Monday, December 17, 2012

The Samurai's Wife

The Samurai's Wife
by Laura Joh Rowland

Sano Ichiro, the Shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, has his doubts about the partnership that he and his spirited new wife, Reiko, have forged: While he can't help recognizing that her help on his cases can be invaluable, he sometimes longs for a more traditional wife. Still, when a botched case and the resulting loss of face send Sano to the Imperial city to find a killer whose methods are as terrifying as they are elusive, Sano needs the talents of his wife more than ever to inflitrate the emperor's inner circle. Rowland's series "positively smokes with historical atmospherics" (Publishers Weekly), and THE SAMURAI'S WIFE is her most intricate and compelling novel to date.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Entrepreneurial Finance
By J. Chris Leach and Ronald W. Melicher

Learn to master today's most effective corporate finance tools and techniques for successful entrepreneurial ventures with Leach/Melicher's ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE, 4E. This reader-friendly edition closely follows a "life cycle of the firm" as it introduces the theories, knowledge, and financial tools any entrepreneur needs to start, build, and eventually harvest a successful business venture. Readers focus on sound financial management practices, such as how and where to obtain financial capital, the stages of financing, business cash flow models, and strategic positioning. Readers even gain important insights into effectively interacting with the financial institutions and regulatory agencies that are central to financing ventures. Trust ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE, 4E to provide the knowledge and insights needed for entrepreneurial success.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Bend in the River

A Bend in the River
by V.S. Naipaul

A Bend in the River is the story of Salim, an Indian born and raised on the east coast of Africa. He buys a shop in a river town in the interior,  in the aftermath of a post-colonial rebellion. The novel tells the story of Salim’s slow rise and fall in business, alongside the story of the town’s slow rise and fall. The town’s fortunes, along with those of Salim and the rest of the characters in the town, slowly scrape toward prosperity after the rebellion. A president’s interest creates a boon, and then paranoia and rebellion and destruction. Fortunes rise and fall, again and again.
Salim offers a fascinating perspective. I’ve read books voiced by Africans about Africa, and books voiced by Westerners about Africa, but Salim is an Indian writing about Africa—the citizen of one colony living in another colony, and writing about post-colonial life. Author Naipaul shared this perspective, being of Indian descent but born and raised in Trinidad. Throughout the book, Salim remains an outsider, an observer to the conflicts and customs of Africa. The other characters that he befriends are also outsiders—his house-servant Metty, a boy-turned-man without a tribe named Ferdinand, fellow Indian merchants Mahesh and Shoba, childhood friend from a wealthier background Indar, and Brits Raymond and Yvette. All of them live in this African world without being of it. They appreciate it in different ways, and their own fortunes are tied up in this town at the bend in the river, or in the political powers at work.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hiroshima Notes

Hiroshima Notes
by Kenzaburo Oe

 Japanese novelist Oe, who won a Nobel Prize in 1994, wrote these searching essays between 1963 and 1965, when he made frequent visits to the rebuilt city of Hiroshima and interviewed survivors. The collection, now reissued on the 50th anniversary of the bombing, examines the moral and political implications of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Oe explores how A-bomb survivors maintained their dignity despite shattered health resulting from radiation exposure. He writes about the courage of Hiroshima's doctors and nurses who engaged in emergency efforts despite their own afflictions. He also reports on the Japanese movement to ban nuclear weapons, and divulges that medical authorities in Japan suppressed or withheld evidence of the link between radiation exposure and leukemia. The impact of this grim report is enhanced by its calm restraint and the spare, evocative line drawings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Uprooted

The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People 
by Oscar Handlin

Awarded the 1952 Pulitzer Prize in history, The Uprooted chronicles the common experiences of the millions of European immigrants who came to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—their fears, their hopes, their expectations. The New Yorker called it "strong stuff, handled in a masterly and quite moving way," while the New York Times suggested that "The Uprooted is history with a difference—the difference being its concerns with hearts and souls no less than an event."

 The book inspired a generation of research in the history of American immigration, but because it emphasizes the depressing conditions faced by immigrants, focuses almost entirely on European peasants, and does not claim to provide a definitive answer to the causes of American immigration, its great value as a well-researched and readable description of the emotional experiences of immigrants, and its ability to evoke the time and place of America at the turn of a century, have sometimes been overlooked. Recognized today as a foundational text in immigration studies, this edition contains a new preface by the author.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Images of America: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail
by Berkeley and Jeanine Scott

Bourbon whiskey is a distinctly American product with its roots planted deep in the limestone-enriched soil of Kentucky. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is an attraction that celebrates the heritage of Kentucky bourbon, bringing to life the people, places, and events that signify the bourbon industry. Today the Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes eight distilleries in the Bluegrass State, some of whose brands and bourbon-making secrets are more than 200 years old. Along the trail, tour guides and distillery exhibits offer visitors a variety of interesting facts. For examples, a “whiskey thief” is not what it sounds like and a Baptist minister was one of the first people to make bourbon. Collected from the Kentucky Historical Society, various distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and private family collections, the fascinating photographs in Images of America: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail offer readers a look back at the pioneers of bourbon, the legendary distilleries that have come and gone, and the history of those brands that carry on the craft today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
by Eleanor Coerr 

This true story is of a girl, Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the atomic bombing by the United States. She developed leukemia from the radiation and spent her time in a nursing home creating origami (folded paper) cranes in hope of making a thousand of them. She was inspired to do so by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would then be granted a wish. Her wish was simply to live. However, she managed to fold only 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, and died shortly after. Her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes, which were buried with Sadako. They also built a statue of Sadako holding a giant golden origami crane in Hiroshima Peace Park.

