By: Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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)
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)
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
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
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.