Inyo County Free Library - New Acquisitions

These are books and media new to the library and cataloged by the Inyo County Free Library.

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Reflections on a ravaged century

By Conquest, Robert

Publishing Date: c2000

Classification: 900

Call Number: 909.08 CON

In the philosophical tradition of George Orwell and Isaiah Berlin, Robert Conquest presents a brilliant work of history and meditation, one that examines the political ideologies that have corrupted the twentieth century and, in the process, sent millions to the slaughterhouse. The main responsibility for our century's cataclysms, Conquest maintains, lies not in impersonal economic or social forces--like revolutionary Marxism or German National Socialism--but in the distortions that polluted human minds with the detritus of absolutist ideas. Conquest finds the failure to understand these phenomena as epidemic in Western civic culture, which has so far--barely--prevailed. Whether discussing Kierkegaard or Koestler or the disasters posed by the new European Economic Union, Conquest has a remarkable ability to fuse literature and history, philosophy and prognostication, and presents here a grand synthesis of our century, seen through its most deeply flawed ideologies. - (Norton Pub)

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The broken road: from the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

By Fermor, Patrick Leigh

Publishing Date: 2013

Classification: 900

Call Number: 914.96 FER

"In the winter of 1933 eighteen-year-old Patrick ("Paddy") Leigh Fermor set out to walk across Europe, starting in Holland and ending in Constantinople, a trip that took him the better part of a year. Decades later, when he was well over fifty, Leigh Fermor told the story of that life-changing journey in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, two works now celebrated as among the most vivid, absorbing, delightful, and beautifully-written travel books of all time. The Broken Road is the long and avidly awaited account of the final leg of his youthful adventure that Leigh Fermor promised but was unable to finish before his death in 2011. Assembled from Leigh Fermor's manuscripts by his prize-winning biographer Artemis Cooper and the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor's books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea. Days and nights on the road, spectacular landscapes and uncanny cities, friendships lost and found, leading the high life in Bucharest or camping out with fishermen and shepherds: in the The Broken Road such incidents and escapades are described with all the linguistic bravura, odd and astonishing learning, and overflowing exuberance that Leigh Fermor is famous for, but also with a melancholy awareness of the passage of time, especially when he meditates on the scarred history of the Balkans or on his troubled relations with his father. The book ends, perfectly, with Paddy's diary from the winter of 1934, when he had reached Greece, the country he would fall in love with and fight for. Across the space of three quarters of century we can still hear the ringing voice of an irrepressible young man embarking on a life of adventure"--

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Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor

By Stephenson, Paul

Publishing Date: 2010

Classification: 900

Call Number: 937 STE

This work surveys the life and legacy of the first Christian Roman emperor, describing the vision that inspired his religious conversion and subsequent conquest of the imperial capital, his founding of Constantinople, and his role in promoting a unified Christian Europe. In 312, Constantine, one of four Roman emperors ruling a divided empire, marched on Rome to establish his sole control of its western half. According to Constantine's first biographer, the bishop Eusebius, on the eve of the decisive battle, at Rome's Milvian Bridge, he had a vision. 'A cross-shaped trophy of light' appeared to him in the sky with an exhortation, generally translated as 'By this sign conquer'. Inscribing the sign on the shields of his soldiers, Constantine drove the followers of his rival Maxentius into the Tiber and claimed the imperial capital for himself. He converted to Christianity and ended persecution of his co-religionists with the defeat in 324 of his last rival, Licinius. Under Constantine, Christianity emerged from the shadows, its adherents no longer persecuted. Constantine united the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire, and presided over the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church, at Nicaea in 325. He founded a new capital city nearby on the Bosphorus, where Europe meets Asia. This site, the ancient trading colony of Byzantium, became the city of Constantine, Constantinople, a new Christian capital set apart from Rome's pagan past. "Paul Stephenson offers an account of a man whose cultural and spiritual renewal of the Roman Empire gave birth to the historically crucial idea of a unified Christian Europe underpinned by a commitment to religious tolerance.

