Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia.... In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are. Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock", and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
"True Blue History of Australia - Addicted"
First there was Girt. Now comes...True Girt. In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
"Not what I expected but brilliant!"
The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.
"Some great gems of historical fact"
Australia is a proud country full of proud people, but exactly what are we proud of? Comedian and history buff Ben Pobjie delves deep into Australia's past and has a good old rummage amongst the nation's personal effects. With wit, perspicacity and a healthily elastic attitude to historical accuracy, the great saga of Australia is unravelled like an old woolly jumper. For anyone who snoozed through history class at school, this is the book to get you all caught up.
From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean.
"Enjoyed it, especially earlier on."
Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.
"A smart revisionist history of humankind"
Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.
"Great lecture series"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"Generalist Overview of Nearly Everything"
Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."
January 1991: IRAQ. Eight members of the SAS regiment embark upon a top-secret mission to infiltrate deep behind enemy lines. Under the command of Sergeant Andy McNab, they are to sever a vital underground communication link and to seek and destroy mobile Scud launchers. Their call sign: BRAVO TWO ZERO. Each laden with 15 stones of equipment, they tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. After a fierce fire fight, they are forced into evasive action. Four men are captured. Three die. Only one escapes.
"No Review Required"
The crown of England is the oldest surviving political institution in Europe. Throughout this audiobook Dr David Starkey emphasises the Crown's endless capacity to adapt to circumstances and reshape national policy, whilst he unmasks the personalities and achievements, the defeats and victories, which lie behind the kings and queens of British history. Each of these monarchs has contributed to the religion, geography, laws, language, and government which we live with today.
The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.
In this final volume of a towering work that is both literary masterpiece and living memorial to the untold millions of Soviet martyrs, Solzhenitsyn's epic narrative moves to its astounding and unforseen climax. We now see that this great cathedral of a book not only commemorates those massed victims but celebrates the unquenched spirit of resistance that flickered and then burst into flame even in Stalin's "special camps."
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.
For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.
How did the Catholic Church become one of the most influential institutions in the world-a force capable of moving armies, inspiring saints, and shaping the lives of a billion members? Explore these and other questions as you follow the development of this important institution in 36 informative, fascinating lectures. With Professor Cook by your side, you'll step into the world of the early church, witness the spread of Christendom, and learn about the origins of fundamental church institutions.
"Fascinating and well presented"
Sun Tzu's The Art of War is a landmark achievement in the evolution of strategic thought. So universal and timeless are its tactics for pursuing a competitive advantage that some of the most notable people in government, sports, and the entertainment world have all quoted from its nearly 2500-year-old pages.
Though scarcely mentioned in the world of early 21st century politics, Manchuria represented a key region of Asia during the first half of the 20th century. Once the heartland of the fierce Manchu empire, this northeastern Chinese region's rich natural resources made it a prize for nations in the process of entering the modern age, and three ambitious nations in the midst of such a transformation lay close enough to Manchuria to attempt to claim it: Japan, Russia, and China.
Perhaps the most famous – or as many would put it, infamous – of these naval corporations was the Dutch East India Company, also known as VOC. Established around the beginning of the 17th century, this nautical behemoth of a corporation was determined to squeeze everyone else out of the market. Vested with the power to wage war and exterminate any who dared stand in their way, the rest of the world stood by as the unstoppable force took over the whole of international maritime trade.
The 17th century was marked by multiple pro-democratic revolutions exploding in both hemispheres. In Europe and its neighbors to the east, border-changing wars were fought incessantly. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the underlying premises of political, governmental and social structures within several European and Asian states were shaken to the core after centuries of royalty and one-family rule.
During the 1970s and early '80s, dozens - perhaps hundreds - of Japanese civilians were kidnapped by North Korean commandos and forced to live in 'Invitation Only Zones', high-security detention centres masked as exclusive areas on the outskirts of Pyongyang. The objective? To brainwash the abductees with the regime's ideology and train them to spy on the state's behalf.
On March 29, 1516, the city council of Venice issued a decree forcing Jews to live in il geto - a closed quarter named for the copper foundry that once occupied the area. The term stuck. In this sweeping and original interpretation, Mitchell Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the 16th century and its revival by the Nazis to the present. As Duneier shows, we cannot understand the entanglements of race, poverty, and place in America today without recalling the history of the ghetto in Europe, as well as later efforts to understand the problems of the American city.
