By: Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin is the autobiography of the British naturalist Charles Darwin which was published in 1887, five years after his death. Darwin wrote the book, which he entitled Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character, for his family. He states that he started writing it on about May 28, 1876 and had finished it by August 3. The book was edited by Charles Darwin’s son Francis Darwin, who removed several passages about Darwin’s critical views of God and Christianity...
By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)
The Federalist Papers
In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...
By: The 9/11 Commission
The 9/11 Commission Report
Taking the reader back to the horror and devastation of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission Report by the 9/11 Commission, is the official report that presents the final findings of the committee Krean Hamilton Commission (better known as the 9/11 Commission.) The report reveals not just the events that happened on that fateful day, but also describes the circumstances that led up to it. It analyzes the role of several government agencies in the drama and also pinpoints the lacunae in the system that allowed such events to occur...
By: Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
The Red Badge of Courage
The Red Badge of Courage is a fiction that tells the story of a soldier named Henry Fleming during the American Civil War. The novel gained widespread praise from critics and was also a commercial success shortly after its release and made Stephen Crane an instant celebrity at the young age of 24. In the novel, Henry was one of the enlisted soldiers in the 304th New York Regiment. He flees from battle in one of the skirmishes they had against the Confederates and to hide his cowardice, he attempted to inflict a wound to himself which is referred to as the “red badge of courage...
By: Plato (428/427 BC - 348/347 BC)
Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days (the first six being Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, and Crito).In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city...
By: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
The Last Of The Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results.
Between 1865-73 the tumultuous American Revolution rages on in different battlefields. The air is thick with hatred and suspicion as the Continental and British armies clash in bloody warfare. In Westchester County, New York, an area is considered a neutral ground for both forces, Harvey Birch plies his dangerous mission. An innocuous peddler by day, he is in fact an American spy, though he does nothing to correct anyone who assumes he is a British spy. In a magnificent country mansion, The Locusts, live the wealthy Whartons...
Natty Bumppo goes by many names: La Longue Carabine, Hawk Eye, Leatherstocking, and in this tale, The Pathfinder. Guide, scout, hunter, and when put to it, soldier, he also fills a lot of roles in pre-Revolution upstate New York. An old friend, Sergeant Dunham of the 55th Regiment of Foot, asks him to guide his daughter through the wilderness to the fort at Oswego where Dunham serves. With the French engaging native Indian allies against the British and the Yankee colonists, such a journey is far from safe...
The Deerslayer, or The First Warpath (1841) was the last of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales to be written. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically and in the lifetime of the hero of the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo.
The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The Pioneers was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically. (The others are The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Prairie.)The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features...
Prairie - A Tale
The story opens with Ishmael, his family, Ellen and Abiram slowly making their way across the virgin prairies of the Midwest looking for a homestead, just two years after the Louisiana Purchase, and during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They meet the trapper (Natty Bumppo), who has left his home in New York state to find a place where he cannot hear the sound of people cutting down the forests. In the years between his other adventures and this novel, he tells us only that he has walked all the way to the Pacific Ocean and seen all the land between the coasts (a heroic feat, considering Lewis and Clark hadn’t yet completed the same trek).
By: James Baldwin (1841-1925)
Fifty Famous Stories Retold
King Alfred and the Cakes. Damon and Pythias. The Sword of Damocles. Bruce and the Spider. These are stories that many people who grew up in the last century would be familiar with. They were included in our text books or to be found in anthologies in our school libraries. However, for a new generation growing up, some of these may be new and unknown. Hence, Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin would indeed be a great addition to your children's bookshelf. James Baldwin, who shares his name with another famous American author was an editor, author and gifted teacher...
By: Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)
“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad!” The wonderful opening lines of this 1921 novel set the tone for the rest of this delightful story of an adventurer and romantic who dons several roles in his colorful life. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini is an historical novel set in the turbulent times of the French Revolution. The plot describes Andre-Louis Moreau, a young lawyer adopted by his godfather who cannot reveal his parentage. Moreau inadvertently stumbles into political events and becomes a wanted man based on the evil machinations of a sinister Marquis...
The Tavern Knight
Follow the exploits of Sir Crispin Galliard, also known as The Tavern Knight, in his defence of the King of England against Cromwell and his Puritan Entourage.
By: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Inventor, author, printer, scientist, politician, diplomat—all these terms do not even begin to fully describe the amazing and multitalented, Benjamin Franklin who was of course also one of the Founding Fathers of America. At the age of 75, in 1771 he began work on what he called his Memoirs. He was still working on it when he died in 1790 and it was published posthumously, entitled An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The book had a complicated and controversial publication history. Strangely enough, the first volume only was first published in French, in Paris in 1791...
By: Mara L. Pratt
American History Stories
A children’s book detailing early American history from the Norsemen to the Revolution, meant for educational use. (Description by the reader)
By: Howard Pyle
Men of Iron
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle is historical fiction that transports us back to the 1400’s, a time of knighthood and chivalry. Myles Falworth is eight years old when news comes they must flee their home. His blind father is accused of treason. We see Myles grow up, train as a knight, and with perseverance, clear his father of any wrong-doing and restore their family name.
By: Andrew Lang
A Short History of Scotland
A Short History of Scotland is a consise introduction to the history of Scotland from Roman times to the last Jacobite rebellion, written by the author of a much longer Scottish history.
Custom and Myth
CUSTOM AND MYTHINTRODUCTION.Though some of the essays in this volume have appeared in various serials, the majority of them were written expressly for their present purpose, and they are now arranged in a designed order. During some years of study of Greek, Indian, and savage mythologies, I have become more and more impressed with a sense of the inadequacy of the prevalent method of comparative mythology. That method is based on the belief that myths are the result of a disease of language, as the pearl is the result of a disease of the oyster...
