The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American by Susan Jacoby

By Susan Jacoby

During the Gilded Age, which observed the sunrise of America’s enduring tradition wars, Robert eco-friendly Ingersoll was once referred to as “the nice Agnostic.” The nation’s most famed orator, he raised his voice on behalf of  Enlightenment cause, secularism, and the separation of church and kingdom with a vigour unequalled given that America’s progressive iteration. whilst he died in 1899, even his non secular enemies said that he may need aspired to the U.S. presidency had he been keen to masks his competition to faith. To the query that keeps its arguable energy today—was the USA based as a Christian nation?—Ingersoll replied an emphatic no.

In this provocative biography, Susan Jacoby, the writer of Freethinkers: A historical past of yank Secularism, restores Ingersoll to his rightful position in an American highbrow culture extending from Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine to the present iteration of  “new atheists.” Jacoby illuminates the ways that America’s often-denigrated and forgotten secular background encompasses matters, starting from women’s rights to evolution, as effective and divisive this present day as they have been in Ingersoll’s time. Ingersoll emerges during this portrait as one of many integral public figures who maintain another model of heritage alive. He committed his existence to that maximum secular suggestion of all—liberty of moral sense belonging  to the non secular and nonreligious alike.

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Meetings: Autobiographical Fragments by Martin Buber

By Martin Buber

Meetings units forth the lifetime of one of many twentieth-century's maximum religious philosophers in his personal phrases. A glittering sequence of reflections and narratives, it seeks to not describe his existence in its complete entirety, yet particularly to express a few of his defining moments of uncertainty, revelation and which means. Recalling the query at the infinity of house and time which just about drove Buber to suicide on the age of fourteen, his adolescent 'seduction' through Nietzsche's paintings, his hero-worship of Ferdinand Lassalle and his love of Bach's tune, Meetings has no equivalent as a portrait of an particular mind in growth. Like Buber's nice works Between guy and Man and The manner of Man, it conjures up a tactile, earthly notion of that means finally discovered, as Maurice Friedman writes in his creation, 'not in conceptual or systematic notion yet within the 4-dimensional fact of occasions and meetings'.

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My religion : what I believe by Tolstoy, Leo; Smith, Huntington; Tolstoy, Leo

By Tolstoy, Leo; Smith, Huntington; Tolstoy, Leo

'My Confession' is Tolstoy's chronicle of his trip to religion; his account of ways he moved from melancholy to the opportunity of residing; from unsatisfied lifestyles to 'the glow and energy of life'. It describes his non secular and philosophical struggles up till he leaves the Orthodox Church, confident that people observe fact now not by way of religion, yet via cause. the tale starts whilst on the age of fifty, Tolstoy is in quandary. Having chanced on no peace in artwork, technology or philosophy, he's attacked via the black puppy of depression, and considers suicide. His earlier existence is reappraised and located in need of; as slowly mild dawns inside of. 'As steadily, imperceptibly as existence had decayed in me, until eventually I reached the impossibility of residing, so progressively I felt the glow and power of lifestyles go back to me... I lower back to a trust in God.' here's a quest for which means on the shut of the nineteenth century - a time of social, clinical and highbrow turbulence, during which previous varieties have been below probability. Tolstoy appears round at either previous and new alike, and prefer the writer of Ecclesiastes, discovers that 'All is vanity'. His religious discoveries first take him into the palms of the Orthodox Church; after which strength his offended departure from it. 'My faith' includes on from the place 'My Confession' left off. Describing himself as a former nihilist, Tolstoy develops his assault at the church he has left. He accuses them of hiding the real which means of Jesus, that's to be present in the Sermon at the Mount; and such a lot sincerely, within the name to not withstand evil. For Tolstoy, it really is this command which has been such a lot broken through ecclesiastical interpretation. 'Not everyone,' he writes, 'is in a position to comprehend the mysteries of dogmatics, homilectics, liturgics, hermeneutics, apologetics; yet everyone seems to be capable and should comprehend what Christ acknowledged to the thousands of easy and ignorant those that have lived and live today.' here's Tolstoy's faith; and non-violence is at its center. Simon Parke, writer of the attractive lifestyles

