Free history Kindle books for 15 Dec 15

The Culper Ring: The History and Legacy of the Revolutionary War’s Most Famous Spy Ring

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Includes correspondence between the spy ring and explains the results of their activities

*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

After the siege of Boston forced the British to evacuate that city in March 1776, Continental Army commander George Washington suspected that the British would move by sea to New York City, the next logical target in an attempt to end a colonial insurrection. He thus rushed his army south to defend the city.

Washington guessed correctly, but it would be to no avail. Unlike Boston, New York City’s terrain featured few defensible positions. The city lacked a high point from which to launch a siege, as the peninsula of Boston was fortunate to have. Moreover, Washington wasn’t sure defending the city was necessary, hoping that an expedition launched toward Quebec like the one Benedict Arnold had led in late 1775 would keep the British away from New York anyway. However, Congress thought otherwise, and demanded that Washington defend New York.

Washington thus did what he was told, and it nearly resulted in the army’s demise. In the summer of 1776, the British conducted the largest amphibious expedition in North America’s history at the time, landing over 20,000 troops on Long Island. British General William Howe, who had led the British at Bunker Hill and would later become commander in chief of the armies in North America, easily captured Staten Island, which Washington was incapable of defending without a proper navy. Washington’s army attempted to fight, but Washington was badly outmaneuvered, and his army was nearly cut off from escape. The withdrawal across New York City was enormously disorderly, with many of Washington’s troops so scared that they deserted. Others were sick as a result of the dysentery and smallpox plaguing the Continental Army in New York. In what was arguably the worst defeat of the Revolution, Washington was ashamed, and he also felt betrayed, by both his troops and Congress.

However, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, Washington had some men remain active in New York City: the now famous Culper Ring, one of the Revolution’s first major intelligence efforts. The ring consisted mostly of a group of civilians in and around New York City who spied on the British forces and Loyalist Americans and reported what they saw and overheard ultimately to Washington, who took a personal, hands-on approach to their management. After modern histories brought their story more fully to light, these spies have since become the subject (with the historical facts somewhat altered) of a recent hit television show, Turn: Washington’s Spies.

Without question, the relatively little-known clandestine actions of these patriotic men and women contributed to the eventual victory of the long struggle for American independence, and several good books cover part or all of the history of the Culper Ring. However, the main sources consist of the correspondence, much of which has somehow survived, between the members of the ring and their military handlers. Like other spy tales, theirs is a story of courage fraught with constant suspense at being found out and facing a caught spy’s usual fate of imprisonment and execution. Indeed, around the time the ring was being organized, America’s most famous spy, Nathan Hale, had been caught with maps of British positions on Long Island in his possession and had been summarily hanged.

The Culper Ring: The History and Legacy of the Revolutionary War’s Most Famous Spy Ring profiles the members of the ring and their activities. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Culper Ring like never before, in no time at all.



Esther

by Henry Adams

Henry Adams was a famous 19th century historian, and his posthumously published memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in 1919.



Christ is Ever with You!

by Octavius Winslow

Octavius Winslow was a Baptist minister in the 19th century who wrote a series of devotionals that were popular among Christians of all denominations.



Pyrrhus of Epirus

by Jacob Abbott

Jacob Abbott was one of the famous authors in the Abbott family during the 19th century, which also included his historian brother John. Unlike his brother, Jacob wrote kids books.

Pyrrhus (319 – 272 B.C.) was king of the Greek tribe of Molossians, and later became king of Epirus and Macedon.  He was a strong opponent of Rome’s , and invaded Italy in the 3rd century B.C.  Although victorious in the battle of Acsculum, his army lost many men – hence the term “Pyrrhic victory”.  



The Works of Alexander Hamilton: Volume 4

by Alexander Hamilton

Unfortunately, one of the best known aspects of Alexander Hamilton’s (1755-1804) life is the manner in which he died, being shot and killed in a famous duel with Aaron Burr in 1804. But Hamilton became one of the most instrumental Founding Fathers of the United States in that time, not only in helping draft and gain support for the U.S. Constitution but in also leading the Federalist party and building the institutions of the young federal government as Washington’s Secretary of Treasury.

