Free history Kindle books for 25 Sep 14

War: Vintage Civil War Library

by Max Gray

Customer Reviews:

I have read numerous books and have seen a lot of pictures about the Civil War. I would rate this book among the top ten percent in flow of the narrative and the presentation of photos as presented.

****

One of the best of the genre. If you love reading of the era and listening to the way they spoke, you’ll like it.

***

The pictures are ones I’ve never seen before. The writing is a bit dated in being somewhat flowery…”The life’s blood of the sons of both north and south flowed….”, but the book gives a clear view of only the major people and events of the Civil War, so it is a very good guide. It is a good narrative overview of the war.



Sound The Pibroch: The Adventures and Romances of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, The Young Chevalier

by John Fitzgerald

“Bonny Prince Charlie” is seen as a Scottish hero. In fact the true heroes of his story are the Scots who served him and saved him, who gave him their loyalty although they saw his faults. For him, Scotland was only a source of soldiers to get him onto the British throne. He published a proclamation, just before he left France declaring that he was born an Englishman and wished no prouder title. His rash adventure brought dreadful suffering to thousands of Scots. It ended all opposition to the Act of Union, and Scottish self-confidence and self-reliance have never recovered. It was due to him that there was no Scottish Parliament for centuries.

He was selfish, deceitful, impatient and suspicious, ungrateful, no judge of character, easily influenced by his friends, lacking forethought or determination. But he had enormous personal magnetism. He was outgoing, friendly, charming, enthusiastic, and undoubtedly brave. Lord Balmerino, on the scaffold, called him “so sweet a Prince that flesh and blood could not resist following him.”

As this book shows, if he had less charm Scotland would have been better off.



The Sinking of the Lusitania: The Most Controversial Submarine Attack of World War I

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes passengers’ and crew members’ accounts of the attack and sinking

*Discusses the debates over whether the Lusitania was smuggling weapons

*Includes a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

In 1906, the RMS Lusitania was at the forefront of transatlantic shipping. Briefly the largest ship in the world, the designers and engineers who built the Lusitania aimed for her to represent the height of luxury for passengers while also being the harbinger of a new technological age, replete with revolutionary engines that would allow the gigantic ship to move at speeds that would have been considered impossible just years earlier. Indeed, the highly competitive industry would spur the development of bigger and better ocean liners in the coming years, the most famous being the Titanic.

The Lusitania and the Titanic would become the two most famous ships of the early 20th century for tragic reasons, but the circumstances could not have been more different. While the Titanic is still notorious for being the world’s best ocean liner at the time of its collision with an iceberg in 1912, the Lusitania’s role as a popular ocean liner has been almost completely obscured by the nature of its sinking by a German U-boat in 1915. The Germans aimed to disrupt trade by the Allied forces, but they did not have the naval forces capable of seizing merchant ships and detaining them. Furthermore, the Germans rightly suspected that the British and Americans were using passenger liners and merchant ships to smuggle weaponry across the Atlantic, but since their sole edge in the Atlantic was their fleet of submarines, the Germans had no way of confirming their suspicions, short of sinking a ship and seeing if a detonation on board suggested the presence of munitions and gunpowder.

The Germans targeted many British merchant ships, but on May 7, 1915, a German U-boat controversially torpedoed the Lusitania, which sank less than 20 minutes after being struck. The attack killed over 1,000 people, including over 100 American civilians, infuriating the United States. After sinking the ship, the Germans immediately claimed that the boat was carrying “contraband of war” and was in a war zone, charges vehemently denied by the United States and the British. For awhile, the Germans tightened restrictions on their use of U-boats to placate the Americans and seek to keep them out of the war (though the restrictions would not last).

The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 was the first major event that shifted public opinion in the United States, and support for joining the war began to rise across the country. Many Americans joined the “Preparedness Movement,” which advocated at least preparing for war if not entering the war outright, and though the country would not declare war against Germany for two more years, the sinking of the Lusitania is still cited as a key event that set America on the path toward joining the war.

