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Defending Identity

by Natan Sharansky

If the history of the twentieth century can be seen as a successful struggle to expand personal freedoms, then the history of the twenty-first century will be seen as a contest to assert cultural, ethnic, or religious identities. From the crisis in Europe, where identity is seen as inimical to democratic freedoms, to the threats to identity posed by postmodern relativism and Marxism, to the corrosive dullness of identity-less cosmopolitanism, Sharansky conducts a philosophical tour of nations, regions, and cities whose futures rest precariously on the struggle for identity. His purpose throughout is to recover that most valuable and essential political emotion, one that can reaffirm and underpin democratic societies. Together, identity and democracy assert a powerful and benign sense of purpose; divided, at odds with each other, they invite fundamentalism and rootlessness.

By His Own Rules

by Bradley Graham

Once considered among the best and brightest of his generation, Donald Rumsfeld was exceptionally prepared by successful careers in politics and business to assume the Pentagon's top job in 2001. Yet six years later, he left office as the most controversial Defense Secretary since Robert McNamara, widely criticized for his management of the Iraq war and for his difficult relationships with Congress, administration colleagues, and military officers. Was he really the arrogant, errant, over-controlling Pentagon leader frequently portrayed-or as his supporters contend, a brilliant, hard-charging visionary caught in a whirl of polarized Washington politics, dysfunctional federal bureaucracy, and bad luck? Bradley Graham, a longtimeWashington Postreporter who closely covered Rumsfeld's challenging tenure at the Pentagon, offers an insightful biography of a complex personality. In the tradition of Karen DeYoung'sSoldierand Bart Gellman'sAngler,By His Own Rulesis a layered and revealing portrait of a man whose impact on U. S. national security affairs will long outlive him.

Democracy's Good Name

by Michael Mandelbaum

The last thirty years have witnessed one of the most remarkable developments in history: the rapid rise of democracy around the world. In 1900, only ten countries were democracies and by 1975 there were only 30. Today, 119 of the world's 190 countries have adopted this form of government, and it is by far the most celebrated and prestigious one. How did democracy acquire its good name? Why did it spread so far and so fast? Why do important countries remain undemocratic? And why do efforts to export democracy so often fail and even make conditions worse? InDemocracy's Good Name, Michael Mandelbaum, one of America's leading foreign policy thinkers, answers these questions. He surveys the methods and risks of promoting democracy, and analyzes the prospects for the establishment of democratic governments in Russia, China, and the Arab world. Written in Mandelbaum's clear and accessible style,Democracy's Good Namepresents a lucid, comprehensive, and surprising account of the history and future of democracy from the American Revolution to the occupation of Iraq.

The New Asian Hemisphere

by Kishore Mahbubani

For centuries, the Asians (Chinese, Indians, Muslims, and others) have been bystanders in world history. Now they are ready to become co-drivers. Asians have finally understood, absorbed, and implemented Western best practices in many areas: from free-market economics to modern science and technology, from meritocracy to rule of law. They have also become innovative in their own way, creating new patterns of cooperation not seen in the West. Will the West resist the rise of Asia? The good news is that Asia wants to replicate, not dominate, the West. For a happy outcome to emerge, the West must gracefully give up its domination of global institutions, from the IMF to the World Bank, from the G7 to the UN Security Council. History teaches that tensions and conflicts are more likely when new powers emerge. This, too, may happen. But they can be avoided if the world accepts the key principles for a new global partnership spelled out inThe New Asian Hemisphere.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

by Muhammad Yunus

In the last two decades, free markets have swept the globe, bringing with them enormous potential for positive change. But traditional capitalism cannot solve problems like inequality and poverty, because it is hampered by a narrow view of human nature in which people are one-dimensional beings concerned only with profit. In fact, human beings have many other drives and passions, including the spiritual, the social, and the altruistic. Welcome to the world of social business, where the creative vision of the entrepreneur is applied to today's most serious problems: feeding the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and protecting the planet. Creating a World Without Poverty tells the stories of some of the earliest examples of social businesses, including Yunus's own Grameen Bank. It reveals the next phase in a hopeful economic and social revolution that is already under way-and in the worldwide effort to eliminate poverty by unleashing the productive energy of every human being.

