King Arthur: History and Legend [TTC Video]
01 June 2016, 19:22
Course No 2376 | MKV, AVC, 1024x576 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.43GB
The saga of King Arthur and his knights and ladies is perhaps the most enduringly popular mythic tradition of Western civilization. For over 1500 years, the Arthurian narrative has enthralled writers, artists, and a limitless audience in countries spanning the Western world and beyond—and its appeal continues unabated in our own times.
With origins in the exploits of a 5th-century Celtic warrior, the legend of a noble king and his knightly cohort caught fire across Europe, spawning a vast literary tradition that reached its height in the Middle Ages, with major contributions from writers both in Britain and throughout the Continent.
But the appeal of the saga far outlived the medieval era. It remained dynamically alive in folk culture and theater through the Renaissance, only to see an epic literary and artistic resurgence in the 19th century, which continues to the present day in multiple forms—from fiction writing and visual arts to film and popular culture. No other heroic figure in literature compares with King Arthur in terms of global popularity and longevity; today, each year sees literally thousands of new versions of the story appear across diverse media.
What does this amazing phenomenon tell us about our culture, our civilization, and ourselves? What is it about this particular story that has so deeply gripped the human imagination for so many centuries, in so many places?
King Arthur: History and Legend speaks deeply to these key questions and many more, revealing the full and astonishing scope of the Arthurian tradition, from its beginnings in post-Roman Britain to its extraordinary trajectory across the centuries and its latest incarnations in our own times. Within 24 content-rich lectures, you’ll encounter all of the most essential portrayals of the Arthurian saga in literature and art, encompassing:
- the preeminent treatments of the legend in Latin, Welsh, and English texts, including milestone versions from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain to T.H. White’s The Once and Future King;
- seminal versions of the narrative and major thematic additions by writers in France, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and other European countries, including monumental texts such as the Perlesvaus and the Prose Lancelot;
- iconic representations of Arthurian themes in visual art, from medieval stonework and woodcarving to the flowering of the saga in 19th-century painting and decorative art; and
- the remarkable transformations of the stories in 20th- and 21st-century literature, art, and film.
Your pathfinder in this world of mythic adventure and romance is Professor Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, an expert Arthurian scholar and current editor-in-chief of the academic journal Arthuriana, who brings rare insight and depth to this most unusual and compelling inquiry. Through her incisive commentary, you’ll draw out the core archetypes and cultural values that drive the saga, exploring in depth its elemental themes of kingship, courage, virtue, loyalty, romantic love, and devotion to God.
You’ll also trace how the myth developed across time, clarifying many misunderstood aspects of the narrative, such as the origins of the Round Table and the figure of Merlin, the illicit love between Lancelot and Guenevere, and the varied manifestations of the magical Holy Grail. You’ll discover how the legend was appropriated and assimilated by differing cultures, and how each writer in the tradition reflected and commented, through the Arthurian narrative, on the concerns of their own time and place. The result is an illuminating look at one of the most engaging, entertaining, and impactful legendary traditions the world has ever known.
A Myth for the Ages
In the course’s opening section, you’ll delve into the historical mystery behind the figure of Arthur, finding that the real-life model for the legend bore little resemblance to the noble monarch so many of us imagine. Within the grand legacy of Arthurian literature, you’ll study integral elements of the tradition such as:
- The History of the Kings of Britain: Take the measure of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12th-century blockbuster bestseller, perhaps the single most significant Arthurian text. Assess the acutely political nature of the work, and observe how Geoffrey established many core features of the legend as we’ve come to know it.
- King Arthur and the French: Discover how French writers working between the 12th and 14th centuries expanded the Arthurian narrative in essential ways, fully developing the ethos of courtly love, contributing characters such as the heroic figure of Lancelot, and linking Arthur’s knightly community with spiritual and religious endeavors.
- The German Arthurian Tradition: Grasp the vital impact of German treatments of the saga. Note how German writers grappled with philosophical questions of the relation of worldly undertakings to devotion to God, and see how they developed important narrative strands such as the Tristan legend and the Grail quest.
- Le Morte Darthur: Explore Sir Thomas Malory’s definitive 15th-century account of the story, which essentially “set” the legend for all subsequent writers. Observe how Malory brought together the entire Arthurian narrative in a comprehensive retelling, and also introduced the Pentecostal Oath, a knightly code of honor and key thematic element.
- Idylls of the King: Learn how Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s great poetic cycle—some of the most beautiful, idealized writing in the tradition—almost singlehandedly triggered a huge resurgence in Arthurian expression in the 19th century and deeply influenced Victorian visual art.
- The Mists of Avalon: Among noteworthy 20th-century treatments of the legend, contemplate Marion Zimmer Bradley’s revolutionary feminist retelling of the saga, portraying Arthur’s rise and fall through the perspectives of Arthur’s half-sister Morgaine and the druidic faith of the Mother Goddess.
A Tradition of Astounding Richness and Diversity
In the course’s final section, you’ll travel into many additional areas of Arthurian expression. Within the realm of visual art, you’ll trace the remarkable contributions of the artists of the 19th-century Pre-Raphaelite movement. Marvel at the Arthurian paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Edmund Leighton, and others, as well as the decorative art in stained glass and tapestry of William Morris and his circle.
