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Freemasonry

Alexander Piatigorsky (Author)

This study considers the institution of Freemasonry from the point of view of both masons and their critics, as well as from the author's own. In the first section, it gives an outline of masonic history, from the foundation of the Grand Lodge in Covent Garden in 1717 through its major role in Enlightenment Europe and the American War of Independence, its many tribulations and schisms in the 19th century to the present day. The book looks at one of the main sources of masonic history, Anderson's "Constitutions", which documents masonic practice and the masons' mythical history back to Hiram Abiff, the first Master Mason in the reign of King Solomon.

A Woman's Education

Jill Ker Conway (Author)

Conway opens with her assessment of her life, passions, possibilities and the making of her decision to leave Canada and return to the United States to become Smith's first woman president. Settling into her new environment, she is at once struck by the beauty of the Connecticut Valley and the Olmstead-designed Smith campus - but also by the College's financial problems and a quarrelsome and complaining faculty engaged in disputes and trivial lawsuits. The jolt of energy she gets from being in the presence of several thousand young women enables her to take on the various Smith constituencies: the self-appointed custodians of the great western male tradition of humanistic learning, the puzzled liberals, the younger male feminists, the 'lady scholars doing intellectual petitpoint', and the young committed feminists of all stripes. We see her harnessing the negative energies in more positive directions, redefining and redesigning parts of the institution, strategising, positioning herself and building a political base, introducing feminist scholarship into the curriculum, creating a programme for older students and a funded research centre, adding fields of study and athletic programmes, developing strong career counselling, changing investment strategy, increasing the endowment - and, in general, mobilising the institution to share the urgency she felt for shaping the kind of women's institution that would attract the students of the '90s and beyond. Through it all we see her continuing to cope with her husband John's ill health and learning to protect and sustain her inner self in the quiet solitude of gardening at their country home - a North American variant of the solitude of her native Australian plains. As the end of the Smith decade approaches she reviews what she has learned and decides that she has had her education and that it is time to 'graduate'.

Summer of Unrest: Generation Vexed: What the English Riots Don't Tell Us About Our Nation's Youth

Kieran Yates (Author) , Nikesh Shukla (Author)

Summer of Unrest (Slight Return). For a few days at the start of August, England was gripped by the riots that erupted in its city centres. Although there were various motivations behind the trouble and a broad spectrum of ages and backgrounds involved, the front pages were emblazoned with images of hooded youths running amok and stories of the revenge of the feral underclass.

In this final part of the Brain Shots: Summer of Unrest series, Nikesh Shukla and Kieran Yates interrogate whether young people are deliberately conforming to a stereotype foisted upon them, and point instead to the creativity and entrepreneurialism that are defining a supposedly 'lost' generation.

An antidote to the broadsheet commentariat, this street-level view of the defining moment of the Summer of Unrest finds much to inspire hope and confidence for our future.

Monster Of God

David Quammen (Author)

For millennia, nature's biggest and fiercest predators have tormented mankind. The knowledge and fear of the existence of these ferocious man-eaters is forever in the back of our minds, looming in our worst nightmares. Millions of humans have suffered attacks by predators on land and at sea. Yet animals have always shared the landscape with humans. Since the dawn of time our ecosystems have been linked and humans have co-existed with flesh-eating beasts as members of the same food chain. Now, of course, as humans spread and despoil the planet, these fearsome predators may only survive on the other side of glass barriers and chain-link fences. Their gradual disappearance is changing the nature of our own existence. We no longer occupy an intermediate position on the food chain; instead we survey it invulnerably from above - so far above that we are in danger of forgetting that we even belong to an ecosystem.

David Quammen's enthralling new book covers the four corners of the globe as he explores the fate of lions in India's Gir forest, saltwater crocodiles in Northern Australia, brown bears in the mountains of Romania, and Siberian tigers. Tracking these great and terrible beasts through the toughest terrain in the world, Quammen is equally intrigued by the traditional relationship between the great predators and the people who live among them, and weaves into his story the fears and myths that have haunted humankind for 3000 years.

Konin

Theo Richmond (Author)

The extraordinary story of a small Jewish ghetto in a small town in Poland - and of one man's obsessive quest to discover its fate and its survivors. Since his early childhood in London, Theo Richmond had heard his relatives mention a place called Konin, the Polish Shetetl from which both his parents came. He felt an irresistible urge to find out more about this small town and its Jewish community, to place on record something of what the Nazis had destroyed and thus to remember. He searched for its few survivors, scattered in many lands. Starting with an old man in London, he traced others, not only in Britain, but in Brooklyn, Florida, Texas, on a kibbutz in Israel, Jerusalem and elsewhere.