A Family Trust

by Ward Just

Jonathan Yardley called A Family Trust "his longest, his most ambitious and his best... a book with serious purposes that manages to entertain at the same time...rich in carefully observed details, in quick, sharp perceptions that reveal more than one at first understands...a fine, satisfying, rewarding book, the work of a mature and accomplished novelist," upon the book's initial publication in 1978. The passing of Amos Rising, town elder and editor of The Dement Intelligencer, leaves the Rising family without a patriarch and the town with a hole in its center. The ambitions and talents of the Risings, the changing face of the town and the life of the spirited, intelligent, and attractive Dana Rising fill the pages of this extraordinary novel. Ward Just's A Family Trust is about the public face and private souls of America's Heartland in the same way his other novels are about Germany, Vietnam, or Washington D. C. The time has come to bring A Family Trust back into print.

Common Nonsense

by Andy Rooney

"Andy Rooney's Sunday evening observations on 60 Minutes are an American institution, shaping the way people see everything from coffee percolators to the state of the nation. Rooney's books, most rece"

Years of Minutes

by Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney has been at it for twenty-five years. It's time to celebrate. So here's the ultimate gift for every Rooney fan: an illustrated collection of Rooney's very best pieces from a quarter centur

Beyond Choice

by Alexander Sanger

The grandson of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, Alexander has served as the organization's president and is now an ambassador for it to the United Nations. Here he argues that fully legal and accessible abortion is better for women, men, and children and is morally right. He provides a framework for analyzing whether some decisions about childbearing and abortion are morally wrong and should be prohibited by law. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

The Sand Cafe

by Neil Macfarquhar

Dhahran Palace Hotel,Saudi Arabia, 1991. The US forces are massing on the border with Iraq, preparing to throw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Men and material are arriving daily, helicopters and armor are training in the desert sand. There are rumors of Scud missiles, talk of the possibility of chemical attack, but in fact, nothing is really happening. With no story to report, the press is getting restive. The Sand Caféis a satire of modern war reporting that mercilessly exposes the life of the foreign correspondent: endless scurrying trips in pursuit of a really big story, gathering frustration, brewing jealousy directed towards other reporters, especially those from better financed TV networks, and the stale smell of damp rot that comes from a combination of leaking air-conditioning and wretched carpeting in the hotel where the entire bedraggled press corps is housed. Boredom massages idle thoughts into wild excesses, even in a country that officially bans the sale of alcohol. Neil MacFarquhar, a veteran of the Middle East foreign press corps, has written a woundingly witty black comedy of those who bring us news from the front lines, exposing their vanities, rivalries and petty distractions. Love, lust for fame and the magnificent gilded hypocrisy of the regime in Saudi make this novel as revealing as it is compelling.

The Political Brain

by Drew Westen

The Political Brainis a groundbreaking investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation. For two decades Drew Westen, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, has explored a theory of the mind that differs substantially from the more "dispassionate" notions held by most cognitive psychologists, political scientists, and economists-and Democratic campaign strategists. The idea of the mind as a cool calculator that makes decisions by weighing the evidence bears no relation to how the brain actually works. When political candidates assume voters dispassionately make decisions based on "the issues," they lose. That's why only one Democrat has been re-elected to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt-and only one Republican has failed in that quest. In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven't decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates' policy positions. Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn't so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate. He shows how it can be done through examples of what candidates have said-or could have said-in debates, speeches, and ads. Westen's discoveries could utterly transform electoral arithmetic, showing how a different view of the mind and brain leads to a different way of talking with voters about issues that have tied the tongues of Democrats for much of forty years-such as abortion, guns, taxes, and race. You can't change the structure of the brain. But you can change the way you appeal to it. And here's how...

