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The Genetic Strand is the story of a writer's investigation, using DNA science, into the tale of his family's origins. National Book Award winner Edward Ball has turned his probing gaze on the microcosm of the human genome, and not just any human genome -- that of his slave-holding ancestors. What is the legacy of such a family history, and can DNA say something about it? In 2000, after a decade in New York City, Ball bought a house in Charleston, South Carolina, home to his father's family for generations, and furnished it with heirloom pieces from his relatives. In one old desk he was startled to discover a secret drawer, sealed perhaps since the Civil War, in which someone had hidden a trove of family hair, with each lock of hair labeled and dated. The strange find propelled him to investigate: what might DNA science reveal about the people -- Ball's family members, long dead -- to whom the hair had belonged? Did the hair come from white relatives, as family tradition insisted? How can genetic tests explain personal identity? Part crime-scene investigation, part genealogical romp, The Genetic Strand is a personal odyssey into DNA and family history. The story takes the reader into forensics labs where technicians screen remains, using genetics breakthroughs like DNA fingerprinting, and into rooms where fathers nervously await paternity test results. It also summons the writer¹s entertaining and idiosyncratic family, such as Ball¹s antebellum predecessor, Aunt Betsy, who published nutty books on good Southern society; Kate Fuller, the enigmatic ancestor who may have introduced African genes into the Ball family pool; and the author¹s first cousin Catherine, very much alive, who donates a cheek swab from a mouth more attuned to sweet iced tea than DNA sampling. Writing gracefully but pacing his story like an old-fashioned whodunit, Edward Ball tracks genes shared across generations, adding suspense and personal meaning to what the scientists and Nobel laureates tell us. A beguiling DNA tale, The Genetic Strand reaches toward a new form of writing<the genetic memoir.
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols' "Great Taboo"--Genghis Khan's homeland and forbidden burial site--tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world. Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order. But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope of Genghis Khan's accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn't just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made.From the Hardcover edition.
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols' "Great Taboo"--Genghis Khan's homeland and forbidden burial site--tracks the astonishing story of Genghis Khan and his descendants, and their conquest and transformation of the world. Fighting his way to power on the remote steppes of Mongolia, Genghis Khan developed revolutionary military strategies and weaponry that emphasized rapid attack and siege warfare, which he then brilliantly used to overwhelm opposing armies in Asia, break the back of the Islamic world, and render the armored knights of Europe obsolete. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongol army never numbered more than 100,000 warriors, yet it subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans conquered in four hundred. With an empire that stretched from Siberia to India, from Vietnam to Hungary, and from Korea to the Balkans, the Mongols dramatically redrew the map of the globe, connecting disparate kingdoms into a new world order. But contrary to popular wisdom, Weatherford reveals that the Mongols were not just masters of conquest, but possessed a genius for progressive and benevolent rule. On every level and from any perspective, the scale and scope of Genghis Khan's accomplishments challenge the limits of imagination. Genghis Khan was an innovative leader, the first ruler in many conquered countries to put the power of law above his own power, encourage religious freedom, create public schools, grant diplomatic immunity, abolish torture, and institute free trade. The trade routes he created became lucrative pathways for commerce, but also for ideas, technologies, and expertise that transformed the way people lived. The Mongols introduced the first international paper currency and postal system and developed and spread revolutionary technologies like printing, the cannon, compass, and abacus. They took local foods and products like lemons, carrots, noodles, tea, rugs, playing cards, and pants and turned them into staples of life around the world. The Mongols were the architects of a new way of life at a pivotal time in history. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford resurrects the true history of Genghis Khan, from the story of his relentless rise through Mongol tribal culture to the waging of his devastatingly successful wars and the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed. This dazzling work of revisionist history doesn't just paint an unprecedented portrait of a great leader and his legacy, but challenges us to reconsider how the modern world was made. From the Hardcover edition.
