Must read books for the history buff.
This is an astonishing true tale of espionage, journeys in disguise, secret messages, double agents, assassinations and sexual intrigue. Alexander Burnes was one of the most accomplished spies Britain ever produced and the main antagonist of the Great Game as Britain strove with Russia for control of Central Asia and the routes to the Raj. There are many lessons for the present day in this tale of the folly of invading Afghanistan and Anglo-Russian tensions in the Caucasus. Murray’s meticulous study has unearthed original manuscripts from Montrose to Mumbai to put together a detailed study of how British secret agents operated in India. The story of Burnes’ life has a cast of extraordinary figures, including Queen Victoria, King William IV, Earl Grey, Benjamin Disraeli, Lola Montez, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx. Among the unexpected discoveries are that Alexander and his brother James invented the myths about the Knights Templars and Scottish Freemasons which are the foundation of the Da Vinci Code; and that the most famous nineteenth-century scholar of Afghanistan was a double agent for Russia.
Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one.
Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
Praise for How Democracies Die
“What we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate look at the current state of affairs. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, two of the most respected scholars in the field of democracy studies, offer just that.”—The Washington Post
“Where Levitsky and Ziblatt make their mark is in weaving together political science and historical analysis of both domestic and international democratic crises; in doing so, they expand the conversation beyond Trump and before him, to other countries and
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival.
When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was send to Auschwitz when she was still a child?
In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.
The purpose of “Heroic Transcript” is to bring the History and the three heroic figures alive in the present moment. The book, therefore, introduces you to the introductory course of History at a particular time. Although the book is designed for an introductory, it can be used as a study book as well. I hope that “Heroic Transcript” contributes to your understanding of History and imparts a sense of excitement in the process. You, the reader, are the final judge. I thank you for choosing this book
The book Rise and Fall of Maratha Empire deals with the events related to the Maratha Empire from 1758 during the reign of Peshwa Balaji Bajirao, when it was at its zenith, till 1818 when it was declined and overpowered by the British Empire.
The book deals with major events like the Battle of Panipat, Resurrection of Maratha in the North, the Anglo-Maratha war and many more. It describes the glorious rule of the Maratha Empire.
She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?”
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics.
HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.
CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.
Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century.
Journalist Tatiana Petrovna is on the move. Arkady Renko, iconic Moscow investigator and Tatiana’s part-time lover, hasn’t seen her since she left on assignment over a month ago. When she doesn’t arrive on her scheduled train, he’s positive something is wrong. No one else thinks Renko should be worried—Tatiana is known to disappear during deep assignments—but he knows her enemies all too well and the criminal lengths they’ll go to keep her quiet.
Renko embarks on a dangerous journey to find Tatiana and bring her back. From the banks of Lake Baikal to rundown Chita, Renko slowly learns that Tatiana has been profiling the rise of political dissident Mikhail Kuznetsov, a golden boy of modern oil wealth and the first to pose a true threat to Putin’s rule in over a decade. Though Kuznetsov seems like the perfect candidate to take on the corruption in Russian politics, his reputation becomes clouded when Boris Benz, his business partner and best friend, turns up dead. In a land of shamans and brutally cold nights, oligarchs wealthy on northern oil, and sea monsters that are said to prowl the deepest lake in the world, Renko needs all his wits about him to get Tatiana out alive.
The Washington Post has said “Martin Cruz Smith is that rare phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction.” In the latest continuation of his unforgettable series, he brings us to the inside world of shadowy political figures and big wig oil oligarchs
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
This stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West was a major New York Times bestseller.
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.
S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.
Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Coman
Mangaparua was one of the last areas in New Zealand to be opened up.
George Malder and his new bride, Catherine, take up a newly surveyed bush section in the back blocks between Raetihi and the Wanganui River. As a returned World War I soldier George won the right to create a farm with a government grant and the promise of further assistance. They endeavour to establish a home and turn the virgin bush into a productive sheep farm.
They are joined by other discharged soldiers, all of whom battle demons. The community bonds quickly, these friends made for life, accepting each person’s oddities.
Already damaged by the war George struggles to be the man society expects of him. He is stoic in the face of the adversity he experiences daily and he is optimistic in the extreme.