Given the importance of its sinking, debate over whether the Lusitania was carrying explosive munitions has raged on ever since. When the U-boat’s torpedo hit the Lusitania and exploded, a second explosion followed the first explosion shortly after, and the Germans cited the second explosion as evidence that the torpedo had hit weapons munitions that ignited the second explosion, a charge that was strongly denied by the British. It would take multiple investigations, declassified documents, and even dives to the wreckage to determine whether the Lusitania was smuggling arms, and whether such munitions triggered the second explosion.

The Sinking of the Lusitania chronicles the construction and destruction of one of the most notorious ships of the 20th century. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the sinking of the Lusitania like never before, in no time at all.



The Ten Lost Tribes: The History and Mystery of the Lost Tribes of Israel

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes Biblical passages and Assyrian accounts of the deportation of the Israelites

*Includes a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

“I counted as spoil 27,280 people, together with their chariots, and gods, in whom they trusted. I formed a unit with 200 of [their] chariots for my royal force. I settled the rest of them in the midst of Assyria. I repopulated Samaria more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my commissioner as governor over them, and I counted them as Assyrians.” – Sargon II, Assyrian king

In the 8th century BCE, one of the most important provinces within the Assyrian Empire was Samaria. Also known as Israel, Samaria repeatedly rebelled against their Assyrian overlords, but in 722, the Assyrians overran Samaria once and for all, killing countless numbers and sending most of the rest of its inhabitants into forced exile. The events of Samaria’s fall were chronicled in the Assyrian annals from the reign of Sargon II and the Old Testament, and although the two sources present the event from different perspectives, they corroborate each other for the most part and together present a reliable account of the situation. The end result was that 30,000 Israelites were forcibly deported from the region, a tactic the Assyrians found so effective that they would continue to use it against other conquered enemies until the fall of their own empire.

The Assyrians’ forced exile of the Israelites was not the only time such a fate had befallen them, as made clear by Babylonian accounts and the Biblical account of the Exodus out of Egypt, but it was that exile that permanently scattered most of the legendary 12 tribes of Israel, and the fate of the 10 lost tribes has interested people ever since.

The patriarchal stories in Genesis explain the following about the origin of the tribes of Israel. The patriarch Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel (Gen 32:28), was himself the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. He had 12 sons who are the eponymous ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel. Genesis lists the 12 sons according to their mothers. Jacob had five sons with his first wife: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, and Issachar. Leah’s maid, Zilpah, bore another two sons to Jacob: Gad and Asher. His second wife, Rachel, also bore only two sons: Joseph and Benjamin; as did her maid, Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali.

The simple version of the Ten Lost Tribes is that modern Jewish communities are composed of the descendants of two of these 12 tribes because Cyrus the Great allowed these tribes to return to Judah from their captivity in Babylon. However, the location and fate of the remaining 10 tribes, deported by the Assyrians from the northern kingdom of Israel two centuries earlier, remains a mystery, and it is this mystery that lies at the heart of the search for the Ten Lost Tribes.

The Ten Lost Tribes looks at what is known and unknown about the missing tribes of Israel, and speculation as to their fate. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Lost Tribes of Israel like never before, in no time at all.



Finding the Wreck of the Titanic: The Search Efforts and the Discovery of the World’s Most Famous Ship

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes accounts written by some of the people who discovered the wreck

*Includes a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

“Only a vestige remains of the men and women that but a moment before quickened her spacious apartments with human hopes and passions, sorrows, and joys.’ Upon that broken hull new vows were taken, new fealty expressed, old love renewed, and those who had been devoted in friendship and companions in life went proudly and defiantly on the last life pilgrimage together. In such a heritage we must feel ourselves more intimately related to the sea than ever before, and henceforth it will send back to us on its rising tide the cheering salutations from those we have lost.” – Senator William A. Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee appointed for the United States Senate Inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately make it history’s most famous, and notorious, ship. In the over 100 years since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner. Thanks to the dramatization of the Titanic’s sinking and the undying interest in the story, millions of people are familiar with various aspects of the ship’s demise, and the nearly 1,500 people who died in the North Atlantic in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. The sinking of the ship is still nearly as controversial now as it was over 100 years ago, and the drama is just as compelling.