You’ll take account of how Richard Wagner adapted and modified the legend in his two Arthurian operas, Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal, and how Mark Twain lampooned both British and American society in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Finally, you’ll track the saga into our own times in examples ranging from Mary Stewart’s remarkable Merlin trilogy to the ingenious comic book rendering of Camelot 3000 and noteworthy film treatments such as John Boorman’s Excalibur and Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur.
Demonstrating both encyclopedic knowledge and an infectious passion for the subject, Professor Armstrong is the perfect guide in this epic quest. The lectures are enriched with striking visual images, including important manuscripts, photos of locations associated with the legend, and Arthurian-related art and architecture from around the world.
King Arthur: History and Legend offers you a comprehensive and detailed overview of the Arthurian phenomenon in all of its extraordinary diversity and enduring impact. These fascinating lectures speak to the essence of what is arguably the Western world’s most beloved and deeply cherished myth.
War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000 [TTC Video]
01 June 2016, 19:10
Course No 8820 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 8.56GB
For much of the past five centuries, the history of the European continent has been a history of chaos, its civilization thrown into turmoil by ferocious wars or bitter religious conflicts—sometimes in combination—that have made and remade borders, created and eliminated entire nations, and left a legacy that is still influencing our world.
Is there an explanation for this chaos that goes beyond the obvious: political ambition, religious intolerance, the pursuit of state power, or the fear of another state's aspirations? Can we discover a hidden logic that could possibly explain the Thirty Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, two World Wars, and other examples of national bloodletting? Is it possible to formulate a meaningful rationale against which to order a history as tumultuous as Europe's, gaining insights that enrich our understanding of Europe's past and future, and perhaps even of ours as well?
In War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500–2000, Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius answers these questions and more as he offers everyone interested in the "why" of history a remarkable look into the evolution of the European continent and the modern state system. In 36 provocative lectures, he allows us to peer through the revealing lens of statecraft to show us its impact on war, peace, and power and how that impact may well be felt in the future—an approach that historians have been using for thousands of years.
"Diplomatic history is one of the oldest varieties of historical analysis," Professor Liulevicius notes. "Indeed, it's sometimes traced back all the way to Thucydides and the vision that he offered of Greek state interaction and politics.
"Diplomatic history offers a tremendously powerful intellectual tool to understand how states relate to one another. Because states are still relating with one another today, it is of undiminished relevance for our own times. ...
"As we conclude our course, we'll be able to ask, 'Where is Europe headed today, and what implications will follow for the world at large?' as we survey what had begun as a European state system [but which] has now become a global system of states in international politics."
Learn How Europe's Most Pivotal Moments Shaped History
Far more than just a history of ambassadorial missions and other diplomatic efforts, this course re-creates Europe's most pivotal historical moments—in the context of their times—showing how contemporary pressures and historical precedent combined to influence individuals, governments, structures, and even non-state organizations.
These events would happen not only on history's bloodiest battlefields but also in quieter settings where so many of the factors that would govern Europe's future would be set into place:
- You'll see how the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, negotiated at the first great diplomatic conference of modern times, not only brought to a close the ordeal of the Thirty Years' War but also overthrew existing ideals and claims of universal authority to create the European system of independent sovereign states, setting into motion new concepts of international law that would codify the new politics of power.
- You'll experience the dawn of Europe's "classical balance of power," as the 1815 Congress of Vienna—amidst the exuberance and glitter of great balls and banquets—responds to the defeat of Napoleon with its creation of the so-called Concert of Europe, a new order opposed to revolution and based on conservative solidarity that would keep Europe from general war for nearly a century.
- And you'll be in Paris in 1919 for the aftermath of the shattering of the Concert of Europe, as the victorious allies gather to draft a comprehensive Paris Settlement—including the Treaty of Versailles—meant to build a new and lasting European order on the ruins of the old.
Each of these key points on history's timeline represents an attempt to establish a lasting idea of order in the European world, a task with which Europe's states have been wrestling since the birth of modern diplomacy in Renaissance Italy.
Explore the Dynamics of International Politics
In examining how these and other attempts have succeeded or failed, Professor Liulevicius offers a key to understanding the dynamics of international politics, as well as how such key concepts as the balance of power, power itself, sovereignty, and "reason of state"—the raison d'état first enunciated by France's powerful Cardinal Richelieu—fit into those dynamics. There's even a fascinating discussion on the implications of instantaneous communications technology—not only for the practice of diplomacy, but also for whether that technology makes diplomats themselves more important or less so; historians line up on both sides of the debate.
Beginning with a snapshot of where Europe stood at the dawn of the 16th century, Professor Liulevicius weaves his analysis of statecraft into a vast tapestry of international history.
It's a tapestry that includes not only 500 years of military outcomes, the long-term impact of their settlements, and the "grand strategies" of which they were a part but also the many issues against which statecraft and diplomacy cannot help but brush. These include peacemaking; international law; the passions—even wars—so often brought about by intractable religious differences; the defense of human rights and minorities, including the abolition of slavery; the efforts of international organizations like the Red Cross; the challenges smaller states face when trying to implement foreign policy; and the efforts at achieving a stable European order that have culminated in today's European Union.
