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Records: 1 - 20 of 21 - Pages: 
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Story of Mary MacLane, The

By: Mary MacLane

At the age of 19 in 1902, MacLane published her first book, The Story of Mary MacLane. It sold 100,000 copies in the first month and was popular among young girls, but was strongly criticized by conservative readers, and lightly ridiculed by H.L. Mencken. She had always chafed at living in Butte, which was a small mining town, and used the money from sales of this book to move to Greenwich Village where she continued to write books and newspaper articles. Some critics have suggested that even by today's standards, MacLane's writing is raw, honest, unflinching, self-aware, sensual and extreme. She wrote openly about egoism and her own self-love, about sexual attraction and love for other women, and even about her desire to marry the devil. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Memoirs

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Story of My Boyhood and Youth, The

By: John Muir

The only fire for the whole house was the kitchen stove, with a fire box about eighteen inches long and eight inches wide and deep,- scant space for three or four small sticks, around which in hard zero weather all the family of ten shivered, and beneath which in the morning we found our socks and coarse, soggy boots frozen solid. Thus, with perceptive eye for detail, the American naturalist, John Muir, describes life on a pioneer Wisconsin farm in the 1850's. Muir was only eleven years old when his father uprooted the family from a relatively comfortable life in Dunbar, Scotland, to settle in the backwoods of North America. The elder Muir was a religious fundamentalist. What his father taught, John Muir writes, was grim self denial, in season and out of season, to mortify the flesh, keep our bodies in subjection to Bible laws, and mercilessly punish ourselves for every fault, imagined or committed. Muir's father believed that the Bible was the only book human beings could possibly require, while John secretly read every volume of poetry and literature he could get his hands on. With no formal schooling after leaving Scotland, John ...

Memoirs

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My Life and Work

By: Henry Ford

Henry Ford profiles the events that shaped his personal philosophy, and the challenges he overcame on the road to founding the Ford Motor Company. Throughout his memoir, he stresses the importance of tangible service and physical production over relative value as judged by profits and money. He measures the worth of a business or government by the service it provides to all, not the profits in dollars it accumulates. He also makes the point that only service can provide for human needs, as opposed to laws or rules which can only prohibit specific actions and do not provide for the necessaries of life. Ford applies his reasoning to the lending system, transportation industry, international trade and interactions between labor and management. For each, he proposes solutions that maximize service and provide goods at the lowest cost and highest quality. He analyzes from a purely material viewpoint, going as far as to argue that the need for a good feeling in work environments may reflect a character flaw or weakness. However, his unflinching focus on the ultimate material products and necessities of life provide clever insights in how ...

Memoirs

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In Kent with Charles Dickens

By: Thomas Frost

By his own admission, Thomas Frost found it hard to make a living from his writing, and no doubt he used the name of Dickens in the title of this book to boost sales. Frost tells a good tale, and the book is not only of interest to enthusiasts of Dickens and the county of Kent. He includes some of Dickens' own descriptions of locations, as well as regaling us with anecdotes about towns and villages which he visits, including an account of the last armed rising on British soil - the Battle of Bossenden Wood. As well as accounts of his travels through the highways and byways of Kent in the footsteps of Dickens and his characters, he also wanders into the lanes of myth and legend, sometimes making up his own stories along the way. After managing to forgive his cardinal sin of confusing Men of Kent and Kentish Men in the first chapter, I found this rather odd mixture of memoir, short stories and literary travelogue a most enjoyable read. (Summary by Ruth Golding)...

Biography, Memoirs, Literature, Travel

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Confessions, volumes 1 and 2

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Thus I have acted; these were my thoughts; such was I.” Rousseau’s lengthy and sometimes anguished dossier on the Self is one of the most remarkable and courageous works of introspection ever undertaken. Some readers may be repelled by his tendency to revel in embarrassing accounts of humiliation and fiasco, as if he were striving too hard to achieve an ultimate nakedness, a nakedness of the soul perhaps. Others may recall the compulsive self-searching of the narrator of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, who also rather dwelt on the co-existence in the individual of the vile and the virtuous. The two opening volumes of the Confessions, presented in this inevitably censored edition of 1903, deal with the author’s childhood and callow adolescence. Here he is... (Summary by Martin Geeson)...

