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By: John B. Bury (1861-1927)

A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great by John B. Bury A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great

For the Irish historian John Bagnell Bury, history should be treated as a science and not a mere branch of literature. Many contemporary histories written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were poetic and heroic in tone, blending fact and fiction, myths and legends. They sometimes relied on sources from Shakespeare and classical poets. For Bury, the facts of history may be legendary or romantic in nature, but they should be recounted in a scholarly and non-judgmental manner, without the accompanying emotions...

The Students' Roman Empire by John B. Bury The Students' Roman Empire

The writings of J. B. Bury (1861-1927), on subjects ranging from ancient Greece to the 19th-century papacy, are at once scholarly and accessible to the layman. This work covers the period from the beginning of the Roman Empire until Gibbon begins; from Augustus through Marcus Aurelius and the Antoinine Emporers.

By: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal

A satirical essay written by one of the most renowned satirists, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal expresses the author’s exasperation with the ill treatment of impoverished Irish citizens as a result of English exploitation and social inertia. Furthermore, Swift ventilates the severity of Ireland’s political incompetence, the tyrannical English policies, the callous attitudes of the wealthy, and the destitution faced by the Irish people. Focusing on numerous aspects of society including government exploitation, reckless greed, hypocrisy, apathy, and prejudice, the essay successfully exemplifies Swift’s satirical skills...

By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

The Life of Cicero by Anthony Trollope The Life of Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43BC) was an orator, statesman, philosopher and prolific correspondent, who rose as a ‘new man’ in Rome in the turbulent last years of its republican government. Anthony Trollope, best known as a novelist, admired Cicero greatly and wrote this biography late in life in order to argue his virtues against authors who had granted him literary greatness but questioned his strength as a politician and as a man. He takes a personal approach, affording us an insight into his own mind and times as well as those of his subject...

Autobiography of Anthony Trollope by Anthony Trollope Autobiography of Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope's autobiography will delight you whether or not you've read (or listened to) any of his many works. His honest if self-deprecating tone is at times hilarious and at times piteously moving. His detailed descriptions of his writing process and his philosophy of writing as work rather than art are fascinating. Fans of Trollope will enjoy learning the man's perceptions of his novels' shortcomings and triumphs. Anyone will appreciate learning about his years devoted to churning out literature for profit while working full time with the post office.

Book cover Hunting Sketches

By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince

Machiavelli has created a ruthless guide on how to rule the country in his volume "The Prince". The book is dedicated to Lorenzo De Medici, the ruler of Florence. The author explains in simple language about the nature of great men and the characters of the government. The first chapter gives an outline of the book discussing various styles of ruling as a prince, character traits that a ruler should have and the political situation of Italy in the 16th century. The book is composed of 26 chapters which fall into four major sections...

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy by Niccolò Machiavelli History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.

By: James Allen (1864-1912)

Above Life's Turmoil by James Allen Above Life's Turmoil

Combining elements of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism with concepts dealing with self discipline, motivation and the power of positive thinking, James Allen's 1910 inspirational book Above Life's Turmoil is a pioneering work in self-help literature. One of the factors that makes the book appealing is that it doesn't purport to be a magic formula that will help you to get whatever you want. Instead, it aims to give the reader self knowledge and self conquest which will ultimately lead to inner peace in a turbulent world...

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen As a Man Thinketh

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts,” is one of the quotes from James Allen's classic self help books, As a Man Thinketh. Published in 1902, it provides many more such insightful concepts on the power of thought and its effect on a human being's personality and behavior. This volume is more of a literary essay than a complete book and its title is based on a Biblical proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Taking this piece of ancient wisdom further, James Allen explores the far-reaching effects of the inner workings of a person's mind and motivation...

The Heavenly Life by James Allen The Heavenly Life

Many of us live with the belief that we can achieve heaven or the ultimate peace and happiness only in an after-life. Many of us believe that heaven is a place that is far removed from earth. However, The Heavenly Life by James Allen seeks to convince us that heaven and hell are both here on earth and they lie within our own selves. A deeply moving, insightful and philosophical book that explores the ideas of living with integrity, in harmony with our fellows and in finding the power of love and integrity, The Heavenly Life was first published in 1903...

The Mastery of Destiny by James Allen The Mastery of Destiny

James Allen’s inspirational and thought-provoking books have inspired millions. In The Mastery of Destiny, he instructs readers on developing self-control, willpower, concentration, and motivation. Through mental discipline, we can create a life of unending happiness, prosperity, and, most importantly, self-mastery.