White Flash/Black Rain

White Flash/Black Rain: Women of Japan Relive the Bomb 
edited by Vance-Watkins & Aratani 

 White Flash/Black Rain: Women Of Japan Relive The Bomb speaks of the shared accountability for bringing about war, any war. These women bear witness not only to the unspeakable mass destruction unleashed by the United States when it dropped the bomb, but also of the disastrous path Japan followed with its policy of conquest and Emperorism in Korea and China, and the abuse of the "comfort women" used by Japanese soldiers. White Flash/Black Rain is a book of peace. These women tell their stories in hope that what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never happen again.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


by John Hersey

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima was destroyed by the first atom bomb ever dropped on a city. This book, John Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, tells what happened on that day. Told through the memories of survivors, this timeless, powerful and compassionate document has become a classic "that stirs the conscience of humanity" (The New York Times).

Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told.  His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Financial Institutions Management

Financial Institutions Management: A Risk Management Approach
by Anthony Saunders and Marcia Millon Cornett

Saunders and Cornett's "Financial Institutions Management: A Risk Management Approach," 6th edition focuses on managing return and risk in modern financial institutions. The central theme is that the risks faced by financial institutions managers and the methods and markets through which these risks are managed are becoming increasingly similar whether an institution is chartered as a commercial bank, a savings bank, an investment bank, or an insurance company. Although the traditional nature of each sector's product activity is analyzed, a greater emphasis is placed on new areas of activities such as asset securitization, off-balance-sheet banking, and international banking.

The Feathered Serpent

The Feathered Serpent 
by Colin Falconer

 The triumphant, controversial life of the Aztec woman Malinali is one of the great and enduring legends of Mexico. A high-born Mexica heiress, she was sold into slavery as a child, and it was as a slave of the Maya that she met the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. To her, and many of the Mexica, Cortés, with his ?owing beard and pale skin, was Feathered Serpent, the god whose return to earth foretold the end of Montezuma’s fabled empire. The daughter of a prophet, Malinali knew her fate lay with Feathered Serpent and his invaders. To this day she is reviled as a traitor by Mexico’s native people, but is also honored as a heroine and symbolic mother of a mixed-race nation. This is her story—and the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which for better or worse changed the Americas forever. In Feathered Serpent, Colin Falconer brings the Aztec empire to life in blazing color and gives voice to the incomparable Malinali, who transcended her role as Cortés’s translator and consort to become a fiery agent of history against all odds.

The Time Machine

The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and later adapted into two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This story is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle. This work is an early example of the Dying Earth subgenre.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Night of Sorrows

Night of Sorrows
by Frances Sherwood

 Night of Sorrows plunges readers into the conflicting New Worlds of the mysterious Malintzín, born as an Aztec princess and sold as a slave, and her dashing and ruthless lover-master, conquistador Hernán Cortés. As they march through the Empire of the Sun to the shimmering island metropolis, Tenochtítlan (Mexico City), Cortés advances his cause by winning friends through Machiavellian conniving and confronting enemies in merciless battle. We witness the volatile dynamics and multifarious intrigues of the commander and his temperamental compadres, and weather the heartbreaking inner odyssey of Malintzín. Set at the twilight of the Aztec empire—April 1519 through the night of sorrows, la noche triste, June 30, 1520—Night of Sorrows explores the nature of slavery and imperialism, prostitution, friendship, feminine identity, and the macho ideal. Combining historical and fictional characters, Frances Sherwood's new novel is the story of a spectacular clash of traditions, imbued with her characteristic humor and bringing to life the colors, smells, and sounds of Mexico.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Conquistador: Hernan Cortes, King Montezuma, and the Last Stand of the Aztecs 
by Buddy Levy

The saga of Cortés, Montezuma, and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire has been chronicled repeatedly, and with justification, since it is one of the seminal events in world history. There is probably no new information on the conquest left to uncover, but it is a thrilling, moving, and tragic story well worth retelling. Levy is not a professional historian, but he is a fine writer who knows the material, and he is wise enough to allow the pure excitement and drama of the story to unfold naturally. At the center of the tale, of course, are the two protagonists. Cortés is viewed as an intriguing combination of ruthless ambition, religious piety, and surprising tenderness. Montezuma, also deeply religious, was less a man of action than Cortés, and his contemplative nature probably sealed his doom. As Levy illustrates, this was also an earthshaking clash of civilizations that is still working itself out five centuries later.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
by Bartolomé de las Casas

An account written by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in 1542 (published in 1552) about the mistreatment of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in colonial times and sent to then Prince Philip II of Spain.

