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By: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

The Book of Snobs by William Makepeace Thackeray The Book of Snobs

The necessity of a work on Snobs, demonstrated from History, and proved by felicitous illustrations:—I am the individual destined to write that work—My vocation is announced in terms of great eloquence—I show that the world has been gradually preparing itself for the WORK and the MAN—Snobs are to be studied like other objects of Natural Science, and are a part of the Beautiful (with a large B). They pervade all classes—Affecting instance of Colonel Snobley.

By: Joseph Trienens (b. 1863)

The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing by Joseph Trienens The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing

Written in 1910, this “cyclopedia” is full of information that was quite useful at the time. A hundred years later, its text is more humorous than practical — although some advice never goes out of style.

By: Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?)

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary

RESPECTABILITY, n. The offspring of a liaison between a bald head and a bank account. BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband. LITIGANT, n. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones. If these caustic definitions catch your fancy, you'd enjoy The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. He was a columnist with the San Francisco News Letter, a weekly paper which was a business publication aimed at the corporate sector. However, it had a column entitled Town Crier which featured satirical asides and comments in a lighter vein...

Write it Right by Ambrose Bierce Write it Right

Witty, opinionated alphabetical examples of what Bierce considered poor (American) English and advice on alternatives – entertaining, thought-provoking, occasionally outdated but so interesting to see how style and taste have changed.

By: Hendrik van Loon

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik van Loon The Story of Mankind

A book that won the Newberry Prize in 1921 for an Outstanding Contribution in Children's Literature, The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik van Loon is indeed a classic that has been enjoyed by generations of children and adults. The book is an engagingly written work, dedicated to the author Hendrik van Loon's two young son's Hansje and Willem. It was created to convey the history of the human race to young people in a way that was interesting, memorable and would spur them onto further research and reading into the subject...

By: Olive Green

How to Cook Fish by Olive Green How to Cook Fish

One hundred simple fish sauces. Sixty-five ways to cook mackerel. The Catching of Unshelled Fish. Twenty-seven ways to Cook Frogslegs. Now that should certainly make you reach for your apron and fish knife! How to Cook Fish by Olive Green is a vintage culinary classic, filled with simple, easy to follow recipes rendered in a terse, no nonsense style. There's none of this fiddling with scales, weights and measures. What you get is a mélange of interesting, unusual ways to cook seafood without worrying about lists of ingredients, timings, temperature or any of the conventions followed by traditional cookbooks...

By: Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931)

The Art of the Moving Picture by Vachel Lindsay The Art of the Moving Picture

"This 1922 book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood. The highlight of the book might be “The Motion Picture of Fairy Splendor,” which examines the relationship between film storytelling, magic, myths, legends and bedtime stories. It’s discombobulating, in a good way, to read Lindsay’s attempts to grapple with what, precisely, cinema is...

By: Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses by Andrew Murray Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses

This is a series of short messages written by the South African minister, Andrew Murray. They deal with the necessity and joy of surrendering our lives completely to God.

Humility : The Beauty of Holiness by Andrew Murray Humility : The Beauty of Holiness

A book on the all importance of humility, how Jesus was humble, and how we also can become humble. Murray wrote “Without humility, there can be no true abiding in God’s presence or experience of His favor and the power of His spirit. Without it there can be no abiding faith or love or joy or strength.”

With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray With Christ in the School of Prayer

It is under a deep impression that the place and power of prayer in the Christian life is too little understood, that this book has been written. I feel sure that as long as we look on prayer chiefly as the means of maintaining our own Christian life, we shall not know fully what it is meant to be. But when we learn to regard it as the highest part of the work entrusted to us, the root and strength of all other work, we shall see that there is nothing that we so need to study and practise as the art of praying aright...

The School of Obedience by Andrew Murray The School of Obedience

Andrew Murray describes the necessity and benefits of absolute obedience to God. He goes on to explain the way to achieve this level of obedience, which is required of all believers, and attainable through God’s provision.

By: Thomas Paine

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine The Age of Reason

A Universalist book, The Age of Reason advocates for the existence of natural religion and challenges the structure of all organized religion. First written and distributed as pamphlets, the book was later published into two parts. Paine puts forward his personal beliefs, debating reason and revelation, while analyzing the Bible and the influence organized religion has on society. Exploring topics including natural religion, criticism of corrupt religious institutions, and distinction between rationality and blind faith in the supernatural, the book presents a guide for the conscious and free spiritual thinkers...

