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from the book jacket: My boyhood in a small town in Connecticut was shaped by my family, my friends, our neighbors, my chores and hobbies, the town's culture and environment, its schools, libraries, factories, and businesses, their workers, and by storms that came from nowhere to disrupt everything. . . . Yet childhood in any family is a mysterious experience.... What shapes the mind, the personality, the character? So begins this unexpected and extraordinary book by Ralph Nader. Known for his lifetime of selfless activism, Nader now looks back to the earliest days of his own life, to his serene and enriching childhood in bucolic Winsted, Connecticut. From listening to learning, from patriotism to argument, from work to simple enjoyment, Nader revisits seventeen key traditions he absorbed from his parents, his siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today's society. Warmly human, rich with sensory memories and lasting wisdom, it offers a kind of modern- day parable of how we grow from children into responsible adults - a reminder of a time when nature and community were central to the way we all learned and lived.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY Perhaps the most intense military work we did was for Desert Storm. There was hardly a move made by Saddam Hussein and his troops that we had not predicted and passed up the chain of command the day before it happened. My major tasking throughout the war was to access Hussein and learn of his plans and intentions for the coming day. In the daily process of accessing him, I learned one thing very quickly. He is not what I would call a "bad" man. He is absolutely what I would call a totally crazy man. His craziness, though, does not take the form of irrationality or erratic behavior. It stems from a delusional conviction on his part that God wants him to rule the world...
Betsy Ross is famous. She made American flags. Did you know Betsy Ross also made curtains, quilts, clothes, and blankets? Betsy Ross was paid to make American flags. Did she really make the first American flag? The first flags had thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. Did you know each time a new state was added to the flag a new star was added? Betsy Ross ran her own upholstery business. How did she do this at a time when very few women owned businesses? Betsy Ross talked with George Washington. Did you know she sat behind him in church? Betsy Ross had seven daughters. Betsy Ross told her story about making the first American flag only to her family.
Gripping and elegantly written (Armistead Maupin), Sex Death Enlightenment is not a story of easy conversion but a compelling account of a gay man facing his demons, surrendering to an experience of holiness that is very much out of this world (Out Magazine). A brave, beautiful and brilliantly observed work. --Publishers Weekly, starred review.
"Current fans and recovering Hulkamaniacs alike should find [Sex, Lies, and Headlocks] as gripping as the Camel Clutch." --Maxim. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the backstabbing, scandals, and high-stakes gambles that have made wrestling an enduring television phenomenon. The man behind it all is Vince McMahon, a ruthless and entertaining visionary whose professional antics make some of the flamboyant characters in the ring look tame by comparison. Throughout the book, the authors trace McMahon's rise to power and examine the appeal of the industry's biggest stars--including Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Gorgeous George, Bruno Sammartino, Ric Flair, and, most recently, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. In doing so, they show us that while WWE stock is traded to the public on Wall Street, wrestling remains a shadowy world guided by a century-old code that stresses secrecy and loyalty. With a new afterword, this is the definitive book about the history of pro wrestling. "Reading this excellent behind-the-scenes look at wrestling promoter McMahon ... is almost as entertaining and shocking as watching the most extreme antics of McMahon's comic-book style creations such as Steve Austin and The Rock." --Publishers Weekly. "A quintessentially American success story of a cocky opportunist defying the odds and hitting it big ... Sparkling cultural history from an author wise enough to let the facts and personalities speak for themselves."--Kirkus Reviews.
Fantasized about quitting the 9-5? Walking away from credit card debt and student loans? Think living in the South Pacific for two years sounds like a perfect solution and perhaps even a winning idea for your first novel? Maarten Troost does just that, setting up as a devil-may-care islander while his girlfriend, Sylvia, gets to work on saving the planet, or at least a little part of it on an end-of-the-world atoll, Tarawa. Life on Tarawa resembles not so much paradise as a theatre of the absurd where planes fly with the aid of masking tape, Coconut Stalinism prevails as national government and Sylvia is co-opted by the CIA to spy on the Chinese. But abandoning continental hang-ups like barbequeing the local dogs and watching on as international industrial fishing trawlers plunder the world's richest tuna supply aren't so easy.