Lost White Tribes

Riccardo Orizio (Author) , Ryszard Kapuscinski (Introducer)

Over three hundred years ago the first European colonialists set foot in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean to found permanent outposts of the great empires. This epic migration continued until after World War II when these tropical outposts became independent black nations, and the white colonials were forced, or chose, to return home. Some of these colonial descendants, however, had become outcasts in the poorest stratas of the society of which they were now a part. Ignored by both the former slaves and the modern privileged white immigrants, and unable to afford the long journey home, they still hold out today, hiding in remote valleys and hills, 'lost white tribes' living in poverty with the proud myth of their colonial ancestors. Forced to marry within the tribe to retain their fair-skinned 'purity' they are torn between the memory of past privileges and the present need to integrate into the surrounding society.The tribes investigated in this book share much besides the colour of their skin: all are decreasing in number, many are on the verge of extinction, fighting to survive in countries that alienate them because of the colour of their skin. Riccardo Orizio investigates: the Blancs Matignon of Guadeloupe; the Burghers of Sri Lanka; the Poles of Haiti; the Basters of Namibia; the Germans of Seaford Town, Jamaica; the Confederados of Brazil.

Fiery Heart

Nicholas Roe (Author)

Leigh Hunt is the forgotten giant of English Romanticism. The man Virginia Woolf called the 'spiritual grandfather' of the modern world was descended from black Caribbeans and grew up a child of the American and French revolutions. A poet and radical journalist, he threw off the shackles of the old order and campaigned tirelessly for Irish freedom and the abolition of slavery. Unwilling to see the Prince of Wales as an 'Adonis of Loveliness', Hunt was jailed for 'diabolical libel' that presented the prince as he was: a corpulent fifty-year-old, sodden with drink and drugs.

Hunt was the centre of a charismatic generation. In prison, he drew the homage of Lord Byron, and soon afterwards discovered the Romantic geniuses Keats and Shelley. He was also a man riven by contradicitons, enjoying a controversial public role while battling with private demons. Hunt's own poetry glows with the sexual frankness that characterised all his relationships, male and female.

Written with flair and brilliant imaginative insight, and using a wealth of unpublished manuscript sources, Fiery Heart: The First Life of Leigh Hunt overturns existing accounts and presents a sparkling new portrait of Leigh Hunt and the English Romantics.

The Englishman's England

Ian Ousby (Author)

'If my journals should remain legible, or be perused at the end of 200 years, there will, even then, be little curious in them relative to travel, or the people; because our island is now so explored; our roads, in general, are so fine; and our speed has reach'd the summit.' Or so one late eighteenth-century traveller thought, reminding us that the English tourist industry is not the modern creation we often suppose. In this fascinating and original study Ian Ousby investigates the landmarks chosen by the English for their leisure travel over the centuries. He looks in particular at four types of attraction still prominent on the tourist map of England: literary shrines, country houses, picturesque ruins and the natural landscape. All these first became objects of fashionable attention during the eighteenth century, when improvements in transport combined with a spirit of practical inquiry to breed the first generation of travellers who called themselves 'tourists'. Drawing on a wide range of sources - journals, travel books and guidebooks, novels and poems, as well as many engravings - Ian Ousby traces the canons of taste which led the early tourists to seek out places like Stratford-upon-Avon, Chatsworth, Tintern Abbey and the Lake District, and records the stages by which these places acquired the trappings of the tourist attraction. Above all, he shows the development not just of an industry but of a state of mind marked, from its earliest phase, by the underlying fear that tourism is fated to spoil or even destroy the very thing it most admires.

1815

Gregor Dallas (Author)

The seventeen months from April 1814 to August 1815 were an extraordinary period in European history; a period which saw two sieges of Paris, a complete revision of Europe's political frontiers, an international Congress set up in Vienna, civil war in Italy and international war in Belgium.Gregor Dallas tells the story of these days through the perspectives of three very different European cities: the great metropolis of London, post-revolutionary Paris and baroque Vienna. The writing is almost cinematic in its power to evoke and bring to life the Europe of Tolstoy: the ebb and flow of power, of armies and of peoples across Europe's northern plains. Working essentially from primary sources, Dallas is as interested in the weather conditions before battle as in the way cartoonists reacted to court intrigues and fashions.It is also Europe seen through the eyes of its central players: Talleyrand, who has served nearly every French regime since the Revolution of 1789; Metternich, who devises new plans for a 'Germany' that does not yet exist and for a 'Europe' that remains devided; Wellington, who reveals himself a diplomat as well as a soldier; Tsar Alexander, an idealist seeking to impose a uniform plan for all Europe; and 'Boney' himself, who has his own ideal of Europe and, though banished to Elba, does not abandon his dream to realise it.

