North of Normal [EPUB]
23 July 2014, 15:12
2014 | EPUB | 3.57MB
Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle, Cea Sunrise Person’s compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness—a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival.
In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters.
Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea’s father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself.
While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea’s funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.
Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L Sullivan [EPUB]
22 July 2014, 11:25
2013 | EPUB | 2.59MB
“I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world.”
So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a man who was the gold standard of American sport for more than a decade, and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, big mouth, and bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American Dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today.
Strong Boy tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his 75-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish-American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.
Scalia: A Court of One [EPUB]
22 July 2014, 11:21
2014 | EPUB | 17.43MB
An authoritative, deeply researched biography of the most controversial and outspoken Supreme Court justice of our time and how he chose to be “right” rather than influential.
Antonin Scalia knew only success in the first fifty years of his life. His sterling academic and legal credentials led to his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1982. In four short years there, he successfully outmaneuvered the more senior Robert Bork to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.
Scalia’s evident legal brilliance and personal magnetism led everyone to predict he would unite a new conservative majority under Chief Justice William Rehnquist and change American law in the process. Instead he became a Court of One. Rather than bringing the conservatives together, Scalia drove them apart. He attacked and alienated his more moderate colleagues Sandra Day O’Connor, then David Souter, and finally Anthony Kennedy. Scalia prevented the conservative majority from coalescing for nearly two decades.
Scalia: A Court of One is the compelling story of one of the most polarizing figures ever to serve on the nation’s highest court. It provides an insightful analysis of Scalia’s role on a Court that, like him, has moved well to the political right, losing public support and ignoring public criticism. To the delight of his substantial conservative following, Scalia’s “originalism” theory has become the litmus test for analyzing, if not always deciding, cases. But Bruce Allen Murphy shows that Scalia’s judicial conservatism is informed as much by his highly traditional Catholicism, mixed with his political partisanship, as by his reading of the Constitution. Murphy also brilliantly analyzes Scalia’s role in major court decisions since the mid-1980s and scrutinizes the ethical controversies that have dogged Scalia in recent years. A Court of One is a fascinating examination of one outspoken justice’s decision not to play internal Court politics, leaving him frequently in dissent, but instead to play for history, seeking to etch his originalism philosophy into American law.
Genius on the Edge [EPUB]
22 July 2014, 08:45
2010 | EPUB | 3.96MB
Dr. William Stewart Halsted’s life was fascinating and complex. Halsted, perhaps the most important surgeon America has ever produced, battled a lifelong cocaine addiction and maintained numerous secret relationships while simultaneously devising revolutionary medical innovations. Yet the story of Halsted’s life, one of seemingly irreconcilable extremes, is in many ways the story of modern medicine.
Before Halsted, poorly-trained doctors performed surgery without anesthesia in unsanitary conditions and patients were rarely expected to survive. Halstead transformed the medical practice by inventing local and spinal anesthesia; introducing the use of rubber gloves during surgery; pioneering the use of fine silk thread for sutures; developing techniques for stabilizing blood pressure during surgery; and inventing the radical mastectomy, blood transfusions, and surgical cures for hernias.
Genius on the Edge is an illuminating biography of a complex and troubled man whose brilliance we continue to benefit from today.
Inside the Gas Chambers [EPUB]
21 July 2014, 04:31
2011 | EPUB | 3.65MB
This is a unique, eye-witness account of everyday life right at the heart of the Nazi extermination machine.
Shlomo Venezia was born into a poor Jewish-Italian community living in Thessaloniki, Greece. At first, the occupying Italians protected his family; but when the Germans invaded, the Venezias were deported to Auschwitz. His mother and sisters disappeared on arrival, and he learned, at first with disbelief, that they had almost certainly been gassed. Given the chance to earn a little extra bread, he agreed to become a ‘Sonderkommando', without realising what this entailed. He soon found himself a member of the ‘special unit' responsible for removing the corpses from the gas chambers and burning their bodies.
Dispassionately, he details the grim round of daily tasks, evokes the terror inspired by the man in charge of the crematoria, ‘Angel of Death' Otto Moll, and recounts the attempts made by some of the prisoners to escape, including the revolt of October 1944.
It is usual to imagine that none of those who went into the gas chambers at Auschwitz ever emerged to tell their tale - but, as a member of a ‘Sonderkommando', Shlomo Venezia was given this horrific privilege. He knew that, having witnessed the unspeakable, he in turn would probably be eliminated by the SS in case he ever told his tale. He survived: this is his story.
The KGB Plays Chess [EPUB]
20 July 2014, 03:35
2010 | EPUB | 1.07MB
The KGB Plays Chess is a unique book. For the first time it opens to us some of the most secret pages of the history of chess. The battles about which you will read in this book are not between chess masters sitting at the chess board, but between the powerful Soviet secret police, known as the KGB, on the one hand, and several brave individuals, on the other. Their names are famous in the chess world: Viktor Kortschnoi, Boris Spasski, Boris Gulko and Garry Kasparov became subjects of constant pressure, blackmail and persecution in the USSR. Their victories at the chess board were achieved despite this victimization.
Unlike in other books, this story has two perspectives. The victim and the persecutor, the hunted and the hunter, all describe in their own words the very same events. One side is represented by the famous Russian chess players Viktor Kortschnoi and Boris Gulko. For many years they fought against a powerful system, and at the end they were triumphant. The Soviet Union collapsed and they got what they were fighting for: their freedom.