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The portable Enlightenment reader

Publishing Date: c1995

Classification: 900

Call Number: 940.253

The Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire Capitalism This volume brings together works from this era, with more than 100 selections from a range of sources. It includes examples by Kant, Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Paine that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Enlightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Churchill

By Johnson, Paul

Publishing Date: 2009

Classification: 900

Call Number: 941 JOH

Acclaimed historian Paul Johnson shows how Churchill's immense adaptability combined with his natural pugnacity to make him a formidable leader for the better part of a century. Rich with anecdote and quotation, Johnson's narrative illustrates the British statesman's humor, resilience, courage, and eccentricity as no other biography before.

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Churchill: walking with destiny

By Roberts, Andrew

Publishing Date: 2019

Classification: 900

Call Number: 941.084 ROB

"In this landmark biography of Winston Churchill based on extensive new material, the true genius of the man, statesman and leader can finally be fully seen and understood--by the bestselling, award-winning author of Napoleon and The Storm of War. When we seek an example of great leaders with unalloyed courage, the person who comes to mind is Winston Churchill: the iconic, visionary war leader immune from the consensus of the day, who stood firmly for his beliefs when everyone doubted him. But how did young Winston become Churchill? What gave him the strength to take on the superior force of Nazi Germany when bombs rained on London and so many others had caved? In Churchill, Andrew Roberts gives readers the full and definitive Winston Churchill, from birth to lasting legacy, as personally revealing as it is compulsively readable. Roberts gained exclusive access to extensive new material: transcripts of War Cabinet meetings, diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs from Churchill's contemporaries. The Royal Family permitted Roberts--in a first for a Churchill biographer--to read the detailed notes taken by King George VI in his diary after his weekly meetings with Churchill during World War II. This treasure trove of access allows Roberts to understand the man in revelatory new ways, and to identify the hidden forces fueling Churchill's legendary drive"--

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1215: the year of Magna Carta

By Danziger, Danny

Publishing Date: 2005

Classification: 900

Call Number: 942.033 DAN

From bestselling author Danny Danziger and medieval expert John Gillingham comes a vivid look at the signing of the Magna Carta and how this event illuminates one of the most compelling and romantic periods in history. Surveying a broad landscape through a narrow lens, 1215 sweeps readers back eight centuries in an absorbing portrait of life during a time of global upheaval, the ripples of which can still be felt today. At the center of this fascinating period is the document that has become the root of modern freedom: the Magna Carta. It was a time of political revolution and domestic change that saw the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, King John, and, in legend, Robin Hood all make their marks on history. The events leading up to King Johns setting his seal to the famous document at Runnymede in June 1215 form this rich and riveting narrative that vividly describes everyday life from castle to countryside, from school to church, and from hunting in the forest to trial by ordeal. For instance, women wore no underwear, though men did, the average temperatures were actually higher than they are now, and the austere kitchen at Westminster Abbey allowed each monk two pounds of meat and a gallon of ale per day. Broad in scope and rich in detail, 1215 ingeniously illuminates what may have been the most important year of our history.

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Napoleon

By Johnson, Paul

Publishing Date: 2002

Classification: 900

Call Number: 944.05 JOH

With masterly eloquence, Napoleon charts Bonaparte's career from the barren island of Corsica and his early training in Paris-he was a bold soldier with an uncanny gift for math, maps, and strategy-through high-profile victories in Italy, military dictatorship, and campaigns across Europe to his end on the forsaken isle of St. Helena. In Napoleon's insatiable hunger for power, Johnson sees a realist unfettered by patriotism or ideology, a brilliant opportunist and propagandist who fulfilled his ambition in the aftermath of the French Revolution. He interprets Napoleon's life in the trajectory of his times, revealing how his complex and violent legacy seeded totalitarian regimes in the twentieth century and sounds an alert to us in the twenty-first. - (Penguin Putnam)

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Versailles: a biography of a palace

