Tag Archives: ebooks

Clouds

Clouds by Aristophanes

Clouds by Aristophanes

Strepsiades is an Athenian burdened with debt from a bad marriage and a spendthrift son. He resolves to go to the Thinking Shop, where he can purchase lessons from the famous Socrates in ways to manipulate language in order to outwit his creditors in court. Socrates, represented as a cunning, manipulative, irreverent sophist, has little success with the dull-witted Strepsiades, but is able to teach the old man’s son Phidippides a few tricks. In the end, the play is a cynical, clever commentary on Old Ways vs. New Ways, to the disparagement of the former.

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The Fireside Chats

The Fireside Chats by Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The Fireside Chats by Franklin Delano Roosevelt

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt thirty radio addresses made throughout his terms as President of the United States between 1933 and 1944. The speeches are snapshots of American life during the turbulent decade that included the Great Depression and World War II.

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From Slave Cabin to Pulpit

From Slave Cabin to Pulpit by Peter Randolph

From Slave Cabin to Pulpit by Peter Randolph

Peter Randolph was born a slave in 1825 (?), was freed before the American Civil War, and became a clergyman in the Baptist tradition, dying in 1897. This is his 1893 autobiography. The latter third of the book is a slightly edited re-publication of a pamphlet he published in 1855 (so before the Civil War) entitled “Sketches Of Slave Life.” This recording omits chapter fourteen of “From Slave Cabin To Pulpit” because it is only a several-pages-long list of friends of the author with no narrative.

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Heroes Every Child Should Know

Heroes Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie

Heroes Every Child Should Know by Hamilton Wright Mabie

The endeavor has been made in this volume to bring together the heroic men of different races, periods and types; and in the selection of material the most attractive, intelligent and authoritative literature has been drawn upon. In cases in which the material selected belongs distinctively to the best literature, no changes have been made, although narratives have been abbreviated; in cases in which the material has a historical rather than a distinctively literary quality, the text has been treated for “substance of doctrine,” and omissions have been freely made, and connecting words, phrases and even sentences have been introduced to give the narrative clear connection and completeness. In the preparation of the material for the volume the intelligence and skill of Miss Kate Stephens have been so freely used that she is entitled to the fullest recognition as associate editor. – Summary by Hamilton Wright Mabie

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The American Language

The American Language by H. L. Mencken

The American Language by H. L. Mencken

“It was part of my daily work, for a good many years, to read the principal English newspapers and reviews; it has been part of my work, all the time, to read the more important English novels, essays, poetry and criticism. An American born and bred, I early noted, as everyone else in like case must note, certain salient differences between the English of England and the English of America as practically spoken and written—differences in vocabulary, in syntax, in the shades and habits of idiom, and even, coming to the common speech, in grammar. And I noted too, of course, partly during visits to England but more largely by a somewhat wide and intimate intercourse with English people in the United States, the obvious differences between English and American pronunciation and intonation. Greatly interested in these differences—some of them so great that they led me to seek exchanges of light with Englishmen—I looked for some work that would describe and account for them with a show of completeness, and perhaps depict the process of their origin. I soon found that no such work existed, either in England or in America—that the whole literature of the subject was astonishingly meagre and unsatisfactory.” – Summary by Mencken (Preface)

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My Airships

My Airships by Alberto Santos-Dumont

My Airships by Alberto Santos-Dumont

The delightful tale of “le petit Santos” as he dances through the sky above the City of Light at the dawn of the aerial age.
A note to the listener: Throughout this story the author makes several references to helpful figures and illustrations.

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Biographical Stories

Biographical Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Biographical Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne

collection of stories based on different biographies of the famous.

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My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard

My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard by Elizabeth Cooper

My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard by Elizabeth Cooper

I hope that this book, based on letters shown me many years after they were written, will give a faint idea of the life of a Chinese lady. The story is told in two series of letters conceived to be written by Kwei-li, the wife of a very high Chinese official, [the first series were written] to her husband when he accompanied his master, Prince Chung, on his trip around the world.” The second series of letters were written 25 years later to Kwei-li’s mother-in-law as China faces revolution and political intrigue. “They are, therefore, the letters of the present-day Chinese woman of the old school, a woman who had by education and environment exceptional opportunities to learn of the modern world, but who, like every Eastern woman, clings with almost desperate tenacity to the traditions and customs of her race.

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Recollections of a Busy Life

Recollections of a Busy Life by William Forwood

Recollections of a Busy Life by William Forwood

Liverpool in the second half of the 19th century was burgeoning with rich merchants and swollen with poor immigrants. It was known variously as the “New York of Europe” and the “Black Spot on the Mersey.” Waist-deep in this mosaic we find William Bower Forwood making a busy life for himself, making his fortune in cotton trading (including running the American blockade of the Southern States) and then delving into public affairs. We see the civic leader, dedicated to the betterment of “the good old town and the trade thereof,” and we see the statesman and tourist, dining with kings and wrestling with presidents. We see the effect that social environment has on a man’s view of the world, with Sir William’s casual categorization of the various races’ assumed work habits, from the Caribbean ‘Negro’ to the Indian ‘Coolie,’ his breezy dismissal of the Jamaican rebellion, his confidence in the steady hand of the Mexican dictator and his pride in the English superiority of business sense and management. But we also see the profound effect that a man can have on the society around him, working tirelessly to build libraries, parks and gardens, public transport, housing for the poor and a great cathedral for Liverpool. Forwood records these memoirs for his family members, and anyone they care to share them with, “to inspire them to make some effort on behalf of our great and glorious city—to elevate its social and intellectual life, to adorn and beautify its public streets and places, to brighten the lives and homes of the people, to carry forward and onward the great temple we are building to the glory of God,” at a time when such things mattered to people.

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Opticks

Opticks by Sir Isaac Newton

Opticks by Sir Isaac Newton

The famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton lectured on optics from 1670 – 1672. He worked on the refraction of light into colored beams using prisms and discovered chromatic aberration. He also postulated the corpuscular form of light and an ether to transmit forces between the corpuscles. His “Opticks”, contains his postulates about the topic. This is the fourth edition in English, which Newton corrected from the third edition before his death.

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