Throughout these lectures, as great and small states feint and clash, as ambitions are realized or thwarted, and as Europe's map is drawn and redrawn several times over—very often in blood—Professor Liulevicius returns to several key themes that tie together this wide-ranging array of material:
- How earlier experiences and precedents influence later maneuvering, and the ways in which geopolitical problems that have persisted across the centuries have helped shape the world we live in today
- How elusive the pursuit of the goal of stability can be in an international arena marked by constant change
- How diplomatic methods, customs, protocols, and approaches can sometimes be as important as the actual substance of international questions and their solutions
- How critical the impact of the evolving concept of Europe itself is on those participating in this five-century diplomatic drama.
Vivid Images of the Actors Who Shaped Europe
Educated not only in the United States but also in Denmark and Germany—with award-winning teaching skills, tremendous experience in the subject matter of this course, and a wonderful command of both the visual and audio media—Professor Liulevicius creates vivid images of the figures whose actions, whether overt or subtle, onstage or off, helped shape the Europe we know today, including:
- Prince Klemens von Metternich, the masterful Austrian diplomat known as the "Coachman of Europe," who presided over the Congress of Vienna and orchestrated many of its results
- Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, the French statesman sometimes called the greatest of diplomats, but whose skills at political survival and reputation for duplicity reportedly led Metternich to remark, when informed of Talleyrand's death, "I wonder what he meant by that?"
- German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the brilliant, pragmatic, and ruthless inventor of Realpolitik—the "politics of realism"—who spearheaded German unification under Kaiser Wilhelm I but whose complex arrangement of interlocking alliances could not survive his absence after his dismissal by the brash young Kaiser Wilhelm II
- French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, "the Tiger," who represented his nation during the Paris Settlement and who was so devoted to French security that legend has it he requested his corpse be buried standing up and facing the Germany he so deeply mistrusted, the better to give warning if need be
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the exiled Russian revolutionary whom the German high command shipped from neutral Switzerland back to Russia by train in order to infect the new Russia with revolution—with Lenin's train car "sealed" and closely guarded to protect Germany from his dangerous ideas
- George F. Kennan, the American historian and diplomat whose famous 1946 "Long Telegram" from Moscow and anonymous 1947 article in Foreign Affairs magazine became the intellectual foundation of the United States' policy of "containment" of the Soviet Union.
As War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500–2000 underscores, the impact on history of each of these figures—along with many others—was profound. But as Professor Liulevicius notes, our own impact as citizens, even if less momentous, can also be critical.
"Public involvement in and knowledge of foreign affairs—whether by ordinary citizens taking out a passport to travel, or seeking understanding of the past as well as the present in its diplomatic dimension—all of this is perhaps also a diplomatic act of participation and promise for the future.
"This is an undertaking open to all of us: to seek to understand diplomatic history in its past and present as we seek to understand the scourge of war, even when it seems necessary; the profound gift of true peace, when it's achieved; and the potentiality—as well as the perils—of the use of power."
Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World Through Experience and Reason [TTC Video]
01 June 2016, 18:23
Course No 4413 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.31GB
What is the best way to prove a case, create a rule, solve a problem, justify an idea, invent a hypothesis, or evaluate an argument? In other words, what is the best way to think?
Everyone has to think in order to function in the world, and this course will equip you with the tools to reason effectively in your pursuit of reliable beliefs and useful knowledge. Whether you are a budding philosopher searching for ultimate truths, a science student grappling with the nature of scientific proof, a new parent weighing conflicting child-rearing advice, or a concerned citizen making up your mind about today's issues, Tools of Thinking will help you cut through deception and faulty reasoning to get closer to the essence of a matter.
In Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World through Experience and Reason, Professor Hall turns his friendly but intellectually rigorous approach to the problem of thinking, introducing you to a wide range of effective techniques.
Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:58
2002 | EPUB | 1.91MB
A no-holds-barred examination of the National Security Agency packed with startling secrets about its past, newsbreaking revelations about its present-day activities, and chilling predictions about its future powers and reach.
The NSA is the largest, most secretive, and most powerful intelligence agency in the world. With a staff of thirty-eight thousand people, it dwarfs the CIA in budget, manpower, and influence. Recent headlines have linked it to the economic espionage throughout Europe and to the ongoing hunt for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
James Bamford first penetrated the wall of silence surrounding the NSA in 1982, with the much-talked-about bestseller The Puzzle Palace. In Body of Secrets, he offers shocking new details about the inner workings of the agency, gathered through unique access to thousands of internal documents and interviews with current and former officials. Unveiling extremely sensitive information for the first time, Bamford exposes the role the NSA played in numerous Soviet bloc Cold War conflicts and discusses its undercover involvement in the Vietnam War. His investigation into the NSA's technological advances during the last fifteen years brings to light a network of global surveillance ranging from on-line listening posts to sophisticated intelligence-gathering satellites. In a hard-hitting conclusion, he warns that the NSA is a two-edged sword. While its worldwide eavesdropping activities offer the potential for tracking down terrorists and uncovering nuclear weapons deals, it also has the capability to listen on global personal communications.