Jeannette Howard Foster was to lesbianism in the mid-twentieth century what out authors such as Gore Vidal and James Baldwin were to gay men. She unapologetically blew the lid off Cold War sexual repression in 1956 with her Sex Variant Women in Literature-the first-ever study of homosexual, bisexual, and cross-dressing characters appearing in more than 300 works, from ancient times to the present. Joanne Passet's Sex Variant Woman is a fascinating portrait of Foster, who served as the first librarian at the Kinsey Institute before leaving to publish her controversial book. It is also a riveting look into the pre-Stonewall past, the intense sexual repression and persecution endured by homosexuals, the groundbreaking advances put forth by a cadre of activists, and the rise of feminism and gay and lesbian liberation decades later.
But who could describe my fright when, on the next morning, I awoke and found myself feeling as if completely changed into a woman. -- Case 129, Autobiography, fromPsychopathia Sexualis, a Medico-Forensic Study by Richard Von Krafft-Ebing At the time the passage above was written, people who felt trapped in the wrong gender automatically became case-studies. Today they become the men and women they always felt they were. Transsexuals test our notions of what it is to be male or female and, more provocatively, what it means to be one self as opposed to another. "Their stories," says Jonathan Ames, "hold the appeal of an adventurer's tale. " InSexual Metamorphosis, Ames presents the personal narratives of seventeen gender pioneers. Here is Christine Jorgensen, the first celebrity transsexual, greeting thousands of well-wishers from the stage of Madison Square Garden. Here is Caroline Cossey, former model and Bond (as in James) girl, being outed in the tabloid press. Here is novelist and English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan discussing her impending transformation with her heartbroken spouse and supportive yet confused colleagues. The result is a fascinating and compulsively readable book, filled with anguish, introspection and courage.
Based on new interviews with all of York's living children, and York's own diaries, this exhaustive biography of Alvin C. York follows the young soldier from the hills of Tennessee to the battlefields of France, down Broadway in a triumphant ticker-tape parade, and back home to his family farm where he spent the rest of his life in service to his community and his God.
The last image I ever saw--the instant before my eyes were seared by a landmine explosion in the jungles of Vietnam--is always with me. Many times during the past forty years, I have thought of myself as unlucky. But a soldier I met recently left me wondering. The meeting happened on a visit with a friend and fellow Vietnam veteran to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., where some of America's wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan were being treated.
Offers insight and hope. Graphically detailed horror story of abuse in Section One (free download), denial and decades of acting out, and recovery. A new life awaits you. The print copy contained many spelling and grammatical errors. These had to be left intact following copyright rules.
Denenberg presents the complete story of Anne Frank and her family's life, from Frankfurt, Germany, where Anne and Margot were born before the war, up through to their murders at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
After forming an intense bond with Natasha, a wolf cub she raised as part of her undergraduate research, Renée Askins was inspired to found the Wolf Fund. As head of this grassroots organization, she made it her goal to restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park, where they had been eradicated by man over seventy years before. Here, Askins recounts her courageous fifteen-year campaign, wrangling along the way with Western ranchers and their political allies in Washington, enduring death threats, and surviving the anguish of illegal wolf slayings to ensure that her dream of restoring Yellowstone's ecological balance would one day be realized. Told in powerful, first-person narrative, Shadow Mountain is the awe-inspiring story of her mission and her impassioned meditation on our connection to the wild.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Shadow of God is part memoir, part spiritual autobiography, and part tour of great works of art, literature, and music. In the form of a journal written over the course of a year, Charles Scribner shares childhood recollections of a household where figures like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were family friends. He tells stories from his own noteworthy publishing career, from his journey toward faith, and from his deep knowledge of Baroque art. Born an Episcopalian, he charts the story of his interior life and the importance of the arts in helping him choose the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual paths he would follow, including his Catholic conversion. He asks himself questions like "How far back can we trace the roots of faith?" Scribner writes with contagious enthusiasm about the pivotal truths he discovered in the novels of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh and the inspiration he found in art, music, opera, and the Bible. The Shadow of God is a journey through memory, art, and faith that shaped Scribner's year as it passed through the seasons, from Epiphany to Epiphany. It is a moving portrait of a man who has devoted his life to words and the Word and a work of rare power by a writer whose grace, humor, and candor will touch readers.
