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Heart of Darkness (version 2)

By: Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad. Before its 1903 publication, it appeared as a three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine. It was classified by the Modern Library website editors as one of the 100 best novels and part of the Western canon. The story centres on Charles Marlow, who narrates most of the book. He is an Englishman who takes a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a river-boat captain in Africa. Heart of Darkness exposes the dark side of European colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters: the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the Europeans' cruel treatment of the African natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil. Although Conrad does not give the name of the river, at the time of writing the Congo Free State, the location of the large and important Congo River, was a private colony of Belgium's King Leopold II. In the story, Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver. However, his more pressing assignment is to return Kurtz, another ivory trade...

Adventure, Fiction, Literature

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What's Wrong With the World

By: G. K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”. Chesterton’s answer at that time was the shortest of those submitted - he simply wrote: “Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton”. In this collection he gives a fuller treatment of the question, with his characteristic conservative wit. (Summary by Wikipedia and Carl Manchester)...

Politics, Humor, Essay/Short nonfiction

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Two

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Religion, Children

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Five

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Children, Religion

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Security

By: Poul Anderson

“Security”, tells the story of a compartmentalized government physicist ordered by secret police to complete experiments aimed at developing a new weapon. He is brought to a hidden space station and put in charge of the project but there are many questions. In a world of spies watching spies it’s sometimes hard to know what’s patriotic. -- Poul Anderson was a Golden Age Science Fiction and Fantasy author. “Security” first appeared in the magazine “Space Science Fiction” in February of 1953 (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Politics

By: Aristotle

The Politics , by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that Man is a political animal, meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes his teacher Plato, classifies and evaluates six different types of constitutions and political institutions, and describes his vision of the ideal state. Aristotle's views on women and slavery are unenlightened by today's standards, but his work remains enduring and relevant to this day. (Summary by Leon Mire)...

Philosophy, Politics

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Four

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Religion, Children

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Second Variety

By: Philip K. Dick

Early victories by the USSR in a global nuclear war cause the United Nations government to retreat to the moon leaving behind troops and fierce autonomous robots called “Claws”, which reproduce and redesign themselves in unmanned subterranean factories. After six bloody years of conflict the Soviets call for an urgent conference and UN Major Joseph Hendricks sets out to meet them. Along the way he will discover what the Claws have been up to, and it isn’t good… - Second Variety was first published in the May 1953 edition of Space Science Fiction Magazine. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)...

Science fiction

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Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital, by Its Matron

By: Phoebe Yates Pember

Phoebe Yates Pember served as a matron in the Confederate Chimborazo military hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, overseeing a dietary kitchen serving meals to 300 or more wounded soldiers daily. Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital is her vivid recounting of hospital life and of her tribulations (and personal growth) as a female administrator. To follow her from day one, when she is greeted with “ill-repressed disgust” that “one of them had come,” and she, herself, “could only understand that the position was one which dove-tailed the offices of housekeeper and cook” to the day when she as exerts control over the hospital’s “medicinal whiskey barrel” is to watch a woman find herself. Besides describing “daily scenes of pathos,” Pember gives a horrifying account of the prisoner exchange of November 1864 (“living and dead . . . not distinguishable”), and also of the evacuation and burning of Richmond in 1865. Her memoirs were serialized in Cosmopolite magazine in 1866, then reprinted in book form in 1879 under the title A Southern Woman’s Story. Pember was honored by the US Postal Service with a stamp in 1995. (Summ...

Memoirs, History, War stories

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Six

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Children, Religion

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Woman in the Nineteenth Century

By: Margaret Fuller

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was an American feminist, writer, and intellectual associated with the Transcendentalist movement. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) is considered the first major feminist work in the United States. Her life was short but full. She became the first editor of the transcendentalist journal The Dial in 1840, before joining the staff of the New York Tribune under Horace Greeley in 1844. By the time she was in her 30s, Fuller had earned a reputation as the best-read person in New England, male or female, and became the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard College. Her seminal work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, was published in 1845. A year later, she was sent to Europe for the Tribune as its first female correspondent. She soon became involved with the revolutions in Italy and allied herself with Giuseppe Mazzini. She had a relationship with Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. All three members of the family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York, as they were traveling to the United States in 1850. Fuller's body was never recovered. This project collects her most ...

Essay/Short nonfiction, Politics, Memoirs

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part One

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Religion, Children

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Daughter of the Sioux, The

By: Charles King

Charles King (1844 – 1933) was a United States soldier and a distinguished writer. He was the son of Civil War general Rufus King and great grandson of Rufus King, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He graduated from West point in 1866 and served in the Army during the Indian Wars under George Crook. He was wounded in the arm forcing his retirement from the regular army. During this time he became acquainted with Buffalo Bill Cody. King would later write scripts for several of Cody's silent films. King's writings, relating to American Indians, cover a complex range of opinion within his novels. His sympathy for their cause of defending their homelands, and being forced to adopt a new lifestyle, did not stop him from graphically portraying them as savage and barbaric peoples. However, King also used his writings to harshly criticize U.S. government policies that resulted in Indian treaties not being honored and that permitted rampant corruption among government-appointed reservation agents. As a lieutenant in the 5th Cavalry, King was a participant on the American western frontier, who personally fought in battles...