Memoirs, Literature, Psychology

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Expedition of the Donner Party and its Tragic Fate, The

By: Eliza P. Donner Houghton

The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the westering fever of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode. The author was about 4 at the time. The first part of the book accounts the tragic journey and rescue attempts; the last half are reminiscences of the child orphan, passed from family to family while growing up. (Summary from Wikipedia & Tricia G)...

History, Memoirs

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Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

By: Mary White Rowlandson

This is the story of Mary Rowlandson’s capture by American Indians in 1675. It is a blunt, frightening, and detailed work with several moments of off-color humor. Mary, the wife of a minister, was captured by Natives during King Philips War while living in a Lancaster town, most of which was decimated, and the people murdered. See through her eyes, which depict Indians as the instruments of Satan. Her accounts were a best-seller of the era, and a seminal work, being one of the first captivity narratives ever published by a woman. Without works such as hers, there would likely not be many modern works inspired by similar themes, such as The Searchers, starring John Wayne.(Summary by Matthew Scott Surprenant )...

History, Memoirs

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Letters from Egypt

By: Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon

As a girl, Lady Duff-Gordon was noted both for her beauty and intelligence. As an author, she is most famous for this collection of letters from Egypt. Lady Duff-Gordon had tuberculosis, and went to Egypt for her health. This collection of her personal letters to her mother and her husband. By all accounts everyone loved her, and the letters are very personal in style and content. The letters are as much an introduction to her person as a record of her life on the Upper Nile....

Memoirs, Travel

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Behind the Scenes

By: Elizabeth Keckley

This is the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who bought her freedom with the money she earned as a seamstress. She eventually worked for Mary Lincoln. It is a fascinating book, filled with many recollections of her own life and her interactions with the Lincolns and other members of the government elite. (summary by Guero)...

History, Memoirs, Biography

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Three Accounts of Peterloo

By: Francis Archibald Bruton

A companion volume to F.A. Bruton's 'The Story of Peterloo', the full title of this short collection is 'Three Accounts of Peterloo by Eyewitnesses, Bishop Stanley, Lord Hylton, John Benjamin Smith with Bishop Stanley's Evidence at the Trial'. The three contemporary accounts, each with a short introduction by the editor, give different perspectives on the events of 16 August 1819, when a troop of Hussars accompanied by the local Yeomanry rode into a peaceful reform rally at St. Peter's Fields, Manchester, leaving 18 dead and more than 700 injured. (Summary by Phil Benson)...

History, Memoirs, Politics

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There Was a Cherry-Tree

By: James Whitcomb Riley

volunteers bring you 18 recordings of There Was a Cherry-Tree by James Whitcomb Riley. This was the Weekly Poetry project for May 13, 2012. Riley began his career writing verses as a sign maker and submitting poetry to newspapers. Thanks in part to an endorsement from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, he eventually earned successive jobs at Indiana newspaper publishers during the latter 1870s. Riley gradually rose in prominence during the 1880s through his poetry reading tours. He traveled a touring circuit first in the Midwest, and then nationally, holding shows and making joint appearances on stage with other famous talents. Regularly struggling with his alcohol addiction, Riley never married or had children, and was involved in a scandal in 1888 when he became too drunk to perform. He became more popular in spite of the bad press he received, and as a result extricated himself from poorly negotiated contracts that limited his earnings; he quickly became very wealthy. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Instruction, Memoirs, Nature, Philosophy, Poetry