Genie's father tied her to a chair when she was a child and secluded her in a room. When she was rescued she was a shrunken teenager who could hardly speak. But the scientists exploited this condition to learn about her language acquisition
An illuminating portrayal of Richard Feynman--a giant of twentieth century physics--from his childhood tinkering with radios, to his vital work on the Manhattan Project and beyond Raised in Depression-era Rockaway Beach, physicist Richard Feynman was irreverent, eccentric, and childishly enthusiastic--a new kind of scientist in a field that was in its infancy. His quick mastery of quantum mechanics earned him a place at Los Alamos working on the Manhattan Project under J. Robert Oppenheimer, where the giddy young man held his own among the nation's greatest minds. There, Feynman turned theory into practice, culminating in the Trinity test, on July 16, 1945, when the Atomic Age was born. He was only twenty-seven. And he was just getting started. In this sweeping biography, James Gleick captures the forceful personality of a great man, integrating Feynman's work and life in a way that is accessible to laymen and fascinating for the scientists who follow in his footsteps.
Elijah ben Solomon, the "Genius of Vilna," was perhaps the best-known and most understudied figure in modern Jewish history. This book offers a new narrative of Jewish modernity based on Elijah's life and influence. While the experience of Jews in modernity has often been described as a process of Western European secularization--with Jews becoming citizens of Western nation-states, congregants of reformed synagogues, and assimilated members of society--Stern uses Elijah's story to highlight a different theory of modernization for European life. Religious movements such as Hasidism and anti-secular institutions such as the yeshiva emerged from the same democratization of knowledge and privatization of religion that gave rise to secular and universal movements and institutions. Claimed by traditionalists, enlighteners, Zionists, and the Orthodox, Elijah's genius and its afterlife capture an all-embracing interpretation of the modern Jewish experience. Through the story of the "Vilna Gaon," Stern presents a new model for understanding modern Jewish history and more generally the place of traditionalism and religious radicalism in modern Western life and thought.
This is the spectacular rags-to-riches story of James Morrison (1789-1857), who began life humbly but through hard work and entrepreneurial brilliance acquired a fortune unequalled in nineteenth-century England. Using the extensive Morrison archive, Caroline Dakers presents the first substantial biography of the richest commoner in England, recounting the details of Morrison's personal life while also placing him in the Victorian age of enterprise that made his success possible.An affectionate husband and father of ten, Morrison made his first fortune in textiles, then a second in international finance. He invested in North American railways, was involved in global trade from Canton to Valparaiso, created hundreds of jobs, and relished the challenges of "the science of business". His success enabled him to acquire land, houses, and works of art on a scale to rival the grandest of aristocrats.
The Genius is the gripping account of Bill Walsh's career and how, through tactical and organizational skill, he transformed the San Francisco Forty Niners from a fallen franchise into a football dynasty. Along with his right-hand man John McVay, Walsh built the foundation for this success by drafting or trading for a durable core of stars, including Joe Montana, Fred Dean, and Hacksaw Reynolds. (Walsh would later restock the team with such players as Jerry Rice, Steve Young, and Charles Haley.) The key to Walsh's genius perhaps lay in his keen understanding of his athletes' psyches-- he knew what brought out the best in each of them. With unmatched access to players, fellow coaches, executives, beat reporters, and Walsh himself, David Harris recounts the whole story--including Walsh's pre-Niners odyssey, the demons that pushed him throughout his career, and the scope of his impact on the game beyond the field and locker room. In the end, Harris reveals the brilliant man behind the coaching legend.
This hugely entertaining biography of the founding editor of The New Yorker tells the diverting story of how Ross and the brilliant group of people he gathered around him--including James Thurber, Charles Addams, Dorothy Parker, and John O'Hara--devised the formula that made the magazine such a popular and critical success. Photos & cartoons.
Well-known names such as Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Edward Teller are usually those that surround the creation of the atom bomb. One name that is rarely mentioned is Leo Szilard, known in scientific circles as "father of the atom bomb." The man who first developed the idea of harnessing energy from nuclear chain reactions, he is curiously buried with barely a trace in the history of this well-known and controversial topic.Born in Hungary and educated in Berlin, he escaped Hitler's Germany in 1933 and that first year developed his concept of nuclear chain reactions. In order to prevent Nazi scientists from stealing his ideas, he kept his theories secret, until he and Albert Einstein pressed the US government to research atomic reactions and designed the first nuclear reactor. Though he started his career out lobbying for civilian control of atomic energy, he concluded it with founding, in 1962, the first political action committee for arms control, the Council for a Livable World.Besides his career in atomic energy, he also studied biology and sparked ideas that won others the Nobel Prize. The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where Szilard spent his final days, was developed from his concepts to blend science and social issues.