One of the stated purposes for writing the account is his fear of Spain coming under divine punishment and his concern for the souls of the Native Peoples. The account is one of the first attempts by a Spanish writer of the colonial era to depict examples of unfair treatment that indigenous people endured in the early stages of the Spanish conquest of the Greater Antilles, particularly the island of La Hispaniola.

Las Casas's point of view can be described as being heavily against some of the Spanish methods of colonization, which, as he describes, have inflicted a great loss on the indigenous occupants of the islands. His account is largely responsible for the passage of the new Spanish colonial laws known as the New Laws of 1542, which abolished native slavery for the first time in European colonial history and led to the Valladolid debate. The images described by Las Casas were later depicted by Theodore de Bry in copper plate engravings that helped expand the Black Legend against Spain.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

History of the Conquest of Mexico

History of the Conquest of Mexico
by William H. Prescott

"It is a magnificent epic," said William H. Prescott after the publication of History of the Conquest of Mexico in 1843. Since then, his sweeping account of Cortés's subjugation of the Aztec people has endured as a landmark work of scholarship and dramatic storytelling. This pioneering study presents a compelling view of the clash of civilizations that reverberates in Latin America to this day.

"Regarded simply from the standpoint of literary criticism, the Conquest of Mexico is Prescott's masterpiece," judged his biographer Harry Thurston Peck. "More than that, it is one of the most brilliant examples which the English language possesses of literary art applied to historical narration. . . . Here, as nowhere else, has Prescott succeeded in delineating character. All the chief actors of his great historic drama not only live and breathe, but they are as distinctly differentiated as they must have been in life. Cortés and his lieutenants are persons whom we actually come to know in the pages of Pres-cott. . . . Over against these brilliant figures stands the melancholy form of Montezuma, around whom, even from the first, one feels gathering the darkness of his coming fate. He reminds one of some hero of Greek tragedy, doomed to destruction and intensely conscious of it, yet striving in vain against the decree of an inexorable des- tiny. . . . [Prescott] transmuted the acquisitions of laborious research into an enduring monument of pure literature."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Daily Life of the Aztecs

Daily Life of the Aztecs
by Jacques Soustelle

The Aztecs were fierce, honorable, death-obsessed, and profoundly religious. A famed scholar evokes the life of this complex culture on the eve of its extinction, when the Spanish arrived and conquered them--imprisoning Montezuma and strangling Atahualpa. Vivid account of a profoundly religious warrior society — from its most primitive days to the eve of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century. Detailed accounts of life in a city-state, religious beliefs, public buildings and markets, home furnishings, family life, the conduct of war, language, music, much more.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still Life With Rice

Still Life With Rice
by Helie Lee

In this radiant memoir of her grandmother's life, Helie Lee probes a history and a culture that are both seductively exotic and strangely familiar. And with wit and verve she claims her own Korean identity, illuminating the intricate experiences of Asian-American women.

Born in 1912 - "the year of the rat" - to aristocratic parents, Hongyong Baek came of age in a unified but socially repressive Korea, where she learned the roles that had been prescribed for her: obedient daughter, demure wife, efficient household manager. Ripped from her home first during the Japanese occupation and again during the bloody civil war that divided her country, Hongyong fought to save her family by drawing from her own talents and values. Over the years she provided for her husband and children by running a successful restaurant, building a profitable opium business, and eventually becoming adept at the healing art of Chiryo.

When she was pressured to leave her country, she moved with her family to California, where she reestablished her Chiryo practice. Writing in her grandmother's voice, Helie Lee depicts the concerns and conflicts that shaped one family's search for home. Evocative and keenly felt, Still Life with Rice interprets issues that touch all of us: the complex nature of family relations, the impact of social upheaval on an individual, and the rapidly changing lives of women in this century.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Losing Ground

Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980 
by Charles Murray

 "Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980", by Charles Murray proposes that in the 1960s there was a paradigm shift in people's thinking about what caused poverty. It was thought that the underclass, largely inhabited by blacks was the result of white prejudice. This perspective led to a complete change in the way the government dealt with poverty.

President Johnson proposed his "Great Society" and his "war on poverty" which was designed to spend poverty into oblivion. Far from banishing poverty from the face of America it broke out like a bad case of acne into perpetual poverty, rising crime, lower education standards, rising illegitimacy and a glass ceiling beyond which the poor seemed unable to rise.

Charles Murray wrote "Losing Ground" in 1984. His book seemed like a bolt of lightening in the middle of the night revealing what should have been plain as the light of day. The welfare state so carefully built up in the 1960s and 1970s created a system of disincentives for people to better their own lives. By paying welfare mothers to have children out of wedlock into a poor home, more of these births were encouraged. By doling out dollars at a rate that could not be matched by the economy, the system encouraged the poor to stay home. By lowering the value of learning, it was discouraged. By lowering the punishment for criminal activity (which was deemed to be society's fault and not the perpetrator - who was seen as a victim) it encouraged more criminal activity and longer criminal records.