The Gashouse Gang

by John Heidenry

WithThe Gashouse Gang, John Heidenry delivers the definitive account of one the greatest and most colorful baseball teams of all times, the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, filled with larger-than-life baseball personalities like Branch Rickey, Leo Durocher, Pepper Martin, Casey Stengel, Satchel Paige, Frankie Frisch, and-especially- the eccentric good ol' boy and great pitcher Dizzy Dean and his brother Paul. The year 1934 marked the lowest point of the Great Depression, when the U. S. went off the gold standard, banks collapsed by the score, and millions of Americans were out of work. Epic baseball feats offered welcome relief from the hardships of daily life. The Gashouse Gang, the brilliant culmination of a dream by its general manager, Branch Rickey, the first to envision a farm system that would acquire and "educate" young players in the art of baseball, was adored by the nation, who saw itself-scruffy, proud, and unbeatable-in the Gang. Based on original research and told in entertaining narrative style,The Gashouse Gangbrings a bygone era and a cast full of vivid personalities to life and unearths a treasure trove of baseball lore that will delight any fan of the great American pastime.

The Accidental President of Brazil

by Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Fernando Henrique Cardoso received a phone call in the middle of the night asking him to be the new Finance Minister of Brazil. As he put the phone down and stared into the darkness of his hotel room, he feared he'd been handed a political death sentence. The year was 1993, and he would be responsible for an economy that had had seven different currencies in the previous eight years to cope with inflation that had run at 3000 percent a year. Brazil had a habit of chewing up finance ministers with the ferocity of an Amazon piranha. This was just one of the turns in a largely unscripted and sometimes unwanted political career. In exile during the harshest period of the junta that ruled Brazil for twenty years, Cardoso started his political life with a tentative run for the Federal Senate in 1978. Within fifteen years, and despite himself, this former sociologist was running the country. And what a country! Brazil, it is often said, is on the edge of modernity, striding with one foot in mid-air towards the future, the other still rooted deep in a traditional past. It is a land of sophisticated music and brutal gold-digging, of the next global superpower and the last old-time coffee plantations. It is gloriously ungovernable, irrepressibly attractive, and home to the family, friends and extraordinary life of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. This is his story and his love song to his country.

Spalding's World Tour

by Mark Lamster

In October 1888, Albert Goodwill Spalding -- baseball star, sporting-goods magnate, promotional genius -- departed Chicago on a trip that would take him and two baseball teams on a six-month barnstorming journey around the globe. Their mission: to fix the game in the American consciousness as the purest expression of national spirit, and to seed markets for Spalding products. In the process, these early cultural ambassadors played before kings and queens, visited the Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower, and took pot shots with their baseballs at the Great Sphinx in Egypt. Upon their return, they were celebrated as heroes by Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt. Chosen as one of the best baseball books of 2006 by ¿Sports Illustrated. ¿ Photos.

Past Imperfect

by Peter Charles Hoffer

Woodrow Wilson, a practicing academic historian before he took to politics, defined the importance of history: "A nation which does not know what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today. " He, like many men of his generation, wanted to impose a version of America's founding identity: it was a land of the free and a home of the brave. But not the braves. Or the slaves. Or the disenfranchised women. So the history of Wilson's generation omitted a significant proportion of the population in favor of a perspective that was predominantly white, male and Protestant. That flaw would become a fissure and eventually a schism. A new history arose which, written in part by radicals and liberals, had little use for the noble and the heroic, and that rankled many who wanted a celebratory rather than a critical history. To this combustible mixture of elements was added the flame of public debate. History in the 1990s was a minefield of competing passions, political views and prejudices. It was dangerous ground, and, at the end of the decade, four of the nation's most respected and popular historians were almost destroyed by it: Michael Bellesiles, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose and Joseph Ellis. This is their story, set against the wider narrative of the writing of America's history. It may be, as Flaubert put it, that "Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. " To which he could have added: falsify, plagiarize and politicize, because that's the other story of America's history.

