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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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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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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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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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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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