 By pointing all this out in convincing fashion with graphs, statistics and well-reasoned argument Charles Murray spawned a movement that would ultimately result in welfare reform in 1996. The results of the reform were manifest in the economy and in society almost immediately. Charles Murray since then has had the opportunity to bask in the glow of being proven right.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Managerial Accounting

Managerial Accounting
by Ray H. Garrison, Eric W. Noreen, Peter C. Brewer

Managerial accounting is concerned with the provisions and use of accounting information to managers within organizations, to provide them with the basis to make informed business decisions that will allow them to be better equipped in their management and control functions. In contrast to financial accountancy information, management accounting information is:
  • primarily forward-looking, instead of historical
  • model based with a degree of abstraction to support decision making generically, instead of case based
  • designed and intended for use by managers within the organization, instead of being intended for use by shareholders, creditors, and public regulators
  • usually confidential and used by management, instead of publicly reported
  • computed by reference to the needs of managers, often using management information systems, instead of by reference to general financial accounting standards.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom
by Wilbur H. Siebert

Siebert was a professor at the Ohio State University from 1891-1935. His research material on the Underground Railroad, collected over a period of fifty years, includes survey responses, interviews, and copies and notes from books, diaries, letters, photographs, newspapers, biographies, memoirs, speeches, annual reports, trial records, census records, and legislation. He organized his research by state and county, eventually binding his notes in volumes by location.

His classic work, The Underground Railroad from Freedom to Slavery, published in 1898, still is the subject’s most comprehensive study. His version of the story portrayed a loosely organized network of individuals who through various means aided tens of thousands of slaves obtain their freedom, with most being sent to Canada. This story conformed closely with the personal narratives of former participants like Levi Coffin, William Still, and Eber Pettit, as well as Robert Smedley, whose book was based on participants’ accounts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

William Lloyd Garrison

Great Lives Observed: William Lloyd Garrison 
edited by George M. Fredrickson

(born Dec. 10/12, 1805, Newburyport, Mass., U.S.died May 24, 1879, New York, N.Y.)
U.S. journalist and abolitionist. He was editor of the National Philanthropist (Boston) newspaper in 1828 and the Journal of the Times (Bennington, Vt.) in 182829, both dedicated to moral reform. In 1829 he and Benjamin Lundy edited the Genius of Universal Emancipation. In 1831 he founded The Liberator, which became the most radical of the antislavery journals. In 1833 he helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1837 he renounced church and state and embraced the doctrines of Christian perfectionism, which combined abolition, women's rights, and nonresistance with the biblical injunction to come out from a corrupt society by refusing to obey its laws and support its institutions.

 His radical blend of pacifism and anarchism precipitated a crisis in the Anti-Slavery Society, a majority of whose members chose to secede when he and his followers voted a series of resolutions admitting women (1840). In the two decades between the schism of 1840 and the American Civil War, Garrison's influence waned as his radicalism increased. Through The Liberator he denounced the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision and hailed John Brown's raid. During the Civil War he forswore pacifism to support Pres. Abraham Lincoln and welcomed the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1865 he retired but continued to press for women's suffrage, temperance, and free trade.

Includes one essay by Howard Zinn.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad: First-Person Narratives of Escapes to Freedom in the North
edited by Charles L. Blockson

Numerous books have been written about the Underground Railroad. That secret avenue to freedom was taken by an increasingly large number of daring runaways from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the frenzied rush in the decades between the Fugitive Slave Act and the outbreak of the Civil War. Rarely, though, has the story been told from the viewpoint of the central characters, the fugitive slaves. Why did they risk death for freedom, and how did they make their way out of bondage? The answers are indispensable to an understanding of the real Underground.

 In the pages of this book the reader will meet and come to know the major personalities in this dramatic and too-little known chapter in American history. Harriet Tubman as the Moses of her people struggles steadfastly to achieve her heaven-directed goals. Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery in Maryland to become the most eloquent spokesman for freedom in print and on platform here and abroad. Sojourner Truth, near penniless, still manages to get the funds to continue her unremitting rescue work. Thomas Garrett, a white Delaware Quaker, refuses to budge an inch from his abolition principles while living and working in a slave state.... William and Ellen Craft, a married couple, escape slavery by traveling openly through the public highways of the antebellum South in that most convincing of disguises--master and slave. The wealthy and well-born Charlotte Forten is here, recording riots in Boston, along with that most piteous and desperate black mother, Margaret Garner, ready to sacrifice her child rather than see her returned to slavery.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From Midnight to Dawn

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad
by Jacqueline L. Tobin

From Midnight to Dawn presents compelling portraits of the men and women who established the Underground Railroad and traveled it to find new lives in Canada. Evoking the turmoil and controversies of the time, Tobin illuminates the historic events that forever connected American and Canadian history by giving us the true stories behind well-known figures such as Harriet Tubman and John Brown. She also profiles lesser-known but equally heroic figures such as Mary Ann Shadd, who became the first black female newspaper editor in North America, and Osborne Perry Anderson, the only black survivor of the fighting at Harpers Ferry. An extraordinary examination of a part of American history, From Midnight to Dawn will captivate readers with its tales of hope, courage, and a people’s determination to live equally under the law.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Passages to Freedom

Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory
edited by David W. Blight

Few American stories have such staying power as the tales of courageous slaves escaping from bondage through a rudimentary network of hiding places and way stations. These stories of enormous risk, of black leadership and white cooperation, of many thousands of journeys to freedom, have become a part of American historical consciousness. How much of the great story of the Underground Railroad is real, how much is legend and mythology, and how much is verifiable? Passages to Freedom is the single-best illustrated treatment of slavery, abolitionism, and emancipation, and seeks to answer these very questions. Artfully displaying illustrations and artifacts together with essays by leading American historians, the book explores the wealth of lore about the Underground Railroad that grew in the national culture after emancipation. Both the text and images examine why these stories endure—and need to endure—in our American culture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Regulating the Poor

Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare
by Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward

The main premise of this book is that government provides aid for the poor to control political unrest and to control labor. The book starts off by tracing the history and development of welfare in western civilization. Prior to the early 16th century, caring for the poor was considered to be primarily the responsibility of the church or of those of the more prosperous who tried to purchase their salvation through almsgiving. Leaving charity to the church meant that few received aid and those not necessarily according to their need.

This increased social unrest so governments began to be involved in providing for the poor. This was done for two primary reasons: 1.) To control social order and 2.) To extol the virtue of labor even at the lowest wages by making the treatment of the destitute so punitive and degrading that the no one wants to descend into beggary and pauperism. The book details such early government programs as workhouses, labor yards, and poor law subsidies whereby parish churches were required to care for the poor in their area.

 In the united States, welfare was addressed somewhat differently. Poverty in the U.S. was regarded as the obvious consequence of sloth and sinfulness. Relief was scattered and fragmentary-each township or county provided for its hungry in whatever manner it saw fit-giving of food, incarceration in almshouses, or indentured service. Poor relief was a local, not a state or national responsibility.

 During the great Depression, unemployment became so widespread that the government was forced to develop programs to assist the poor and the unemployed. At first the government focused on direct relief, but as imm4ediate needs were satisfied, the government moved on to work relief which, interestingly, was opposed by business leaders because it was felt that government was encroaching on areas that had been primarily reserved for private enterprise. As conditions stabilized, US policies changed to conform with the earlier view of poverty as being the rsult of sloth and sinfulness.

Relief programs excluded able-bodied men. Man-in-the-house rules excluded aid to a mother who was in any way associated with a man, particularly if the man lived in her house. Women and/or children were given aid but at the same time assigned to private entrepreneurs who were told to use them in any way possible. With the growing mechanization of southern agriculture, blacks migrated into the cities, particularly the northern cities where relief rules were not as restrictive.

Four million blacks came to cities in less than three decades-congregated in largest cities in the north-New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington. Industry required an increasingly skilled labor force just as unskilled blacks reached cities in large numbers from the fields of the south, consequently, unemployment rose. Unrest mounted among poor blacks, culminating in the Civil Rights demonstrations of the early 60's. Then was born the Great society as Democrats realized that blacks were located in states of the most strategic importance in presidential contests.

Democrats were losing traditional support in the South, so they needed the support of the northern cities. Service programs were developed for inner city as part of LBJ's "War on Poverty". According to the book, the true objective of the "War on Poverty" was to reach blacks and integrate them into urban political system. Method was to offer federal funds for the ghettoes and to use federal funds to create pressure for reallocation of municipal services.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Great Depression and The New Deal

The Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression and The New Deal
by Robert P. Murphy

In this timely new P.I. Guide, Murphy reveals the stark truth: free market failure didn't cause the Great Depression and the New Deal didn't cure it. Shattering myths and politically correct lies, he tells why World War II didn t help the economy or get us out of the Great Depression; why it took FDR to make the Depression Great; and why Herbert Hoover was more like Obama and less like Bush than the liberal media would have you believe. Free-market believers and capitalists everywhere should have this on their bookshelf and in their briefcase.

We all learned in school that the 1920s were a time of unregulated capitalism that led to the stock market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Herbert Hoover was a laissez-faire ideologue who did nothing to alleviate the crisis--even as citizens starved and were forced to live in "Hoovervilles." And the interventionist policies and massive spending programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal gradually lifted us out of the Depression, until World War II brought it to a definitive end.
The only trouble with this official narrative--taught in most history textbooks, and proclaimed as gospel by the media--is that every element of it is false. Worse, this unsubstantiated myth is now being used to justify a "new New Deal" in response to today's economic crisis that could lead to a Greater Depression even deeper and longer than the first. But in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal, economist Robert Murphy fact-checks the myths, shows why they're wrong, and delves deep into history to set the record straight. His "politically incorrect" conclusion? It was government, not free markets, that caused the Great Depression--and the New Deal only made it worse. The real "lessons of the Great Depression" are not what you've been taught.