Learning Like a Girl

by Diana Meehan

Faced with a spirited eleven-year-old daughter, a concern about what therapists have called a 'poisonous' youth culture- especially for girls-and a conviction that parents need powerful tools to help their daughters realize their potential, educator-activist DianaMeehan was disappointed in the selection of schools available. So she decided along with two other mothers to create one, based on social science and brain research on how girls learn best. The result, The Archer School in L. A. , has in only ten years become a model for girls' schools nationwide. In this entertaining, inspiring book, Meehan describes her obstacle-ridden journey to create a new institution to serve girls first and foremost, while laying out through vivid stories and examples what girls need to thrive. She explains why co-education so often doesn't serve them (just as it doesn't serve boys), takes sides in the controversy over male/female learning differences, and advocates for schools' role in giving girls tools to navigate through our sexualized, materialistic culture. She also visits other schools around the country-private and public-to show how single sex education works, and how every girl everywhere can benefit from having a classroom of her own.

High Society: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It

by Joseph A. Califano Jr.

Exploring the connections between arithmetic and geometric properties of algebraic varieties has been the object of much fruitful study for a long time, especially in the case of curves. The aim of the Summer School and Conference on "Higher Dimensional Varieties and Rational Points" held in Budapest, Hungary during September 2001 was to bring together students and experts from the arithmetic and geometric sides of algebraic geometry in order to get a better understanding of the current problems, interactions and advances in higher dimension. The lecture series and conference lectures assembled in this volume give a comprehensive introduction to students and researchers in algebraic geometry and in related fields to the main ideas of this rapidly developing area.

Encore

by Marc Freedman

The movement of millions of sixty-somethings into a new phase in their working lives constitutes one of the most significant social trends in this country in nearly half a century. Encore describes the competing visions for work that are already lining up to capture the hearts and minds, and the time, of waves of baby boomers who are not content, or affluent enough, to spend their next twenty or thirty years on the golf course. Baby boomers are searching for a calling in the second half of life; they are moving beyond midlife yet refusing to phase out or fade away. If the old dream of the Golden Years was the Freedom from Work, the dream of this new wave is the Freedom to Work-in new ways, on new terms, to new ends. As their numbers begin to swell, these individuals hold the potential not only to transform work in America, but to create a society that balances the joys and responsibilities of contribution across the generations-in other words, one that works better for everyone.

Cockeyed

by Ryan Knighton

On his 18th birthday, Ryan Knighton was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a congenital, progressive disease marked by night-blindness, tunnel vision and, eventually, total blindness. In this penetrating, nervy memoir, which ricochets between meditation and black comedy, Knighton tells the story of his fifteen-year descent into blindness while incidentally revealing the world of the sighted in all its phenomenal peculiarity. Knighton learns to drive while unseeing; has his first significant relationship-with a deaf woman; navigates the punk rock scene and men's washrooms; learns to use a cane; and tries to pass for seeing while teaching English to children in Korea. Stumbling literally and emotionally into darkness, into love, into couch-shopping at Ikea, into adulthood, and into truce if not acceptance of his identity as a blind man, his writerly self uses his disability to provide a window onto the human condition. His experience of blindness offers unexpected insights into sight and the other senses, culture, identity, language, our fears and fantasies. Cockeyed is not a conventional confessional. Knighton is powerful and irreverent in words and thought and impatient with the preciousness we've come to expect from books on disability. Readers will find it hard to put down this wild ride around their everyday world with a wicked, smart, blind guide at the wheel.

Bill Clinton

by Nigel Hamilton

This is a narrative account of President Bill Clinton's "epic" first term in the White House. Focusing on key episodes such as the genocide in Rwanda, Hillary Clinton's failed health care reform, the Balkan wars, and Speaker Gingrich's shutdown of the US government, Hamilton (U. of Massachusetts) constructs a picture of a president beset by failure domestically and internationally who learned to face up to his mistakes and refashion himself as "the undisputed leader of his country, at home and abroad. " In his view, Bill Clinton is "the greatest example of self-reinvention as president in office in modern times. " Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Being a Black Man

by Kevin Merida

Over the last 100 years, perhaps no segment of the American population has been more analyzed than black males. The subject of myriad studies and dozens of government boards and commissions, black men have been variously depicted as the progenitors of pop culture and the menaces of society, their individuality often obscured by the narrow images that linger in the public mind. Ten years after the Million Man March, the largest gathering of black men in the nation's history, Washington Post staffers began meeting to discuss what had become of black men in the ensuing decade. How could their progress and failures be measured? Their questions resulted in a Post series which generated enormous public interest and inspired a succession of dynamic public meetings. It included the findings of an ambitious nationwide poll and offered an eye-opening window into questions of race and black male identity-questions gaining increasing attention with the emergence of Senator Barack Obama as a serious presidential contender. At the end of the day, the project revealed that black men are deeply divided over how they view each other and their country. Now collected in one volume with several new essays as well as an introduction by Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Edward P. Jones, these poignant and provocative articles let us see and hear black men like they've never been seen and heard before.