Catherine, bewildered by the isolation, finds strength in her faith in George. Of special consolation to her is Iris, Catherine’s sister-in-law and best friend.
Gender roles are firmly established when the first babies arrive; the men farm and the women keep the home fires burning. There are no options.
The isolation of the fledging settlement challenges them in ways they never expect as tragedy after tragedy unfolds. Omnipotent behind the personal stories is the struggle to turn the land into the farms that the government expect.
George wrestles with feelings of despair as he realises the inadequacy of his efforts. But George is reluctant to sever the ties he’s made with this land.
The book draws on events surrounding the ballot farm scheme in this beautiful back country. Nowhere, in the whole of New Zealand, could it have been so difficult to make a farm.
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.
“Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow” —The New York Times Book Review
Ron Chernow’s other biographies include: Grant, Washington, and Titan.
What does it mean to be human? Where did we come from? And what unites us in our diversity today? Anthropology and the Study of Humanity is your chance to tackle these big questions as you survey one of the world’s most engaging – and human – sciences. Taught by acclaimed professor and field researcher Scott M. Lacy of Fairfield University, these 24 wide-ranging lectures are the ideal guide through the world of anthropology, or the study of humanity across time and space.
Professor Lacy gives you an elegant blend of theory and application to help you understand this extraordinarily interdisciplinary field as a whole. You will examine how humans evolved and built civilizations, review humanity’s changing attitudes about our relationship to the cosmos, and consider the many ways we express ourselves. In the end, what you’ll discover is that while our species is rich with diversity, we are all one human race.
To anchor this course, Professor Lacy gives you a historical overview of Homo sapiens, starting at the very root of our family tree, when proto-humans split away from other primates in the animal kingdom. As he wends his way across time and around the world, he also introduces the field’s four major academic sub-disciplines: biological, archaeological, linguistic, and cultural anthropology.
One of the joys of this course is that it is truly global in the way Professor Lacy introduces you to the boots-on-the-ground practice of the field. When you complete this course, you will have a new appreciation for our world and its many cultures, but you will also have a new appreciation for the cultural connections and similarities we share as one race of Homo sapiens. With a passionate and knowledgeable professor as your guide, this course gives you a broad understanding of academic anthropology, as well as a deeper appreciation for humanity as a whole.
1973. Rhodesia. An outlawed state with an infant insurgency smouldering in the northeast border regions. That’s when I stumbled unintentionally into farm work north of a pinprick sized village of Centenary. Named after the centenary of the birth of Cecil Rhodes (1853 – 1902), the region boasted the best tobacco growing conditions in the world. Using cheap African labour and low tech farming methods, the rich smelling leaves reached the buyers in Europe despite the United Nations embargo.The commercial tobacco farms were surrounded by reserves exclusive to Africans, a hideout for emerging insurgents. From these enclaves, heavily armed terrorists struck at farming families to murder or frighten them into abandoning their land. Africans living in adjacent areas were barbarically tortured and murdered. Anyone living or working in the Centenary district was a sitting target.Farm houses were mortared and machine-gunned at night, individual farmers and workers ambushed by day. Landmines were frequently laid on the dirt roads that crossed the area, exploding with devastating effect under civilian cars. As well as mortal danger, farmers faced economic sanctions designed to cripple agriculture, constant attacks by the overseas media as well as normal farming challenges of market pricing, weather and cash flow.With a history of bloody or chaotic changeovers from white to black rule in countries north of Rhodesia convinced the European population to cling onto power. They circumvented United Nations sanctions, developed innovative products to replace shortages and kept machinery working well past its replacement date. The white farmers were decent, genuine, resilient, and hard- working people who did whatever necessary to preserve their legacy.Sitting Target describes the farming experience, the funny, the serious and the murder.
Queen Teuta of Illyria was not only a famous Warrior Queen that lived almost two hundred years before Cleopatra, but her love for King Agron was one of the most legendary love stories in history. BESA PO is inspired by the true story of love, loss, betrayal, victory and defeat.