* The Crash of `29 was caused not by capitalism, but by the boom brought on by the newly created Federal Reserve's easy money policy (sound familiar?)
* Hoover made the Depression "Great" precisely by abandoning the laissez-faire approach that previous presidents had followed and that kept depressions short
* The bank runs of the 1930s were caused by government intervention in the banking system
* Government efforts to prop up wages and prices led to a full decade of double-digit unemployment
* FDR's arbitrary policies toward businessmen resulted in net investment of less than zero for much of the Depression

Friday, March 30, 2012

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
by Catherine Clinton

Who was Harriet Tubman? To John Brown, the leader of the Harpers Ferry slave uprising, she was General Tubman. For those slaves whom she led north to freedom, she was Moses. To the slavers who hunted her down, she was a thief and a trickster. To abolitionists she was a prophet. As Catherine Clinton shows in this riveting biography, Harriet Tubman was, above all, a singular and complex woman, defeating simple categories. Illiterate but deeply religious, Harriet Tubman was raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1820s, not far from where Frederick Douglass was born. As an adolescent, she incurred a severe head injury when she stepped between a lead weight thrown by an irate master and the slave it was meant for. She recovered but suffered from visions and debilitating episodes for the rest of her life. While still in her early twenties she left her family and her husband, a free black, to make the journey north alone. Yet within a year of her arrival in Philadelphia, she found herself drawn back south, first to save family members slated for the auction block, then others. Soon she became one of the most infamous enemies of slaveholders. She established herself as the first and only woman, the only black, and one of the few fugitive slaves to work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In the decade leading up to the Civil War, Tubman made over a dozen trips south in raids that were so brazen and so successful that a steep price was offered as a bounty on her head. When the Civil War broke out, she became the only woman to officially lead men into battle, acting as a scout and a spy while serving with the Union Army in South Carolina. Long overdue, Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom is the first major biography of this pivotal character in American history, written by an acclaimed historian of the antebellum and Civil War eras. With impeccable scholarship drawing on newly available sources and research into the daily lives of the slaves in the border states, Catherine Clinton brings Harriet Tubman to life as one of the most important and enduring figures in American history.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Harriet Tubman:Imagining a Life

Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life
by Beverly Lowry

Best known as a hero of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman has been the subject of hundreds of books for young people. Full-scale biographies, however, have been scarce, though three — by Jean Humez, Catherine Clinton and Kate Clifford Larson — have appeared since the year 2000. “Harriet Tubman,” the novelist Beverly Lowry’s contribution, is labeled a biography, but the subtitle, “Imagining a Life,” qualifies that claim. In an author’s note, Lowry painstakingly explains her decision “to emphasize the visual elements of Harriet’s story — what things looked like, places and clothes, faces, plants, the sky — and to thread information from the sources” listed in her bibliography “in order to come up with one version of what life might have been like for the American hero Harriet Tubman.” She also makes us aware that Tubman was one of the first American celebrities to market her own story for profit, so the first full record of her life contains material that she and her original biographer, Sarah Hopkins Bradford, thought would sell.

Fictionalized biographies are troubling to readers who want to know at all times what’s fact and what’s invention. Lowry signals, unobtrusively but clearly, when she is gliding into the imagined phases of her narrative. Particularly in the first half of the book, this method produces vivid scenes of Tubman’s life as she (might well have) lived it.

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Ross around 1822, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She was the property of Edward Brodess, an unprosperous farmer who staved off bankruptcy by hiring out or selling his slaves. First hired out at the age of 6, Minty, as she was known, was beaten for poor performance of housework she’d never been taught to do. Her hire-masters tried using her to check muskrat traps, and kept her wading through cold water during a bout of measles until she collapsed. Still, she preferred outdoor labor. In her early 20s, she made a deal with one of her hire-masters, Brodess’s stepbrother A. C. Thompson, which permitted her to find her own jobs and keep whatever earnings were left after both Thompson and Brodess had satisfied their claims.

When Tubman was 13, her skull was fractured by a two-pound lead weight launched in a dispute between an overseer and another slave. Brodess promptly tried to sell his damaged property, but found no takers. Minty recovered but soon began having visions and conversations with God. She had witnessed the Leonid meteor shower of 1833, a revelation of falling stars that many thought portended a great upheaval in the order of things. In later life, Tubman would claim she had always known how to follow the North Star, which led to freedom.

On the non-astral plane, she also learned, much later in life, that a term in Brodess’s great-grandfather’s will should have set her mother, and her mother’s children, free at age 45. As it happened, she did not have to wait that long. At 26, when she heard that Brodess was trying to sell her again, she asked God to kill him. He died about a week later. His widow was still more desperate to raise money by selling slaves. Minty, now married to John Tubman, tried to escape with three of her brothers in September 1849, but they lost their nerve. A few days later she went alone. After crossing to freedom she took her mother’s name, Harriet.