Hamilton is also well remembered for his authorship, along with John Jay and James Madison, of the Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers sought to rally support for the Constitution’s approval when those three anonymously wrote them, but for readers and scholars today they also help us get into the mindset of the Founding Fathers, including the “Father of the Constitution” himself. They also help demonstrate how men of vastly different political ideologies came to accept the same Constitution.

Hamilton was a prominent politician and a prolific writer who had his hand in everything from the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and President Washington’s speeches, as well as an influential voice in policy and the formation of initial political parties. His works were compiled into a giant 12 volume series by Henry Cabot, which included everything from his speeches to his private correspondence.  This edition of Hamilton’s Works: Volume 4 includes his writings on Industry and Commerce, as well as his writings on Foreign Relations, which became a big issue during Washington’s administration vis-à-vis the British. 



Confederate Military History: The Chickamauga Campaign

by Clement A. Evans

Confederate Military History is a 12-volume series of books written and/or edited by former Confederate general Clement A. Evans that deals with specific topics related to the military personalities, places, battles, and campaigns in various Southern United States, including those of the Confederacy.

Written with a heavy Southern slant, the articles that comprise the compendium deal with the famous events of the war. This account is of the Chickamauga campaign, which culminated with the Battle of Chickamauga and the siege of Chattanooga. One of the biggest battles in the Western theater, Braxton Bragg’s Confederate army routed the Union Army of the Cumberland led by William Rosecrans, but the retreating Federals were rallied by George H. Thomas, forever known as the “Rock of Chickamauga,” and they made a defensive stand that allowed the Union army to regroup and retreat in an orderly fashion back to Chattanooga. 



Confederate Military History: The Maryland Campaign against McClellan

by Clement A. Evans

Confederate Military History is a 12-volume series of books written and/or edited by former Confederate general Clement A. Evans that deals with specific topics related to the military personalities, places, battles, and campaigns in various Southern United States, including those of the Confederacy.

Written with a heavy Southern slant, the articles that comprise the compendium deal with the famous events of the war. This account is of the Maryland Campaign of September 1862, which culminated with General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac clashing with General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia along Antietam Creek outside of Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam would prove to be the bloodiest day of the Civil War.



The Treaty of Fort Laramie

by Anonymous

The Treaty of Fort Laramie (also called the Sioux Treaty of 1868) was a  treaty between the United States and the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota, and Arapaho Nationsigned in 1868 at Fort Laramie in the Wyoming Territor.  The agreement guaranteed ownership of the Black Hills to the Lakota, and land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. The Powder River Country was to be henceforth closed to all whites. The treaty ended Red Cloud’s War.



Soviet Russia’s Space Program During the Space Race: The History and Legacy of the Competition that Pushed America to the Moon

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures

*Profiles the various space missions the Soviets conducted during the 1950s and 1960s

*Includes footnotes, online resources and a bibliography for further reading

*Includes a table of contents

“”This is Moscow

This is Moscow calling

On the 12th of April, the Soviet Union orbited a spaceship around the Earth with a man on board

The astronaut is a Soviet citizen: Major Gagarin, Yuri Alekseyevich

The World’s first cosmonaut

The first to open the door into the unknown

The first to step over the threshold of our homeland

The whole planet knew him and loved him”

Of all the goals the Bolshevik Revolution aimed to bring about, perhaps nowhere were Russian promises delivered on more than in the success of the Soviet Space program of the 1950s and 1960s. As a result of Russian innovation and technology, but also due to incredible drive to modernize and compete with the United States for world power, Russia was finally and triumphantly modernized in the eyes of her own people and the world. Neil deGrasse Tyson recognized the Soviet legacy in space in his Space Chronicles, citing the Soviets’ “important measure[s] of space achievement: first spacewalk, longest spacewalk, first woman in space, first docking in space, first space station, longest time logged in space.”

