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Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain

Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain

Following the Equator (American English title) or More Tramps Abroad (English title) is a non-fiction travelogue published by American author Mark Twain.

Twain was practically bankrupt in 1894 due to a failed investment into a “revolutionary” typesetting machine. In an attempt to extricate himself from debt of $100,000 (equivalent of about $2 million in 2005) he undertook a tour of the British Empire in 1895, a route chosen to provide numerous opportunities for lectures in the English language.

In Following the Equator, the author unmasks and criticizes racism, imperialism and missionary zeal in observations woven into the narrative with classical Twain wit.

Of particular interest, historically, are Twain’s references to Cecil Rhodes in Australia and South Africa, the in-depth description of “Thugs” and “Thuggee” in India and the Boer War period and diamonds in South Africa.

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The Loss of the S. S. Titanic

The Loss of the S. S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley

The Loss of the S. S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley

This is a 1st hand account written by a survivor of the Titanic about that fateful night and the events leading up to it as well as the events that followed its sinking.

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Damn! A book of Calumny

Damn! A book of Calumny by H. L. Mencken

Damn! A book of Calumny by H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. Mencken is perhaps best remembered today for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the “Monkey” trial.”

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Robert’s Rules of Order

Robert's Rules of Order by Henry M. Robert

Robert's Rules of Order by Henry M. Robert

Robert’s Rules of Order is the most widely used authority in the United States today for “parliamentary law, based…upon the rules and practice of Congress” for “organizing and conducting the business of societies, conventions, and other deliberative assemblies.

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Sailing Alone Around the World

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail around the world alone in a small boat. He personally rebuilt an 11.2 metre sloop-rigged fishing boat that he named the Spray. On April 24, 1895, he set sail from Boston, Massachusetts. More than three years later, he returned to Newport, Rhode Island, on June 27, 1898 having circumnavigated the world, a distance of 46,000 miles.

In 1899 he described the voyage in Sailing Alone Around the World now considered a classic of travel literature. It is a wonderful adventure story from the Age of Sail and a book of which Arthur Ransome declared, “boys who do not like this book ought to be drowned at once.”

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Eric Brighteyes

Eric Brighteyes by Henry Rider Haggard

Eric Brighteyes by Henry Rider Haggard

The Saga of Eric Brighteyes is the title of an epic viking novel by H. Rider Haggard, and concerns the adventures of its eponymous principal character in 10th century Iceland. Eric Thorgrimursson (nicknamed ‘Brighteyes’ for his most notable trait), strives to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair. Her father Asmund, a priest of the old Norse gods, opposes the match, thinking Eric a man without prospects. But deadlier by far are the intrigues of Swanhild, Gudruda’s half-sister and a sorceress who desires Eric for herself. She persuades the chieftain Ospakar Blacktooth to woo Gudrida, making the two men enemies. Battles, intrigues, and treachery follow.

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Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

The Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and one of the most quoted speeches in United States history. It was delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863, during the American Civil War, four and a half months after the Battle of Gettysburg.

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The Spirit of the Border

The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey

The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey

This is an early novel by the phenomenally successful author of frontier, western and sports stories. It deals with historical characters and incidents in the Ohio Valley in the late 18th century, especially with the foundation of Gnaddenhutten, a missionary village intended to bring Christianity to the Indians of Ohio, despite the violent opposition of both Indians and white renegades. This turbulent adventure romance features the heroics of a semi-legendary frontiersman, Lewis Wetzel, who attempts to protect the settlers from hostile Native Americans and the vicious white outlaws the Girty brothers.

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The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John Henry Patterson

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo and Other East African Adventures by John Henry Patterson

In 1898, during the construction of river-crossing bridge for the Uganda Railway at the Tsavo River, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked at night, dragged into the wilderness, and devoured by two male lions.

The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is the autobiographical account of Royal Engineer Lt. Col. J.H. Patterson’s African adventures. Among them, his hunt for the two man-eaters.

This book was the basis for the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness.

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Third Class in Indian Railways

Third Class in Indian Railways by Mahatma Gandhi

Third Class in Indian Railways by Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha — resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience. This philosophy was firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence, and led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi and in India also as Bapu. He is officially honored in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.

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