The Path of Prosperity by James Allen The Path of Prosperity

Summary from The Path of Prosperity: I looked around upon the world, and saw that it was shadowed by sorrow and scorched by the fierce fires of suffering. And I looked for the cause. I looked around, but could not find it; I looked in books, but could not find it; I looked within, and found there both the cause and the self-made nature of that cause. I looked again, and deeper, and found the remedy. I found one Law, the Law of Love; one Life, the Life of adjustment to that Law; one Truth, the truth of a conquered mind and a quiet and obedient heart...

The Way of Peace by James Allen The Way of Peace

The Way of Peace is your guide to the power of meditation; self and truth; the acquirement of spiritual power; the realization of selfless love; entering into the infinite; saints, sages, and saviors; the law of service; and the realization of perfect peace.

By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

The Wound Dresser by Walt Whitman The Wound Dresser

The Wound Dresser is a series of letters written from the hospitals in Washington by Walt Whitman during the War of the Rebellion to The New York Times, the Brooklyn Eagle and his mother, edited by Richard Maurice Burke, M.D., one of Whitman's literary executors.

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

Royal Children of English History by Edith Nesbit Royal Children of English History

From the first chapter: “History is a story, a story of things that happened to real live people in our England years ago; and the things that are happening here and now, and that are put in the newspapers, will be history for little children one of these days. And the people you read about in history were real live people, who were good and bad, and glad and sorry, just as people are now-a-days.” E. Nesbit writes about some of the people behind the names, dates and battles of English History in this lovely book for older children. The original book contains some beautiful illustrations and you can see those by clicking the ‘Gutenberg’ link below.

Book cover My School Days

A short memoir about the author's school days, serialised in The Girl's Own Paper from October 1896 to September 1897. It includes stories about teachers, fellow pupils, the things that scared her most as a child (and even as an adult) and a vivid account of the best summer of her childhood.Summary by Cori Samuel.

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess The Burgess Animal Book for Children

Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.

The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton W. Burgess The Burgess Bird Book for Children

The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.

Book cover The Social Contract

The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)

Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confessions

Considered to mark the emergence of a new literary form, the unvarnished autobiography, Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was first published in 1782, four years after his death. The philosopher and educationist whose political philosophy is credited with having inspired the French Revolution, Rousseau was a man of immense wit, talent and depth of thinking. His skill in art, music, literature and cooking along with his magnificent body of work in philosophy, politics, education and sociology have made him a legendary figure...

Book cover Emile
Book cover Émile or, Concerning Education; Extracts

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live...

Lincoln at Cooper Union by Abraham Lincoln Lincoln at Cooper Union

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

By: Aristotle (384-322)

Politics by Aristotle Politics

The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that “Man is a political animal,” meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes his teacher Plato, classifies and evaluates six different types of constitutions and political institutions, and describes his vision of the ideal state...

Poetics by Aristotle Poetics

Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.

The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle The Nicomachean Ethics

The work consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes said to be from his lectures at the Lyceum which were either edited by or dedicated to Aristotle's son, Nicomachus. In many ways this work parallels the similar Eudemian Ethics, which has only eight books, and the two works can be fruitfully compared. Books V, VI, and VII of the Nicomachean Ethics are identical to Books IV, V, and VI of the Eudemian Ethics. Opinions about the relationship between the two works, for example which was written first, and which originally contained the three common books, is divided...

Rhetoric by Aristotle Rhetoric

The Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle during two periods when he was in Athens, the first between 367 to 347 BCE (when he was seconded to Plato in the Academy), and the second between 335 to 322 BCE (when he was running his own school, the Lyceum). The Rhetoric consists of three books. Book I offers a general overview, presenting the purposes of rhetoric and a working definition; it also offers a detailed discussion of the major contexts and types of rhetoric. Book II discusses in detail the three means of persuasion that an orator must rely on: those grounded in credibility (ethos), in the emotions and psychology of the audience (pathos), and in patterns of reasoning (logos)...

Categories by Aristotle Categories

Categories is the first of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon. In Categories, Aristotle enumerates all the possible kinds of things that can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition. Aristotle places every object of human apprehension under one of ten categories (known to medieval writers as the praedicamenta). Aristotle intended them to enumerate everything that can be expressed without composition or structure, thus anything that can be either the subject or the predicate of a proposition. The ten categories, or classes, are: Substance, Quantity, Quality, Relation, Place, Time, Position, State, Action and Affection.

On Interpretation by Aristotle On Interpretation

Aristotle's On Interpretation (Greek Peri Hermeneias) or De Interpretatione (the Latin title) is the second of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon. On Interpretation is one of the earliest surviving philosophical works in the Western tradition to deal with the relationship between language and logic in a comprehensive, explicit, and formal way. The work begins by analyzing simple categoric propositions, and draws a series of basic conclusions on the routine...


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