A Marine and recipient of the Navy Cross tells of his poignant journey to find inner peace and redemption after the trial of combat.
On a sunny fall afternoon in 1988, Jon Sarkin was playing golf when, without a whisper of warning, his life changed forever. As he bent down to pick up his golf ball, something strange and massive happened inside his head; part of his brain seemed to unhinge, to split apart and float away. For an utterly inexplicable reason, a tiny blood vessel, thin as a thread, deep inside the folds of his gray matter had suddenly shifted ever so slightly, rubbing up against his acoustic nerve. Any noise now caused him excruciating pain. After months of seeking treatment to no avail, in desperation Sarkin resorted to radical deep-brain surgery, which seemed to go well until during recovery his brain began to bleed and he suffered a major stroke. When he awoke, he was a different man. Before the stroke, he was a calm, disciplined chiropractor, a happily married husband and father of a newborn son. Now he was transformed into a volatile and wildly exuberant obsessive, seized by a manic desire to create art, devoting virtually all his waking hours to furiously drawing, painting, and writing poems and letters to himself, strangely detached from his wife and child, and unable to return to his normal working life. His sense of self had been shattered, his intellect intact but his way of being drastically altered. His art became a relentless quest for the right words and pictures to unlock the secrets of how to live this strange new life. And what was even stranger was that he remembered his former self. In a beautifully crafted narrative, award-winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Ellis Nutt interweaves Sarkin's remarkable story with a fascinating tour of the history of and latest findings in neuroscience and evolution that illuminate how the brain produces, from its web of billions of neurons and chaos of liquid electrical pulses, the richness of human experience that makes us who we are. Nutt brings vividly to life pivotal moments of discovery in neuroscience, from the shocking "rebirth" of a young girl hanged in 1650 to the first autopsy of an autistic savant's brain, and the extraordinary true stories of people whose personalities and cognitive abilities were dramatically altered by brain trauma, often in shocking ways. Probing recent revelations about the workings of creativity in the brain and the role of art in the evolution of human intelligence, she reveals how Jon Sarkin's obsessive need to create mirrors the earliest function of art in the brain. Introducing major findings about how our sense of self transcends the bounds of our own bodies, she explores how it is that the brain generates an individual "self" and how, if damage to our brains can so alter who we are, we can nonetheless be said to have a soul. For Jon Sarkin, with his personality and sense of self permanently altered, making art became his bridge back to life, a means of reassembling from the shards of his former self a new man who could rejoin his family and fashion a viable life. He is now an acclaimed artist who exhibits at some of the country's most prestigious venues, as well as a devoted husband to his wife, Kim, and father to their three children. At once wrenching and inspiring, this is a story of the remarkable human capacity to overcome the most daunting obstacles and of the extraordinary workings of the human mind.
Jim Reardon: "Shortly after 1900, Klondike gold rusher James S. Huntington wandered down the Yukon River, where he met and married Anna, a Koyukon daughter of the land. Their son Sidney has now lived for three-quarters of a century in the Koyukuk country where he was born. His life's story is a fascinating slice of Alaskan history. Sidney grew up in a subarctic wildland of birchbark canoes, dog teams, trappers, gold miners, and Koyukon Indians. He continues to live in essentially the same culture, now modernized with snow machines, bush planes, and satellite TV. He is a product of the land, who thoroughly knows his region, the animals, and the people who live there. The memories he shares in this book bring alive a way of life that is gone forever, for as a teenager and young man he lived primarily off the land; his interest in traditional Koyukon tales provides an intriguing peek into Koyukon Indian prehistory. In addition to leading an incredibly adventurous life, Huntington is a special kind of person. His is a bootstraps-up, inspirational success story of survival. Despite this, Sidney has always found time to help others-a trait that in recent years has brought him statewide respect and an honorary doctorate from the University of Alaska. Long before he received that degree, I regarded Sidney as holding a doctorate in life, for he is self-educated, with knowledge that extends far beyond the horizons of Alaska's Koyukuk country." Note to parents: a few hells and damns pepper the dialogue in this book.
On the works of Shah Husain, 1539-1599, Panjabi Sufi poet; includes selections translated into English.
The Shah's Last Ride: The True Story of the Emperor's Dreams and Illusions, Exile and Death at the Hands of His Foes and Friendsby William Shawcross
Biography of the last few years of the Shah's reign.
