Free biographies and memoirs Kindle books for 11 Dec 16

What I Saw at Pearl Harbor: A Record of Events Following December 7, 1941 From a Sailor Who Was There

by Bill Baker

Hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Billy Gene Baker of the U.S.S. Rigel wrote a letter to his family and friends describing the infamous situation. He transcribed the letter into a journal, which is what you’ll find in the pages of this book, commemorating 75 years since America’s entry point into World War II. As Randolph Baker describes in the Introduction, “My father’s account … has unique value in th simple fact that he was only one of a handful of young men who witnessed the attack firsthand and lent his thoughts to paper almost immediately.”

In addition to the account of the attack, this book includes other journal entries and letters to family from Baker — a rare inside look at the day-to-day life of a soldier stationed at Pearl Harbor before, during, and after.

The family of Bill Baker welcomes you to read the entire handwritten journal at no cost via this URL:

Likewise, entries for Dec. 7, Dec. 9 and Dec. 31, 1941 are available at no cost here:

Henry Livingston, Jr.: The Christmas Poet You Always Loved

by Mary Van Deusen

Henry Livingston, Jr. lived during an extraordinary period of history. He served as a Major in the Revolutionary War, and watched the creation of a new country, led by his brothers and cousins and uncles. But while Henry stayed at home tending to his farm and surveying work, he was also writing poetry for his family and friends. Among his poems was one of the most famous American poems that is still recited today: “The Night Before Christmas”.

After Henry’s original manuscript was burnt in a house fire, and Clement Moore took credit for Henry’s poem, his descendants had difficulty proving Henry to be the actual poet. It took Auckland University Emeritus Professor MacDonald Jackson two solid years of research examining such unconscious linguistic characteristics as the way the tongue moves in the mouth to develop a set of tests that could distinguish the poetry of Henry Livingston from that of Clement Moore. When those tests were applied to the celebrated Christmas poem, it showed that “The Night Before Christmas” shared those instinctive habits of speech with Henry Livingston, and not with Moore. Finally, after almost 200 years, the beliefs of Henry’s descendants have been vindicated. Henry Livingston, Jr. has been shown to be the true author of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Mary Van Deusen is Henry Livingston’s fifth great granddaughter. A computer scientist, Mary acted as research assistant to Vassar Professor Don Foster and MacDonald Jackson in their author attribution research.

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.