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White Heart of Mojave, The

By: Edna Brush Perkins

The White Heart of the Mojave recounts a 1920's adventure in the wind and sun and big spaces of Death Valley by two independent minded women, Edna Brush Perkins and Charlotte Hannahs Jordan. Both women were early feminists, Edna as chairwoman of the greater Cleveland Woman's Suffrage Party (1916-18). At the end of the Great War, the two friends wanted nothing more than to escape to the solitariness of some wild and lonely place far from city halls, smokestacks, national organizations, and streets of little houses all alike. Their vacation started as a long motor drive through the backwoods of California (Charlotte's husband, Ned, owned the Jordan Motor Car Company). It ended with a month long trek through Death Valley in an old milk wagon drawn by a horse and a mule. Edna's descriptions of the desert are superb and from the heart--the dunes were very beautiful, with knife-edged tops ridged in pure, clean lines from which fringes of fine sand blew up like the wind tossed manes of white horses. This is a great listen for anyone who likes first-hand accounts of adventure in the Great Outdoors. (Summary by Sue Anderson)...

Memoirs, Nature, Travel

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Martyred Armenia

By: Fa'iz El-Ghusein

This is a first hand account of the Armenian Genocide written by a Syrian who had been a Turkish official for three and a half years. His accounts tell of the worst of humanity, and also of the noblest. The noble include families who courageously support each other in the face of death, and Turks who refuse to follow orders to kill, knowing that they shall be executed themselves for their defiance. The genocide occurred just before and during World War I, and estimates as to the number of people murdered range from one to one and a half million. (Introduction by Margaret)...

History, Memoirs

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Diary of a Dead Officer, The

By: Arthur Graeme West

Published posthumously in 1919, this collection of diary entries presents a scathing picture of army life and is said to be one of the most vivid accounts of daily life in the trenches. It chronicles West's increasing disillusion with war and his move toward pacifist and atheist beliefs. The final part consists of his powerful war poems, including God, How I Hate You, You Young Cheerful Men , and Night Patrol . West was killed by a sniper in 1917. In view of some of his poems, one wonders if death was not unwelcome. (Introduction adapted from Wikipedia by Ruth Golding)...

History, Memoirs

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Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52, The

By: Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe

Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe moved to California from Massachusetts during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800’s. During her travels, Louise was offered the opportunity to write for The Herald about her travel adventures. It was at this point that Louise chose the name “Shirley” as her pen name. Dame Shirley wrote a series of 23 letters to her sister Mary Jane (also known as Molly) in Massachusetts in 1851 and 1852. The “Shirley Letters”, as the collected whole later became known, gave true accounts of life in two gold mining camps on the Feather River in the 1850s. She described these camps in Northern California with vividness in portraying the wildness of Gold Rush life. The letters give detailed accounts of the vast and beautiful landscape that was the background to the hustle and bustle of mining life. Louise’s perspective as a woman provided a contrast to the typically all-male mining camps that she occupied. The letters were later published in the Pioneer, a California literary magazine based out of San Francisco. (from wikipedia)...

Memoirs, History, Essay/Short nonfiction

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Andes and The Amazon, The

By: James Orton

This book, with the subtitle Across the Continent of South America describes the scientific expedion of 1867 to the equatorial Andes and the Amazon. The route was from Guayaquil to Quito, over the Cordillera, through the forest to Napo, and, finally, on the Rio Napo to Pebas on the Maranon. Besides this record, the expedition - under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute - collected samples of rocks and plants, and numerous specimen of animals. The scientists also compiled a vocabulary of local languages and produced a new map of equatorial America. James Orton (1830 - 1877) was Professor in Natural History in Vassar College, and corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. (Summary by Availle, from the Preface)...

Adventure, Memoirs, Nature, Science, Travel

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People of the Abyss, The

By: Jack London

Jack London lived for a time within the grim and grimy world of the East End of London, where half a million people scraped together hardly enough on which to survive. Even if they were able to work, they were paid only enough to allow them a pitiful existence. He grew to know and empathise with these forgotten (or ignored) people as he spoke with them and tasted the workhouse, life on the streets, ... and the food, which was cheap, barely nutritious, and foul. He writes about his experiences in a fluid and narrative style, making it very clear what he thinks of the social structures which created the Abyss, and of the millionaires who live high on the labours of a people forced to live in squalor. ... The food this managing class eats, the wine it drinks, ... the fine clothes it wears, are challenged by eight million mouths which have never had enough to fill them, and by twice eight million bodies which have never been sufficiently clothed and housed. (Summary by Peter Yearsley)...