The Titanic was neither the first nor last big ship to sink, so it’s clear that much of its appeal stems from the nature of ship itself. Indeed, the Titanic stands out not just for its end but for its beginning, specifically the fact that it was the most luxurious passenger ship ever built at the time. In addition to the time it took to come up with the design, the giant ship took a full three years to build, and no effort or cost was spared to outfit the Titanic in the most lavish ways. Given that the Titanic was over 100 feet tall, nearly 900 feet long, and over 90 feet wide, it’s obvious that those who built her and provided all of its famous amenities had plenty of work to do. The massive ship was carrying thousands of passengers and crew members, each with their own experiences on board, and the various amenities offered among the different classes of passengers ensured that life on some decks of the ship was quite different than life on others.

Naturally, the intense interest in the Titanic also meant that there would be great efforts made to locate the wreck. In fact, the first searches for the wreck began in the days after the giant ship went down, but given how far down it sank to the floor of the Atlantic and the fact that the ship had inaccurately transmitted its location shortly before it sank, initial efforts were doomed. As it turned out, the most famous wreck in the world would not be located until 1985, over 70 years after the ship sank that fateful April night.

Finding the Wreck of the Titanic: The Search Efforts and Discovery of the World’s Most Famous Ship chronicles the numerous searches attempting to locate the wreck of the Titanic, the successful discovery operation led by Robert Ballard, and the initial results of Ballard’s find. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the discovery of the Titanic like never before.



The Muslim Brotherhood: The History of the Middle East’s Most Influential Islamist Group

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes quotes from Muslim Brotherhood leaders like Sayyid Qutb

*Includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

In 2011, Egypt quickly became one of the most active countries during the Arab Spring, with Tahrir Square in Cairo becoming the focal point of both violent protests and peaceful political demonstrations. Inspired by the protesters in Tunisia, beginning in January 2011, Egyptians rallied to the square and in the streets by the thousands, marching, protesting, and calling for the fall of then-President Hosni Mubarak. Throughout the next several months until the overthrow of Mubarak in February 2011, millions of protesters from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds demanded a regime change across Egypt.

As significant as it was for the Egyptian people, the Egyptian Arab Spring was a key turning point for the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt’s largest and long-oppressed opposition group. The Brotherhood played a key role in organizing demonstrations, pitting the Egyptian and world media against the Mubarak regime, and orchestrating violent riots and clashes between civilian protesters and the Egyptian security forces, further portraying the regime in a negative light. But it was after the revolution that the Brotherhood truly reaped its rewards; it formed a legal political party and ran in the subsequent parliamentary elections, winning a large number of seats that were previously unavailable to them. Then, in June 2012, the Brotherhood made history in Egypt when it successfully managed to install its candidate Mohamed Morsi as president.

Perhaps no group was surprised by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s swift and largely unopposed rise to power than the Brotherhood itself; for decades, the group had suffered a long history of severe oppression and internal crises, but in the political environment created by the Arab Spring, it only took less than two years for the Brotherhood to control the Egyptian government. As it turned out, it was Islamists who reaped the greatest advantages of the Arab Spring, not only in Egypt, but abroad as well. In Tunisia, the Islamist Nahda party won the largest majority in the post-revolution elections and went on to lead the new government in a country that had endured the dictatorship of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali for five decades. Additionally, in other countries across the Arab world, Brotherhood-affiliated or Brotherhood-inspired parties won significant victories that would have been impossible a decade earlier; both the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria have made definitive gains in establishing political force and influence post-Arab Spring.

Despite the gains the group finally made after the Egyptian Arab Spring, as of September 2014, the Brotherhood has reverted to its former position as a banned organization. Mohamed Morsi was toppled by a military coup in July 2013, and on December 25, 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood was officially declared by the Egyptian government a terrorist organization. In the following months, tens of thousands of alleged Brotherhood members and suspected supporters were arrested, tried for vague charges of involvement in violent protests and clashes, and sentenced to jail; in an unprecedented ruling, an Egyptian court went so far as to sentence several hundred to death for their participation in riots that turned violent.