By Spawforth, Antony

Publishing Date: 2008

Classification: 900

Call Number: 944.3663 SPA

The story of Versailles is one of historical drama, under the last three kings of France’s old regime, mixed with the high camp and glamour of the European courts, all in an iconic home for the French arts. The palace itself has been radically altered since 1789, and the court was long ago swept away. Versailles sets out to rediscover what is now a vanished world: a great center of power, seat of royal government, and, for thousands, a home both grand and squalid, bound by social codes almost incomprehensible to us today. Using eyewitness testimony as well as the latest historical research, Spawforth offers the first full account of Versailles in English in over thirty years. Blowing away the myths of Versailles, he analyses afresh the politics behind the Sun King’s construction of the palace and shows how Versailles worked as the seat of a royal court. He probes the conventional picture of a “perpetual house party” of courtiers and gives full weight to the darker side: not just the mounting discomfort of the aging buildings but also the intrigue and status anxiety of its aristocrats. The book brings out clearly the fateful consequences for the French monarchy of its relocation to Versailles and also examines the changing place of Versailles in France’s national identity since 1789. Many books have told the stories of the royals and artists living in Versailles, but this is the first to turn its focus on the palace itself---from architecture and politics to scandal and restoration.- (McMillan Palgrave)

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Russia under the old regime

By Pipes, Richard

Publishing Date: 1995

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947 PIP

Newly revised for this edition, Richard Pipes's highly acclaimed study analyses the evolution of the Russian state from the ninth century to the 1880s and its unique role in managing Russian society. The harsh geographical conditions and sheer size of the country prevented the creation of participatory government, and a 'patrimonial' state emerged in which Russia was transformed into a gigantic royal domain. Richard Pipes traces these developments and goes on to analyse the political behaviour of the principal social groupings - peasantry, nobility, middle-class and clergy - and their failure to stand up to the increasing absolutism of the tsar. In order to strengthen his powers legal and institutional bases were set up that led to the creation of a bureaucratic police state under the Communists.

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A people's tragedy: the Russian Revolution, 1891-1924

By Figes, Orlando

Publishing Date: 1998

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947.083 FIG

It is history on an epic yet human scale. Vast in scope, exhaustive in original research, written with passion, narrative skill, and human sympathy, A People's Tragedy is a profound account of the Russian Revolution for a new generation. Many consider the Russian Revolution to be the most significant event of the twentieth century. Distinguished scholar Orlando Figes presents a panorama of Russian society on the eve of that revolution, and then narrates the story of how these social forces were violently erased. Within the broad stokes of war and revolution are miniature histories of individuals, in which Figes follows the main players' fortunes as they saw their hopes die and their world crash into ruins. Unlike previous accounts that trace the origins of the revolution to overreaching political forces and ideals, Figes argues that the failure of democracy in 1917 was deeply rooted in Russian culture and social history and that what had started as a people's revolution contained the seeds of its degeneration into violence and dictatorship. A People's Tragedy is a masterful and original synthesis by a mature scholar, presented in a compelling and accessibly human narrative.

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Stalin's children: three generations of love, war, and survival

By Matthews, Owen

Publishing Date: 2008

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947.084 MAT

Traces the author's investigation into his own family history, during which he discovered how his grandparents were arrested and executed by the KGB, his mother and aunt were separated and later reunited, and his parents were deported from Russia.

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Russia under the Bolshevik regime

By Pipes, Richard

Publishing Date: 1995

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947.084 PIP

This is the final volume in Richard Pipes' magisterial history of the Russian Revolution, covering the period from the outbreak of the Civil War in 1918 to Lenin's death in 1924.