Common Sense by Thomas Paine Common Sense

First published anonymously due to its seditious content in 1776, the pamphlet argues for the need of American colonists to pursue complete independence from Great Britain, and not be driven simply by the urge to free themselves from unfair taxation. Paine provides argumentation for his revolutionary ideas, suggesting the unification of colonial forces to achieve this goal. Furthermore, Paine strengthens his case by clearly asserting the advantages that would come out as a result of independence, and further fortifies his argumentation with religious references...

By: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill On Liberty

Published in 1859, On Liberty is a libertarian philosophical work by English philosopher John Stuart Mill that endorses his view on the importance of individuality for the constant progression and improvement of society. The work also supports economic and moral freedom, and openly criticizes the influence of social authority that in one way or another imposes a predefined set of acceptable attitudes and opinions. Highlighting issues including the incongruity between authority and liberty, the oppressive...

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy by John Stuart Mill Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy

This is Mill’s first work on economics. It foreshadows his Political Economy which was the standard Anglo-American Economics textbook of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mill’s economic theory moved from free market capitalism, to government intervention within the precepts of Utilitarianism, and finally to Socialism.

Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism

John Stuart Mill’s book Utilitarianism is one of the most influential and widely-read philosophical defenses of utilitarianism in ethics. The essay first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser’s Magazine in 1861; the articles were collected and reprinted as a single book in 1863. It went through four editions during Mill’s lifetime with minor additions and revisions. Although Mill includes discussions of utilitarian ethical principles in other works such as On Liberty and The Subjection of Women, Utilitarianism contains Mill’s only major discussion of the fundamental grounds for utilitarian ethical theory.

The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill The Subjection of Women

The Subjection of Women is the title of an essay written by John Stuart Mill in 1869, possibly jointly with his wife Harriet Taylor Mill, stating an argument in favor of equality between the sexes. It offers both detailed argumentation and passionate eloquence in opposition to the social and legal inequalities commonly imposed upon women by a patriarchal culture. Just as in “On Liberty,” Mill defends the emancipation of women on utilitarian grounds, convinced that the moral and intellectual advancement of women would result in greater happiness for everybody.

Book cover Considerations on Representative Government

Mill's volume was published in 1861 as an argument favoring this form of governance. Mill covers what forms of government work best, including when representative government is applicable and when not. He details appropriate functions of representative bodies and warns of problems to avoid. He distinguishes between true and false democracy. Other areas covered include how voting is carried out, the role of a second chamber in Parliament, and how an executive branch might function.

Book cover Auguste Comte and Positivism

Part 1 lays out the framework for Positivism as originated in France by Auguste Comte in his Cours de Philosophie Positive. Mill examines the tenets of Comte's movement and alerts us to defects. Part 2 concerns all Comte's writings except the Cours de Philosophie Positive. During Comte's later years he gave up reading newspapers and periodicals to keep his mind pure for higher study. He also became enamored of a certain woman who changed his view of life. Comte turned his philosophy into a religion, with morality the supreme guide. Mill finds that Comte learned to despise science and the intellect, instead substituting his frantic need for the regulation of change.

By: Sir John Barrow (1764-1848)

Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty by Sir John Barrow Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty

On December 31 1787, the HMS Bounty, a small sailing vessel embarked from Spithead Harbor, England bound for Tahiti. Her mission was sponsored by the Royal Society in London and aimed at picking up breadfruit plants and fruit from Tahiti and conveying them to the West Indies, where it was hoped they would take root and become a commercial crop. The Bounty was an old ship with a young captain and 46 young officers. The captain's cabin was converted into a potting shed for the expected breadfruit cargo...

By: Adam Smith (1723-1790)

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” gives an in-depth discussion of different economic principles like the productivity, division of labor and free markets. Although written and published more than 200 years ago, it’s still hailed as one of the most original works in the field of economics and is still used as a reference by many modern economists. “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” is the complete title of this book and it was first published in 1776, the same year that the American colonies declared their independence from Britain...

The Theory of Moral Sentiments (First Edition) by Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments (First Edition)

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.” (from The Theory of Moral Sentiments) Adam Smith considered his first major book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, his most important work. Indeed, the tome was a wild success upon its publication, selling out immediately. It has not lost popularity since...

By: Bill Nye

Comic History of the United States by Bill Nye Comic History of the United States

For American journalist and humorist Edgar Wilson Nye who wrote under the pen name Bill Nye in the late 19th century, facts are not to be presented in their newborn, bare state. They should be properly draped and embellished before they can be presented before the public. Hence, in the Comic History of the United States published in 1894, he gives his readers the facts. But in a bid to make the historical figures more human he describes them as “people who ate and possibly drank, people who were born, flourished and died, not grave tragedians posing perpetually for their photographs...