Memoirs, Economics/Political Economy

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Gold Hunter's Experience, A

By: Chalkley J. Hambleton

Early in the summer of 1860, I had an attack of gold fever. In Chicago, the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue. Thus Chalkley J. Hambleton begins his pithy and engrossing tale of participation in the Pike's Peak gold rush. Four men in partnership hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Denver, Colorado. Hambleton vividly recounts their encounters with buffalo herds, Indians, andthe returning army of disappointed gold seekers. Setting up camp near Mountain City, Colorado, Hambleton watched one man wash several nice nuggets of shining gold from the dirt and gravel, only to learn afterwards that these same nuggets had been washed out several times before, whenever a 'tenderfoot' would come along, who it was thought might want to buy a rich claim. Two years later, tired and disgusted with the whole business, Hambleton returned to Chicago, where he arrived a wiser i...

Biography, Memoirs, Westerns

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East by West, Vol. 2

By: Henry W. Lucy

East by West: a Journey in the Recess is an account of British journalist Henry Lucy's travels across America and on to the Far East in 1883, within two or three decades of the American Civil War, the Indian Mutiny and the end of Japan's isolation from the western world. Lucy was one of the most influential journalists of his day and, as Toby M.P., a noted humorist in Punch magazine. His acute powers of observation and light touch make this a most engaging book. This is the second of two volumes and covers his experiences in Japan, India and other parts of south-east Asia, returning home via Aden and the Suez Canal. The /east-by-west-vol-i-by-henry-w-lucy/ first volume included his travels in America and in Japan, including the Atlantic and Pacific crossings by steamer. Note: In Chapter 6, Lucy understandably, to a readership wholly unfamiliar with Japan, includes lengthy statistics about Japan's systems and economy. While the reader of the can glance at such tables and move swiftly on, this is not possible in an audiobook. Accordingly, I have made two versions of Chapter 6. The first version is completely unabridged. In the alterna...

History, Memoirs, Travel

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Twenty Years at Hull House

By: Jane Addams

Jane Addams was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In a long, complex career, she was a pioneer settlement worker and founder of Hull House in Chicago, public philosopher (the first American woman in that role), author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace. She was the most prominent woman of the Progressive Era and helped turn the nation to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, public health and world peace. She emphasized that women have a special responsibility to clean up their communities and make them better places to live, arguing they needed the vote to be effective. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities....

Memoirs, Politics, Economics/Political Economy

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Living on Half a Dime a Day

By: Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth

How to live on 5 cents a day! How to survive financial ruin without losing your house! How to keep to a bare bones budget and still have money left over to buy books! Tough questions! They were tough questions even in the 1870’s, when Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth penned her quirky memoir, the subtitle of which was “How a Lady, Having Lost a Sufficient Income from Government Bonds by Misplaced Confidence, Reduced to a Little Homestead Whose Entire Income is But $40.00 per Annum, Resolved to Hold It, Incurring no Debts and Live Within it. How She has Lived for Three Years and Still Lives on Half a Dime a Day.” Sarah Elizabeth (‘Lizzie‘) Monmouth, born in 1829, was a Civil War widow, living on a run-down small farm in New Hampshire, when her investments imploded. She awoke one morning to find herself poor--an old roof above her, “dearer than life,” but “not a dollar of money left.” For months she was “paralyzed with cold, clammy terror . . . stunned and knew not what to do.” Then her “mind stepped to the front with a bold standard displayed.” She said to herself “Understand, once for all, that I rule and make your plans accordingly....

Advice, Memoirs

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