In fact, the Soviet Union spent much of the 1950s leaving the United States in its dust (and rocket fuel). President Eisenhower and other Americans who could view Soviet rockets in the sky were justifiably worried that Soviet satellites in orbit could soon be spying on them, or, even worse, dropping nuclear bombs on them. Dovetailing off their success developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Soviets were the first to make enormous advances in actual space exploration, and on the night of October 4, 1957, the Soviets prepared to launch “Object D” atop one of its R-7 rockets. As the world’s first ICBMs, R-7 rockets were built primarily to carry nuclear warheads, but “Object D” was a far different payload. “Object D” and the R-7 rocket launched from a hastily constructed launch pad, and within minutes it entered orbit. It took that object, now more famously known as Sputnik-1, about 90 minutes to complete its orbit around the Earth, speeding along at 18,000 miles per hour while transmitting a distinct beeping noise by radio.

Eventually, the Space Race produced some of the most iconic moments of the 20th century, including the landing of the first men on the Moon, and today, the race is widely viewed poignantly and fondly as a race to the Moon that culminated with Apollo 11 “winning” the race for the United States. In fact, it encompassed a much broader range of competition between the Soviet Union and the United States that affected everything from military technology to successfully launching satellites that could land on Mars or orbit other planets in the Solar System. Moreover, the notion that America “won” the Space Race at the end of the 1960s overlooks just how competitive the Space Race actually was in launching people into orbit, as well as the major contributions the Space Race influenced in leading to today’s International Space Station and continued space exploration.

Soviet Russia’s Space Program During the Space Race: The History and Legacy of the Competition that Pushed America to the Moon chronicles the history of Russia’s space development and the competition it fostered. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Russian space program like never before, in no time at all.



The Glasshouse

by Allan Campbell Maclean

Austria, 1945.

World War II is drawing to a close, but RAF signals clerk David Fraser is only just beginning a 112 day sentence at the infamous Glasshouse military prison.

The name alone is enough to have the bravest of soldiers quaking in their boots.

For the prisoners, their stay is an unimaginable nightmare of physical and mental torture.

For the guards, it provides an unrivalled outlet for their own anger and frustration.

It’s not long before Fraser’s defiant attitude begins to merit the unwanted attention of the sadistic prison wardens.

Staff Evans quickly forms a relentless vendetta against Fraser, taking delight in watching him inch ever closer to breaking point.

But following the announcement of Japan’s surrender, will the end of the war come too late for Fraser and his sanity?

Will he be able to survive the psychological torment, physical punishment and endless solitary confinement?

Or will he be just another victim of the Glasshouse?

Based on Allan Campbell McLean’s own 56-day incarceration, â??The Glasshouse’ is a terrifyingly realistic portrayal of life in a British Military Prison.

â??Prepare to be harrowed by this chilling story of an RAF erk in â??the glasshouse’ – politely called a British Army Field Punishment Centre – in reality a hell-hole of sadism, crippling physical labour and mind-destroying solitary confinement.’ Daily Express

â??Poignant as well as horrifying; you will need to bring your strongest stomach to it.’ Irish Times

â??A hard, truthful novel about a closed society which comparatively few people knew about, and he has got the cruelty, the language, and, above all, the vicious infantilism of the staff dead right â?¦ a powerful piece of writing.’ New Statesman

â??Mr McLean has some pretty frightening things to say about a British glasshouse in Austria in 1945 â?¦ Some of the activities in the confinement cells would have brought a grin of approval from the recently beaten enemy â?¦ Very well told.’ Sunday Telegraph

â??Extremely well written, spare, direct and violent in style, understanding of the limitations and reasons of men’s actions, both believable and convincing – not always the same thing.’ Tribune

Allan Campbell McLean (1922-1989) served for four years in the Western Desert during the war. His novel The Islander won the Frederick Niven Award in 1962 and his other books include, The Master of Morgana, Storm Over Skye, A Sound of Trumpets and The Year of the Stranger. He lived in a croft house on the Isle of Skye with his wife and children.

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