Comic History of England by Bill Nye Comic History of England

If you thought history was dull, dry and boring, you haven't read Bill Nye's books! He brings wit, humor, satire, irony and sheer nonsensical fun into the subject, making it both entertaining and memorable. The Comic History of England was published posthumously in 1896 after the writer's tragic and untimely death half-way through the project. Hence it remains incomplete and covers the history of the island nation only up to the Tudor period. However, beginning with Julius Caesar, the Roman invasion of Britain, the Druids and Stonehenge, this book is still a rib-tickling ride through the centuries...

By: Nellie Bly (1864-1922)

Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly Ten Days in a Madhouse

Long before Christiane Amanpour, Frances Fitzgerald and Martha Gellhorn blazed a trail in courageous investigative journalism, a pioneering and intrepid writer and journalist whose pen name was Nellie Bly opened up a whole new field in what had previously been a strictly male domain. Ten Days in a Madhouse was published as a series of articles in the New York World during 1887. Nellie Bly was given the assignment by her editor to have herself committed to an insane asylum in New York with a “view to writing a plain and unvarnished narrative of the treatment of patients therein and the methods of management...

Around the World in Seventy-Two Days by Nellie Bly Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

This is a true account by American woman journalist who, in 1889, set out to see whether she could beat the fictional journey in Jules Verne’s 1873 novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. Wearing one dress and carrying one handbag, Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman (pen name “Nellie Bly”), reported her travels back to avid readers in America.

By: Amelia B. Edwards (1831-1892)

A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards A Thousand Miles up the Nile

Known as the Godmother of Egyptology, Amelia Ann Blanford Edwards traveled through Egypt at a time when archeology was in its infancy in that country and literally anyone with a spade or trowel could go exploring through the magnificent, untouched ruins. She was one of a group of amazing Victorian women who ignored the repressive 19th century attitudes toward female scientists and defied society to follow their passion for history. A Thousand Miles up the Nile was first published in 1877. The title refers to the approximate distance from Alexandria to the Second Cataract of the Nile river, a journey that the author undertook over the course of a year in Egypt...

Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys by Amelia B. Edwards Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys

Amelia B. Edwards wrote this historical travelogue in in 1873. The book describes her travels through a relatively un-visited area in the South Tyrol district of Italy. The Dolomites are a part of that most famous of mountain chains, the Alps.In this book, the Writer and her friend and companion, L., travel from Southern Italy, having over-wintered there, to visit the Dolomite district. Her chatty style, dry sense of humor, accuracy of facts, and sympathy for humanity set her works apart. The slice of Victorian British life presented is quite captivating...

By: Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

The Anti-Federalist Papers by Patrick Henry The Anti-Federalist Papers

During the period of debate over the ratification of the Constitution, numerous independent local speeches and articles were published all across the country. Initially, many of the articles in opposition were written under pseudonyms, such as “Brutus”, “Centinel”, and “Federal Farmer”. Eventually, famous revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry came out publicly against the Constitution. They argued that the strong national government proposed by the Federalists was a threat to the rights of individuals and that the President would become a king...

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death by Patrick Henry Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

This speech was given March 23, 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, and is credited with having singlehandedly convinced the Virginia House of Burgesses to pass a resolution delivering the Virginia troops to the Revolutionary War. In attendance were Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Reportedly, the crowd, upon hearing the speech, jumped up and shouted, “To Arms! To Arms!”

By: Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)

Life in the Clearings by Susanna Moodie Life in the Clearings

If you've read Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, the historical fiction novel that describes a gruesome double murder in Canada in 1843, you would be interested to know the sources that were used by Atwood during her research. Life in the Clearings by Susanna Moodie was one such reference book in which the author, Susanna Moodie recounts her meeting with the infamous murderess Grace Marks, a young house help who was convicted to life imprisonment for her role in the slaying of her employers. Susanna Moodie was an Englishwoman born in Suffolk...

Book cover Roughing It in the Bush

'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

By: Sinclair Lewis

The Trail of the Hawk by Sinclair Lewis The Trail of the Hawk

By: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley Madam How and Lady Why

Did you ever wish you knew how to explain natural phenomena such as earthquakes and volcanoes to your children? Search no more, this book has all the answers (at least all the ones that were known in 1869) and gives them in a pedagogical way. Listed on the Ambleside homeschooling list.