While the Muslim Brotherhood has always been centered in Egypt, its ideology and influence has been exported by many individuals and affiliated groups over the decades, to the extent that just about every radical Sunni group across the Middle East has its roots in the Brotherhood, from Hamas to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. As a result, even as it remained a banned party in Egypt, it retained an outsized influence across the region.



Investigating the Sinking of the Titanic: The Investigations Made in the Wake of the Titanic Disaster

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes passengers’ accounts and testimony from the investigations

*Explains the different investigations’ findings and the changes made

*Includes a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately make it history’s most famous, and notorious, ship. In the over 100 years since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner. Thanks to the dramatization of the Titanic’s sinking and the undying interest in the story, millions of people are familiar with various aspects of the ship’s demise, and the nearly 1,500 people who died in the North Atlantic in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. The sinking of the ship is still nearly as controversial now as it was over 100 years ago, and the drama is just as compelling.

The Titanic was neither the first nor last big ship to sink, so it’s clear that much of its appeal stems from the nature of ship itself. Indeed, the Titanic stands out not just for its end but for its beginning, specifically the fact that it was the most luxurious passenger ship ever built at the time. In addition to the time it took to come up with the design, the giant ship took a full three years to build, and no effort or cost was spared to outfit the Titanic in the most lavish ways. Given that the Titanic was over 100 feet tall, nearly 900 feet long, and over 90 feet wide, it’s obvious that those who built her and provided all of its famous amenities had plenty of work to do. The massive ship was carrying thousands of passengers and crew members, each with their own experiences on board, and the various amenities offered among the different classes of passengers ensured that life on some decks of the ship was quite different than life on others.

Much has been made through the years about the failures of those designing the Titanic to take proper safety precautions, and how these failings led to the disaster and huge loss of life. In fact, the number of lives lost was so great that it can be hard to believe that the death toll might have been higher. Nonetheless, it’s true that many more would have died without the courageous efforts of those on the ships who responded to the Titanic’s distress calls and sailed through the same dangerous conditions that brought down the “unsinkable” ship itself.

The drama involved with the sinking of the Titanic often obscures the important aftermath of the disaster, particularly the several investigations conducted on both sides of the Atlantic that sought to figure out not only why the Titanic sank but future changes that could be made in order to protect ships and passengers in the future. In fact, the course of the investigations was interesting in itself, especially since the British and Americans reached wildly different conclusions about what went wrong and led to the ship’s demise.

Investigating the Sinking of the Titanic chronicles the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and the investigations and changes that followed. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the investigations like never before.



Legend of The Cathars

by Judith Mann

What’s the importance of the legend clinging to the medieval Cathars for over 400 years?

–Discover the source of the Cathar legend, the stark hilltop castle/fortress of Montsegur.

–Understand how the Cathar doctrine of Duality made the Cathars dangerous enemies of the Roman Church.

–Learn of Cathar rituals practiced in isolated mountain caves and underground caverns.

–Investigate the reasons for the Albigensian Crusade.
P.S. Explore 10 other intriguing titles in the Medieval Gnostics series.



HIGHLAND BRIDE (GAME OF QUEENS Book 2)

by Kathryn Kramer

Scotland and England 1585: A cunning plot, a web of intrigue, a dangerous mission to free the captive Queen of Scots that will place two lovers at odds.

Beautiful, emerald-eyed Moira was sworn to anotherâ??but she knew once she laid eyes on the handsome Captain Ryan Paxton, that no other man could possess her. But he was English, and she was in the service of his enemyâ?¦.

Before their forbidden love could flourish, Moira was entrapped by the sinister and ruthless “spymaster” Sir Francis Walsinghamâ??who had his own wicked designs on her. Only the English captain could save herâ?¦and capture her soul in a blazing ecstasy of rapture.

Romance, intrigue, and adventure highlight the continuing story of the MacKinnon family and Mary Queen of Scots that was begun in Desire’s Deception.



