On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. As King Carol first tried to placate the Nazis, then abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Waldeck was dressing for dinners with diplomats and cozying up to Nazi officers to get insight and information. From her unique vantage, she watched as Romania, a country with a pro-totalitarian elite and a deep strain of anti-Semitism, suffered civil unrest, a German invasion, and an earthquake, before turning against the Nazis. A striking combination of social intimacy and disinterest political analysis, Athene Palace evokes the elegance and excitement of the dynamic international community in Bucharest before the world had comes to grips with the horrors of war and genocide. Waldeck’s account strikingly presents the finely wrought surface of dinner parties, polite discourse, and charisma, while recognizing the undercurrents of violence and greed that ran through the denizens of Athene Palace.
Tom Gates Extra Special Treats not
It's really cold outside and we're all hoping it's going to snow. Yeah! Derek and I could make a snow Rooster and have a snowball fight (look out, Delia!). Granny Mavis has started to knit me a new winter jumper, but by the looks of things I'm not sure it's going to fit. . .
The Rise of the West
The Rise of the West, winner of the National Book Award for history in 1964, is famous for its ambitious scope and intellectual rigor. In it, McNeill challenges the Spengler-Toynbee view that a number of separate civilizations pursued essentially independent careers, and argues instead that human cultures interacted at every stage of their history. The author suggests that from the Neolithic beginnings of grain agriculture to the present major social changes in all parts of the world were triggered by new or newly important foreign stimuli, and he presents a persuasive narrative of world history to support this claim. In a retrospective essay titled "The Rise of the West after Twenty-five Years," McNeill shows how his book was shaped by the time and place in which it was written (1954-63). He discusses how historiography subsequently developed and suggests how his portrait of the world's past in The Rise of the West should be revised to reflect these changes. "This is not only the most learned and the most intelligent, it is also the most stimulating and fascinating book that has ever set out to recount and explain the whole history of mankind. . . . To read it is a great experience. It leaves echoes to reverberate, and seeds to germinate in the mind."—H. R. Trevor-Roper, New York Times Book Review
When General Alexander's Union Army needs horses, Blutch and Chesterfield are sent to buy new mounts with horse trainer Bronco Benny.
A Brief History of Thought
NATIONAL BESTSELLER Eight months on the bestseller lists in France! From the timeless wisdom of the ancient Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferry’s instant classic brilliantly and accessibly explains the enduring teachings of philosophy—including its profound relevance to modern daily life and its essential role in achieving happiness and living a meaningful life. This lively journey through the great thinkers will enlighten every reader, young and old.
Angkor is a fascinating, mysterious site, twice the size of Paris. Protected by UNESCO as part of humanity's common heritage, it is truly unique. This new guide by Jean Laur, former Director of Monuments at the site, explores the history and significance of Angkor in great depth. It is the first scholarly work to review the site of Angkor since the 1940s. The author's great familiarity with the people and culture of Cambodia and his grasp of the Khmer language means he is perfectly situated to place the monuments in their historical, cultural, and artistic context, providing a fascinating, thoroughly documented, yet accessible guide to the individual ruins. He covers over one hundred temples in great depth, giving details of the construction methods and materials used and describing their elaborate ornamentation. The work also includes numerous maps, plans, and details of the bas reliefs and sculptures, drawn by the author himself. The guide also contains more general information on visiting Cambodia, and the history of the Khmer people and their art. As Southeast Asia in general, and Cambodia in particular, open up to visitors after decades of unrest, this guide is perfectly timed to introduce a greater understanding of the significance of this fascinating site.