John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

This biography is actually a series of essays by prominent personalities of the time that shed light on John Stuart Mill’s life and areas of endeavor. Those areas include his experiences in India House, his moral character, certain botanical explorations, how effective he was as a critic, studies in morals and the law, and discoveries concerning political economy. They also explore ideas concerning his influence on institutions of higher learning, accomplishments as a politician, and fame as a philosopher

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Germania and Agricola

Germania and Agricola by Publius Cornelius Tacitus

Germania and Agricola by Publius Cornelius Tacitus

The Agricola is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, which recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general. It also covers, briefly, the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain. As in the Germania, Tacitus favorably contrasts the liberty of the native Britons to the corruption and tyranny of the Empire; the book also contains eloquent and vicious polemics against the rapacity and greed of Rome. This translation by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, was first published in 1877.

The Germania, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus himself had already written a similar essay on the lands and tribes of Britannia in his Agricola. The Germania begins with a description of the lands, laws, and customs of the Germanic people; it then segues into descriptions of individual tribes, beginning with those dwelling closest to Roman lands and ending on the uttermost shores of the Baltic, among the amber-gathering Aesti, the primitive and savage Fenni, and the unknown tribes beyond them.

(Summary by Wikipedia)

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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln – Volume 5: 1858

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln - Volume 5: 1858 by Abraham Lincoln

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln – Volume 5: 1858 by Abraham Lincoln

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

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Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

The main idea of “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” was distinguishing scientific socialism and utopian socialism. Engels begins by chronicling the thought of utopian socialists, starting with Saint-Simon. He then proceeds to Fourier and Robert Owen. In chapter two, he summarizes dialectics, and then chronicles the thought from the ancient Greeks to Hegel. Chapter three summarizes dialectics in relation to economic and social struggles, essentially echoing the words of Marx.

(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova

This is the first two of five volumes. – Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex.

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Tamburlaine the Great – Part 1

Tamburlaine the Great - Part 1 by Christopher Marlowe

Tamburlaine the Great – Part 1 by Christopher Marlowe

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur ‘the lame’. The play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London’s public stage.

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The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The full title of the novel tells part of its story: “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continu’d Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv’d Honest and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.” (excerpt by Wikipedia)

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Food Guide for War Service at Home

Food Guide for War Service at Home by Katharine Blunt and others

Food Guide for War Service at Home by Katharine Blunt and others

The long war has brought hunger to Europe; some of her peoples stand constantly face to face with starvation. To meet all this great food need in Europe—and meeting it is an imperative military necessity—we must be very careful and economical in our food use here at home. We must eat less; we must waste nothing; we must equalize the distribution of what food we may retain for ourselves; we must prevent extortion and profiteering which make prices so high that the poor cannot buy the food they actually need; and we must try to produce more food. For all this there is needed a “food education” of all our people. For the purpose of diffusing this information this little book has been prepared under the direction of the Food Administration. By following the suggestions for food conservation herein contained every one can render his country an important war service.”

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Fathers of Biology

Fathers of Biology by Charles McRae

Fathers of Biology by Charles McRae

An account given of the lives of five great naturalists (Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius and Harvey) will not be found devoid of interest. The work of each one of them marked a definite advance in the science of Biology.

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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” “In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.

The book chronicles and vilifies its targets in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.

The subjects of Mackay’s debunking include alchemy, beards (influence of politics and religion on), witch-hunts, crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles. (summary from wikipedia)

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