the military strategist of genius, a master of logistics whose uncanny grasp of terrain and brilliant sense of timing always seemed to land him in the right place at the most opportune moments. O’Connell shows how Sherman’s creation of an agile, improvisational fighting force—the Army of the West—helped turn the tide of the Civil War and laid the foundation for modern U.S. ground forces. Then there is “Uncle Billy,” Sherman’s public persona, a charismatic hero to his troops and quotable catnip to the newspaper writers of his day.

Here, too, is the private Sherman. He was born into one powerhouse family—his grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence—and was adopted into another. His foster father, Thomas Ewing, was an influential politician and cabinet member who helped provide key opportunities for Sherman throughout his career. But Sherman’s fraught relationship with Ewing, coupled with his appetite for women, parties, and the high life of the New York theater, certainly complicated his already turbulent marriage to his foster sister Ellen, a relationship O’Connell likens to a mix of “gunpowder and gasoline”—altogether a family triangle that might have sprung from the pages of a Victorian novel.

As he peels away the layers of the Sherman persona, O’Connell dispels a number of common misperceptions about his subject. He sheds new light on Sherman’s relationship with Ulysses S. Grant, and also on his struggle against Nathan Bedford Forrest and the insurgency that was the other half of the Civil War along the Mississippi. Later he reveals Sherman’s fabled march from Atlanta to the sea not as a campaign of unmitigated destruction, as it is often portrayed, but the careful execution of a necessary piece of strategy calculated to scare the South back into the Union. O’Connell’s Sherman is no Attila, but a complicated soldier/statesman—perhaps the quintessential nineteenth-century American.

Warrior, family man, American icon, William Tecumseh Sherman has finally found a biographer worthy of his protean gifts. A masterful character study whose myriad insights are leavened with its author’s trademark wit, Fierce Patriot will stand as the essential book on Sherman for decades to come.

Over the Ocean [EPUB]

Over the Ocean [EPUB]
Over the Ocean: A Wartime Story of Exile and Enduring Love by Erica Fischer
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.97/0.43MB

The extraordinary true love story of a couple who were separated during a shameful and fascinating chapter of British history, told by the couple's daughter.

In July 1940, Erich Fischer found himself in Liverpool being herded onto a British transport ship bound for Australia, along with 2,500 other men. Conditions on board were horrific, with men locked below decks with overflowing latrines and only seawater to clean themselves. Separated from family, friends and removed from any semblance of a normal life, Erich is unsure whether he will ever see wife again.

Erica Fischer’s Over the Ocean tells the extraordinary story of her own parents and at the same time sheds light on a little-known and little-discussed chapter in British history. Fischer’s parents met in Austria in the early 1930s. Her mother, Irka, was a Polish Jew and her father, Erich, was a Viennese lapsed Catholic. Faced with growing unrest in Europe, Irka fled to the United Kingdom in 1938, her husband followed a year later. However at the outbreak of war, Erich had been arrested as an ‘enemy alien’, and having been interned was deported to the opposite side of the world. Faced with unimaginable hardships, the deportees banded together in solidarity to face their new life in Australia and Erich was, against the odds, able to make contact with Irka and their letters established a lifeline between continents.

Out of Africa [EPUB]

Out of Africa [EPUB]
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
2002 | EPUB | 1.96MB

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors--lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes--and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1937.

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M Schneerson [EPUB]

Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M Schneerson [EPUB]
Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History by Joseph Telushkin
2014 | EPUB | 2.82MB

In this enlightening biography, Joseph Telushkin offers a captivating portrait of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a towering figure who saw beyond conventional boundaries to turn his movement, Chabad-Lubavitch, into one of the most dynamic and widespread organizations ever seen in the Jewish world. At once an incisive work of history and a compendium of Rabbi Schneerson's teachings, Rebbe is the definitive guide to understanding one of the most vital, intriguing figures of the last centuries.

From his modest headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Rebbe advised some of the world's greatest leaders and shaped matters of state and society. Statesmen and artists as diverse as Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy, Yitzchak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Elie Wiesel, and Bob Dylan span the spectrum of those who sought his counsel. The Rebbe was the only rabbi ever to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, and to have an American national day, Education and Sharing Day, proclaimed in his honor. No one has succeeded him in his position. Nevertheless, twenty years after his death, his movement has doubled in size, spreading to more than eighty countries, and his impact resonates still. But what was the secret of the Rebbe's success and influence? What principles of leadership guided him? And how did he rally such extraordinary devotion and resolve?

Rebbe explores Schneerson's overarching philosophies against the backdrop of treacherous history, revealing his clandestine operations to rescue and sustain Jews in the Soviet Union, and his critical role in the expansion of the food stamp program throughout the United States. More broadly, it examines how he became in effect an ambassador for Jews globally, and how he came to be viewed by many as not only a spiritual archetype but a savior. Telushkin also delves deep into the more controversial aspects of the Rebbe's leadership, analyzing his views on modern science and territorial compromise in Israel, and how in the last years of his life, many of his followers believed that he would soon be revealed as the Messiah, a source of contention until this day.