A year later, Harriet returned to rescue family members who had been put up for sale. Slaves who were not her relatives asked her to help them escape too. The recent passage of the Fugitive Slave Act meant that escapees could be recaptured even in the North. The Underground Railroad ramped up in response, now conveying fugitives all the way to Canada.

Relying on her visions, her sixth sense for danger and her colloquies with God, Harriet ran extraordinary risks in her numerous returns to slave territory, once (in an episode rendered well by Lowry) brushing elbows with her former master A. C. Thompson. Slaves began calling her Moses, after her habit of singing “Go Down Moses” to discreetly announce her presence. John Brown, with his more martial bent, called her “General Tubman.”

By the outbreak of the Civil War, Tubman had gotten most of her family north, and become a symbol of the possibility of freedom to a great many more. Though she would become a star on the abolitionist lecture circuit, she always had to struggle to finance her expeditions and to support the growing circle of family and friends she had helped establish in Canada and upstate New York. Though she served in the United States Army as a scout and spy, the government would repeatedly deny her a pension. In 1865 she was severely beaten for refusing to leave a whites-only car on a train from Philadelphia to New York. After a slow recovery, she returned to her large dependent household, begging for food when she couldn’t find work. Under these circumstances, in 1868, she began collaborating with Sarah Bradford in the marketing of her legend.

Lowry, a white Southerner, makes painfully sure we know she knows that slavery was a Bad Thing. The hardships Harriet Tubman suffered in the North come through just as clearly through uncommented description. Though she insists her work is not scholarly, Lowry’s dramatic retelling seems thoroughly researched, and she succeeds in animating the icon that Tubman helped to make of herself. “I am as proud of being a black woman,” she told the conductor of the train where she was beaten, “as you are of being white.” That pride shines through in the marvelous photographs of Tubman that illustrate the book — images that, amplifying Lowry’s words, show forth her indomitable desire to be herself in freedom.

Monday, March 19, 2012


by Zvi Bodie, Alex Kane, Alan Marcus

Bodie, Kane, and Marcus' INVESTMENTS is the leading textbook for the graduate/MBA investments market. It is recognized as the best blend of practical and theoretical coverage, while maintaining an appropriate rigor and clear writing style. Its unifying theme is that security markets are nearly efficient, meaning that most securities are usually priced appropriately given their risk and return attributes. The text places greater emphasis on asset allocation, and offers a much broader and deeper treatment of futures, options, and other derivative security markets than most investment texts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
by Judith Bentley

Harriet Tubman, Moses of Her People is the biography of one of America’s greatest women. Harriet Tubman is most famous for her work escorting slaves north on the Underground Railroad, work that earned her the name Moses. Not only an abolitionist, she also worked as a spy and a nurse for the Union army during the Civil War and then became involved in the women’s suffrage movement after the war. She risked her life and safety to bring her family and friends north, never losing a passenger from her “train.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Private Yankee Doodle

Private Yankee Doodle: Being a narrative of some of the adventures, dangers, and sufferings of a revolutionary soldier
by Joseph Plumb Martin

Joseph Plumb Martin (November 21, 1760 – May 2, 1850) was an American Revolutionary War soldier who published an account of his experiences as a soldier in the 8th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army in 1830.

Martin's narrative of the war has been frequently cited by scholars as an excellent primary source for the American Revolution. It is notable that Martin was a mere private in the army, and his account does not involve the usual heroes of the Revolution. His narrative is considered one of the major primary sources for historians, researchers and reinactors of the American Revolution. Scholars believe that Martin kept some type of journal during the course of the war, and fleshed it out in detail later on in his life. It is interesting to also note that while some events may be dramatized, the narrative is remarkably accurate, since Plumb Martin's regiment would have been present at every event he writes about, according to war records of the time.

Martin's narrative was originally published anonymously in 1830, at Hallowell, Maine, as A narrative of some of the adventures, dangers, and sufferings of a Revolutionary soldier, interspersed with anecdotes of incidents that occurred within his own observation. It has been republished in many forms, but was thought lost to history. In the mid-1950s, a first edition copy of the narrative was found and donated to Morristown National Historical Park. The book was published again by Little, Brown in 1962, in an edition edited by George F. Scheer (ISBN 0-915992-10-8) under the title Private Yankee Doodle; as well as appearing as a volume in Series I of The New York Times' Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution in 1968. The current edition, published since 2001, is entitled A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier: Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of Joseph Plumb Martin.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quiet Odyssey

Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America
by Mary Paik Lee
edited by Sucheng Chan

Lee's indomitable spirit pervades this absorbing autobiography spanning much of the 20th century. Born in 1900, the author left Korea in 1905 with her family, as political refugees. Among the earliest Korean immigrants to America, they settled in California, where they faced a constant struggle for the bare necessities, living wherever Lee's father could find work, often as an agricultural laborer. In addition to economic adversity, Lee often encountered racism. Determined to attend high school, she endured lectures about "stinking Chinks and dirty Japs." After the attack on Pearl Harbor, she had to stop three teenagers from striking her child. Even such unreasoned hatred could not break Lee who, from the perspective of the 1980s, sees in her children's successes the triumph of a century of cultural change. Chan, author of This Bittersweet Soil and a professor of history and Asian American studies at UC Santa Barbara, supplements the memoir with historical background. Her notes help make this brief, accessible volume a worthwhile addition to the scholarship on Asian American culture.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Achieving Our Country

Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America
by Richard Rorty

Achieving Our Country is a book by American philosopher Richard Rorty. In this book, Rorty differentiates between what he sees as the two sides of the Left, a critical Left and a progressive Left. He criticizes the critical Left, which is exemplified by post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault and post-modernists such as Jean-François Lyotard. Although these intellectuals make insightful claims about the ills of society, Rorty holds that they provide no alternatives and even present progress as problematic at times. On the other hand, the progressive Left, exemplified for Rorty by John Dewey, makes progress its priority in its goal of "achieving our country." Rorty sees the progressive Left as acting in the philosophical spirit of pragmatism.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"16 Rules for Investment Success"

"16 Rules for Investment Success"
by Sir John Templeton

In 1993, Sir John Templeton wrote an article that first appeared in the magazine “World Monitor: The Christian Science Monitor Monthly”, entitled “16 Rules for Investment Success”. Here is Sir John’s list, with some commentary about each point and how it relates to what we are experiencing in the financial world today:

"Success in the stock market is based on the principle
of buying low and selling high. Granted, one can
make money by reversing the order—selling high
and then buying low. And there is money to be made
in those strange animals, options and futures. But,
by and large, these are techniques for traders and
speculators, not for investors. And I am writing as a
professional investor, one who has enjoyed a certain
degree of success as an investment counselor over
the past half-century—and who wishes to share
with others the lessons learned during this time."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Civil War Stories

Civil War Stories
by Ambrose Bierce

Newspaperman, short-story writer, poet and satirist, Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) stands among the most striking and unusual literary figures that America has ever produced. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the Indiana infantry. Most of the sixteen stories in the above collection are based on Bierce’s recollections of the war.

In The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce defined "war" as "a by-product of the arts of peace." A Civil War veteran, Bierce had absolutely no illusions about "courage," "honor," and "glory" on the battlefield. These stories form one of the great antiwar statements in American literature. Included here are the classic An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Chickamauga, The Mocking Bird, The Coup de Grâce, Parker Anderson, Philosopher, and other stories celebrated for their intensity, startling insight, and mastery of form.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History
by Sarah Pomeroy, Stanley Burstein, Walter Donlan, Jennifer Roberts

Written by four leading authorities on the classical world, here is a new history of ancient Greece that dynamically presents a generation of new scholarship on the birthplace of Western civilization.

Ranging from Greece's first beginnings in the Bronze Age through the tumultuous Hellenistic era dominated by Alexander the Great, this volume offers a truly wide-ranging portrait, blending the traditional political and military approach with a more modern accent on social and cultural history. Everything is included here--the sweeping philosophical systems of Plato and Aristotle, the daily lives of women in Athens, dramatic sea battles in the Aegean, the epic poetry of Homer, the rise of the city-state. The book offers illuminating descriptions of Sparta and Athens, recounts the Persian and Peloponnesian wars, evaluates the contributions of notable figures such as Solon, Cleisthenes, Pericles, and Philip II of Macedon, and discusses the remarkable rise of Alexander the Great. Throughout the book, the editors trace the slow evolution of Greek culture, revealing how the early Greeks borrowed from their neighbors, but eventually developed a distinctive culture of their own, marked by astonishing creativity, versatility, and resilience.

Featuring 17 original maps, over 80 photographs, and numerous "document boxes" which highlight a variety of primary source material, this book provides an account of the Greek world that is thoughtful and sophisticated while remaining accessible to the nonscholar. A dynamic collaboration between four renowned scholars Sarah Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts it is the definitive portrait of the fountainhead of Western philosophy, literature, science, and art.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Problems in Ancient History, Vol. 1

Problems in Ancient History, Vol. 1: The Ancient Near East and Greece
edited by Donald Kagan

Selected ancient sources in translation and modern commentaries provide a survey of major problems in ancient history from Sumeria to the late Roman Empire and offer insight into historical methods and techniques.

The Greek Dark Age or Ages (ca. 1200–800 BCE) are terms which have regularly been used to refer to the period of Greek history from the presumed Dorian invasion and end of the Mycenaean Palatial civilization around 1200 BCE, to the first signs of the Greek city-states in the 9th century BCE. These terms are gradually going out of use, since the former lack of archaeological evidence in a period that was mute in its lack of inscriptions (thus "dark") has been shown to be an accident of discovery rather than a fact of history.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean world at the outset of the period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaeans were destroyed or abandoned.

Around this time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceases.

The decoration on Greek pottery after c. 1100 BCE lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles. It was previously thought that all contact was lost between mainland Hellenes and foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth; however, artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c. 900 BCE onwards, and evidence has emerged of the new presence of Hellenes in sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and on the Syrian coast at Al Mina.