My Bondage and My Freedom

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass

The life of Frederick Douglass, recorded in the pages which follow, is not merely an example of self elevation under the most adverse circumstances; it is, moreover, a noble vindication of the highest aims of the American anti-slavery movement.

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The Spanish Brothers

The Spanish Brothers by Deborah Alcock

The Spanish Brothers by Deborah Alcock

The daughter of a minister, Deborah Alcock wrote novels on a Christian theme. The Spanish Brothers is set in the sixteenth century and deals with Protestant martyrdom during the Spanish Inquisition. Follow the fortunes of brothers Juan and Carlos as they face the trials and pressures of remaining true to their faith despite hardship, imprisonment, torture and even the agonizing deaths of those dear to them.

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Indian Home Rule

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

First written in Gandhi’s native language Gujarati, this booklet advocates for Indian non-violent self-rule during the struggle for Indian independence against the British Empire. It is written as a dialogue between two characters. In it, the “Reader” serves as a typical Indian countryman (the targeted audience for Hind Swaraj), who voices common beliefs and arguments of the time concerning Indian independence, while Gandhi, the “Editor,” explains why those arguments are flawed and interjects his own valuable arguments of self-reliance, passive resistance and the Indian identity.

The Gujarati-language publication was banned from publication by the British in India, causing Gandhi to translate it to English himself to evade the British authorities, as well as rally support from English-speaking Indians and international supporters of independence. It is now considered the intellectual blueprint of India’s independence movement.

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The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman Jr.

The Oregon Trail by Francis Parkman Jr.

The book is a breezy, first-person account of a 2 month summer tour of the U.S. states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas when Parkman was 23. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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History of Billy the Kid

History of Billy the Kid by Chas. A. Siringo

History of Billy the Kid by Chas. A. Siringo

A cowboy outlaw whose youthful daring has never been equaled in the annals of criminal history.
When a bullet pierced his heart he was less than twenty-two years of age, and had killed twenty-one men, Indians not included.

The author feels that he is capable of writing a true and unvarnished history of “Billy the Kid,” as he was personally acquainted with him, and assisted in his capture, by furnishing Sheriff Pat Garrett with three of his fighting cowboys–Jas. H. East, Lee Hall and Lon Chambers.

The facts set down in this narrative were gotten from the lips of “Billy the Kid,” himself, and from such men as Pat Garrett, John W. Poe, Kip McKinnie, Charlie Wall, the Coe brothers, Tom O’Phalliard, Henry Brown, John Middleton, Martin Chavez, and Ash Upson. All these men took an active part, for or against, the “Kid.” Ash Upson had known him from childhood, and was considered one of the family, for several years, in his mother’s home.

Other facts were gained from the lips of Mrs. Charlie Bowdre, who kept “Billy the Kid,” hid out at her home in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, after he had killed his two guards and escaped. (Introduction by the author)

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The Analects of Confucius

The Analects of Confucius by Confucius

The Analects of Confucius by Confucius

The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC – 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. William Jennings was a rector of Grasmere, and late colonial chaplain. He served at St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong.

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Shakespeare: Life and Work

Shakespeare: Life and Work by John Munro

Shakespeare: Life and Work by John Munro

William Shakespeare: actor, poet, playwright. He is often called England’s greatest writer, the Bard of Avon, a national treasure. But who was he? An average boy, born to an average family of the period; a romantic and dreamer, tempted away from his rural home by the sights and sounds of the big city. To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, here is one of the many studies of the bard’s life and works.

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The Loves of Great Composers

The Loves of Great Composers by Gustav Kobbé

The Loves of Great Composers by Gustav Kobbé

Gustav Kobbe was a German/US music critic who worked at the time of Liszt and Wagner in particular, and was clearly in the Wagnerian rather than the Brahms camp. His unusual style of writing and his strongly romantic take on the loves of these seven composers makes for entertaining listening, even though his facts and opinions may differ from more academic writers and biographers of these composers. Each composer occupies a section or chapter, with Wagner getting the fuller account in terms of length. In fact Gustav Kobbe claims he knew Liszt and Wagner as well as Cosima Wagner – so this must be quite original and authoritative. The 19C period and its atmosphere is conveyed by Kobbe’s unusual sentence construction and reads more like story telling rather than a written work.

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The Great Taxicab Robbery

The Great Taxicab Robbery by James H. Collins

The Great Taxicab Robbery by James H. Collins

In 1912, $25,000 was stolen during a bank transfer in New York City in broad daylight. In what may appear astonishing in today’s world, the transfer occurred in a New York City taxicab. This factual account brings true crime of the early twentieth century to life. The various methods used by the detectives and police in their attempts to solve the mystery behind the robbery, and hopefully bring the thieves to justice, makes for great reading, particularly when one considers the fact that the accounts occurred over a century ago, and are quite authentic. Although the police now have higher technological advantages than was available over a century ago, the reader may find that many general techniques haven’t changed all that much over the years. The characters involved with this true caper prove ingenious on both sides.

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Letters to Dead Authors

Letters to Dead Authors by Andrew Lang

Letters to Dead Authors by Andrew Lang

With twenty two letters, addressed to various already deceased authors, Andrew Lang discusses literary subjects with his usual humor and acidity. The impulse for the writing of the letters came, almost as a joke, from the editor of the ‘St. James’s Gazette,’ and sixteen of the letters collected in the volume appeared first in that journal. According to the author, “some of the Letters are written rather to suit the Correspondent than to express the writer’s own taste or opinions”; in all of them, though, the reader will find the charming wit of their author.

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