Former KGB Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Popov, who left Russia in 1996 and now lives in Canada, was one of those who had worked all his life for the KGB and was responsible for the sport sector of the USSR. It is only now for the first time that he has decided to tell the reader his story of the KGB's involvement in Soviet Sports. This is his first book, and it is not only full of sensations, but it also dares to name names of secret KGB agents previously known only as famous chess masters, sportsmen or sport officials. Just a few short years ago a book like this would have been unimaginable.
Read this book. It is not only about chess. It is about glorious victory of the great chess masters over the forces of darkness.
Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter [EPUB]
20 July 2014, 03:28
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.62/0.92MB
Evangelical Christianity and conservative politics are today seen as inseparable. But when Jimmy Carter, a Democrat and a born-again Christian, won the presidency in 1976, he owed his victory in part to American evangelicals, who responded to his open religiosity and his rejection of the moral bankruptcy of the Nixon Administration. Carter, running as a representative of the New South, articulated a progressive strand of American Christianity that championed liberal ideals, racial equality, and social justice—one that has almost been forgotten since.
In Redeemer, acclaimed religious historian Randall Balmer reveals how the rise and fall of Jimmy Carter’s political fortunes mirrored the transformation of American religious politics. From his beginnings as a humble peanut farmer to the galvanizing politician who rode a reenergized religious movement into the White House, Carter’s life and career mark him as the last great figure in America’s long and venerable history of progressive evangelicalism. Although he stumbled early in his career—courting segregationists during his second campaign for Georgia governor—Carter’s run for president marked a return to the progressive principles of his faith and helped reenergize the evangelical movement. Responding to his message of racial justice, women’s rights, and concern for the plight of the poor, evangelicals across the country helped propel Carter to office. Yet four years later, those very same voters abandoned him for Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party. Carter’s defeat signaled the eclipse of progressive evangelicalism and the rise of the Religious Right, which popularized a dramatically different understanding of the faith, one rooted in nationalism, individualism, and free-market capitalism.
An illuminating biography of our 39th president, Redeemer presents Jimmy Carter as the last great standard-bearer of an important strand of American Christianity, and provides an original and riveting account of the moments that transformed our political landscape in the 1970s and 1980s.
In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile [EPUB]
18 July 2014, 00:57
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.84/1.29MB
Dan Davies has spent more than twenty-five years on a quest to find the real Jimmy Savile, and interviewed him extensively over a period of seven years before his death. In the course of his quest, he spent days and nights at a time quizzing Savile at his homes in Leeds and Scarborough, lunched with him at venues ranging from humble transport cafes to the Athenaeum club in London and, most memorably, joined him for a short cruise aboard the QE2. Dan thought his quest had come to an end in October 2011 when Savile's golden coffin was lowered into a grave dug at a 45-degree angle in a Scarborough cemetery. He was wrong.
In the last two and a half years, Dan has been interviewing scores of people, many of them unobtainable while Jimmy was alive. What he has discovered was that his instincts were right all along and behind the mask lay a hideous truth. Jimmy Savile was not only complex, damaged and controlling, but cynical, calculating and predatory. He revelled in his status as a Pied Piper of youth and used his power to abuse the vulnerable and underage, all the while covering his tracks by moving into the innermost circles of the establishment.
Camus, a Romance [EPUB]
17 July 2014, 21:16
2010 | EPUB | 2.83MB
Albert Camus is best known for his contribution to twentieth-century literature. But who was he, beneath the trappings of fame? Camus, a Romance reveals the French-Algerian of humble birth; the TB-stricken exile editing the war resistance newspaper Combat; the pied noir in anguish over the Algerian War; the Don Juan who loved a multitude of women. These form only the barest outlines of Camus’s life, which Elizabeth Hawes chronicles alongside her own experience following in his footsteps.
Camus, a Romance is at once biography and memoir—wrought with passion and detail, it is the story not only of Camus, but of the relationship between a reader and a most beloved writer.
Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at Seventy [EPUB]
17 July 2014, 21:06
2014 | EPUB | 8.93MB
Jean-Luc Godard's early films revolutionized the language of cinema. Hugely prolific in his first decade--Breathless, Contempt, Pierrot le Fou, Alphaville, and Made in USA are just a handful of the seminal works he directed--Godard introduced filmgoers to the generation of stars associated with the trumpeted sexuality of postwar movies and culture: Brigitte Bardot, Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Anna Karina.
As the sixties wore on, however, Godard's life was transformed. The Hollywood he had idolized began to disgust him, and in the midst of the socialist ferment in France his second wife introduced him to the activist student left. From 1968 to 1972, Europe's greatest director worked in the service of Maoist politics, and continued thereafter to experiment on the far peripheries of the medium he had transformed. His extraordinary later works are little seen or appreciated, yet he remains one of Europe's most influential artists.
Drawing on his own working experience with Godard and his coterie, Colin MacCabe, in this first biography of the director, has written a thrilling account of the French cinema's transformation in the hands of Truffaut, Rohmer, Rivette, and Chabrol--critics who toppled the old aesthetics by becoming, legendarily, directors themselves--and Godard's determination to make cinema the greatest of the arts.