By: Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Summa Theologica, Pars Prima by Saint Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica, Pars Prima

More than nine hundred years after it was first written, this unfinished work of a scholar saint still has the power to move our minds and hearts and set us thinking on the really important questions of life. Summa Theologica or simply the Summa as it is known, was written some time between 1265-74. It is a work that has had a profound and enduring influence on Western thought and literature. Designed to provide answers to Catholic theologians about the teachings of the Church, Thomas Aquinas' book instead goes far beyond its stated purpose...

By: Thucydides (Θουκυδίδης) (c. 460-395)

The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (Θουκυδίδης) The History of the Peloponnesian War

The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) in the 5th Century BC. It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. The History is divided into eight books. These book divisions are the work of editors in later antiquity. W. R. Connor [...] describes Thucydides as “an artist who responds to, selects and skillfully arranges his material, and develops its symbolic and emotional potential.”

By: Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky From October to Brest-Litovsk

This account by Trotsky is of the events in Russia from the October Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, to his signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany on 3rd March 1918 which took Russia out of the First World War. The treaty exacted heavy losses for Russia in terms of annexations of land and financial indemnities to Germany. In this extended essay, Trotsky argues the reasons as to why he decided to sign what appears to be a disastrous agreement for Russia.

By: Publius Cornelius Tacitus

Germania by Publius Cornelius Tacitus Germania

The Germania (Latin: De Origine et situ Germanorum, literally The Origin and Situation of the Germans), written by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus around 98, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus himself had already written a similar essay on the lands and tribes of Britannia in his Agricola. The Germania begins with a description of the lands, laws, and customs...

The Annals by Publius Cornelius Tacitus The Annals

The Annals was Tacitus’ final work, covering the period from the death of Augustus Caesar in the year 14. He wrote at least 16 books, but books 7-10 and parts of books 5, 6, 11 and 16 are missing. Book 6 ends with the death of Tiberius and books 7-12 presumably covered the reigns of Caligula and Claudius. The remaining books cover the reign of Nero, perhaps until his death in June 68 or until the end of that year, to connect with the Histories. The second half of book 16 is missing, ending with the events of the year 66...

Agricola by Publius Cornelius Tacitus Agricola

The Agricola (Latin: De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae, lit. On the life and character of Julius Agricola) is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c 98, which recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general. It also covers, briefly, the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain. As in the Germania, Tacitus favorably contrasts the liberty of the native Britons to the corruption and tyranny of the Empire; the book also contains eloquent and vicious polemics against the rapacity and greed of Rome. This translation by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, was first published in 1877.

Book cover A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, or the Causes of Corrupt Eloquence

The scene of the Dialogus de Oratoribus, as this work is commonly known, is laid in the sixth year of Vespasian, 75 a.D. The commentators are much divided in their opinions about the real author; his work they all agree is a masterpiece in the kind; written with taste and judgement; entertaining, profound, and elegant. It is normally considered to have been written by Tacitus, even though some ascribe it to Quintilian. The main subject is the decadence of oratory, for which the cause is said to be the decline of the education, both in the family and in the school, of the future orator. In a certain way, it can be considered a miniature art of rhetoric.

By: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America

Arguably, one of the most influential and insightful pieces of work concerned with American political life, Democracy in America directs itself towards American politics and society, and is considered to be one the best books written on the subject. Published in 2 volumes, in 1835 and 1840, Tocqueville records his findings after studying the thriving nation in his nine month exploratory journey. The young French aristocrat first came to America on an official assignment to study the American penal system, but instead used this as a pretext to study American society...

By: Unknown

The Bible, Weymouth New Testament (WNT) - Matthew by The Bible, Weymouth New Testament (WNT) - Matthew

The Weymouth New Testament ("WNT"), otherwise known as The New Testament in Modern Speech or The Modern Speech New Testament, is a translation into "modern" English as used in the nineteenth century from the text of The Resultant Greek Testament by Richard Francis Weymouth from the Greek idioms used in it. It was later edited and partly revised by Reverend Ernest Hampden-Cook in London, England. Publishers: Baker and Taylor Company (New York) in 1903 and James Clarke & Co (London) in 1903.Richard Francis Weymouth's popular translation of the New Testament into English was first published in 1903 and has been in print through numerous editions ever since with millions of copies sold...

