Book picks similar to
Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat by L.A. Vocelle
Africa in History
Basil Davidson - 1968
Basil Davidson's landmark work presents the inner growth of Africa and its worldwide significance, the internal dynamic of its old civilizations and their links with Asia, Europe and America, as well as the development of specific areas, tribes and cultures. From accounts of the days of the green Sahara and the great iron age, the earliest Portuguese colonization, the coming of slavery and the subsequent legacy of violence and mistrust, the growth of Islam in the north and the cults of the Congo, the sophistication of art and architecture, and the pattern behind social and tribal mores, the entire picture of the continent emerges. This revised edition reflects the recent astonishing changes in South Africa, including the release of Nelson Mandela.
The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey Through Human History
Susanna Forrest - 2017
Equestrian expert Susanna Forrest presents a unique, sweeping panorama of the animal’s role in societies around the world and across time.Fifty-six million years ago, the earliest equid walked the earth—and beginning with the first-known horse keepers of the Copper Age, the horse has played an integral part in human history. Combining fascinating anthropological detail and incisive personal anecdotes, Forrest draws from an immense range of archival documents as well as literature and art to illustrate how our evolution has coincided with that of horses. In paintings and poems (such as Byron’s famous “Mazeppa”), in theater and classical music (including works by Liszt and Tchaikovsky), representations of the horse have changed over centuries, portraying the crucial impact that we’ve had on each other. Forrest deftly synthesizes this material with her own experience in the field, traveling the globe to give us a comprehensive look at the horse in our lives today: from Mongolia where she observes the endangered takhi, to a show-horse performance at the Palace of Versailles; from a polo club in Beijing to Arlington, Virginia, where veterans with PTSD are rehabilitated through interaction with horses.With passion and singular insight, Forrest investigates the complexities of human and horse coexistence, illuminating the multifaceted ways our cultures were shaped by this powerful creature.
Maya Civilization: A Captivating Guide to Maya History and Maya Mythology (Mayan Civilization, Aztecs and Incas Book 1)
Captivating History - 2017
You will learn how the Maya civilization developed, the major turning points in their 3,000-year-long history, the mysteries surrounding their demise, and some of the unique places where Maya exist to this day. In the first part of this book, you will discover the origins of the Maya civilization and the Mesoamerican cultures that may have influenced them. You will find out why Maya (out of all the different tribes that existed in the region at the time) have captured the imagination of the West so much. The book will reveal how they lived, ate, slept, whom they worshipped, and how they used herbal medicines and hallucinogenic plants to treat the sick. You learn about their trading routes and rivalries with another famous Mesoamerican tribe—the Aztecs. The book will go into the decline of the Maya civilization and how their rivalries with the Aztecs aided the victory of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, led by the famous Spaniard Hernán Cortés. You will also learn about the heroic efforts of the Maya to fend off the Spaniards, and why they were able to succeed at this task for much longer than the Aztecs. The book will also track down the Maya living today, a population that is still six-million strong and adhere to many of the traditions that their ancestors once held. In among the battle tales and gore of human sacrifice, you will get some delicious cocoa recipes, Maya-style, that you can make at home. After you have discovered all about the Maya origins, their cuisine, and their most notable events to present day, the book will go into the aspect that’s often the reason why so many people have been fascinated by the Maya civilization throughout the ages. You will learn about their mythology, cosmology, and the solar calendar that resulted in the infamous doomsday scare back in 2012. Some of the topics and questions covered in this book include: Maya Timeline Glossary of Important Maya Terms The Origins of the Mesoamerican Civilizations The Archaic period: 7000 – 2000 BC The Olmecs: 1,200 – 300 BC The Preclassic Period and the Magnificent Zapotec Early Preclassic period: 2000 to 1000 BC Cuello and early Maya architecture Middle Preclassic period: 1000 to 300 BC The Zapotec: 600 BC to AD 800 Late Preclassic period: 300 BC to AD 250 The Classic Period, Doomsday Calendar, and the Mystery of the Red Queen Early Classic – AD 250 to 600 How Maya measured the time Late Classic – AD 600 to 900 The mystery of the Red Queen Terminal Classic – AD 900 to 1000 Food, Rites, and Gruesome Tales How to make Maya hot chocolate at home How did the Maya grow their food? The Maize god The Maya beauty standards The sacred Ball Game The Decline of the Maya Civilization and Human Sacrifice Early Postclassic – AD 1000 to 1250 Inside Chichen Itza – features of Maya cities The Maya Observatory (El Caracol) Human sacrifice and the methods The Kukulkan pyra
Mr. Kipling's Army: All the Queen's Men
Byron Farwell - 1981
The battles it fought are household words, but the idiosyncracies and eccentricities of its soldiers and the often appalling conditions under which they lived have gone largely unrecorded. Byron Farwell explores here the lives of officers and men, their foibles, gallantry, and diversions, their discipline and their rewards.
