Free history Kindle books for 07 Apr 15

Medieval – Blood of the Cross (The Medieval Sagas Book 1)

by Kevin Ashman

AD 1270

Antioch has fallen, Tripoli is under siege and Sultan Baibaars targets his Mamluk hoards against Krak des Chevalier, the Crusaders’ greatest stronghold in Syria. The Holy Land is in turmoil and desperately awaits the arrival of Edward Longshanks and his relieving army of French and English Crusaders.

This is a time of brutality, an age of chivalry. A time of strong men with stronger hearts, an era with no place for the weak.

Yet a thousand miles away, a fourteen year old boy learns a disturbing secret that drives him on a Crusade of his own. A quest to avenge his family, save his brother and in the process recover the holiest relic in the history of Christendom.

The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi

by Hattie Greene Lockett

When European settlers and later American settlers came into contact with Native American tribes on the continent, they were frequently unable to differentiate between the subcultures within individual tribes, leading to all kinds of misunderstandings. As a result, one of the most misunderstood tribes is the Hopi, who were just one of the tribes that the Spanish categorized as Pueblo. Thus, while most Americans have heard of the Pueblo and Navajo, many remain unfamiliar with distinctions within the tribes.

The Pueblo fascinated those who came across their settlements, especially those located in desert regions and the sides of cliffs that involved the use of adobe mud, stone, carving homes out of cliffs. One such settlement, Oraibi, was created by the Hopi around 1100 A.D. and remains one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in North America. The Spanish were so intrigued by the structure of the communities that they gave the natives the name Pueblo, a term they used to measure certain sizes for their own settlements.

Today the names Hopi and Zuni are virtually synonymous with the Ancient Puebloan culture. Occupying a large portion of what is essentially the Navajo Nation Reservation, spanning Navajo and Coconino Counties on the edge of the Painted Desert, the Hopi (Ho-pee, a shortened form of Hopituh-Shi-nu-mu, meaning “peaceful people”) are the westernmost of the Pueblo Native American groups. Though the Hopi claim no blood ties to the Navajo, and their cohabitational arrangement remains a source of continual conflict among the tribes, the federal government allotted the reservation to both ethnic groups. And while the Navajo make no ancestral claims to the ancient Puebloan culture, both the Hopi and Zuni (who live primarily in the Pueblo of Zuni on the Zuni River in western New Mexico) claim ancestral ties to many of the ancient Puebloan sites and share many of the same ancient traditions.

Perhaps most importantly, the location of the Hopi, and all the contact between them and European settlers, have helped create a thorough understanding of their culture. Explorers and anthropologists who came to Oraibi also learned enough about the culture there to come to understand the links between the Hopi and other tribes. While they ultimately suffered a similar fate to other tribes and were settled onto a reservation, there are still over 10,000 Hopi today, and their history continues to fascinate researchers.

Correspondence Relating to Executions in Turkey for Apostacy from Islamism

by Various Authors

Excerpt from this compilation of dispatches about executions in the Middle East committed by Islamists against religious opponents and people they deemed apostates:

“Within the last few days an execution has taken place at Constantinople under circumstances which have occasioned much excitement and indignation among the Christian inhabitants. The sufferer was an Armenian youth of eighteen or twenty years, who having, under fear of punishment, declared himself a Turk, went to the Island of Syra, and returning, after an absence of some length, resumed his former religion. Apprehensive of the danger but resolved not to deny his real faith a second time, he kept out of sight till accident betrayed him to the police, and he was then thrown into prison. In spite of threats, promises, and blows, he there maintained his resolution, refused to save his life by a fresh disavowal of Christianity, and was finally decapitated in one of the most frequented parts of the city with circumstances of great barbarity.”

Chanakya Niti on Corruption: Glimples of how Chanakya tackled menace of corruption 300 BCE in India?

by Dev Dantreliya

Mostly we all know Chanakya by name. Chanakya who was born around 3rd BC in Bharat (now Hindustan), astute, shrewd and ruthless political master. Equally selfless and patriotic teacher who politically united the small states post invasion of Greeks and reclaimed the boundaries of Bharat stretching from Puruvarsha (Persia, now Iran), Gansthan (now Afghanistan) to far east of Magadh (Bihar state). We know Chanakya for his Niti-shashtras, for his voluminous work on economy, maxims of wisdom and intelligence. But we do not know much about minute details with which he governed the country at that time. We do not know, during his time of around 3rd BCE, at how much advance stage the economy, public life, administration, industries, defence mechanisms, taxations, public-private partnerships, foreign policy, judicial systems, banking and accounting systems â?¦.. were there in India. It seems, they all were in more than perfect stage compared to present scenario factoring advancement in science and technology etc. We will look at each of them one by one.