By: Herodotus of Halicarnassus (440 BC)

Herodotus' Histories by Herodotus of Halicarnassus Herodotus' Histories

The Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus is considered the first work of history in Western literature. Written about 440 BC, the Histories tell the story of the war between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book. The rise of the Persian Empire is chronicled, and the causes for the conflict with Greece. Herodotus treats the conflict as an ideological one, frequently contrasting the absolute power of the Persian king with the democratic government of the Greeks.

By: Joshua Slocum (1844-1909)

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum Sailing Alone Around the World

A sailing memoir written by seaman and adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone, documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travelers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Written in a modern and conversational tone, the autobiographical account begins with Slocum’s description of his hometown of Nova Scotia and its maritime history...

By: Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947)

Book cover Collection Of Stories, Reviews And Essays

Stories and essays by Willa Cather

By: John H. Haaren (1855-1916)

Famous Men of the Middle Ages by John H. Haaren Famous Men of the Middle Ages

“THE study of history, like the study of a landscape, should begin with the most conspicuous features. Not until these have been fixed in memory will the lesser features fall into their appropriate places and assume their right proportions. The famous men of ancient and modern times are the mountain peaks of history. It is logical then that the study of history should begin with the biographies of these men. Not only is it logical; it is also pedagogical. Experience has proven that in order to attract and hold the child’s attention each conspicuous feature of history presented to him should have an individual for its center...

Famous Men of Greece by John H. Haaren Famous Men of Greece

Famous Men of Greece is a series of biographical sketches written for the purpose of making the study of history lively and interesting by giving insight into the men who lived during this time.

Famous Men of Rome by John H. Haaren Famous Men of Rome

Famous Men of Rome is a series of biographical sketches written for the purpose of making the study of history lively and interesting by giving insight into the men who lived during this time.

By: Thomas a Kempis (1380?-1471)

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ is widely considered one of the greatest manuals of devotion in Christianity. The life of Christ is presented as the highest study possible to a mortal, as Jesus’ teachings far excel all the teachings of the saints. The book gives counsel to read the scriptures, statements about the uses of adversity, advice for submission to authority, warnings against temptation and how to resist it, reflections about death and the judgment, meditations upon the oblation of Christ, and admonitions to flee the vanities of the world. A recording of a Dutch translation of this work is also available (Thomas a Kempis was Dutch but wrote in Latin of course).

By: Gaston Maspero (1846-1916)

History Of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria by Gaston Maspero History Of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria

History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria is the masterwork of one of the fathers of modern egyptology. This work, in twelve volumes, was translated from the French original, “Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Orient classique” and published in 1903-1904. Maspero was a largely self-taught master of hieroglyphic translation. In November 1880, he was placed at the head of a French archeological mission, which developed later into the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale...

By: Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and philosopher who wrote Meditations; insights which were considered to give the meaning of life. The book was not written with the intent to be published. It offers a noteworthy chain of challenging situations which are a reflection on spirituality and enumerate the struggle to understand oneself and one's role in the universe. Written in the style of a journal, Meditations emphasizes that life in this world is short. Aurelius was a stoic philosopher who had influenced the thoughts of many leaders in his time...

By: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell The Problems of Philosophy

Published in 1912, The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell is one of his most popular books. It renders philosophical issues and questions in a way in which they become relevant and accessible to the man or woman on the street, provoking them to devote time and effort into thinking about these aspects of life. Here, the great philosopher and humanist thinker Bertrand Russell examines the importance of empirical (that which can be verified by observation or experience rather than deduced from logic or reasoning) thinkers like David Hume and George Berkeley the Anglo-Irish philosopher and scientist...

Book cover Proposed Roads to Freedom

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872 – 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, political activist and Nobel laureate. He led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early 1900s and is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. In this book, written in 1918, he offers his assessment of three competing streams in the thought of the political left: Marxian socialism, anarchism and syndicalism.

By: Flavius Josephus (37 - c.100)

The Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus The Antiquities of the Jews

Antiquities of the Jews was a work published by the important Jewish historian Flavius Josephus about the year 93 or 94. It is a history of the Jewish people, written in Greek for Josephus' gentile patrons. Beginning with the creation of Adam and Eve, it follows the events of the historical books of the Hebrew Bible, but sometimes omits or adds information.Volume 1 contains Books 1-5 and ends with the dedication of Samuel and death of Eli the priest.

Minor Works of Josephus by Flavius Josephus Minor Works of Josephus

There are 3 parts to this collection.(1) Against Apion is a two-volume defense of Judaism as classical religion and philosophy, stressing its antiquity, as opposed to what Josephus claimed was the relatively more recent tradition of the Greeks. Some anti-Judean allegations ascribed by Josephus to the Greek writer Apion, and myths accredited to Manetho are also addressed.(2) Discourse To The Greeks Concerning Hades describes the author's views on the afterlife against the prevailing view of the "Greeks" (i...