Second Opinion

by Arnold Relman

Dr. Arnold Relman, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine brings together sixty years of experience in medicine in a book that holds the keys to a new structure for healthcare based on voluntary private contracts between individuals and not-for-profit, multi-specialty groups of physicians. Timely, provocative, and newly updated, A Second Opinion is a clarion call to action. If we heed Dr. Relman's plan, Americans could at last achieve a lasting, sensible solution to national healthcare.

And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out) Wall Street, the IMF, and the Bankrupting of Argentina

by Paul Blustein

In the 1990s, few countries were more lionized than Argentina for its efforts to join the club of wealthy nations. Argentina's policies drew enthusiastic applause from the IMF, the World Bank and Wall Street. But the club has a disturbing propensity to turn its back on arrivistes and cast them out. That was what happened in 2001, when Argentina suffered one of the most spectacular crashes in modern history. With it came appalling social and political chaos, a collapse of the peso, and a wrenching downturn that threw millions into poverty and left nearly one-quarter of the workforce unemployed. Paul Blustein, whose book about the IMF, The Chastening, was called "gripping, often frightening" by The Economist and lauded by the Wall Street Journal as "a superbly reported and skillfully woven story," now gets right inside Argentina's rise and fall in a dramatic account based on hundreds of interviews with top policymakers and financial market players as well as reams of internal documents. He shows how the IMF turned a blind eye to the vulnerabilities of its star pupil, and exposes the conduct of global financial market players in Argentina as redolent of the scandals - like those at Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing - that rocked Wall Street in recent years. By going behind the scenes of Argentina's debacle, Blustein shows with unmistakable clarity how sadly elusive the path of hope and progress remains to the great bulk of humanity still mired in poverty and underdevelopment.

Lipstick Jihad

by Azadeh Moaveni

As far back as she can remember, Azadeh Moaveni has felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian-American. In suburban America, Azadeh lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community, serving tea, clinging to tradition, and dreaming of Tehran. Outside, she was a California girl who practiced yoga and listened to Madonna. For years, she ignored the tense standoff between her two cultures. But college magnified the clash between Iran and America, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist. This is the story of her search for identity, between two cultures cleaved apart by a violent history. It is also the story of Iran, a restive land lost in the twilight of its revolution. Moaveni's homecoming falls in the heady days of the country's reform movement, when young people demonstrated in the streets and shouted for the Islamic regime to end. In these tumultuous times, she struggles to build a life in a dark country, wholly unlike the luminous, saffron and turquoise-tinted Iran of her imagination. As she leads us through the drug-soaked, underground parties of Tehran, into the hedonistic lives of young people desperate for change, Moaveni paints a rare portrait of Iran's rebellious next generation. The landscape of her Tehran - ski slopes, fashion shows, malls and cafes - is populated by a cast of young people whose exuberance and despair brings the modern reality of Iran to vivid life.

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

by Benjamin Ajak Benson Deng Alephonsian Deng Judy Bernstein

Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew. All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was forced to do the same. Across the Southern Sudan, over the next five years, thousands of other boys did likewise, joining this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys. Their journey would take them over one thousand miles across a war-ravaged country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters, and grotesque extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee camps they eventually filtered through offered little respite from the brutality they were fleeing. InThey Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Alepho, Benson, and Benjamin, by turn, recount their experiences along this unthinkable journey. They vividly recall the family, friends, and tribal world they left far behind them and their desperate efforts to keep track of one another. This is a captivating memoir of Sudan and a powerful portrait of war as seen through the eyes of children. And it is, in the end, an inspiring and unforgettable tribute to the tenacity of even the youngest human spirits.

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