Free history Kindle books for 05 Dec 13

Tragedy in the Sierra Nevada: A Narrative of the Donner Party

by B. Scott Christmas

The lurid story of the Donner Party – that unfortunate group of 19th century American pioneers stranded in the mountains and forced to cannibalize one another – has fascinated and horrified readers and television viewers for more than a century.

Now, with the clear prose and attention to detail that marks all of his work, author B. Scott Christmas brings a captivating narrative of this seminal American tragedy to a whole new generation, from the pioneers’ Illinois departure in 1846, to their rescue in the California mountains in 1847.

Concise and highly accessible, Christmas’s narrative is chock full of primary sources, from quotes, letters, and diary entries by survivors, to accounts from rescuers and journalists of the time.

With a seamless combination of historical integrity and narrative readability, this brief volume will fascinate enthusiasts of American history, while serving as a valuable resource for students, teachers, and researchers.

Wolverines: Reflections on Red Dawn

by Ryan Lewellin

Wolverines: Reflections on Red Dawn contains 23 essays on various subjects relating to the 1984 cult-classic film Red Dawn. The author, Ryan Lewellin, is an avid fan of the film and analyzes some of the themes, historical context, characters and events within the film along with some speculation on some of the story’s loose ends. Lewellin taps into his military experience in Iraq as well as his knowledge of history, geopolitics and survivalism to provide some unique insights on a film that he believes is often misunderstood and misinterpreted.

The essays include:
– Introduction
– Making Sense Out of the Backstory
– Putting Red Dawn Into Historical Context
– The Great Dystopia
– The Strenuous Life
– Colonel Bella: Partisan to Policeman
– What Red Dawn Really Says About War
– Red Dawn on Two Domestic Issues
– Nature’s Indifference
– Lessons in Self-Sufficiency from The Masons
– Did All That Hate Really Burn Robert Up?
– Morris Market Supply Run: A Survivalist’s Dream
– Complacency Kills
– Erica and Toni: The Guerrillas Next Door
– Danny: Somewhere Between “Weiner” and “Warrior”
– Aardvark: American Che Guevara
– The Wolverine as a Mascot
– Reflections of Foreign Policy
– Red Dawn and Black Gold
– No Greater Love…
– On Guerrilla Warfare and Red Dawn: Different Time and Place, Similar Story
– The Execution
– The Chinese Holocaust
– Is Red Dawn Realistic or Not? Tackling the Question
– Bonus: The Iron Heel by Jack London
– Bonus: Tomorrow When The War Began

OVER 20 AMAZING VODKA USES!: From Curing Smelly Feet To Tightening Pores, Vodka Has Many Strange Uses That Are Wickedly Awesome!

by Alexander Barakov


Learn from Alexander
Barakov 20 of the most
little known but amazing
facts about vodka, one of
the most amazing and versatile
drinks known to man!

Revealed in this
volume is the history
of vodka, strange facts,
and little known uses of
this amazing drink that are
simply awesome!

Enjoy all the fun facts
and amazing secrets inside
about one of the worlds most
functional alcohols!

Palatine (The Four Emperors)

by LJ Trafford

68 AD and for once, Rome is peaceful.

Whilst Emperor Nero plays with his new water organ and a cross dressing eunuch, his wily secretary Epaphroditus manages the governance issues. However, times are changing.

Praetorian Prefect Nymphidius Sabinus, a man so straight he’d make a decent spirit level, is disgusted by the moral degeneracy of Nero’s court. Motivated by the traditional Roman values of valour and nobility and with a stack of mother issues to rival Nero’s, Sabinus is determined to remove the Emperor from a throne he does not deserve.

Blinded by his own righteousness Sabinus is ignorant of what he has unleashed – The Year of the Four Emperors!

Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, and Tenochtitlan: The Most Famous Cities of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures of the sites and depictions of important people and events.

*Explains the history of the sites and the theories about their purpose.

*Describes the layout of the ancient cities, their important structures, and the theories about the buildings’ uses.

*Includes footnotes and bibliographies for further reading.

*Includes a Table of Contents.

Chichen Itza was inhabited for hundreds of years and was a very influential center in the later years of Maya civilization. At its height, Chichen Itza may have had over 30,000 inhabitants, and with a spectacular pyramid, enormous ball court, observatory and several temples, the builders of this city exceeded even those at Uxmal in developing the use of columns and exterior relief decoration. Of particular interest at Chichen Itza is the sacred cenote, a sinkhole was a focus for Maya rituals around water. Because adequate supplies of water, which rarely collected on the surface of the limestone based Yucatan, were essential for adequate agricultural production, the Maya here considered it of primary importance. Underwater archaeology carried out in the cenote at Chichen Itza revealed that offerings to the Maya rain deity Chaac (which may have included people) were tossed into the sinkhole. Why Maya cities were abandoned and left to be overgrown by the jungle is a puzzle that intrigues people around the world today, especially those who have a penchant for speculating on lost civilizations.

In 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham publicized the finding of what at the time was considered a “lost city” of the Inca. Though local inhabitants had known about it for century, Bingham documented and photographed the ruins of a 15th century settlement nestled along a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, placed so perfectly from a defensive standpoint that it’s believed the Spanish never conquered it and may have never known about it. Today, of course, Machu Picchu is one of South America’s best tourist spots, and the ruins have even been voted one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. But even though Machu Picchu is now the best known of all Incan ruins, its function in Incan civilization is still not clear. Some have speculated that it was an outpost or a frontier citadel, while others believe it to be a sanctuary or a work center for women. Still others suggest that it was a ceremonial center or perhaps even the last refuge of the Incas after the Spanish conquest. One of the most theories to take hold is that Machu Picchu was the summer dwelling of the Inca’s royal court, the Inca’s version of Versailles. As was the case with the renaming of Mayan and Aztec ruins, the names given to various structures by archaeologists are purely imaginary and thus not very helpful; for example, the mausoleum, palace or watchtower at Machu Picchu may have been nothing of the sort.

Mexico City is now easily the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only Tokyo internationally, but unlike the other great cities of the Americas, Mexico City is not a new place. Mexico City instead has much in common with cities like London, Delhi or Cairo in the East in that it is an ancient city dating back centuries before the arrival of Columbus in Hispaniola. For, while much (including the name) has changed, Mexico City is the mighty Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire and the great American metropolis of the Spanish Empire. There has been no break in occupation, and despite much devastation in the Conquest, the city was never fully destroyed.

What the conquistadores encountered in Tenochtitlan was entirely unexpected: one of the world’s greatest cities, teeming with over 200,000 people, built on an island on a lake and connected to the shore by a number of long, broad stone causeways. On the water itself were remarkable floating gardens, on surrounding shorelines were sprawling suburbs, and behind them was a dramatic wall of mountain peaks.

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