By: Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman Anarchism and Other Essays

Chicago, May 4, 1886. In the Haymarket region of the city, a peaceful Labor Day demonstration suddenly turns into a riot. The police intervene to maintain peace, but they soon use violence to quell the mob and a bomb is thrown, resulting in death and injuries to scores of people. In the widely publicized trial that followed, eight anarchists were condemned to death or life imprisonment, convicted of conspiracy, though none of them had actually thrown the bomb. A young Russian immigrant, Emma Goldman, had arrived just the previous year in the United States...

By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Studies in Pessimism by Arthur Schopenhauer Studies in Pessimism

Arthur Schopenhauer, an early 19th century philosopher, made significant contributions to metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. His work also informed theories of evolution and psychology, largely through his theory of the will to power – a concept which Nietzsche famously adopted and developed. Despite this, he is today, as he was during his life, overshadowed by his contemporary, Hegel. Schopenhauer’s social/psychological views, put forth in this work and in others, are directly derived from his metaphysics, which was strongly influenced by Eastern thought...

The Art of Controversy (or The Art of Being Right) by Arthur Schopenhauer The Art of Controversy (or The Art of Being Right)

The Art of Controversy (or The Art of Being Right) (Die Kunst, Recht zu Behalten) is a short treatise written in 1831 by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in which he presents thirty-eight methods of gaining an unfair advantage in a debate and thereby being right even if you are wrong. Schopenhauer champions the virtue of dialectical argument, in his view wrongly neglected by philosophers in favour of logic, and goes on to discuss the distinction between our conscious intellectual powers and our will. The text is a favourite of debaters including the philosophers AC Grayling and Mary Warnock, and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

By: David Hume (1711-1776)

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a shortened and simplified version of Hume’s masterpiece A Treatise of Human Nature. It sought to reach a wider audience, and to dispel some of the virulent criticism addressed toward the former book. In it, Hume explains his theory of epistemology, and argues against other current theories, including those of John Locke, George Berkeley, and Nicolas Malebranche.

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, philosopher David Hume examines whether belief in God can be rational. The work takes the form of a debate between three characters: Cleanthes, who argues that the existence and nature of God can be empirically verified; Demea, who argues that God is completely beyond human knowledge; and Philo, a philosophical skeptic widely thought to represent Hume’s own beliefs. Much of the debate centers around Cleanthes’ presentation of the analogical argument from design...

A Treatise Of Human Nature by David Hume A Treatise Of Human Nature

This book, published in two volumes called “books” by the author, is a treatment of everything from the origin of our ideas to how they are to be divided. It includes important statements of Scepticism and Hume’s experimental method. Part 1 deals with the nature of ideas. Part 2 deals with the ideas of space and time. Part 3 deals with knowledge and probability. Part 4 deals with skeptical and other systems of philosophy, including a discussion of the soul and personal identity.This is a recording of Volume I (or Book 1). Volume II (which contains Books 2 and 3) is in production at the moment.

History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688, Volume 1A by David Hume History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688, Volume 1A

David Hume is one of the great philosophers of the Western intellectual tradition. His philosophical writings earned him lasting fame and renown; his historical writing earned his bread and butter. His "The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688", published between 1754 and 1764, was immensely popular and Hume wrote that "the copy-money given me by the booksellers much exceeded any thing formerly known in England; I was become not only independent, but opulent...

By: John Graham Gillam

Gallipoli Diary by John Graham Gillam Gallipoli Diary

World War I was one of the most savage and brutal wars in human history. There were millions of deaths and the tragedy was compounded by the fact that these were all young men in the flower of youth. Both sides suffered heavy losses and this war is also notable for being one in which many new and terrible weapons were introduced by both to slaughter each other. Gallipoli Diary by John Graham Gillam is one of the many personal narratives written by survivors of this bloody conflict. Published in 1918, when memories of the war were still fresh in the minds of those who had experienced it, it is indeed a slice of history for modern-day readers who encounter it nearly a hundred years later.

By: Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation. He faced hardship as a child, but later encountered owners who were relatively liberal and allowed him to learn to read, write and be in contact with freed slaves. At the age of 20, he escaped from the plantation and made his way to New York. Though he remained a fugitive, he married and changed his name to avoid being caught. He continued his education and became involved in the Abolitionist Movement. He began touring the country, speaking passionately about the unjust, cruel and inhuman practice of slavery...