Few political figures in America today arouse as much passion as the Reverend Jesse Jackson. A hero to some in the black community, Jackson is credited with helping to break down barriers to political and economic access. But to other black leaders, Jackson has become a symbol for all that has gone wrong with their community. "Jesse virtually invented black racism," the Reverend Johnny Hunter, a black pastor from Virginia Beach, tells me. The Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a black conservative, calls Jackson a "gatekeeper of black progress" and a "race hustler"1 who has cashed in on white guilt to fund an opulent lifestyle and a personal power base. "He is really just a David Duke in black skin," Peterson says.
Sylvia Beach was intimately acquainted with the expatriate and visiting writers of the "Lost Generation", a label that she never accepted. Like moths of great promise, they were drawn to her well-lighted bookstore and warm hearth on the Left Bank. Shakespeare and Company evokes the zeitgeist of an era through its revealing glimpses of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, Andre Gide, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, D. H. Lawrence, and others already famous or soon to be. In his introduction to this new edition, James Laughlin recalls his friendship with Sylvia Beach. Like her bookstore, his publishing house, New Directions, is considered a cultural touchstone.
Provides discussion of the plays of Shakespeare written and performed during this period.
An account of Charles Bukowski's 1978 European trip. In 1978 Europe was new territory for Bukowski holding the secrets of his own personal ancestry and origins. En route to his birthplace in Andernach, Germany, he is trailed by celebrity-hunters and paparazzi, appears drunk on French television, blows a small fortune at a Dusseldorf racetrack and stands in a Cologne Cathedral musing about life and death.
"[Ron Rosenbaum] is one of the most original journalists and writers of our time."-David Remnick. In The Shakespeare Wars, Ron Rosenbaum gives readers an unforgettable way of rethinking the greatest works of the human imagination. As he did in his groundbreaking Explaining Hitler, he shakes up much that we thought we understood about a vital subject and renews our sense of excitement and urgency. He gives us a Shakespeare book like no other. Rather than raking over worn-out fragments of biography, Rosenbaum focuses on cutting-edge controversies about the true source of Shakespeare's enchantment and illumination-the astonishing language itself. How best to unlock the secrets of its spell? With quicksilver wit and provocative insight, Rosenbaum takes readers into the midst of fierce battles among the most brilliant Shakespearean scholars and directors over just how to delve deeper into the Shakespearean experience-deeper into the mind of Shakespeare.Was Shakespeare the one-draft wonder of Shakespeare in Love? Or was he rather-as an embattled faction of textual scholars now argues-a different kind of writer entirely: a conscientious reviser of his greatest plays? Must we then revise our way of reading, staging, and interpreting such works as Hamlet and King Lear? Rosenbaum pursues key partisans in these debates from the high tables of Oxford to a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop in a strip mall in the Deep South. He makes ostensibly arcane textual scholarship intensely seductive-and sometimes even explicitly sexual. At an academic "Pleasure Seminar" in Bermuda, for instance, he examines one scholar's quest to find an orgasm in Romeo and Juliet. Rosenbaum shows us great directors as Shakespearean scholars in their own right: We hear Peter Brook-perhaps the most influential Shakespearean director of the past century-disclose his quest for a "secret play" hidden within the Bard's comedies and dramas. We listen to Sir Peter Hall, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, as he launches into an impassioned, table-pounding fury while discussing how the means of unleashing the full intensity of Shakespeare's language has been lost-and how to restore it. Rosenbaum's hilarious inside account of "the Great Shakespeare 'Funeral Elegy' Fiasco," a man-versus-computer clash, illustrates the iconic struggle to define what is and isn't "Shakespearean." And he demonstrates the way Shakespearean scholars such as Harold Bloom can become great Shakespearean characters in their own right. The Shakespeare Wars offers a thrilling opportunity to engage with Shakespeare's work at its deepest levels. Like Explaining Hitler, this book is destined to revolutionize the way we think about one of the overwhelming obsessions of our time.
American native Bryson, alive and well in England, sets out what little is known about the life of the Elizabethan playwright and samples the voluminous scholarship about his work and its influence on English as a language and a body of literature. His approach is lighthearted and non-technical. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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