This biography presents the shy, witty, eccentric physicist Szilard, co-designer of the first nuclear reactor in 1942, who worked first to prevent, then to hasten, and finally to outlaw nuclear weapons. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
More than any other single man, George Washington was responsible for bringing success to the American Revolution. But because of the heroic image in which we have cast him and which already enveloped him in this own lifetime, Washington is and was a hard man to know. In this book Edmund S. Morgan pushes past the image to find the man. He argues that Washington's genius lay in his understanding of both military and political power. This understanding of power was unmatched by that of any of his contemporaries and showed itself at the simplest level in the ability to take command. Drawing on Washington's letters to his colleagues (many of which are included in this book), Morgan explores the particular genius of our first president and clearly demonstrates that Washington's mastery of power allowed America to win the Revolutionary War and placed the new country on the way to achieving the international and domestic power that Washington himself had sought for it.
Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central Park to Boston's Emerald Necklace to Stanford University's campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.Most of all, he was a social reformer. He didn't simply create places that were beautiful in the abstract. An awesome and timeless intent stands behind Olmsted's designs, allowing his work to survive to the present day. With our urgent need to revitalize cities and a widespread yearning for green space, his work is more relevant now than it was during his lifetime. Justin Martin restores Olmsted to his rightful place in the pantheon of great Americans.
This fascinating book by one of Britain's most acclaimed young Shakespeare scholars explores the extraordinary staying-power of Shakespeare's work. Bate opens by taking up questions of authorship, asking, for example, Who was Shakespeare, based on the little documentary evidence we have? Which works really are attributable to him? And how extensive was the influence of Christopher Marlowe? Bate goes on to trace Shakespeare's canonization and near-deification, examining not only the uniqueness of his status among English-speaking readers but also his effect on literate cultures across the globe. Ambitious, wide-ranging, and historically rich, this book shapes a provocative inquiry into the nature of genius as it ponders the legacy of a talent unequaled in English letters. A bold and meticulous work of scholarship, The Genius of Shakespeare is also lively and accessibly written and will appeal to any reader who has marveled at the Bard and the enduring power of his work.
Controversial, confrontational, and driven, Coach Geno Auriemma is a force to be reckoned with - and the most accomplished male coach in women's basketball today. In his relentless quest for excellence at the University of Connecticut, he has led the Huskies to five national championships. Yet his soul never rests. For Auriemma, life affords only the briefest moments of happiness - a good round of golf, forty minutes of great basketball, a day at the beach with his family, a nice glass of wine - while disaster is seemingly always waiting to strike. It's a fatalistic philosophy, a remnant of his hardscrabble early years, but it's an outlook that has driven him to unparalleled success." In this deeply personal memoir, Geno Auriemma reveals for the first time the man behind the legend. He talks candidly about his coaching style - famed for being one of the most demanding in all the sports world. He spills the beans about his stormy dealings with other coaches such as his archrival, Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee. And with warmth and a genuine love for his champions, he writes openly about Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Nykesha Sales, Rebecca Lobo, Swin Cash, and all of his other UConn stars who have gone on to stellar WNBA careers. You get a courtside seat to all of the action - including an epilogue on the 2004-05 season, as well as interviews with the team's most celebrated players.
"[Genoa] invites us to pass our minds down a new but ancient track, to become, ourselves, both fact and fiction, and to discover something true about the geography of time."--William Gass, The New York Times"Genoa is a spectacular confrontation with Melville's work, the journals of Columbus and molecular biology--all folded into a hallucinatory narrative about two brothers and their different paths through the American century."--Publishers Weekly"Much like his great-grandfather, Herman Melville, Paul Metcalf brings an extraordinary diversity of materials into the complex patterns of analogy and metaphor, to affect a common term altogether brilliant in its imagination."--Robert Creeley"A unique work of historical and literary imagination, eloquent and powerful. I know of nothing like it."--Howard ZinnFirst published in 1965, Genoa is Paul Metcalf's purging of the burden of his relationship to his great-grandfather Herman Melville. In his signature polyphonic style, a storm-tossed Indiana attic becomes the site of a reckoning with the life of Melville; with Columbus, and his myth; and between two brothers--one, an MD who refuses to practice; the other, an executed murderer. Genoa is a triumph, a novel without peer, that vibrates and sings a quintessentially American song.Paul Metcalf (1917-99) was an American writer and the great-grandson of Herman Melville. His three volume Collected Works were published by Coffee House Press in 1996.