By: Frederick Douglass (c.1818-1895)

Book cover Collected Articles of Frederick Douglass

These two articles were reproduced as an e-book by Project Gutenberg in 2008 to supplement "...several articles by Frederick Douglass, whose larger work was presented in book form as a January, 1993 Project Gutenberg Etext to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day...." The articles narrated here are "My Escape From Slavery" (1881) and "Reconstruction" (1866).

By: Eugene Field (1850-1895)

The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac by Eugene Field The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac

Do you love books? No, I mean REALLY love books? These series of sketches on the delights, adventures, and misadventures connected with bibliomania (bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.). The author wholeheartedly enjoyed this pursuit all his life and his descriptions are delightful to read...

By: Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux On Loving God

On Loving God is one of the best-known and most influential works of Medieval Christian mysticism. Written at the request of one of the cardinals of Rome, it describes the four “levels” of love for God, and puts Christian devotion in the context of God’s love for mankind.

By: Ernest Shackleton

South! The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 by Ernest Shackleton South! The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917

The expedition was given the grand title of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Due to be launched in 1914, two ships were to be employed. The first, the lead vessel, fittingly named the Endurance was to transport the team to the Weddell Sea from where the great explorer Ernest Shackleton and five others would cross the icy wastes of Antarctica on foot. The second ship, the Aurora was to approach the continent from the other side and put down supplies at various points to help the explorers...

By: Laozi

The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics by Laozi The Tao Teh King, or the Tao and its Characteristics

Written in classical Chinese some time during the sixth century BC, The Tao Teh King or The Tao and its Characteristics is a classical Chinese text that is one of the important keystones in understanding the thought systems of Asia. Though no clear records exist, it is traditionally thought to have been the work of the sage Lao Tzu, the founder of classical Taoism. He is reputed to have been a contemporary of Confucius, though this is also shrouded in mystery. However, many succeeding emperors and dynasties have claimed that he lived in their eras...

By: Brother Lawrence (1605-1691)

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of letters and transcriptions of conversations, compiled by a disciple of Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk and head cook in his monastery’s kitchens. He quickly gained an international reputation as a mystic and spiritual counselor. The Practice of the Presence records his last words of advice to his friends and disciples, as he suffered from an unnamed illness which would eventually take his life. (Description written by Kirsten Ferreri).

By: Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

The Essays of Francis Bacon by Francis Bacon The Essays of Francis Bacon

Among the many ideas explored in this book are beauty, gardens, honor and reputation, cunning, nobility, friendship and many others. Authored by the man who is credited with having invented the essay form in English, The Essays of Francis Bacon was written over an extended period, ranging from the mid sixteenth century. They were compiled in a single edition in 1597 and later re-written, enlarged and added to in other editions in 1612 and 1625. However, their compelling and insightful quality still appears fresh and appealing to modern day readers...

The New Organon Or True Directions Concerning The Interpretation of Nature by Francis Bacon The New Organon Or True Directions Concerning The Interpretation of Nature

The Novum Organum is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon published in 1620. The title translates as “new instrument”. This is a reference to Aristotle’s work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism. For Bacon, finding the essence of a thing was a simple process of reduction, and the use of inductive reasoning . . . This work was critical in the historical development of the scientific method.

The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon The New Atlantis

In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas.

By: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

The Sadhana: Realisation of Life by Rabindranath Tagore The Sadhana: Realisation of Life

Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, and novelist whose work reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. Sadhana is a collection of essays, most of which he gave before the Harvard University, describing Indian beliefs, philosophy and culture from different viewpoints, often making comparison with Western thought and culture.

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore Creative Unity

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore talks of the many things he feels is necessary for creativity through joy of unity, he covers many topics like the creative ideal, makes comparisons of creativity between the east and the west, the spirit of freedom and about his idea of an University.

By: George Edmundson (1848-1930)

History of Holland by George Edmundson History of Holland

The title, “History of Holland,” given to this volume is fully justified by the predominant part which the great maritime province of Holland took in the War of Independence and throughout the whole of the subsequent history of the Dutch state and people.

By: Emily Post (1873-1960)

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home by Emily Post Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home

“Many who scoff at a book of etiquette would be shocked to hear the least expression of levity touching the Ten Commandments...” Thus opens the introduction to one of the most popular American non-fiction books – one that was avidly studied by both men and women, children and adults, leaders of society and those who yearned to be part of the charmed circle! Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home by Emily Post was first published in 1922 and became an instant bestseller...