The British East India Company served as one of the key players in the formation of the British Empire. From its origins as a trading company struggling to keep up with its superior Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish competitors to its tenure as the ruling authority of the Indian subcontinent to its eventual hubristic downfall, the East India Company serves as a lens through which to explore the much larger economic and social forces that shaped the formation of a global British Empire.
These three vibrant texts show different sides of the Roman historian Tacitus. Agricola was a successful general and Governor of Britain (77-83CE), a task which he carried out with firmness and probity. Tacitus' account of Germania shows a very different land with its many tribes, their habits and qualities in a strongly rural and resistant environment. A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, by contrast, is placed decidedly at the heart of Roman culture, a survey of rhetoric and the art of eloquence.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of T. E. Lawrence's role in the Arab Revolt against the Turkish Empire. The book is mostly set in the deserts of Arabia with a great deal of time spent marching through them with camels and the telling of the events through Lawrence's eyes.
Pliny the Younger (61 CE-c. 113 CE) was a well-connected official in the Rome of the first century, and it is through his ten Books of Letters that we have one of the liveliest and most informal pictures of the period. As a lawyer and magistrate, he rose through the senate to become consul in AD 100 and therefore corresponded with leading figures including the historian Tacitus, the biographer Suetonius, the philosophers Artemidorus and Euphrates the Stoic and, most notably, Emperor Trajan.
In many ways history is the story of human beings trying to control their destinies by overcoming the effects of their physical surroundings. As too many have learned, the best they could often do was cope with nature, and the various natural disasters produced around the globe. Consider, for example, the year 1816, known as the "Year Without a Summer", which found the working poor in both Europe and America facing starvation caused by factors that few, if any, of them understood.
Witches have always worried, scared, and fascinated people in equal measure. From dark magic to home remedies, they have been part of the cultural landscape for people across the world. From Europe to the Americas, Asia to Africa, the idea of women who delve deeply into magic has created some of the most enduring stories in the history of humanity. Often, these stories blend the real with the unreal, truth with fiction, and magic with the mundane.
A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. The spectre of the lustful Siberian holy man and peasant still casts its eerie shadow over Russia's bloody 20th century. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra's confidant and guardian of the sickly heir to the throne.
This work was published in 1724, under the pseudonym Captain Charles Johnson, by an unknown British author, usually assumed to be Daniel Defoe. This work is the prime source for the biographies of many well-known pirates of that era and shaped the popular notions about pirates of the day. Included are Blackbeard, Black Bart, Jolly Roger, Anne Bonny (aka Anne Bonn), Edward Teach, Henry Avery, Mary Read, and many more.
Histories of the book often move straight from the codex to the digital screen. Left out of that familiar account is nearly 150 years of audio recordings. Recounting the fascinating history of audio-recorded literature, Matthew Rubery traces the path of innovation from Edison's recitation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for his tinfoil phonograph in 1877 to the first novel-length talking books made for blinded World War I veterans to today's billion-dollar audiobook industry.
The obituary page of The New York Times is a celebration of extraordinary lives. This groundbreaking package includes 300 obits in the audiobook with exclusive online access to 10,000 more of the most important and fascinating obituaries the Times has ever published. The obituary page is the section many readers first turn to, not only see who died but to read some of the most inspiring, insightful, often funny, and elegantly written stories celebrating the lives of the men and women who have influenced our world.
Join abolitionist Richard Henry Dana as he explores Spanish Cuba in 1859, where kidnapped black Africans were slaves on vast sugar plantations along with impoverished Chinese coolies suffering under unbreakable eight-year contracts. Dana visited Cuba on a fact-finding mission he calls a vacation voyage. He describes Cuban slavery; explores Cuban society, institutions, and educational systems; and exposes a corrupt prison system, where the more a prisoner pays, the less he is punished.
This book is a unique inquiry into the history and the ongoing moral significance of mass communication as an idea and social form. Organized around narrative accounts of individuals and their communicative worlds, it strives to refigure mass communication as a concept, illuminate significant but overlooked rhetorical episodes in its history, and call listeners to reconsider their own engagements with it today.
Our goal is to provide you with an even, honest look at a brutal time period, not pulling any punches while also making sure that you are well informed about the reality of the Crusades and that ultimately you find that the modern attitude toward the Crusades grossly misunderstood just what went on in that era.