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Clement Attlee: The Man Who Made Modern Britain by John Bew

By John Bew

Through the first half the 20th century, Winston Churchill's wartime heroics and larger-than-life character propelled him to the guts of the realm level. To such a lot, he is still nice Britain's maximum major Minister, his reputation and air of mystery overshadowing those that in his footsteps. but whereas he presided over his country's best hour, he was once no longer its such a lot consequential chief. during this definitive new biography, John Bew unearths how that designation belongs to Clement Attlee, Churchill's successor, who introduced a brand new period of political, monetary, and social reform that will ceaselessly swap nice Britain.

Bew's thorough and prepared exam of Attlee, the previous chief of the Labour occasion, illuminates how his revolutionary ideals formed his influential family and overseas coverage. then again criticized for being "too socialist" or "not radical enough," Attlee's quiet tenacity was once intrinsic to the good fortune of his celebration and hugely pertinent to British id total. In 1948, he confirmed the nationwide healthiness provider as a part of his "British New Deal"-a accomplished, common method of coverage, welfare, and kinfolk allowances to be loved through all British voters. Attlee additionally initiated key developments in diplomacy through assisting the improvement of either the United international locations and the North Atlantic Treaty association, and through granting independence to India, Burma, and Ceylon. extra controversially, he sanctioned the construction of Britain's nuclear deterrent according to the increase of the Soviet Union and the specter of atomic bombs.

Clement Attlee: the fellow Who Made glossy Britain explores his tenure within the years after the battle, as he presided over an intensive new executive in an age of austerity and imperial decline. Bew mines modern memoirs, diaries, and press excerpts to offer readers with an illuminating and intimate check out Attlee's existence and occupation. aware of either the fellow and the political panorama, this entire biography presents new perception into the soul of a pace-setter who reworked his kingdom and through extension the enormous empire over which it as soon as ruled.

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Flight By Elephant: The Untold Story of World War Two’s Most by Andrew Martin

By Andrew Martin

The terrific tale of Gyles Mackrell and his Burmese, elephant-assisted wartime rescue mission.

In the summer season of 1942, Gyles Mackrell – a adorned First global conflict pilot and tea plantation overseer, played a sequence of heroic rescues within the hellish jungles of Japanese-occupied Burma – by using twenty elephants.

At the age of fifty three, Mackrell went into the ‘green hell’ of the Chaukan move at the border of North Burma and Assam. the following, Mackrell and a group of elephant riders rescued Indian military infantrymen, British civilians and their Indian servants, from the pursuing jap, directing the elephants via jungle passes and raging rivers, and territory infested with sand flies, mosquitoes and innumerable leeches. these he kept have been all close to dying from hunger or fever: that summer time was once spent in a struggle opposed to time.

Now in Andrew Martin’s palms this never-before-told story of heroics is given the form of a suspenseful event, a wartime rescue whose proof are the stuff of fiction. ‘Flight through Elephant’ is a gripping chronicle of battle and survival, starring everyone’s favorite animal – the strong, unique and highly loveable elephant.

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The Weight of a Mustard Seed: The Intimate Story of an Iraqi by Wendell Steavenson

By Wendell Steavenson

A masterly and skillfully informed tale that weaves jointly the Iraqi previous and present.”

 —New York occasions ebook Review

 

“A firstclass investigation…that tells the reader extra in regards to the tensions of dwelling with regards to strength in Saddam’s dictatorship.”

Washington Post

 

The Weight of a Mustard Seed is an exceptional and intimate account of Iraqi existence less than Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime, published during the tragic tale of 1 of the dictator’s unswerving generals. Journalist Wendell Steavenson writes exciting nonfiction with a novelist’s aptitude, supplying a brand new standpoint on lifestyles within a totalitarian regime that's as relocating, compelling, and dramatic as The Kite Runner and The Bookseller of Kabul.