By: Edward Channing (1856-1931)

A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing A Short History of the United States

First published in 1908, A Short History of The United States by Edward Channing aims to provide a compact and concise account of the events that went into the making of the United States of America. Divided into 45 short chapters which are laid out point-wise, the book is designed as a school text book. Each chapter has a section at the end with a set of questions regarding the facts given in it. Beginning with theories about the first European who may have “discovered” the North American...

By: Logan Marshall

The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters by Logan Marshall The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Logan Marshall's book "The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters" gives readers a first-hand account of the greatest sea disaster of all time straight from the survivors of the ill-fated sunken ship. Unlike many of the books about the Titanic that was written recently, Logan Marshall was fortunate that he was able to interview the survivors of the Titanic and access to all the important documents about the ship, including the diagrams, maps and actual photographs related to the disaster...

By: Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Popular History of Ireland by Thomas D’Arcy McGee Popular History of Ireland

Book 1: Thomas D’Arcy McGee was an Irish refugee and a father of the Canadian confederation. His work on Irish history is comprehensive, encompassing twelve books; Book 1 begins with the earliest modern settlement of Ireland and ends with the 8th century.

By: Melvin Powers (author still living)

A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis by Melvin Powers A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis

Published in 1961, A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis by Melvin Powers is a self help book that aims to bring the basic techniques of hypnosis to the ordinary reader and harness its legendary powers to one's own advantage. In fact, all forms of hypnosis are essentially self-hypnosis since the process does not work without the overt or covert cooperation of the person who is being hypnotized. The main difference is that all other forms of hypnosis require the guidance of a therapist or hypnotist while the one suggested here is a self-guided procedure...

By: Theron Q. Dumont (1862-1932)

The Power of Concentration by Theron Q. Dumont The Power of Concentration

Though he wrote more than 100 books during his lifetime, Theron Q Dumont is largely a forgotten entity today. In fact, Theron Q Dumont is not even his real name. It is a pen-name adopted by William Walker Atkinson, an American polymath, who began his career as a grocer's assistant in nineteenth century Baltimore, studied law and went on to amass fame and fortune as a successful legal luminary. However, disaster struck when he suffered a nervous breakdown due to over strain and he lost everything that he had earned...

By: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil by Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil

Books 1 and 2. Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil is a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes. The book concerns the structure of society (as represented figuratively by the frontispiece, showing the state giant made up of individuals). In the book, Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by a sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war – situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto bellum omnium contra omnes (”the war of all against all”) – could only be averted by strong central government...

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

Book cover The Profits of Religion

The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation is a non-fiction book by the American novelist and muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, first published in 1917. It is a snapshot of the religious movements in the U.S. before its entry into World War I. In this book, Sinclair attacks institutionalized religion as a "source of income to parasites, and the natural ally of every form of oppression and exploitation."

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: Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus

Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, translated by Bernadotte Perrin (1847-1920) by Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, translated by Bernadotte Perrin (1847-1920)

Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans Volume 1, translated by Bernadotte Perrin.

By: Santa Teresa de Jesus (1515-1582)

The Life of St. Teresa by Santa Teresa de Jesus The Life of St. Teresa

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, (March 28, 1515, at Gotarrendura (Ávila), Old Castile, Spain – October 4, 1582, at Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain) was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be, along with John of the Cross, a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. In 1970 she was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

Conceptions of Divine Love by Santa Teresa de Jesus Conceptions of Divine Love

Conceptions of Divine Love was written in 1577. St. Teresa wrote this with the idea of explaining certain words found in the Book of Canticles. When her confessor read the title of her work, he ordered her to immediately burn it, which, of course, she did. But one of her nuns had copied the first seven chapters, which was then published in 1612. Here, Father John Dalton has translated only four of those chapters in 1852.

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: Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774)

The Life of Richard Nash, Esq., Late Master of the Ceremonies at Bath by Oliver Goldsmith The Life of Richard Nash, Esq., Late Master of the Ceremonies at Bath

Beau Nash (1674–1762), born Richard Nash, was a celebrated dandy and leader of fashion in 18th-century Britain. He is best remembered as the Master of Ceremonies at the spa town of Bath. (Wikipedia)This, the best of Goldsmith's Biographies, was published the year after Nash's death. It was at once popular, and went through two editions in the same year in which it was published. To the second edition (it never reached a third), Goldsmith made many important additions. Yet strange to say none of these have been attended to by the editors of his Works...

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...


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