In this book, “Chanakya Niti on Corruption”, we will take a look at corruption. What Chanakya thinks about sources of corruption, ways of finding about corruption, judgements and punishments of corruptions etc.

Chanakya knows very well that just like it is impossible to know when and how much water a fish drinks, it is utmost difficult to know how much money government officials steal away while in charge of it. Knowing human nature which succumbs to greed, fear, lust, anger or any such tamas gunas, and indulges in acts of corruption to accumulate wealth in the country or outside. Chanakya keeps eye on conduct and life style of not only ministers, but all levels of the government officials too.

Chanakya takes multi pronged approach to tackle and eradicate corruption. He knows that by establishing one department to tackle corruption problems are not going to be solved, instead will increase many fold later when that department itself becomes corrupt eventually. He relies on spying, continuous intelligence gathering, harsh punishments leading to deaths, rewards who bring to notice acts of corruptions by officials etc, promotions and rewards to who do their job righteously. Not only that, 3rd century BC, do you imagine there were clear cut rules and guidelines how to write account books, !. At that time, he knew that what impact it creates on overall economy and nation building, if sanctioned amount for projects are not utilised actually? Chanakya knows corruption is contiguous, and he tackles such problems too with well laid out and practical laws to follow at that time. Looking at the crux of the guidelines what Chanakya outlines, it seems that essence of those laws are applicable still today with more verbatim or expansion of words to suite and cover present scenarios. But, the essence remains same. He knew that in corruption free country, trade and business, entrepreneurship and industries flourishes and so overall wealth, health and security of the nation.

I hope reading this book “Chanakya Niti on Corruption”, will open up a window to explore further on how an Indian political guru administered this nation 3rd century BCE.

Queen of California: The origin of the name California.

The Origin of the name of California with a translation from the Sergas of Esplandian by Edward Everett Hale with modern editing and notes, plus additional historic notes on why California was thought to be an island.

Confessions and Criticisms

by Julian Hawthorne

Julian Hawthorne was the son of famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and while he wasn’t as critically acclaimed as his father, Julian also wrote several works of fiction and histories.
This is a memoir of the author’s life looking back over his career and his regrets. From the start of the work: “In 1869, when I was about twenty-three years old, I sent a couple of sonnets to the revived Putnam’s Magazine. At that period I had no intention of becoming a professional writer: I was studying civil engineering at the Polytechnic School in Dresden, Saxony. Years before, I had received parental warningsâ??unnecessary, as I thoughtâ??against writing for a living. During the next two years, however, when I was acting as hydrographic engineer in the New York Dock Department, I amused myself by writing a short story, called “Love and Counter-Love,” which was published in Harper’s Weekly, and for which I was paid fifty dollars. “If fifty dollars can be so easily earned,” I thought, “why not go on adding to my income in this way from time to time?” I was aided and abetted in the idea by the late Robert Carter, editor of Appletons’ Journal; and the latter periodical and Harper’s Magazine had the burden, and I the benefit, of the result. When, in 1872, I was abruptly relieved from my duties in the Dock Department, I had the alternative of either taking my family down to Central America to watch me dig a canal, or of attempting to live by my pen. I bought twelve reams of large letter-paper, and began my first workâ?¦”

Superstition in All Ages

by Jean Meslier

From the intro:

“Jean Meslier, born 1678, in the village of Mazerny, dependency of the duchy of Rethel, was the son of a serge weaver; brought up in the country, he nevertheless pursued his studies and succeeded to the priesthood. At the seminary, where he lived with much regularity, he devoted himself to the system of Descartes.
Becoming curate of Etrepigny in Champagne and vicar of a little annexed parish named Bue, he was remarkable for the austerity of his habits. Devoted in all his duties, every year he gave what remained of his salary to the poor of his parishes; enthusiastic, and of rigid virtue, he was very temperate, as much in regard to his appetite as in relation to women.
MM. Voiri and Delavaux, the one curate of Varq, the other curate of Boulzicourt, were his confessors, and the only ones with whom he associated.
The curate Meslier was a rigid partisan of justice, and sometimes carried his zeal a little too far. The lord of his village, M. de Touilly, having ill-treated some peasants, he refused to pray for him in his service. M. de Mailly, Archbishop of Rheims, before whom the case was brought, condemned him. But the Sunday which followed this decision, the abbot Meslier stood in his pulpit and complained of the sentence of the cardinal. “This is,” said he, “the general fate of the poor country priest; the archbishops, who are great lords, scorn them and do not listen to them. Therefore, let us pray for the lord of this place. We will pray for Antoine de Touilly, that he may be converted and granted the grace that he may not wrong the poor and despoil the orphans.” His lordship, who was present at this mortifying supplication, brought new complaints before the same archbishop, who ordered the curate Meslier to come to Donchery, where he ill-treated him with abusive language.
There have been scarcely any other events in his life, nor other benefice, than that of Etrepigny. He died in the odor of sanctity in the year 1733, fifty-five years old. It is believed that, disgusted with life, he expressly refused necessary food, because during his sickness he was not willing to take anything, not even a glass of wine.”

Archibald Malmaison

by Julian Hawthorne

Julian Hawthorne was the son of famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and while he wasn’t as critically acclaimed as his father, Julian also wrote several works of fiction and histories. One of them is Archibald Malmaison. From the intro:
“As regards the matter of names, dates, and localities, Dr. Rollinson holds that they had better be given at full length; and here I am not disposed to differ from him. The system of blanks and initial letters was always distasteful to me; and to use fictitious names in a true story seems like taking away with one hand what you give with another. Besides, every one of the actors in the drama is now dead: Dr. Rollinson [1] himself being the only living person who is cognizant, directly, of all the circumstances, from beginning to end. In his capacity of physician, he was the intimate and trusted friend of the ill-fated Malmaison household during upward of twenty years, and he inherited this confidential position from his father. He has kindly placed at my disposal a number of his professional note-books and journals, and in various places I have incorporated with the narrative some of the information which they contain. At other times I have inserted minor details of conversation and incident, and have endeavored to throw over the whole as “fictitious” an air as was consistent with the conscientious observance of my compact with the Doctor. And now, without further preface, I will proceed to business.”

Mohammedanism: Lectures on Its Origin, Its Religious and Political Growth, and Its Present State

by C. Snouck Hurgronje

This looks at the history of Islam over the centuries up to the 19th century.

From the intro:

“There are more than two hundred million people who call themselves after the name of Mohammed, would not relinquish that name at any price, and cannot imagine a greater blessing for the remainder of humanity than to be incorporated into their communion. Their ideal is no less than that the whole earth should join in the faith that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is Allah’s last and most perfect messenger, who brought the latest and final revelation of Allah to humanity in Allah’s own words. This alone is enough to claim our special interest for the Prophet, who in the seventh century stirred all Arabia into agitation and whose followers soon after his death founded an empire extending from Morocco to China.
Even those whoâ??to my mind, not without gross exaggerationâ??would seek the explanation of the mighty stream of humanity poured out by the Arabian peninsula since 630 over Western and Middle Asia, Northern Africa, and Southern Europe principally in geographic and economic causes, do not ignore the fact that it was Mohammed who opened the sluice gates. It would indeed be difficult to maintain that without his preaching the Arabs of the seventh century would have been induced by circumstances to swallow up the empire of the Sasanids and to rob the Byzantine Empire of some of its richest provinces. However great a weight one may give to political and economic factors, it was religion, Islâm, which in a certain sense united the hitherto hopelessly divided Arabs, Islâm which enabled them to found an enormous international community; it was Islâm which bound the speedily converted nations together even after the shattering of its political power, and which still binds them today when only a miserable remnant of that power remains.
The aggressive manner in which young Islâm immediately put itself in opposition to the rest of the world had the natural consequence of awakening an interest which was far from being of a friendly nature. Moreover men were still very far from such a striving towards universal peace as would have induced a patient study of the means of bringing the different peoples into close spiritual relationship, and therefore from an endeavour to understand the spiritual life of races different to their own.”

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.