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The Visionary Life of Madre Ana de San Agustín (Textos B) by Elizabeth Teresa Howe

By Elizabeth Teresa Howe

In relaciones of her lifestyles, Madre Ana de San Agustín, a member of the Discalced Carmelite reform lower than Santa Teresa, finds a wealthy inside lifetime of visions, locutions, and visits to heaven and hell. Guiding her at many junctures of her non secular trip is the determine of Santa Teresa, either prior to and after the saint's loss of life in 1582. even if Madre Ana doesn't confer with any books keep the Divine place of work, the main points she presents recommend her familiarity with a number of devotional and mystical texts by way of women and men on hand on the time. Her debts proportion a few of the features of those previous works. both attention-grabbing are the connections she attracts among her visions and the surface global, particularly the fight over the Carmelite reform. En las dos 'relaciones' de su vida, los angeles Madre Ana de San Agustín, Carmelita descalza de los angeles Reforma teresiana, revela una rica vida inside de visiones, locuciones, y visitas al cielo y al infierno. Guiándola en su viaje espiritual está los angeles figura de Santa Teresa, antes y después de los angeles muerte de ésta en 1582. Aunque Madre Ana no cita ninguna obra salvo el Oficio Divino, los detalles empleados en sus narrativas sugieren un conocimiento de varios textos de l. a. literatura mística y devota escritos por hombres y mujeres que fueron publicados y circulados durante los angeles época. Las 'relaciones' de Madre Ana reflejan algunas de las características de estas obras anteriores. A l. a. vez las conexiones que ella hace entre sus visiones y el mundo cotidiano, especialmente en cuanto al conflicto de los angeles Reforma Descalza, son igualmente interesantes. ELIZABETH HOWE is Professor of Spanish at Tufts college, Massachusetts.

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Valleys of Death: A Memoir of the Korean War by Bill Richardson

By Bill Richardson

A hard-fighting soldier's story-from the trenches of America's first conflict within the chilly conflict.

From the devastating counterattack at Unsan to the thirty-four months he spent in captivity-a interval of years within which giving up absolutely intended dying-Col. invoice Richardson's intuition for management and obdurate will to outlive observed him via one valley of dying after the subsequent. Valleys of Death is a stirring tale of survival and resolution that gives a desirable, intimate examine the warriors who fought America's first conflict of the chilly warfare within the unvarnished phrases of 1 in their personal. Richardson continued many lengthy months of hunger, torture, sleep deprivation, and chinese language makes an attempt at indoctrination, but maintained defiance lower than stipulations designed to damage the brain, physique, and spirit of guys.

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JACK KENNEDY: Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews

By Chris Matthews

The significantly acclaimed, New York instances bestselling biography of John F. Kennedy, by means of Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball.

“What used to be he like?”

Jack Kennedy stated the explanation humans learn biography is to reply to that easy query. What was once he like, this guy whose personal spouse referred to as him “that elusive, unforgettable man?” during this New York instances bestselling biography, Chris Matthews solutions that question with the verve of a novelist. We see this such a lot liked president within the corporation of associates. We see and believe him close-up, having enjoyable and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his existence from privileged, rebellious adolescence to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in struggle and selfless rescue of his PT boat workforce. We watch JFK as a tender flesh presser studying to play hardball and watch him develop into the chief who averts a nuclear warfare. Matthews’s notable biography is predicated on own interviews with these closest to JFK, oral histories by way of most sensible political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, files from his years as a scholar at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. As Matthews writes: “I came upon a battling prince by no means freed from soreness, by no means faraway from difficulty, by no means accepting the area he chanced on, by no means eager to be his father’s son. He was once a much larger hero than he ever wanted us to know.”

“Filled with the power and spirit that made Jack Kennedy one of these magical determine. Chris Matthews exhibits the crafty and backbone underneath that magic. It’s an amazing and pleasant book.” —Walter Isaacson, writer of Steve Jobs

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