BESA is a code of honor, a promise to protect someone or a Kingdom even with their life. PO is the word YES in Illyrian. Queen Teuta gave her BESA PO to King Agron and the people of Illyria. During the years of 231 BC to 227 BC, in order to fulfill her promise after the Kings tragic death, she challenged the mighty Roman Army and Navy. The Romans learned of her fierceness and skill in battle suffering humiliating defeats. They feared her, turned her own flesh and blood against her, captured her Kingdom but never captured her.
Venture back into ancient times and discover Queen Teuta’s story, a love so deep it spans the ages, leadership so compelling that Rome was put to shame. One of the first women to rise to power in the Kingdom of men.
Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story—the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country.
As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River.
McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler’s son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough’s subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them.
Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough’s signature narrative energy.
Respected royal broadcaster Jennie Bond narrates the life story of Queen Elizabeth II, and takes listeners inside the private life of one of the most public figures in modern history. Learn intimate details of Elizabeth’s childhood, her courtship and marriage, and the tragic moments following the death of Princess Diana.
Born a minor royal in 1926, Elizabeth is now the longest-reigning British monarch and also the most recognizable woman in the world. Admired by many, she has reigned through a period of unprecedented change, keeping the monarchy strong and consistent through the end of the empire, public scandals, and private loss. This riveting history uses actors and eyewitness observations to bring to life the story of this most remarkable woman.
Young Black writer, Ora M. Lewis, makes an effort to convince the Editor of a small local newspaper to publish her critiques of the segregationist New Orleans mayor in 1935. Although she is discouraged, her heroics earn the attention of the city and US Senator Huey P. Long. Ora begins to write influential articles that inspire the people to endure segregation. Ora works closely with Senator Long who soon falls victim to assassination. The people are devastated and the City of New Orleans is nearly destroyed by the mayor who celebrates the untimely death of Senator Long. Ora somehow finds a way to lead the people and take a stand against segregation.
Warriors and Fools is not just another book about the Vietnam War. It is different from most. Unlike some others, the author is a veteran of that conflict, and a retired military officer with nearly thirty years’ service. He has spent much of the last three decades studying the war and taught a course on Vietnam at a prestigious senior military war college.
This book is also different from others because it is a story not just of the American decisions and actions during the war. This Vietnam War story uses the latest, ground breaking research and released documentation of the war from the Communist Vietnamese side of the conflict. Consequently, the book delves deeply into the decision making, strategies, motives, and goals of the North Vietnam leaders as they waged their war for unification, first against the French and then against the Americans. The book also uses memoirs, interviews, and oral histories of former South Vietnamese leaders and combatants to discover their views on their struggle to form a new nation free from communist aggression.
Warriors and Fools is both broad and deep in scope in its narration of the Vietnam War story. It takes the reader from the White House’s oval office and Hanoi’s Politburo room, to the Pentagon’s and North Vietnam Army’s command centers, to Vietnam’s mountain and rice patty battlefields to show the determination, deceit, foolhardiness, mistakes, courage, and horrors of war from the views of both sides.
While it examines multiple participant views, overall the book seeks to answer one specific question – why did the US fail to achieve its principal objective to defend South Vietnam from communist aggression? The story’s findings and conclusions are neither orthodox nor revisionist. Those trying to gain insights on how American civilian leaders lost the war that its military could have won; or how the US Congress, Press, or Antiwar activists convinced the Public to stop its support will be disappointed. None of these traditional ‘answers’ on why the US lost are really valid.
Rather, as this story explains the answer is much more linked to human factors, interactions, and relationships. In this case, the interrelationship between American civilian and military leaders and advisors was extraordinarily divisive and dysfunctional. So much so that it resulted in flawed, timid policies and foolish strategies that led to defeat. Moreover, that troublesome interrelationship was primarily a result of mistrusts, misunderstandings, and misperceptions on their roles, responsibilities, and what they thought would lead to a positive end to the war. In addition, primarily because they were either ignorant of the nature of war or overconfident from their past experiences, civilian and military policymakers ignored or misunderstood their enemy.
Warriors and Fools should be of interest to those who served in the war, and serious students and teachers of this event and period. It is not intended as light reading, or for someone trying to get just a brief understanding of what happened there and in America at the time.