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Carol Berkin - 2014
Don’t miss it.”—Thomas Fleming) and Civil War Wives (“Utterly fresh . . . Sensitive, poignant, thoroughly fascinating.”—Jay Winik), here is the remarkable life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore, whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life. We see how the news of the union infuriated Napoleon and resulted in his banning the then pregnant Betsy Bonaparte from disembarking in any European port, offering his brother the threat of remaining married to that “American girl” and forfeiting all wealth and power—or renouncing her, marrying a woman of Napoleon’s choice, and reaping the benefits.Jérôme ended the marriage posthaste and was made king of Westphalia; Betsy fled to England, gave birth to her son and only child, Jérôme’s namesake, and was embraced by the English press, who boasted that their nation had opened its arms to the cruelly abandoned young wife. Berkin writes that this naïve, headstrong American girl returned to Baltimore a wiser, independent woman, refusing to seek social redemption or a return to obscurity through a quiet marriage to a member of Baltimore’s merchant class. Instead she was courted by many, indifferent to all, and initiated a dangerous game of politics—a battle for a pension from Napoleon—which she won: her pension from the French government arrived each month until Napoleon’s exile. Using Betsy Bonaparte’s extensive letters, the author makes clear that the “belle of Baltimore” disdained America’s obsession with moneymaking, its growing ethos of democracy, and its rigid gender roles that confined women to the parlor and the nursery; that she sought instead a European society where women created salons devoted to intellectual life—where she was embraced by many who took into their confidence, such as Madame de Staël, Madame Récamier, the aging Marquise de Villette (goddaughter of Voltaire), among others—and where aristocracy, based on birth and breeding rather than commerce, dominated society. Wondrous Beauty is a riveting portrait of a woman torn between two worlds, unable to find peace in either—one a provincial, convention-bound new America; the other a sophisticated, extravagant Old World Europe that embraced freedoms, a Europe ultimately swallowed up by decadence and idleness. A stunning revelation of an extraordinary age.
Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London
Nigel Jones - 2011
No building in Britain has been more intimately involved in our island's story than this mighty, brooding stronghold in the very heart of the capital, a place which has stood at the epicentre of dramatic, bloody and frequently cruel events for almost a thousand years.Now historian Nigel Jones sets this dramatic story firmly in the context of national - and international - events. In a monumental history drawn from primary sources he pictures the Tower in its many changing moods and a bewildering array of functions. Here, for the first time, is a thematic portrayal of the Tower of London as more than an ancient structure.The fortress is a living symbol of the nation itself in all its kaleidoscopic colour and rich diversity. Incorporating a dazzling panoply of political and social detail, Tower puts one of Britain's most important buildings firmly at the heart of our national story.
The Eighth Continent: Life, Death and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar
Peter Tyson - 2000
In this real-life "lost world," hundreds of animal and plant species, most famously the lemurs, have evolved here and only here, while other creatures extinct elsewhere for tens of millions of years now vie with modern man for survival. It's a land of striking geography, from soaring mountains to vast canyon lands, from tropical rain forests to spiny desert. And its people are a conundrum unto themselves, their origins obscure, their language complex and distinct, and their beliefs fascinating. In The Eighth Continent, Peter Tyson will guide you into this, the planet's most exotic frontier, so you can see for yourself why it's been called "the naturalist's promised land."Part scientific exploration, part adventure saga, part cultural and historical narrative, The Eighth Continent follows Tyson's journeys with four scientific experts as they explore the fourth-largest island in the world:A herpetologist with a pied piper call to reptiles who has discovered and collected more Malagasy species than any other biologist-and continues to discover more every yearA paleoecologist searching an enormous cavern complex for clues as to why the island's megafauna-Galipagos-sized tortoises, lemurs as big as apes, ten-foot-tall birds, and pygmy hippos, among others-all died out less than two millennia agoAn archeologist trying to answer the most basic and puzzling question about the Malagasy people: Where did they come from?A primatologist who studies elusive jungle lemurs even as she strives to prevent the island's total ecological destructionFor if Madagascar is one of the most fascinating environments on the planet, it is also one of the most endangered. As the Malagasy hack a subsistence from the island's dwindling forests, they also threaten its diverse habitats and its rich biological diversity. It is not an easy situation to resolve, nor is it easy to answer the burning question at its heart: Can Madagascar be saved? In The Eighth Continent, Peter Tyson navigates this tortuous path as he delves into the island's storied interior as well as its misty past.