Like the breakout bestsellers on Cold War espionage The Sword and the Shield and Blind Man's Buff, Body of Secrets is must-reading for people fascinated by the intrigues of a shadowy underworld. As one of the most important works of investigative journalism to come out of Washington in years, it should be read by everyone concerned about the inevitability of Orwell's Big Brother.
Simpleology: The Simple Science of Getting What You Want [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:48
2011 | EPUB | 3.75MB
Success is simple, and scientifically reproducible, if you know the 5 Laws
Simpleology proves that success and happiness are easier to achieve than most people think they are. In fact, people can almost guarantee their own success simply by following a few simple rules. These "5 Laws of Simpleology" aren't new; they've been around forever. Throughout history, these 5 laws have helped the world's greatest minds amass fortunes and forge new paths. But until now, no one has committed them to paper in so simple and straightforward a style as Mark Joyner has here. Applicable to any challenge or goal and irrefutably commonsense, these 5 laws form the basis for almost any successful person or endeavor. Simpleology explains the 5 laws in detail and shows readers how to apply them to every aspect of their lives.
How to Be a People Magnet: Finding Friends--and Lovers--and Keeping Them for Life [MOBI]
01 June 2016, 08:46
2002 | MOBI | 2.75MB
Some folks are human magnets. People smile at them wherever they go. They have faithful friends who would do anything for them. They get invited to all the parties. They have more dates than they can handle. What's their secret? According to bestselling author Leil Lowndes, beloved and popular people know the secret of fearless communicating . . . and now you can, too. How to Be a People Magnet will teach you how to walk fearlessly into any situation with total confidence, authority, and flair and to walk away with whatever you want—a new friend, a new customer, or a new lover.
You'll also learn how to:
- Make strangers like you instantly
- Stamp out that Fatal FUD Factor (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)
- Make everyone around you feel singularly special
- Know when to smile, when not to smile, and why one size doesn't fit all
- Listen to someone's heart, not his or her words
- Fine-tune your tongue, depending on to whom you're talking
- Avoid the two biggest mistakes when meeting someone new
- Develop a round table of friends who will be there for you, whatever happens
- Market yourself like a Hollywood celebrity
- Benefit from the surprising studies on what separates social "winners" from social "losers"
Plus, you'll find out how to prevent simple shyness from trashing your life and why having a high OQ (Optimism Quotient) is the key to communication success.
Like Leil Lowndes's top-selling titles How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You and How to Talk to Anybody About Anything, How to Be a People Magnet is brimming with helpful hints, tips, and ideas for approaching, attracting, and communicating with just about anyone. Whether you're a shy gal or guy or you're just looking for ways to improve your social skills, How to Be a People Magnet will show you exactly what's needed to successfully add new friends and lovers to your life.
Wisdom Chi Kung: Practices for Enlivening the Brain with Chi Energy [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:39
2008 | EPUB | 6.59MB
Taoist meditation practices for increasing and maintaining mental awareness, memory, and clarity
- Details techniques to increase the level of chi energy in the brain
- Explains how to synchronize the left and right brain by activating the body’s energetic potentials
- Shows that by emptying the mind there is more energy to heal the body
Wisdom Chi Kung teaches practitioners how to revitalize the brain: to repair function, increase memory, and expand capacity. Every day we use up so much of our brain’s capacity to function that we have very little left at the end of the day. By thinking or worrying too much, the brain can use up to 80 percent of the body’s entire energy reserve. Learning to stop the brain, to empty the mind from the ceaseless chatter of the “monkey mind,” and then recharge it with chi energy can increase our mental capacity, focus, and clarity.
Using the Inner Smile meditation technique, practitioners learn how to recharge chi energy for the brain in a form that is most useful. Practitioners smile and empty the mind into the lower tan tien and the organs. The organs then transform this chi energy. When the mind is empty, the energy transformed by the organs is sent back to the brain to revitalize it. This process synchronizes the left and right brain by activating and tapping in to the body’s energetic potentials. As the mind continues to empty, receive, and also enhance the transformed chi energy, it is able to open itself to connect with universal chi energies and fill the body with enhanced life force.
Fusion of the Eight Psychic Channels: Opening and Sealing the Energy Body [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:36
2009 | EPUB | 2.73MB
Advanced Inner Alchemy exercises that promote the free flow of energy throughout the body in preparation for the Practice of the Immortal Tao
- Explains how to open the Great Bridge Channel and the Great Regulator Channel
- Includes exercises to strengthen and wrap the spinal cord with energy
- Reveals how to create a thicker aura to protect the body and receive the higher frequencies of the Universal Force
The Fusion of the Eight Psychic Channels practice builds upon the Fusion of the Five Elements and Cosmic Fusion practices and is the final step in preparation for the Practice of the Immortal Tao. Master Mantak Chia shows how to open the Great Bridge Channel and the Great Regulator Channel--the last of the eight psychic channels that connect the twelve organ meridians and enable energy to flow from one meridian to another. By opening these psychic channels in conjunction with the Microcosmic Orbit, practitioners can balance and regulate the energy flow throughout the body to protect all the body’s centers.
