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By: Charles Morris (1833-1922)

The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire

The first half of this book describes the devastating earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, and the subsequent destruction caused by fire. Various eyewitnesses and victims give their account on the tragedy. In the second half, a number of different other earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are retold, like the eruption of the Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeij or the explosion of the Krakatoa, together with scientific explanations for the causes of earthquakes and the eruption of volcanos.

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

Book cover Children of the Ghetto

In this 1892 novel of London's Jewish East End, Israel Zangwill sets the apparently irrational and decidedly indecorous religious practices of transplanted eastern European Jews against the forces of assimilation. Zangwill's knowledge of Yiddishkeit and skill in melodrama created a series of unforgettable vignettes that had a significant effect on the public perception of this much stigmatized immigrant group. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London of Russian and Polish parents. He coined the term cultural "melting pot".

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Regarded as the one of the earliest examples of feminist philosophy, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is written as a direct response to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a French politician who delivered a report to the French National Assembly suggesting that women should only receive domestic education and additionally encourages women to stay clear of political affairs. In her treatise, Wollstonecraft avidly criticizes this inadequate perception of women as an inferior sex and attacks social inequality, while also arguing for women’s rights in the hope of redefining their position both in society and in marriage...

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Published in 1796, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a personal travel narrative by the eighteenth-century British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity. Published by Wollstonecraft's career-long publisher, Joseph Johnson, it was the last work issued during her lifetime. Wollstonecraft undertook her tour of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in order to retrieve a stolen treasure ship for her lover, Gilbert Imlay...

By: Robert Smythe Hichens (1864-1950)

The Spell of Egypt by Robert Smythe Hichens The Spell of Egypt

The author, a British journalist and novelist, is interested in the feel of the places he visits. He describes at length a visit he has made to Egypt, with emphasis on the emotional response the places generate.

By: Andy Adams (1859-1935)

The Outlet by Andy Adams The Outlet

Andy Adams worked as a cowboy on trail drives from Texas for eight years. This is an account of a drive when he was the foreman of a herd of Texas cattle being driven to Montana. Expect the same quality writing as found in other books by Adams.

By: Agnes Ethel Conway (1885-1950)

The Book of Art for Young People by Agnes Ethel Conway The Book of Art for Young People

This is a charming book on Art History for children (and everyone else). Each chapter focuses on a great painting, reproduced in color in the original text. The authors explain the story behind the paintings, as well as the life, times, and techniques of the artists.

By: Lewis Hodus (1872-1949)

Buddhism and Buddhists in China by Lewis Hodus Buddhism and Buddhists in China

Buddhism and Buddhists in China is an anthropological text describing Buddhism as practiced in China at the beginning of the 20th Century. Interestingly, it also compares and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity with respect to or in response to missionary work.

By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons by L. A. Abbott Seven Wives and Seven Prisons

This work the author claims is indeed a true story of how he happened to be married seven times to seven different women and the rollicking, hilarious events that led (or stumbled) to the marriages and the ah–disassembling/failing/failures of each said marriage which happened oftentimes to land him in prison. The summarist finds the work a very tongue-in-cheek diatribe/lament/account of his obsessive zeal in ‘marrying the right one’, but is also the mirthful chronicle of said author’s very unconventional adventures.

By: Alfred Binet (1857-1911)

The Mind and the Brain by Alfred Binet The Mind and the Brain

Today, almost every layperson understands the concept of intelligence tests and can glibly discuss IQ scores. In fact, these have become so common in the popular imagination that magazines, websites and pop quizzes offer to assess your intelligence at the drop of a hat! In this scenario, it's interesting to recall the very first person who proposed the concept of measurable intelligence. Alfred Binet was basically a clinical psychologist whose wide-ranging interests in learning difficulties faced by school children prompted him to undertake extensive studies in human cognition, psychology, learning and behavior...

By: Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916)

Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole Philosophy and Fun of Algebra

Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916) was born Mary Everest in England and spent her early years in France. She married mathematician George Boole. She was the author of several works on teaching and teaching mathematics in particular. This short book, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra, is meant to be read by children and introduces algebra and logic. She uses the word “algebra” broadly, defining it as a “method of solving problems by honest confession of one’s ignorance”. Using this definition, Boole introduces, in a conversational manner, the concepts of logic and algebra, illustrating these concepts with stories and anecdotes, often from biblical sources...

By: Mrs. Cecil Hall

A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba by Mrs. Cecil Hall A Lady's Life on a Farm in Manitoba

The nineteenth century was marked by intense colonization by countries like Britain, France, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. Initially, the pioneering efforts were made by men who battled unfamiliar terrain to create territories that they marked out as their own, while their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters kept the home and hearth in their native land. However, with travel becoming more common and family life assuming more importance, the women too began to travel to the four corners of the earth...

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

God, the Invisible King by H. G. Wells God, the Invisible King

Wells wrote in his book God the Invisible King that his idea of God did not draw upon the traditional religions of the world: "This book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer. [Which] is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God." Later in the work he aligns himself with a "renascent or modern religion ... neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian ... [that] he has found growing up in himself."

By: Clarence Edwords (b. 1856)

Bohemian San Francisco by Clarence Edwords Bohemian San Francisco

While describing his dining experiences throughout “Bohemian San Francisco,” Clarence Edwords paints an historic panorama of California cuisine with all its cosmopolitan influences. Best of all, he offers tantalizing recipes culled from conversations with the master chefs of 1914 in “The City by the Bay.”

By: Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography

In his vital, illustrative and dynamic autobiography, Theodore Roosevelt let us into the life that formed one of the greatest and outspoken presidents in American history. Not only are we privy to the formation of his political ideals, but also to his love of the frontier and the great outdoors.

Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt Through the Brazilian Wilderness

Roosevelt’s popular book Through the Brazilian Wilderness describes his expedition into the Brazilian jungle in 1913 as a member of the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition co-named after its leader, Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. The book describes all of the scientific discovery, scenic tropical vistas and exotic flora, fauna and wild life experienced on the expedition. One goal of the expedition was to find the headwaters of the Rio da Duvida, the River of Doubt, and trace it north to the Madeira and thence to the Amazon River...

Book cover Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches

By: Francois Guizot (1787-1874)

Popular History of France from the Earliest Times by Francois Guizot Popular History of France from the Earliest Times

François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874) was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848, actively opposing as a liberal the reactionary King Charles X before his overthrow in the July Revolution of 1830, then in government service to the “citizen king” Louis Philippe, as the Minister of Education, 1832-1837, ambassador to London, Foreign Minister 1840-1847, and finally Prime Minister of France from September 19, 1847 to February 23, 1848. His “Popular History of France” is an attractive and engrossing narravative, here presented in an easily readable English translation.

By: Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Book cover Bits About Home Matters

This book is a collection of short observations by Helen Hunt Jackson, several with children and parenting as the subject matter.

By: Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Born in slavery, but being fortunate enough to be owned by a benevolent mistress, her life takes a tragic turn when her parents and her benefactor die. The new heir to the property (and slaves) is a cruel and lewd man who begins to make inappropriate advances to the lovely young slave-girl. In a bid to escape, she becomes entangled in a relationship with a neighboring landowner who promises a better life, and she even has two children. However, things become worse for her when her cruel owner decides to punish her by sending her and her children to a distant cotton plantation to be “broken in...

By: Irwin S. Cobb (1876-1944)

Europe Revised by Irwin S. Cobb Europe Revised

Irwin Cobb’s humorous Europe Revised is a travelogue and comedy almost in the style of Mark Twain. The dedication says it best, “To My Small DaughterWho bade me shed a tear at the tomb of Napoleon, which I was very glad to do, because when I got there my feet certainly were hurting me.”

By: William James (1842-1910)

Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James Essays in Radical Empiricism

William James (1842 – 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophies of pragmatism and Radical Empiricism. Essays in Radical Empiricism is a collection edited and published posthumously by his colleague and biographer Ralph Barton Perry in 1912. It was assembled from a collection of reprinted journal articles published from 1904–1905 which James had deposited in August 1906 at Harvard University, for supplemental use by his students.

Book cover Varieties of Religious Experience

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century.

Book cover Pragmatism

'Pragmatism' contains a series of public lectures held by William James in Boston 1906–7. James provides a popularizing outline of his view of philosophical pragmatism while making highly rhetorical and entertaining lashes towards rationalism and other competing schools of thought. James is especially concerned with the pragmatic view of truth. True beliefs should be defined as, according to James, beliefs that can successfully assist people in their everday life. This is claimed to not be relativism...

By: Harry Houdini

The Miracle Mongers, an Exposé, by Harry Houdini The Miracle Mongers, an Exposé,

“A complete exposé of the modus operandi of fire eaters, heat resisters, poison eaters, venomous reptile defiers, sword swallowers, human ostriches, strong men, etc.”, [by Harry Houdini, from the subtitle].

By: M. M. Mangasarian (1859-1943)

The Truth About Jesus.  Is He a Myth? by M. M. Mangasarian The Truth About Jesus. Is He a Myth?

The following work offers in book form the series of studies on the question of the historicity of Jesus, presented from time to time before the Independent Religious Society in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 1909. No effort has been made to change the manner of the spoken, into the more regular form of the written, word.

By: Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon (1821-1869)

Letters from Egypt by Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon Letters from Egypt

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.

By: J. Arthur Thomson (1861-1933)

The Outline of Science by J. Arthur Thomson The Outline of Science

The Outline of Science, Volume 1 was written specifically with the man-on-the-street in mind as the target audience. Covering scientific subjects ranging from astronomy to biology to elementary physics in clear, concise and easily understood prose, this popular science work is largely as relevant today as when first published in 1922. Special emphasis is given to the principles of biological adaptation and evolution, especially how they relate to the rise of the human species from lower orders. Also included are the basics of the (then) fairly new concept of relativity and its impact on emerging scientific theories...

By: Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935)

China and the Chinese by Herbert Allen Giles China and the Chinese

Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935) spent several years as a diplomat in China and in 1897 was appointed Cambridge University’s second professor of Chinese. His published works cover Chinese language and literature, history and philosophy. This series of lectures, published as “China and the Chinese”, was given at Columbia University in 1902, to mark the establishment of a Chinese professorship there. The lectures were not intended for the specialist, more to urge a wider and more systematic study of China and its culture, and to encourage new students into the field...

By: Friedrich Schiller

Book cover The Thirty Years War

The History of the Thirty Years War is a five volume work, which followed his very successful History of the Revolt of the Netherlands. Written for a wider audience than Revolt, it is a vivid history, colored by Schiller’s own interest in the question of human freedom and his rationalist optimism. Volume 1 covers the background of the war, through the Battle of Prague in late 1620. (Introduction by Alan Winterrowd)

By: Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century by Thomas Henry Huxley The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century

Thomas H. Huxley, an English biologist and essayist, was an advocate of the theory of evolution and a self-proclaimed agnostic. A talented writer, his essays helped to popularize science in the 19th century, and he is credited with the quote, “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” In The Advance of Science in the Last Half Century, he presents a summary of the major developments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology during the period 1839-1889 and their impact on society, within the historical context of philosophical thought and scientific inquiry going back to Aristotle...

By: Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913)

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times. – In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is noted to be accessibile to Western audiences because though Kakuzo was born and raised Japanese, he was trained from a young age to speak English; and would speak it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts in the Western Mind...


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