By: Washington Irving (1783-1859)
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
Apart from "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - the pieces which made both Irving and The Sketch Book famous - other tales include "Roscoe", "The Broken Heart", "The Art of Book-making", "A Royal Poet", "The Spectre Bridegroom", "Westminster Abbey", "Little Britain", and "John Bull". His stories were highly influenced by German folktales, with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" being inspired by a folktale recorded by Karl Musaus. Stories range from the maudlin (such as "The Wife" and...
By: Founding Fathers of the United States
The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It announced that the thirteen American colonies, who were at war with Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, no longer considered themselves part of the British Empire. They now called themselves a new nation, The United States of America. This famous document went on to become a well-known keystone of the human rights movement. However, the newly formed state had no real identity or philosophy and were merely a loose collection of states that had freed themselves from colonial rule...
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
Declaration of Independence is the document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. It was ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
Bill of Rights & Amendments to the US Constitution
The Constitution has a total of 27 amendments. The first ten, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified simultaneously. The following seventeen were ratified separately.
By: Johanna Spyri (1827-1901)
Filled with descriptions of the magnificent Swiss Alps, the lives of the simple country folk who live in their picturesque peaks and valleys and the gentle and innocent days of childhood, Heidi by Johanna Spyri is a book that no child should miss reading. Since it first came out, it has captured the hearts of children (and adults) all over the world, been extensively filmed, televised and staged and translated from the original German into more than 60 languages. Heidiland, a theme park, is one of the big attractions in Zurich...
Heidi (version 2 dramatic reading)
"Heidi" takes us on a journey to the eventful childhood of a good-hearted girl from the Swiss Alps. A warm and loving story, full of touching moments, it reaches children and adults alike. It was written in 1880 and published in two parts: 1. Heidi's years of learning and travel. 2. Heidi makes use of what she has learned. This English translation from 1915 has "an especial flavor, that very quality of delight in mountain scenes, in mountain people and in child life generally, which is one of the chief merits of the German original...
By: Robert Michael Ballantyne
Although the book's title Black Ivory denotes dealing in the slave trade it is not our heroes who are doing it. At the very first chapter there is a shipwreck, which leaves the son of the charterer of the sinking ship, and a seaman friend of his, alone on the east coast of Africa, where Arab and Portuguese slave traders were still carrying out their evil trade, despite the great efforts of patrolling British warships to limit it and free the unfortunates whom they found being carried away in the Arab dhows...
By: Samuel B. Harding (1866-1927)
The Story of the Middle Ages
Intended for children 11 to 14 years old, The Story of the Middle Ages relates a little known period of history in an interesting and entertaining way. The author terms the Middle Ages as that period in the history of Europe between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. Its beginning is marked by the decline and fall of the mighty Roman Empire and its end is generally thought to be the dawn of the Renaissance or the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages are also divided by historians into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages...
By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)
Tenting To-Night; A Chronicle Of Sport And Adventure In Glacier Park And The Cascade Mountains
This is the second of two travelogues published by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958). Both deal with Glacier National Park, and this book also deals with the Cascade Mountains (The other is entitled Through Glacier Park). Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and articles, though she is most famous for her mystery stories. The region that became Glacier National Park was first inhabited by Native Americans and upon the arrival of European explorers, was dominated by the Blackfeet in the east and the Flathead in the western regions.
Kings, Queens and Pawns: An American Woman at the Front
A personal account of the American author's visit to Europe in January 1915 while a war correspondent in Belgium for The Saturday Evening Post. She writes: "War is not two great armies meeting in a clash and frenzy of battle. It is much more than that. War is a boy carried on a stretcher, looking up at God's blue sky with bewildered eyes that are soon to close; war is a woman carrying a child that has been wounded by a shell; war is spirited horses tied in burning buildings and waiting for death; war is the flower of a race, torn, battered, hungry, bleeding, up to its knees in icy water; war is an old woman burning a candle before the Mater Dolorosa for the son she has given...
By: Louis Aubrey Wood (1883-1955)
Chronicles of Canada Volume 21 - The Red River Colony: A Chronicle of the Beginnings of Manitoba
This, volume 21 of the Chronicles of Canada series, describes the settlement of the Red River Colony by Lord Selkirk, and the struggles it had against the North-West Company. The fledgling settlement eventually became the city of Manitoba.
By: Agnes C. Laut
Canada: the Empire of the North
CANADA, THE EMPIRE OF THE NORTHBy Agnes C. LautPREFACETo re-create the shadowy figures of the heroic past, to clothe the dead once more in flesh and blood, to set the puppets of the play in life's great dramas again upon the stage of action,--frankly, this may not be formal history, but it is what makes the past most real to the present day. Pictures of men and women, of moving throngs and heroic episodes, stick faster in the mind than lists of governors and arguments on treaties. Such pictures may not be history, but they breathe life into the skeletons of the past...
By: John Muir (1838-1914)
Anyone who's ever visited the Yosemite National Park will find this book a treasure trove of descriptions, information and evocations of the fabled beauty of this amazing piece of heaven on earth! The Yosemite by John Muir was published in 1912. Born in Scotland, England, this world-famous conservationist was a multi-talented genius. He was a geologist, naturalist, engineer, writer, botanist and a passionate and prolific writer on the preservation of the natural environment. His family migrated to America when he was just a few years old, the third of eight boisterous children...