Master Chia also illustrates the Spinal Cord Microcosmic Orbit practice, which strengthens and wraps the spinal cord with energy, and the practice of Sealing the Aura, which creates a thicker aura to protect the body and facilitate the reception of higher frequencies of the Universal Force. Mastery of the practices in this book enables the creation of the energy body needed to receive the larger Universal Force vibrations accessible through the Practice of the Immortal Tao.
The Music of Liszt [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:33
2013 | EPUB | 9.88MB
Virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt was a key figure in the evolution of modern music. Most of his 700 compositions, which range from romantic impressionism to daring experimental pieces, were written for the piano. This survey by a well-known British composer and musicologist constitutes the most authoritative English-language study of Liszt's works. "Mr. Searle is himself a composer of progressive outlook and he thus speaks with authority. His book was needed and he has made it a good one," observed the Times (London) Literary Supplement.
This classic study surveys the compositions in chronological order and the medium for which they were written. The author examines in detail the most important pieces and fully reviews Liszt's place in history. Subjects include romantic pieces, symphonic poems, songs, symphonies, and other works. A biographical summary illustrates the relationship between significant works and events in the composer's life. Acclaimed by Library Journal as "a balanced, long-overdue treatment," this study is essential for every true Lisztian student.
Diamonds in the Rough: A History of Alabama's Cahaba Coal Field [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:30
2013 | EPUB | 5.94MB
Diamonds in the Rough reconstructs the historical moment that defined the Cahaba Coal Field, a mineral-rich area that stretches across sixty-seven miles and four counties of central Alabama.
Combining existing written sources with oral accounts and personal recollections, James Sanders Day’s Diamonds in the Rough describes the numerous coal operations in this region—later overshadowed by the rise of the Birmingham district and the larger Warrior Field to the north.
Many of the capitalists are the same: Truman H. Aldrich, Henry F. DeBardeleben, and James W. Sloss, among others; however, the plethora of small independent enterprises, properties of the coal itself, and technological considerations distinguish the Cahaba from other Alabama coal fields. Relatively short-lived, the Cahaba coal-mining operation spanned from discovery in the 1840s through development, boom, and finally bust in the mid-1950s.
Day considers the chronological discovery, mapping, mining, and marketing of the field’s coal as well as the issues of convict leasing, town development, welfare capitalism, and unionism, weaving it all into a rich tapestry. At the heart of the story are the diverse people who lived and worked in the district—whether operator or miner, management or labor, union or nonunion, white or black, immigrant or native—who left a legacy for posterity now captured in Diamonds in the Rough. Largely obscured today by pine trees and kudzu, the mining districts of the Cahaba Coal Field forever influenced the lives of countless individuals and families, and ultimately contributed to the whole fabric of the state of Alabama.
If You Liked School, You'll Love Work [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:26
2008 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, is up to his old tricks with his new work of transgressive short fiction.Irvine Welsh's first short-story collection since his debut work The Acid House presents five extraordinary stories, which remind us that he is a master of the short form, a brilliant storyteller, and—unarguably—one of today's funniest and most subversive writers. In "Rattlesnakes" three young Americans, lost in the desert, are accosted by two armed Mexicans. A Korean chef and a Chicago socialite find themselves connected through the disappearance of a pooch named Toto in "The D.O.G.S. of Lincoln Park." And in the title story, Mickey Baker—an ex-pat English bar owner living on the Costa Brava—tries to keep all of his balls in the air: maintaining his barmaid's weight at the sexual maximum, attending to the youthful Persephone, and dodging his ex-wife and Spanish gangsters. In typically Welshian fashion, the characters and settings are anything but typical. These stories will make you laugh and gasp.
The Acid House [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 08:25
2009 | EPUB | 1.34MB
The characters in this extraordinary book are often - on the surface - depraved, vicious, cowardly and manipulative, but their essential humanity is never undermined. Two professors of philosophy turn pugilists; Leith removal men become the objects of desire for Hollywood goddesses; God turns Boab Coyle into a house-fly; and in the novella, 'A Smart Cunt', the drug-addled young hero spins off on a collision course with his past. The Acid House is a bizarre, disturbing and hilarious collection from one of the most uncompromising and original writers around.
01 June 2016, 08:24
1996 | EPUB | 0.5MB
Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.
The Pier Falls: And Other Stories [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 06:22
2016 | EPUB | 4.94MB
The tales in Mark Haddon’s lyrical and uncompromising new collection take many forms—Victorian adventure story, science fiction, morality tale, contemporary realism—but they all showcase his virtuoso gifts as a stylist and the deep well of empathy that made his three bestselling novels so compelling.
The characters here are often isolated physically or estranged from their families, yet they yearn for connection. In aggregate the stories become a meditation on the essential aloneness of the human condition but also on the connections, however tenuous and imperfect, that link people to one another. In the title story, an unnamed narrator describes with cool precision a catastrophe that strikes a seaside town, both tearing lives apart and bringing them together.
In the prizewinning story “The Gun,” a boy’s life is marked by the afternoon he encounters a semiautomatic pistol belonging to his friend’s older brother; in “The Island,” a Greek princess is abandoned on an island by her abductor; in “The Boys Who Left Home to Learn Fear,” a group of adventurers travel deep into the Amazonian jungle but discover the gravest danger lurking among their own number; and in “The Woodpecker and the Wolf,” a woman wonders whether she has chosen to travel to Mars only to escape the entanglement of human relationships back here on Earth.
