History / Military
Men in Black (Picturing History) By John Harvey
The Art of Suicide (Picturing History) By Ron Brown
The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith By Matthew Bowman
William Lee Miller, “Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World”
Florence Williams, “Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History”
🔆Men in Black (Picturing History) By John Harvey
1995 | 256 Pages | ISBN: 0948462736 , 0948462744 | PDF | 14 MB
Men’s clothes went black in the 19th century, and Dickens, Ruskin and Baudelaire all asked why it was that, in an age of supreme wealth and power, men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. For an answer one must look at the history of black, for it is clear that over the last 1000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black – from the Church to the Court, from the Court to officials and the merchant class. Though the black fashion was often smart and elegant, the growth and extension of it were fed by several dark currents in Europe’s history – in its politics, its asceticism, its religious warfare. It was only in the 19th century, however, that the black fashion fully came into its own; the most telling witnesses constantly saw connections between the taste for black and the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself. Although the 20th century has aimed for new colours and a new direction, black has retained its authority as well as its associations with strength and cruelty. At the same time, black is still smart, and fashion keeps returning to black. It is, perhaps, the colour that has come to acquire the greatest, most significant range of meaning in history, and this book offers a detailed study.
🔆The Art of Suicide (Picturing History) By Ron Brown
2004 | 240 Pages | ISBN: 1861891059 | PDF | 10 MB
The Art of Suicide is a history of the visual representation of suicide from the ancient world to its decriminalization in the 20th century. After looking at instances of voluntary death in ancient Greece, Ron Brown discusses the contrast between the extraordinary absence of such events in early Christianity and the proliferation of images of biblical suicides in the late medieval era. He emphasizes how differing attitudes to suicide in the early modern world slowly merged, and pays particular attention to the one-time chasm between so-called heroic suicide and self-destruction as a “crying crime”. Brown tracks the changes surrounding the perception of suicide into the pivotal Romantic era, with its notions of the “man of feeling”, ready to hurl himself into the abyss over a woman or an unfinishable poem. After the First World War, the meaning of death and attitudes towards suicide changed radically, and in time this led to its decriminalization. The 20th century in fact witnessed a growing ambivalence towards suicidal acts, which today are widely regarded either as expressions of a death-wish or as cries for help. Brown concludes with Warhol’s picture of Marilyn Monroe and the videos taken by the notorious Dr Kevorkian.
🔆The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith By Matthew Bowman
2012 | 352 Pages | ISBN: 0679644903 | EPUB | 2 MB
With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer and sometime treasure hunter named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and known informally as the Mormons). One of the nascent faith’s early initiates was a twenty-three-year-old Ohio farmer named Parley Pratt, the distant grandfather of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In The Mormon People, religious historian Matthew Bowman peels back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of twenty-first-century, and ably sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this “all-American” faith is perceived by the wider American public—and internationally. Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved—and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in “magic underwear.” Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mormons in the world, fewer than half of whom live inside the United States. It is a church with a powerful sense of its own identity and an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture. Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. In such a time, The Mormon People comes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history—a frank and fair-minded demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.
🔆William Lee Miller, “Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World”
English | 2012-04-10 | ISBN: 0307595641 | 416 pages | EPUB, MOBI | 2.2 mb + 1 mb
Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, consecutive presidents of the United States, were midwesterners alike in many ways—except that they also sharply differed. Born within six years of each other (Truman in 1884, Eisenhower in 1890), they came from small towns in the Missouri–Mississippi River Valley—in the midst of cows and wheat, pigs and corn, and grain elevators. Both were grandsons of farmers and sons of forceful mothers, and of fathers who knew failure; both were lower middle class, received public school educations, and were brought up in low-church Protestant denominations.
William Lee Miller interweaves Truman’s and Eisenhower’s life stories, which then also becomes the story of their nation as it rose to great power. They had contrasting experiences in the Great War—Truman, the haberdasher to be, led men in battle; Eisenhower, the supreme commander to be did not. Between the wars, Truman was the quintessential politician, and Eisenhower the thoroughgoing anti-politician. Truman knew both the successes and woes of the public life, while Eisenhower was sequestered in the peacetime army. Then in the wartime 1940s, these two men were abruptly lifted above dozens of others to become leaders of the great national efforts.
Miller describes the hostile maneuvering and bickering at the moment in 1952–1953 when power was to be handed from one to the other and somebody had to decide which hat to wear and who greeted whom. As president, each coped with McCarthyism, the tormenting problems of race, and the great issues of the emerging Cold War. They brought the United States into a new pattern of world responsibility while being the first Americans to hold in their hands the awesome power of weapons capable of destroying civilization.
Reading their story is a reminder of the modern American story, of ordinary men dealing with extraordinary power.
🔆Florence Williams, “Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History”
2012 | ISBN: 0393063186, 1921922648 | 352 pages | EPUB | 2 MB
An engaging narrative about an incredible, life-giving organ and its imperiled modern fate. Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it’s sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil? Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial—and so vulnerable? In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon’s office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.