The 1989 Bay Area Earthquake: The Story of San Francisco’s Second Deadliest Earthquake

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes accounts of the earthquake and aftermath by people across the Bay Area, including policemen, firefighters, and people at the World Series

*Includes a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

“I’ll tell you whatâ??we’re having an earthâ??” – Al Michaels broadcasting the World Series on ABC as the earthquake struck and before the feed went out

“Well folks, that’s the greatest open in the history of television, bar none!” – Al Michaels after the ABC feed was restored

On October 17, 1989, millions of Americans tuning in to watch the Oakland Athletics face the San Francisco Giants in the World Series watched the cameras suddenly start to shake violently for several seconds. The national broadcast had just caught an earthquake registering a 6.9 on the Richter scale striking the Bay Area, and by the time the earthquake and the resulting fires were over and dealt with, over 60 people were dead, making it San Francisco’s deadliest earthquake since the 1906 earthquake and fire.

The damage and devastation across the Bay Area was widespread, despite the precautions and changes that the region had made in the wake of the 1906 calamity. After that disaster, San Francisco began the process of reinforcing new buildings and seismic retrofitting of old ones to help structures brace for earthquakes, but even in the 1980s they were still more concerned about potential fires resulting from an earthquake. Furthermore, after the earthquake in 1906, San Francisco created an Auxiliary Water Supply System that could distribute water to any section of the city, and the city built it with stringent codes in the event of an earthquake. In fact, just a few years before 1989, San Francisco created a Portable Water Supply System and upgraded the fire departments.

San Francisco’s water supply systems worked perfectly, quickly allowing firefighters to put out a fire in the Marina District before it spread, but this time the biggest problem was “liquefaction,” in which saturated soil literally melted away as it was unable to hold any more liquid. The shaking of the earthquake then created cracks in the liquefied soil, and attempts to protect buildings from the violent movements could not safeguard them from the land melting away from under it. The most noteworthy damage occurred to several sections of highways in the Bay Area that did not hold up during the earthquake, despite the fact the earthquake in 1906 was much more powerful. A section of the Bay Bridge collapsed, and the double-decker I-880 collapsed at the Cypress Street Viaduct, killing more than 40 people in Oakland.

As with the earthquake in 1906, the 1989 earthquake brought about changes in an effort to make the region safer. One immediate reaction by Bay Area leaders was to do away with double-decker highways; while highways like the Bay Bridge were seismically reinforced and retrofitted, I-880 was demolished, as was I-280 and the Central Freeway. Over the next several years, the Bay Area rebuilt and rerouted these highways, which cost billions of dollars. The unfinished double-decker Embarcadero Freeway, which had been approved over 30 years before the earthquake despite stiff resistance, was also demolished.

The 1989 Bay Area Earthquake: The Story of San Francisco’s Second Deadliest Earthquake chronicles one of the most notorious natural disasters in California’s history and one of the most important seismic events on record. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the 1989 Bay Area earthquake like never before, in no time at all.



If On a Winter’s Night a Fox: In Defense of Urban Foxes

by John Owen Theobald

Novelist and academic John Owen Theobald sets out a passionate defence of urban foxes, exploring the fox’s role in folklore and culture from Roman Times to modern London. Weaving together classical literature and contemporary news stories, philosophy and humour, Theobald argues for a greater appreciation of both the fox and our interconnectedness with the natural world. A brief work with an epic sweep.



Goldfish: The amazing true story of a 12 year old soldier in WWI

by Max Gray

THIS IS A FACTUAL STORY OF INCIDENTS THAT OCCURRED DURING WORLD WAR I, AS EXPERIENCED BY THE YOUNGEST SOLDIER, A 12 YEAR OLD BOY, TO HAVE SEEN COMBAT DUTY WITH THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES IN FRANCEâ??AS A MEMBER OF THE FAMOUS COMPANY I, 60TH INFANTRY, FIFTH (RED DIAMOND) DIVISION.



Got a new Kindle or know someone who has? Check out the ultimate guide to finding free books for your Kindle. Also available in the UK.