In this book, Eric Hobsbawm chronicles the events and trends that led to the triumph of private enterprise and its exponents in the years between 1848 and 1875. Along with Hobsbawm's other volumes, this book constitutes and intellectual key to the origins of the world in which we now live.
Although it pulses with great events--failed revolutions, catastrophic wars, and a global depression--The Age of Capital is most outstanding for its analyis of the trends that created the new order. With the sweep and sophistication that have made him one of our greatest historians, Hobsbawm indentifies this epoch's winners and losers, its institutions, ideologies, science, and religion.
The premier of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Vienna on May 7, 1824, was the most significant artistic event of the year--and the work remains one of the most precedent-shattering and influential compositions in the history of music. Described in vibrant detail by eminent musicologist Harvey Sachs, this symbol of freedom and joy was so unorthodox that it amazed and confused listeners at its unveiling--yet it became a standard for subsequent generations of creative artists, and its composer came to embody the Romantic cult of genius. In this unconventional, provocative book, Beethoven's masterwork becomes a prism through which we may view the politics, aesthetics, and overall climate of the era. Part biography, part history, part memoir, The Ninth brilliantly explores the intricacies of Beethoven's last symphony--how it brought forth the power of the individual while celebrating the collective spirit of humanity.
"Suppose that everything we think we know about the Victorians is wrong." So begins "Inventing the Victorians" by Matthew Sweet, a compact and mind-bending whirlwind tour through the soul of the nineteenth century, and a round debunking of our assumptions about it. The Victorians have been victims of the "the enormous condescension of posterity," in the historian E. P. Thompson's phrase. Locked in the drawing room, theirs was an age when, supposedly, existence was stultifying, dank, and over-furnished, and when behavior conformed so rigorously to proprieties that the repressed results put Freud into business. We think we have the Victorians pegged-as self-righteous, imperialist, racist, materialist, hypocritical and, worst of all, earnest.
Oh how wrong we are, argues Matthew Sweet in this highly entertaining, provocative, and illuminating look at our great, and great-great, grandparents. In this, the year of the centenary of Queen Victoria's death, Sweet forces us to think again about her century, entombed in our minds by Dickens, the Elephant Man, Sweeney Todd, and by images of unfettered capitalism and grinding poverty.
Sweet believes not only that we're wrong about the Victorians but profoundly indebted to them. In ways we have been slow to acknowledge, their age and our own remain closely intertwined. The Victorians invented the theme part, the shopping mall, the movies, the penny arcade, the roller coaster, the crime novel, and the sensational newspaper story. Sweet also argues that our twenty-first century smugness about how far we have evolved is misplaced. The Victorians were less racist than we are, less religious, less violent, and less intolerant. Far from being an outcaste, Oscar Wilde was a fairly typical Victorian man; the love that dared not speak its name was declared itself fairly openly. In 1868 the first international cricket match was played between an English team and an Australian team composed entirely of aborigines. The Victorians loved sensation, novelty, scandal, weekend getaways, and the latest conveniences (by 1869, there were image-capable telegraphs; in 1873 a store had a machine that dispensed milk to after-hours' shoppers). Does all this sound familiar?
As Sweet proves in this fascinating, eye-opening book, the reflection we find in the mirror of the nineteenth century is our own. We inhabit buildings built by the Victorians; some of us use their sewer system and ride on the railways they built. We dismiss them because they are the age against whom we have defined our own. In brilliant style, "Inventing the Victorians" shows how much we have been missing.
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York -- the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America. Meagher's rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War -- Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Virginia mud, Meagher's dream was that Irish-American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate their homeland from British rule. The hero's last chapter, as territorial governor of Montana, was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence.
This volume covers Napoleon's gradual fall from power, beginning in the spring of 1813, when France prepared to face the vengeance of Russia and Prussia. quickly raising new armies composed of inexperienced conscripts and invalided veterans, and with a critical shortage of cavalry, Napoleon resolved to preserve his empire in Germany, where he initially managed to achieve some hard-fought victories. When at last Austria threw in her lot with the Allies and the epic Battle of Leipzig followed, Napoleon was forced to retreat across the Rhine, there to resist the onslaught on home soil. The pressure against him proved too great, and with Paris lost and his marshals refusing to fight on, no option remained but abdication. Yet his last battle, and one of the most decisive in military history, was still to come: Waterloo.
In the thirty years after the Civil War, the United States blew by Great Britain to become the greatest economic power in world history. That is a well-known period in history, when titans like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan walked the earth.
But as Charles R. Morris shows us, the platform for that spectacular growth spurt was built in the first half of the century. By the 1820s, America was already the world's most productive manufacturer, and the most intensely commercialized society in history. The War of 1812 jumpstarted the great New England cotton mills, the iron centers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and the forges around the Great Lakes. In the decade after the War, the Midwest was opened by entrepreneurs. In this beautifully illustrated book, Morris paints a vivid panorama of a new nation buzzing with the work of creation. He also points out the parallels and differences in the nineteenth century American/British standoff and that between China and America today.
Wellington remarked that Waterloo was "a damned nice thing," meaning uncertain or finely balanced. He was right. For his part, Napoleon reckoned "the English are bad troops and this affair is nothing more than eating breakfast." He was wrong--and this gripping and dramatic narrative history shows just how wrong.
Fought on Sunday, June 18th, 1815, by some 220,000 men over rain-sodden ground in what is now Belgium, the Battle of Waterloo brought an end to twenty-three years of almost continual war between imperial France and her enemies. A decisive defeat for Napoleon and a hard-won victory for the Allied armies of the Duke of Wellington and the Prussians, led by the stalwart Marshal Blucher, it brought about the French emperor's final exile to St. Helena and cleared the way for Britain to become the dominant military power in the world.The Napoleonic Wars are a source of endless fascination and this authoritative volume provides a wide and colorful window into this all-important climactic battle.
This is the portrait gallery of pugilists. You can discover boxing's greatest era - from the 1850s to the 1890s - when bare-knuckle fighting had its heyday. Written by Billy Edwards, Lightweight Champion of the World in 1874, this book was issued under the title 'The Pugilistic Portrait Gallery'.
Listen to a short interview with Jon LatimerHost: Chris Gondek Producer: Heron & CraneIn the first complete history of the War of 1812 written from a British perspective, Jon Latimer offers an authoritative and compelling account that places the conflict in its strategic context within the Napoleonic wars. The British viewed the War of 1812 as an ill-fated attempt by the young American republic to annex Canada. For British Canada, populated by many loyalists who had fled the American Revolution, this was a war for survival. The Americans aimed both to assert their nationhood on the global stage and to expand their territory northward and westward. Americans would later find in this war many iconic moments in their national story--the bombardment of Fort McHenry (the inspiration for Francis Scott Key's Star Spangled Banner); the Battle of Lake Erie; the burning of Washington; the death of Tecumseh; Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans--but their war of conquest was ultimately a failure. Even the issues of neutrality and impressment that had triggered the war were not resolved in the peace treaty. For Britain, the war was subsumed under a long conflict to stop Napoleon and to preserve the empire. The one lasting result of the war was in Canada, where the British victory eliminated the threat of American conquest, and set Canadians on the road toward confederation. Latimer describes events not merely through the eyes of generals, admirals, and politicians but through those of the soldiers, sailors, and ordinary people who were directly affected. Drawing on personal letters, diaries, and memoirs, he crafts an intimate narrative that marches the reader into the heat of battle.