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon

Pam Hirsch (Author)

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon was the most unconventional and influential leader of the Victorian women's movement. Enormously talented, energetic and original, she was a feminist, law-reformer, painter, journalist, the close friend of George Eliot and a cousin of Florence Nightingale. As a painter, Barbara is now recognised as a vital figure among Pre-Raphaelite women artists. As a feminist she led four great campaigns: for married women's legal status, for the right to work, the right to vote and to education. Making brilliant use of unpublished journals and letters, Pam Hirsch has written a biography that is as lively and powerful as its subject, recreating the woman in all her moods, and placing her firmly in the context of women's struggle for equality.

The Bushmen Of Southern Africa

Sandy Gall (Author)

Bushmen were hunting and gathering, painting and mining copper, thousands of years ago. They were the first people of Africa. Deadly shots with their bows and arrows, they were, in their heyday, Lords of the Desert. They fought extremely bravely for their land, and lost. Today, they have been reduced to an underclass - dispossessed, despised and degraded. Just in time - one is tempted to say, miraculously - the Mandela government saved them from extermination in South Africa. Now, in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, set aside specially for them by the British in 1961, they are making their last stand, refusing to be evicted in order to benefit mining and tourism. Sandy Gall, who is best known for his reporting of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, has taken up the cause of the Bushmen. His interest in their plight dates back to the 1950s and 1960s when he was working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters; in 1999 he visited the Central Kalahari with his daughter Michaela. His book celebrates the culture of these unique people, many of whom have an almost mystical bond with animals. He has portrayed many fascinating individuals who have been involved, for good or ill, in their tragic history and their present predicament. Here, for the first time, is the full story of the slaughter of an innocent people. The Bushmen of Southern Africa speaks not only for the Bushmen but for the native indigenous people of the world. It faces up to a shameful and bloodstained past and looks at burning current issues such as human rights and the ownership and exploitation of land.

The Greatest Generation

Tom Brokaw (Author)

In this superb book, Tom Brokaw goes out into America, to tell through the stories of individual men and women the story of a generation - America's citizen heroes and heroines who came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America. This was a generation united by common values - by duty, honour, courage, service and love of family and country. Here you'll meet people like Charles Van Gorder, who set up during D-Day a MASH-like medical facility in the middle of the fighting, and then came home to create a clinic and hospital in his hometown. You'll hear ex-President George Bush talk about how, as a Navy Air Corps combat pilot, one of his assignments was to read the mail of the enlisted men under him, to be sure no sensitive military information would be compromised. You'll meet Trudy Elion, winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, one of the many women in this book who found fulfilling careers in the changed society as a result of the war. And you'll meet Martha Putney, one of the first black women to serve in the newly formed WACs. In the spirit of Band of Brothers, The Greatest Generation tells the stories of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary events - individuals united by a common purpose - working, living and dying in the service of their country.

Fiction And The Reading Public

Literary Exors Of Q D Leavis (Author)

Fiction and the Reading Public provoked fierce controvers when first published in 1932, and it has since come to be recognised as a classic in its field. In her fascinating study, Q D Leavis investigates what has happened to the public taste in the last three centuries and what effect this has had on both the life of the nation and the equality of living for the individual. A brilliant piece of literary exegesis and an illuminating anthropological commentary - DAILY MAIL An illuminating study. . . it offers a rich store of interest, not only in its vigorous scrutiny of the novel and the influences which have shaped it, but also in its study of changing attitudes and tempos of life amont the general public who read novels. . . An achievement of distinguished quality and high value. New Republic. She has performed a noble office by inquiring into the case of the bestseller. The result is no less entertaining than instructive -SATURDAY REVIEW.

I Die, But The Memory Lives On

Henning Mankell (Author)

The problem of Aids has been kept largely under control in Europe, but in the Third World it is a different story. There is a devestating lack of resources for medicine and for education. When parents die at a young age, children are left behind with no-one to teach them how to avoid the same fate, and so the cycle continues.

Memory Books could prove to be the most important documents in our time in answer to this crisis. When the official reports have been filed away, these slim volumes, memories recorded by those who died too soon, will remain. Through a combination of words and drawings, they can have a legacy, a hope that future generations may not suffer the same heartbreaking fate.

Henning Mankell is not a public figure in the way politicians are, but he has achieved cult success with his Kurt Wallander novels and is noted for the social and moral questions raised by his fiction. He devotes much of his time to work with Aids charities.

I Die But the Memory Lives on is a fable illustrating the importance of books as a means of education, of preserving memories and of sharing life. In the midst of death and suffering, a young girl plants a tree. She nurtures it as a fragment of life that will grow and survive and, like the Memory Books, outlive this global crisis. Mankell, by highlighting and humanising this catastrophe, proposes a way to help.