Drawing inventively from history, myth, folktales, and modern life, The Pier Falls showcases Haddon’s immense gifts of invention and penetrating insight.
The Little Prince [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 06:17
2016 | EPUB | 1.33MB
"The Little Prince" (French: "Le Petit Prince"), first published in 1943, is a novella, the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944).
The novella is the fourth most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as Braille), selling nearly two million copies annually with sales totaling over 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published.
After the outbreak of the Second World War Saint-Exupéry was exiled to North America. In the midst of personal upheavals and failing health, he produced almost half of the writings for which he would be remembered, including a tender tale of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss, in the form of a young prince fallen to Earth. An earlier memoir by the author had recounted his aviation experiences in the Sahara Desert, and he is thought to have drawn on those same experiences in "The Little Prince".
Since its first publication in the United States, the novella has been adapted to numerous art forms and media, including audio recordings, radio plays, live stage, film screen, television, ballet, and operatic works.
ISIS: A History [AZW3]
01 June 2016, 06:09
2016 | AZW3 | 0.84MB
The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS.
The book describes how ISIS emerged in the chaos of Iraq following the 2003 U.S. invasion, how the group was strengthened by the suppression of the Arab Spring and by the war in Syria, and how ISIS seized leadership of the jihadist movement from Al Qaeda. Part of a militant Sunni revival, ISIS claims its goals are to resurrect a caliphate and rid "Islamic lands" of all Shia and other minorities. In contrast to Al Qaeda, ISIS initially focused on the "near enemy"—Shia, the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, and secular, pro-Western states in the Middle East. But in a tactical shift ISIS has now taken responsibility for spectacular attacks in Europe and other places beyond the Middle East, making it clear that the group is increasingly interested in targeting the “far enemy” as well. Ultimately, the book shows how decades of dictatorship, poverty, and rising sectarianism in the Middle East, exacerbated by foreign intervention, led to the rise of ISIS—and why addressing those problems is the only way to ensure its end.
An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.
Islam for the Western Mind: Understanding Muhammad and the Koran [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 06:01
2005 | EPUB | 0.4MB
Prophecy, politics, and the birth of a religion
More than a billion people consider themselves Muslim. It is the world’s second-largest religion. Yet Western portrayals of the Islamic mind are often flawed. Islam for the Western Mind is an intensive look--from a Christian perspective--at what inspires and motivates Muslims, namely Muhammad and the teaching of the Koran.
Dr. Drummond, an ordained Presbyterian minister and former professor, presents a balanced look at the life and teaching of Islam's founding Prophet, paying detailed attention to the religious and political community that existed during Muhammad's time as well as after his death.
Dr. Drummond also looks at the larger cultural impact of Islam, examining what he calls the lightning-like spread of the new religion across much of the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe, and examines Muhammad’s teaching about women, pagans, and Jesus, the Messiah, Son of Mary. He gives detailed attention to the ethical teaching of the Koran. All this is with primary emphasis upon God as Lord of the Worlds, yet merciful and compassionate, and upon prophecy as divine revelation.
Islam for the Western Mind is an essential text for anyone wanting an unbiased look at Muhammad, the Koran, and the religion they inspired.
Fundamentals of Comparative and Intercultural Philosophy [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:57
2016 | EPUB | 12.52MB
Discusses the conditions of possibility for intercultural and comparative philosophy, and for crosscultural communication at large.
This innovative book explores the preconditions necessary for intercultural and comparative philosophy. Philosophical practices that involve at least two different traditions with no common heritage and whose languages have very different grammatical structure, such as Indo-Germanic languages and classical Chinese, are a particular focus. Lin Ma and Jaap van Brakel look at the necessary and not-so-necessary conditions of possibility of interpretation, comparison, and other forms of interaction and how we can speak of similarities and differences in this context. The authors posit that it is necessary to dissolve the question of universalism versus relativism by replacing the ideal language paradigm with a paradigm of family resemblances and that it is not necessary to share a common language to engage in comparison. Numerous case studies are presented, including many comparisons of Western and Chinese concepts.
Philosophy of Mysticism: Raids on the Ineffable [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:51
2016 | EPUB | 0.68MB
A comprehensive exploration of the philosophical issues raised by mysticism.
This work is a comprehensive study of the philosophical issues raised by mysticism. Mystics claim to experience reality in a way not available in normal life, a claim which makes this phenomenon interesting from a philosophical perspective. Richard H. Jones's inquiry focuses on the skeleton of beliefs and values of mysticism: knowledge claims made about the nature of reality and of human beings; value claims about what is significant and what is ethical; and mystical goals and ways of life. Jones engages language, epistemology, metaphysics, science, and the philosophy of mind. Methodological issues in the study of mysticism are also addressed. Examples of mystical experience are drawn chiefly from Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, but also from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Daoism.
What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:47
2016 | EPUB | 0.39MB
Mark McCormack, dubbed 'the most powerful man in sport', founded IMG (International Management Group) on a handshake. It was the first and is the most successful sports management company in the world, becoming a multi-million dollar, worldwide corporation whose activities in the business and marketing spheres are so diverse as to defy classification.