It is widely accepted by New Testament scholars that the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles probably originated as two parts of one work by a single author. In spite of this, the books have been assigned to very different genres: Luke is traditionally viewed as a biography of Jesus, and Acts as a history of the early church. Comparing in detail the structure and content of Acts with the formal features of history, novel, epic and biography, Sean Adams challenges this division. Applying both ancient and modern genre theory, he argues that the best genre parallel for the Acts of the Apostles is in fact collected biography. Offering a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of genre theory, along with an insightful argument regarding the composition and purpose of Acts, this book will be of interest to those studying the New Testament, Acts, genre theory and ancient literature.
A fictionalized biography of Anna Blair Ethridge, a Union Army nurse.
[from the back cover] "John B. Keane was born in Listowel in 1928. Having worked in a variety of jobs in Ireland and England, he married and settled down to run a pub in his native town. Now he is recognised as a major Irish writer, who has written many successful plays and books, Sive, Sharon's Grave, The Highest House on the Mountain, The man from Clare, The Year of the Hiker, The Field, Many Young Men of Twenty, Big Maggie, Moll, Self-Portrait, Letters of a Successful T.D. and Letters of an Irish Parish Priest. This book offers a feast of Keane. The title essay reminds us that, while some marriages are proverbially made in Heaven, others have been made in the back parlour of a celebrated pub in Listowel--and none the worse for that! But John B. Keane has other interests besides match-making, and these pieces mirror many moods and attitudes. Who could ignore Keane on Potato-Cakes? Keane on Skinless Sausages, On Half-Doors? Is there a husband alive who will not recognise someone near and dear to him when he reads, with a mixture of affection and horror, the essay on 'Female Painters'? And, more seriously, there are other pieces that reflect this writer's deep love of tradition; his nostalgic re-creation of an Irish way of life that is gone for ever. Admirers of his plays will recognise in 'Sideways Talkers' and 'the Spirit of Christmas' the ruthless economy of a dramatist who can conjure up a character and a situation in a few lines. The Style is the Man' is a true saying and it has never been more true of any writer than of John B. Keane. He is there-with every inimitable quirk and foible in every line he writes. The characters in his plays are varied enough, but they all bear the stamp of the man who created them. In these essays, where he talks to us directly, his personality sounds out behind every line. No one who has read Letters of a Successful T.D. or seen his plays or encountered 'John B.' on radio or television will dare to miss the Gentle Art of Matchmaking."
In this book the author takes us on a few autobiographical excursions and shares in a moving account the ways in which life brought him to think what he thinks, and to be what he is.
Bold and uncompromising, Gentleman Junkie and Other Stories of the Hung-up Generation is a watershed moment in Harlan Ellison's early writing career. Rather than dealing in speculative fiction, these twenty-five short stories directly tackle issues of discrimination, injustice, bigotry, and oppression by the police. Pulling from his own experience, Ellison paints vivid portraits of the helpless and downtrodden, blazing forth with the kind of unblinking honesty that would define his career. Reviewing this collection, Dorothy Parker called Ellison "a good, honest, clean writer, putting down what he has seen and known, and no sensationalism about it."
A Gentleman of Pleasure not only spans Glassco's life but delves into his background as a member of a once prominent and powerful Montreal family. In addition to Glassco's readily available work, Brian Busby draws on pseudonymous writings published as a McGill student as well as unpublished and previously unknown poems, letters, and journal entries to detail a vibrant life while pulling back the curtain on Glassco's sexuality and unconventional tastes. In a lively account of a man given to deception, who took delight in hoaxes, Busby manages to substantiate many of the often unreliable statements Glassco made about his life and work. A Gentleman of Pleasure is a remarkable biography that captures the knowable truth about a fascinatingly complex and secretive man.
The author of several books on the US founding fathers portrays the politics and pleasure-loving life of the rarely credited draftsman of the Constitution's final form and author of its "We the people" preamble, during the American and French Revolutions. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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