Aids Sutra

India is home to almost three million HIV cases. But AIDS is still a disease stigmatized and shrouded in denial. It is stigma that prevents people from openly discussing the facts around HIV, and keeps them from getting treatment. Stigma leads to discrimination against HIV positive people in hospitals, schools and even among families.

In this ground-breaking anthology, sixteen of India's well-known writers go on the road to tell the human story behind the epidemic. William Dalrymple meets the devadasis ('temple women'), many of whom have become victims of HIV; Kiran Desai travels to the coast of Andhra where the sex workers are considered the most desirable and Salman Rushdie spends a day with Mumbai's transgenders. These writers travel the country to talk to housewives, vigilantes, homosexuals, police and sex-workers and together they create a complex and gripping picture of AIDS in India: who it is affecting, how and why.

Eye-opening, hard-hitting and moving, AIDS Sutra will show you a side to India rarely seen before.

This anthology was produced in collaboration with Avahan, the India AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Proceeds will be used to support programs for children affected by HIV in India.

Three Letter Plague

Jonny Steinberg (Author)

At the end of a steep gravel road in one of the remotest corners of South Africa's Eastern Cape lies the village of Ithanga. Home to a few hundred villagers, the majority of them unemployed, it is inconceivably poor. It is to here that award-winning author Jonny Steinberg travels to explore the lives of a community caught up in a battle to survive the ravages of the greatest plague of our times, the African AIDS epidemic.

He befriends Sizwe, a young local man who refuses to be tested for AIDS despite the existence of a well-run testing and anti-retroviral programme. It is Sizwe's deep ambivalence, rooted in his deep sense of the cultural divide, that becomes the key to understanding the dynamics that thread their way through a terrified community.

As Steinberg grapples to get closer to finding answers that remain just out of reach, he realizes that he must look within himself to unlock the paradoxes at the heart of his country.

I Love a Broad Margin To My Life

Maxine Hong Kingston (Author)

Maxine Hong Kingston, author of such seminal works as The Woman Warrior and China Men, is one of the most important American writers of her generation. In this remarkable memoir, she writes from the point of view of being sixty-five, looking back on a rich and complex life of literature and political activism, always against the background of what it is like to have a mixed Chinese-American identity.

Passages of autobiography, in which she describes such events in her life as being imprisoned with Alice Walker for demonstrating against the Iraq war, meld with a ficitonal journey in which she sends her avatar Wittman Ah Sing on a trip to modern China. She also evokes her own poignant journey, without a guide, back to the Chinese villages her father and mother left in order to come to America.

Clouds Of Glory

Bryan Magee (Author)

Hoxton today is one of the most fashionable parts of inner London, yet before the Blitz, it was the capital's most notorious slum area. It was London's busiest market for stolen goods, the centre of the pickpocket trade, home to a razor gang that terrorised racecourses all over southern England. Its main thoroughfare, Hoxton Street, was known also as the roughest street in Britain.

But among the people born there in its heyday was Bryan Magee, journalist, academic, philosopher, radio and television broadcaster and Member of Parliament. For him it was home, for his first nine years, until he became an evacuee on the outbreak of war. In this moving and beautifully written book he recalls the vanished world of his childhood and brings it to life again in all its drama and surprise.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Peter Matthiessen (Author)

On a hot June morning in 1975, a shoot-out between FBI agents and American Indians erupted on a reservation near Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Two FBI agents and one Indian died. Eventually four Indians, all members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were indicted on murder charges, Twenty-two years late, one of them, Leonard Peltier, is still serving two consecutive life sentences.

The story of what really happened and why Matthiessen is convinced of Peltier’s innocence, forms the central narrative in this classic work of investigative reporting. But Mathiessen also reveals the larger issues behind the Pine Ridge shoot-out: systematic discrimination by the white authorities; corporate determination to exploit the uranium deposits in the Black Hills; the breaking of treaties; and FBI hostility towards the AIM, which was set up to bring just such issues to light.

When this book was first published it was immediately the subject of two $25 million-dollar legal actions that attempted to suppress it permanently. After eight years of court battles, ending with a Supreme Court judgement, Mathiessen won the right to tell Peltier’s and his people’s story.

Pandora's Breeches

Patricia Fara (Author)

'Had God intended Women merely as a finer sort of cattle, he would not have made them reasonable.' Writing in 1673, Bathsua Makin was one of the first women to insist that girls should receive a scientific education. Despite the efforts of Makin and her successors, women were excluded from universities until the end of the nineteenth century, yet they found other ways to participate in scientific projects.

Taking a fresh look at history, Pandora's Breeches investigates how women contributed to scientific progress. As well as collaborating in home-based research, women corresponded with internationally-renowned scholars, hired tutors, published their own books and translated and simplified important texts, such as Newton's book on gravity. They played essential roles in work frequently attributed solely to their husbands, fathers or friends.

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