Here, Mark McCormack reveals the secret of his success to key business issues such as analysing yourself and others, sales, negotiation, time management, decision-making and communication. What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School fills the gaps between a business school education and the street knowledge that comes from the day-to-day experience of running a business and managing people. It shares the business skills, techniques and wisdom gleaned from twenty-five years of experience.
The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:31
2014 | EPUB | 15.36MB
In a sweeping narrative, David Olusoga describes how Europe's Great War became the World's War - a multi-racial, multi-national struggle, fought in Africa and Asia as well as in Europe, which pulled in men and resources from across the globe.
Throughout, he exposes the complex, shocking paraphernalia of the era's racial obsessions, which dictated which men would serve, how they would serve, and to what degree they would suffer. As vivid and moving as it is revelatory and authoritative.
The World's War explores the experiences and sacrifices of 4 million non-European, non-white people whose stories have remained too long in the shadows.
The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:25
2010 | EPUB | 9.52MB
The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
From the best-selling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem, The Code Book is a history of man’s urge to uncover the secrets of codes, from Egyptian puzzles to modern day computer encryptions.
As in Fermat’s Last Theorem, Simon Singh brings life to an anstonishing story of puzzles, codes, languages and riddles that reveals man’s continual pursuit to disguise and uncover, and to work out the secret languages of others.
Codes have influenced events throughout history, both in the stories of those who make them and those who break them. The betrayal of Mary Queen of Scots and the cracking of the enigma code that helped the Allies in World War II are major episodes in a continuing history of cryptography. In addition to stories of intrigue and warfare, Simon Singh also investigates other codes, the unravelling of genes and the rediscovery of ancient languages and most tantalisingly, the Beale ciphers, an unbroken code that could hold the key to a $20 million treasure.
Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.
Dos & Don'ts: 400 New Jokes From the Funniest Magazine Column to Ever Exist in the History of the Universe [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:19
2011 | EPUB | 18.72MB
In this new book of photographs - complete with sniping commentary - that document the dizzy heights and murky depths of street fashion, VICE magazine's staple humour series is collected in its entire, unabashed glory.
The DOs are put on a pedestal that soars way past God and the DON'Ts are so cruel they sound litigiously close to death threats.
DOs and DON’Ts will be the ultimate compendium of the hilarious fashion commentary that has helped forge VICE magazine's reputation; always mean, bang on and roaringly funny.
Different Every Time: The Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:16
2014 | EPUB | 35.32MB
Robert Wyatt started out as the drummer and singer for Soft Machine, who shared a residency at Middle Earth with Pink Floyd and toured America with Jimi Hendrix. He brought a Bohemian and jazz outlook to the 60s rock scene, having honed his drumming skills in a shed at the end of Robert Graves' garden in Mallorca.
His life took an abrupt turn after he fell from a fourth-floor window at a party and was paralysed from the waist down. He reinvented himself as a singer and composer with the extraordinary album Rock Bottom, and in the early eighties his solo work was increasingly political.
Today, Wyatt remains perennially hip, guesting with artists such as Bjork, Brian Eno, Scritti Politti, David Gilmour and Hot Chip. Marcus O'Dair has talked to all of them, indeed to just about everyone who has shaped, or been shaped by, Wyatt over five decades of music history.
Pompey Elliott by Ross McMullin [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 05:14
2002 | EPUB | 2.11MB
Pompey Elliott was a remarkable Australian. During the Great War he was a charismatic, controversial, and outstandingly successful military leader. An accomplished tactician and ‘the bravest of the brave’, he was renowned for never sending anyone anywhere he was not prepared to go himself. As a result, no Australian general was more revered by those he led or more famous outside his own command.
A man of unimpeachable integrity and unwavering commitment, he was also forthright and volatile. His tempestuousness generated a host of anecdotes that amused his men and disconcerted his superiors.
Yet surprisingly little had been written about Elliott until the original edition of this book appeared in 2002. Now in a new format and with a foreword by Les Carlyon, this comprehensive, deeply researched biography tells Elliott’s fascinating story. It vividly examines Elliott’s origins and youth, his peacetime careers as a lawyer and politician, and his achievements — as well as the controversies he aroused during his years as a soldier.
Ross McMullin’s masterly work retrieves a significant Australian from undeserved obscurity. It also judiciously reassesses notable battles he influenced — including the Gallipoli Landing, Lone Pine, Fromelles, Polygon Wood, and Villers-Brettoneux — and illuminates numerous aspects of Australia’s experiences during his lifetime, particularly the often-overlooked period of the aftermath to the Great War.
SS 1: The Unlikely Death of Heinrich Himmler [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 03:56
2016 | EPUB | 0.28MB
First serious examination of the curious demise of Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler that also investigates an extraordinary web of secret deals and international intrigue.
On 23 May 1945 Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS and architect of the Holocaust, committed suicide in Allied custody. So why was MI6's most talented secret agent Kim Philby unconvinced by the story of Himmler's suicide?
Hugh Thomas set out to answer Philby's question and has uncovered a maze of corruption, high finance, political gambles and international intrigue.