Gerhard Herm - 1976
Originating with fierce naked warriors who collected enemy heads as war trophies, the Celts eventually made their influence felt from the Middle East to the Atlantic, bringing with them a unique culture and mythology, and a style of art considered the greatest achievement north of the Alps after the Ice Age. The Romans called them "furor celticus" and at the height of their empire Ankara, Cologne, Belgrade and Milan all spoke Celtish. THE CELTS is the remarkable story of our North European cultural ancestors, whose language is still spoken by more than two million people in Brittany, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths
Nancy Marie Brown - 2012
Famous storytellers from JRR Tolkien to Neil Gaiman have drawn their inspiration from the long-haired, mead-drinking, marauding and pillaging Vikings. Their creator is a thirteenth-century Icelandic chieftain by the name of Snorri Sturluson. Like Homer, Snorri was a bard, writing down and embellishing the folklore and pagan legends of medieval Scandinavia. Unlike Homer, Snorri was a man of the world--a wily political power player, one of the richest men in Iceland who came close to ruling it, and even closer to betraying it... In "Song of the Vikings," award-winning author Nancy Marie Brown brings Snorri Sturluson's story to life in a richly textured narrative that draws on newly available sources.
Tito and the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia
Richard West - 1994
A revealing biography of Tito, the Yugoslav leader who was a partisan against the Germans and the first Communist head to break with the Soviet Union, considers his role in the breakup of Yugoslavia after his death.
Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910
Jeffrey H. Jackson - 2010
Torrential rainfall saturated the soil, and faulty engineering created conditions that soon drowned Parisian streets, homes, businesses, and museums, thrusting the City of Light into a battle with the elements. Given the Parisians' history of deep-seated social, religious, and political strife, many worried that they wouldn't be able to collaborate to confront the crisis. Yet while the sewers, Métro, and electricity failed around them, Parisians of all backgrounds rallied to save the city and one another. Improvising techniques to keep Paris functioning and braving the dangers of collapsing infrastructure and looters, leaders and residents alike answered the call to action.In breathtaking detail, Jeffrey Jackson captures here for the first time the epic story of the great flood. As the waters rise, so does the tension, but ultimately, the Parisians' love of their city leads them to triumph over nature against all odds.
The Last Human: A Guide to Twenty-Two Species of Extinct Humans
Esteban Sarmiento - 2007
The story begins in Africa, six to seven million years ago, and encompasses twenty known human species, of which Homo sapiens is the sole survivor. Illustrated with spectacular, three-dimensional scientific reconstructions portrayed in their natural habitat developed by a team of physical anthropologists at the American Museum of Natural History and in concert with experts from around the world, the book is both a guide to extinct human species and an astonishing hominid family photo album.The Last Human presents a comprehensive account of each species with information on its emergence, chronology, geographic range, classification, physiology, lifestyle, habitat, environment, cultural achievements, co-existing species, and possible reasons for extinction. Also included are summaries of fossil discoveries, controversies, and publications. What emerges from the fossil story is a new understanding of Homo sapiens. No longer credible is the notion that our species is the end product of a single lineage, improved over generations by natural selection. Rather, the fossil record shows, we are a species with widely varied precursors, and our family tree is characterized by many branchings and repeated extinctions.Exhibition information:Photographs of most of the reconstructions that appear in this book will be featured in exhibits appearing in the new Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The opening of the Hall is planned for November 2006.