Epic, intimate, and masterfully told, Rebbe is the definitive work on a monumental and multifaceted leader, written by one of today's most prominent and respected Jewish scholars.

Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer [EPUB]

Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer [EPUB]
Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer by Alan Huffman
2013 | EPUB | 4.49MB

Tim Hetherington (1970-2011) was one of the world’s most distinguished and dedicated photojournalists, whose career was tragically cut short when he died in a mortar blast while covering the Libyan Civil War. Tim won many awards for his war reporting, and was nominated for an Academy Award for the critically acclaimed documentary, Restrepo. Hetherington’s dedication to his career led him time after time into war zones, and unlike some other journalists, he did not pack up after the story had broken.

In Here I Am, journalist and freelance writer Alan Huffman tells Hetherington’s life story, and through it analyzes what it means to be a war reporter in the twenty-first century. Huffman recounts Hetherington’s life from his first interests in photography, through his critical role in reporting the Liberian Civil War, to his tragic death in Libya. Huffman also traces Hetherington’s photographic milestones, from his iconic and prize-winning photographs of Liberian children, to the celebrated portraits of sleeping U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Here I Am explores the risks, challenges, and thrills of war reporting, and is a testament to the unique work of people like Hetherington, who risk their lives to give a voice to people ravaged by war.

No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife [EPUB]

No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife [EPUB]
No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife by Angela Ricketts
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.5/0.84MB

Raised as an Army brat, Angie Ricketts thought she knew what she was in for when she eloped with Jack—then an infantry lieutenant—on the eve of his deployment to Somalia. Since that time, Jack, now a colonel, has been deployed eight times, serving four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Ricketts, has lived every one of those deployments intimately—distant enough to survive the years spent apart from her husband, but close enough to share a common purpose and a lifestyle they both love.

With humor, candor, and a brazen attitude, Ricketts pulls back the curtain on a subculture many readers know, but few ever will experience. Counter to the dramatized snap shot seen on Lifetime’s Army Wives, Ricketts digs into the personalities and posturing that officers’ wives must survive daily—whether navigating a social event on post, suffering through a husband’s prolonged deployment or reacting to a close friend’s death in combat.

At its core, No Man’s War is a story of sisterhood and survival.

Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress [EPUB]

Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress [EPUB]
Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress, Revised and Updated by Carl Rollyson
2014 | EPUB | 4.08MB

In American popular culture, Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) has evolved in stature from movie superstar to American icon. Monroe's own understanding of her place in the American imagination and her effort to perfect her talent as an actress are explored with great sensitivity in Carl Rollyson's engaging narrative. He shows how movies became crucial events in the shaping of Monroe's identity. He regards her enduring gifts as a creative artist, discussing how her smaller roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve established the context for her career, while in-depth chapters on her more important roles in Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot, and The Misfits provide the centerpiece of his examination of her life and career.

Through extensive interviews with many of Monroe's colleagues, close friends, and other biographers, and a careful rethinking of the literature written about her, Rollyson is able to describe her use of Method acting and her studies with Michael Chekhov and Lee Strasberg, head of the Actors' Studio in New York. The author also analyzes several of Monroe's own drawings, diary notes, and letters that have recently become available. With over thirty black and white photographs (some published for the first time), a new foreword, and a new afterword, this volume brings Rollyson's 1986 book up to date.

From this comprehensive, yet critically measured wealth of material, Rollyson offers a distinctive and insightful portrait of Marilyn Monroe, highlighted by new perspectives that depict the central importance of acting to the authentic aspects of her being.

Elephant Company [EPUB]

Elephant Company [EPUB]
Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Constantine Croke
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 10.52/10.0MB

The remarkable story of James Howard “Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill

Billy Williams came to colonial Burma in 1920, fresh from service in World War I, to a job as a “forest man” for a British teak company. Mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the great animals who hauled logs through the remote jungles, he became a gifted “elephant wallah.” Increasingly skilled at treating their illnesses and injuries, he also championed more humane treatment for them, even establishing an elephant “school” and “hospital.” In return, he said, the elephants made him a better man. The friendship of one magnificent tusker in particular, Bandoola, would be revelatory. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude.

But Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Imperial Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite Force 136, the British dirty tricks department, operating behind enemy lines. His war elephants would carry supplies, build bridges, and transport the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain. Now well versed in the ways of the jungle, an older, wiser Williams even added to his stable by smuggling more elephants out of Japanese-held territory. As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced his most perilous test. In a Hollywood-worthy climax, Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow. Elephant Bill’s exploits would earn him top military honors and the praise of famed Field Marshal Sir William Slim.

Part biography, part war epic, and part wildlife adventure, Elephant Company is an inspirational narrative that illuminates a little-known chapter in the annals of wartime heroism.

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