A Bastard of a Place: The Australians in Papua [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 03:54
2012 | EPUB | 8.56MB
In the spirit of Les Carlyon's bestselling Gallipoli, this book restores Milne Bay, Gona, Buna and Sanananda to their rightful place beside Kokoda as sacred ground, and a vital part of Australian history.
In 1942 and early 1943 Papua New Guinea was 'a bastard of a place' to fight a war. Peter Brune gives us the final, all-encompassing story of the five battles that changed Australia forever.
Peter's compelling narrative resonates with the voices of both the well-trained AIF volunteer, and the young Militia conscript who triumphed together. He interviewed hundreds of these soldiers and himself travelled the treacherous terrain and bloody battlegrounds where so many of their mates perished. Peter reveals the inside story of how Generals MacArthur and Blamey sacrificed many of the senior Australian field commanders as scapegoats to protect their own positions.
A Bastard of a Place restores Milne Bay, Gona, Buna and Sanananda to their rightful place beside Kokoda to what they should collectively be for all Australians sacred ground.
I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 03:50
2016 | EPUB | 0.6MB
A compelling and hard-hitting memoir which follows one woman’s search, 20 years after the attack, for answers about her rapist.
Joanna Connors was thirty years old when she was raped at knifepoint by a stranger.
After this horrifying trauma, she became afraid of everything – flying, driving, travelling in a car while someone else drove. She had children, but hovered over them constantly, terrified about what might happen to them as well. Then, when her daughter was sixteen, Joanna began to confront the fear that had ruled her life ever since that day, and decided she needed, finally, to understand.
In an act of breathtaking humanity and pioneering journalistic courage, she went in search of the story of her own rapist, determined to find out who he was, where he came from, what his life was like – and what leads a person to do something as destructive as what he did to her.
The result of her investigation is I Will Find You, a shocking, moving memoir and a brave, timely consideration of poverty, race, class, education – and how life shapes who we become.
The Globe Guide to Shakespeare: The Plays, the Productions, the Life [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 01:47
2016 | EPUB | 13.61MB
The Globe Guide to Shakespeare is the ultimate guide to the life and work of the world's greatest playwright: William Shakespeare. With full coverage of the 39 Shakespearian plays, including a synopsis, full character list, stage history and a critical essay for each, this comprehensive guide is both a quick reference and in-depth background guide for theatre goers, students, film buffs and lovers of literature alike. The Globe Guide to Shakespeare also explores Shakespeare's sonnets and the narrative poems, combined with fascinating accounts of Shakespeare's life and theatre, exploring in colourful detail each play's original performances.
This comprehensive guide includes up-to-date reviews of the best films and audio recordings of each play, from Laurence Olivier to Baz Luhrmann, Kozintsev to Kurosawa. The Globe Guide to Shakespeare is a celebration of all things Shakespearian.
Published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.
The Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 01:44
2015 | EPUB | 0.88MB
A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians. In the hands of the learned White, a walk through Paris is both a tour of its lush, sometimes prurient history, and an evocation of the city's spirit.
The Flaneur leads us to bookshops and boutiques, monuments and palaces, giving us a glimpse the inner human drama. Along the way we learn everything from the latest debates among French lawmakers to the juicy details of Colette's life.
A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties [EPUB]
01 June 2016, 01:40
2015 | EPUB | 0.56MB
Many people have wondered why I’ve been speaking out on controversial issues for the last few years. They say I’ve never held political office. I’m not a constitutional scholar. I’m not even a lawyer. All I can say to that is “Guilty as charged.”
It’s true that I’ve never voted for a budget America could not afford. I’ve never raised anyone’s taxes. And I’ve never promised a lobbyist anything in exchange for a donation.
Luckily, none of that really matters. Our founding fathers didn’t want a permanent governing class of professional politicians. They wanted a republic, in Lincoln’s words, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." A country where any farmer, small-business owner, manual laborer, or doctor could speak up and make a difference.
I believe that making a difference starts with understanding our amazing founding document, the U.S. Constitution. And as someone who has performed brain surgery thousands of times, I can assure you that the Constitution isn’t brain surgery.
The founders wrote it for ordinary men and women, in clear, precise, simple language. They intentionally made it short enough to read in a single sitting and to carry in your pocket.
I wrote this book to encourage every citizen to read and think about the Constitution, and to help defend it from those who misinterpret and undermine it. In our age of political correctness it’s especially important to defend the Bill of Rights, which guarantees our freedom to speak, bear arms, practice our religion, and much more.
The Constitution isn’t history—it’s about your life in America today. And defending it is about what kind of country our children and grandchildren will inherit.
I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the fascinating ways that the founders established the greatest democracy in history—and the ways that recent presidents, congresses, and courts have threatened that democracy.
As the Preamble says, the purpose of the Constitution is to create a more perfect union. My goal is to empower you to help protect that union and secure the blessings of liberty.
The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself [Audiobook]
01 June 2016, 01:37
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 17 hrs 22 mins | 479.78MB
Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?
Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on the Higgs boson and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void?
In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, listeners learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level - and then how each connects to the other. Carroll's presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution - from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe - is dazzlingly unique.
Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.
The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will be listened to alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come.