Fiction, Historical Fiction

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Three

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Children, Religion

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Hurlbut's Story of the Bible Part Seven

By: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Some years ago, the editor of an English magazine sent a communication to the hundred greatest men in Great Britain asking them this question: If for any reason you were to spend a year absolutely alone, in a prison for instance, and could select from your library three volumes to be taken with you as companions in your period of retirement please to inform us what those three books would be. The inquiry was sent to peers of the realm, prominent leaders in politics, judges, authors, manufacturers, merchants, gentlemen of leisure—men who would represent every aspect of successful life. In the answers it was found that ninety-eight of the hundred men named The Bible first on the list of the three books to be chosen. (From Book introduction)...

Religion, Children, Instruction

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Anarchism and Other Essays

By: Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman (1869-1940) was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Russia, Goldman emigrated to the US in 1885 and lived in New York City, where she became a writer and a renowned lecturer on anarchist philosophy, women's rights, and social issues, attracting crowds of thousands. Goldman was imprisoned several times for inciting to riot and illegally distributing information about birth control. In 1906, Goldman founded the anarchist journal Mother Earth. In 1910, she collected a series of speeches and items she had written for Mother Earth and published Anarchism and Other Essays . In addition to a comprehensive look at anarchism and its criticisms, the book includes essays on patriotism, women's suffrage, marriage, and prisons. (summary extracted from wikipedia)...

Essay/Short nonfiction

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Bird Study Book, The

By: Thomas Gilbert Pearson

Do you enjoy birdwatching? Would you like to learn a little more about the early conservations efforts to protect wild birds? In the Preface to The Bird Study Book, Pearson tells us “This book was written for the consideration of that ever-increasing class of Americans who are interested in acquiring a greater familiarity with the habits and activities of wild birds. Attention is also given to the relation of birds to mankind and the effect of civilisation on the bird-life of the country. ” An avid ornithologist, T. Gilbert Pearson (1873-1943) was a co-founder in 1905 of the National Association of Audubon Societies of which he was first secretary and then president for many years. He was also a pioneer of the conservation movement in the United States, international bird protection and broad nature education for school-aged children. (Audubon Magazine. 42: 370–371. Nov-Dec 1943)...

Animals, Nature, Science

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Federalist Papers, The

By: Alexander Hamilton ; James and Jay Madison

The Federalist Papers (correctly known as The Federalist) are a series of 85 articles advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788 . A compilation of these and eight others, called The Federalist, was published in 1788 by J. and A. M’Lean. The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government.The authors of the Federalist Papers wanted to both influence the vote in favor of ratification and shape future interpretations of the Constitution. According to historian Richard Morris, they are an incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer....

History, Essay/Short nonfiction

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Story of Abraham Lincoln, The

By: Mary A. Hamilton

In this biography for young adults, Mary A. Hamilton gives a British person’s perspective on the 16th President of the United States. A glowing tribute to “Honest Abe”, the author traces Lincoln’s ancestral roots and recounts his birth in Kentucky, his youth in Indiana, his adult life in Illinois and his years in the White House. She also provides a good background on the causes and course of the American Civil War. Hamilton is not always historically precise. For example, she erroneously names Jefferson Davis as the Southern Democratic candidate for president running against Lincoln and Douglas in 1860 rather than John C. Breckinridge. However, overall “The Story of Abraham Lincoln” is a good summarization and interesting account of the life, values and politics of Lincoln. Cautions: Chapter 7 contains a single use of an epithet for African-Americans in a quotation from a British magazine. Chapter 8 ends with an example of a stereotypical Southern black dialect which many may find offensive. (Summary by John Lieder.)...

History, Children, Biography

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Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, A

By: James De Mille

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder is the most popular of James De Mille's works. It was serialized posthumously in Harper's Weekly, and published in book form by Harper and Brothers of New York City in 1888. This satiric romance is the story of Adam More, a British sailor. Shipwrecked in Antarctica, he stumbles upon a tropical lost world of prehistoric animals, plants, and a cult of death-worshipping primitives. He also finds a highly developed human society which has reversed the values of Victorian society. Wealth is scorned and poverty revered; death and darkness are preferrable to life and light. Rather than accumulating wealth, the natives seek to divest themselves of it as quickly as possible. At the beginning of each year, the government imposes wealth (the burden of reverse taxation) upon its unfortunate subjects as a form of punishment. A secondary plot about the four yachtsmen who find the manuscript forms a frame for the central narrative. [Condensed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Strange_Manuscript_Found_in_a_Copper_Cylinder ]...

Adventure, Satire

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