What is fascinating is that there were no traffic rules. The only vehicle travelling in a straight line is the cable car. The fact that this was four days before the earthquake and fire makes it poignant as well as historical.
It is estimated that 3,000 people died. Over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. This film shows a world that disappeared just days later.
British Pathé, the U.K. newsreel archive company, has uploaded its entire 100-year collection of 85,000 historic films in high resolution to YouTube. The collection has film from 1896 to 1976.
On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.
At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own “Golden Bible”—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He’d led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.
In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.
Mormonism is America’s largest and most enduring native religion, and the “martyrdom” of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith’s brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
For centuries, the importance of financial accounting has been well understood. Essential to building businesses, states, and even empires, accounting has also helped leaders measure their power and craft their policies. When practiced poorly or neglected, accounting has contributed to cycles of destruction, as the 2008 financial crisis has made all too clear. In The Reckoning, award-winning historian Jacob Soll shows how the use and misuse of financial bookkeeping has determined the fate of entire societies. In the right hands, accounting has created social stability, good governance, and economic prosperity. In the wrong hands, good accounting practices have often been subverted, with disastrous results ranging from financial losses and debt to complete economic collapse.
From the Medici bankers to the director of finances under Louis XVI, from the Industrial Revolution to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Recession, The Reckoning demonstrates that civilizations are only as strong as their bookkeepers.
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Lorenzo de' Medici was never an old man. He died in 1492 at the age of forty-three. He came to power in fifteenth-century Florence at the age of twenty. In the twenty-odd years of his rule, this banker, politician, international diplomat, free-wheeling poet and songwriter, and energetic revolutionary helped to give shape, tone, and tempo to that truly dazzling time of Western history, the Renaissance. This book, by award-winning author Charles L. Mee, Jr., recounts the remarkable life of Lorenzo de’ Medici and of the times in which he lived.
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
3.8 out of 5 stars with 14 reviews
Now a Major Motion Picture Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
The Railway Man is a remarkable memoir of forgiveness—a tremendous testament to the courage that propels one toward remembrance, and finally, peace with the past. Eric Lomax, sent to Malaya in World War II, was taken prisoner by the Japanese and put to punishing work on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. After the radio he illicitly helped to build in order to follow war news was discovered, he was subjected to two years of starvation and torture. He would never forget the interpreter at these brutal sessions. Fifty years after returning home from the war, marrying, and gaining the strength from his wife Patti to fight his demons, he learned the interpreter was alive. Through letters and meeting with his former torturer, Lomax bravely moved beyond bitterness drawing on an extraordinary will to extend forgiveness.
Publication Date: April 11, 2014
4.5 out of 5 stars with 177 reviews
A white-knuckle account of the 1st Infantry Division’s harrowing D-Day assault on the eastern sector of Omaha Beach—acclaimed historian John C. McManus has written a gripping history that will stand as the last word on this titanic battle.
Nicknamed the Big Red One, 1st Division had fought from North Africa to Sicily, earning a reputation as stalwart warriors on the front lines and rabble-rousers in the rear. Yet on D-Day, these jaded combat veterans melded with fresh-faced replacements to accomplish one of the most challenging and deadly missions ever. As the men hit the beach, their equipment destroyed or washed away, soldiers cut down by the dozens, courageous heroes emerged: men such as Sergeant Raymond Strojny, who grabbed a bazooka and engaged in a death duel with a fortified German antitank gun; T/5 Joe Pinder, a former minor-league pitcher who braved enemy fire to save a vital radio; Lieutenant John Spalding, a former sportswriter, and Sergeant Phil Streczyk, a truck driver, who together demolished a German strong point overlooking Easy Red, where hundreds of Americans had landed.
Along the way, McManus explores the Gap Assault Team engineers who dealt with the extensive mines and obstacles, suffering nearly a fifty percent casualty rate; highlights officers such as Brigadier General Willard Wyman and Colonel George Taylor, who led the way to victory; and punctures scores of myths surrounding this long-misunderstood battle.
The Dead and Those About to Die draws on a rich array of new or recently unearthed sources, including interviews with veterans. The result is history at its finest, the unforgettable story of the Big Red One’s nineteen hours of hell—and their ultimate triumph—on June 6, 1944.
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
England's first Queen Elizabeth gave her name to an age.
Inheriting a bankrupt, famished, and powerless country, she healed its religious rifts, replenished its treasury, redefined diplomatic guile, defeated the Spanish Armada, and inspired a new flowering of English culture.
Her father, Henry VIII, beheaded her mother, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth was declared a bastard. As Henry kept marrying and discarding wives, she had to be adroit and canny to avoid being snared in the schemes of courtiers plotting to win the crown. And when at last she ascended the throne, her councilors told her she could survive only by marrying.
But she reigned for forty-four years as Glorianna, the "Virgin Queen," whose wit, evasions, and towering intellect frustrated enemies both within and outside her island kingdom. The more we know about Elizabeth's endless complexity, the more remains to be learned. Here's a beginning.
4.1 out of 5 stars with 13 reviews
Holding power for over fifty years starting in 1327, Edward III was one of England’s most influential kings—and one who shaped the course of English history. Revered as one of the country’s most illustrious leaders for centuries, he was also a usurper and a warmonger who ordered his uncle beheaded. A brutal man, to be sure, but also a brilliant one.
Noted historian Ian Mortimer offers us the first comprehensive look at the life of Edward III. The Perfect King was often the instigator of his own drama, but also overthrew tyrannous guardians as a teenager and ushered in a period of chivalric ideals. Mortimer traces how Edward’s reforms made feudal England a thriving, sophisticated country and one of Europe’s major military powers. Ideal for anyone fascinated by medieval history, this book provides new insight into Edward III’s lasting influence on the justice system, artistic traditions, language, and architecture of the country.
4.7 out of 5 stars with 15 reviews - Prime Members can borrow this book for free.
A thrilling account of one of the strangest and most daring military operations in history.
In the final days of World War II, with the ravenous Red Army marching across Czechoslovakia, a wily band of American soldiers did the unexpected: they teamed up with the Nazis and went behind enemy lines to save the world’s rarest horses from imminent extinction at the hands of the Russians — including the exquisite white Lipizzaner, whose bloodlines date back to Genghis Khan. Based on personal interviews and new archival research, New York Times bestselling author Stephan Talty recreates in vivid detail the exhilarating rescue mission, led by unlikely heroes who just “wanted to do something beautiful.”
This is a Kindle Single. It is 70 pages. The book was just released April 3, 2014. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars with 26 reviews.