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Young Stalin

By Sebag Montefiore, Simon

Publishing Date: 2007

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947.084 SEB

The shadowy journey from obscurity to power of the Georgian cobbler's son who became the Red Tsar--the man who, along with Hitler, remains the modern personification of evil: a merciless psychopath who was, as well, a consummate politician, the dynamic world statesman who helped create and industrialize the USSR, outplayed Churchill and Roosevelt, and defeated Hitler? Historian Montefiore tells the story of a charismatic, turbulent boy born into poverty, of doubtful parentage, scarred by his upbringing but possessed of unusual talents. Admired as a romantic poet and trained as a priest, he found his true mission as a fanatical revolutionary. A mastermind of bank robbery, protection rackets, arson, piracy and murder, he was equal parts terrorist, intellectual and brigand. The paranoid criminal underworld was Stalin's natural habitat, and murderous banditry and political gangsterism, combined with pitiless ideology, enabled Stalin to dominate the Kremlin--and create the USSR in his flawed image.--From publisher description.

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Journey into the whirlwind

By Ginzburg, Evgeniia Semenovna

Publishing Date: 1975, c1967

Classification: 900

Call Number: 947.0842 GIN

Eugenia Ginzburg's critically acclaimed memoir of the harrowing eighteen years she spent in prisons and labor camps under Stalin's rule By the late 1930s, Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg had been a loyal and very active member of the Communist Party for many years. Yet like millions of others who suffered during Stalin's reign of terror, she was arrested—on trumped-up charges of being a Trotskyist terrorist and counter-revolutionary—and sentenced to prison. With an amazing eye for detail, profound strength, and an indefatigable spirit, Ginzburg recounts the years, days, and minutes she endured in prisons and labor camps, including two years of solitary confinement. A classic account of survival, Journey into the Whirlwind is considered one of the most important documents of Stalin's regime. - (Harcourt Publishing)

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Mecca: the sacred city

By Sardar, Ziauddin

Publishing Date: 2014

Classification: 900

Call Number: 953.8 SAR

"Sardar unravels the meaning and significance of Mecca. Tracing its history from its origins as a barren valley in the desert to its evolution as a trading town and sudden emergence as the religious center of a world empire, Sardar examines the religious struggles and rebellions in Mecca that have significantly shaped Muslim culture ... [in a] blend of history, reportage, and memoir"--Amazon.com.

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Notes on a century: reflections of a Middle East historian

By Lewis, Bernard

Publishing Date: 2012

Classification: 900

Call Number: 956.0072 LEW

Presents the life and career of the Middle East specialist, from his professional relationships with world leaders to his accomplishments in world politics, and offers the author's analysis of the political transformation of the region.

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A woman in Arabia: the writings of the Queen of the Desert

By Bell, Gertrude Lowthian

Publishing Date: [2015]

Classification: 900

Call Number: 956.02 BEL

"A portrait in her own words of the female Lawrence of Arabia. One of the great woman adventurers of the twentieth century and the chief architect of British policy in the Middle East after World War I, Gertrude Bell turned her back on Victorian society to study at Oxford and travel the world. Mountaineer, archaeologist, Arabist, writer, poet, linguist, and spy, she dedicated her life to championing the Arab cause and was instrumental in drawing the borders that define today's Middle East. As she wrote in one of her letters, "It's a bore being a woman when you are in Arabia." Forthright and spirited, opinionated and playful, and deeply instructive about the Arab world, this volume brings together Bell's letters, military dispatches, diary entries, and travel writings to offer an intimate look at a woman who shaped nations."--Back cover.

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Shores of knowledge: new world discoveries and the scientific imagination

By Appleby, Joyce Oldham

Publishing Date: [2013]

Classification: 900

Call Number: 970.01 APP

Recounts the triumphs and mishaps of Columbus and other explorers, following the naturalists--both famous and obscure--whose investigations of the world's fauna and flora fueled the rise of science and technology that propelled Western Europe towards modernity.

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First principles: what America's founders learned from the Greeks and Romans and how that shaped our country

By Ricks, Thomas E,

Publishing Date: [2020]

Classification: 900

Call Number: 973.099 RIC

Examines how the educations of America's first four presidents, and in particular their scholarly devotion to ancient Greek and Roman classics, informed the beliefs and ideals that shaped the nation's constitution and government.

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