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The West and the World: A History of Civilization from the Ancient World to 1700

Author: Kevin Reilly Language: English Summary: This work covers topics such as gender, religion, war, ecology, and nationalism, creating both thematic narratives and the strands of a larger chronological account. It explores major historical turning points, and reveals the dynamic of increasing global interactions. (Goodreads) Continue reading The West and the World: A History of Civilization from the Ancient World to 1700

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Ritual: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Barry Stephenson

Language: English

Summary: Ritual is part of what it means to be human. Like sports, music, and drama, ritual defines and enriches culture, putting those who practice it in touch with sources of value and meaning larger than themselves. Ritual is unavoidable, yet it holds a place in modern life that is decidedly ambiguous. What is ritual? What does it do? Is it useful? What are the various kinds of ritual? Is ritual tradition bound and conservative or innovative and transformational? Continue reading “Ritual: A Very Short Introduction”

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World

Author: Elena Favilli

Language: English

Summary: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World is the third book in the New York Times bestselling series for children. Packed with 100 all-new bedtime stories about the lives of incredible female figures from the past and the present, this volume recognizes women who left their birth countries for a multitude of reasons: some for new opportunities, some out of necessity. Continue reading “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World”

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The Jazz Exiles: American Musicians Abroad

Author: Bill Moody

Language: English

Summary: The Jazz Exiles chronicles the expatriate movement of American jazz musicians during the post-World War II era. While the term exile normally conjures up images of ousted Third World leaders or deposed kings, it is as much a part of the jazz vocabulary as improvisation or Birdland.

Like the American writers of the 1920s who went to Europe and became Gertrude Stein’s “lost generation, ” jazz musicians from the United States also made the Atlantic crossing at a steadily increasing rate until many of the major names in jazz lived or worked almost exclusively abroad. Continue reading “The Jazz Exiles: American Musicians Abroad”

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Splash!: 10,000 Years of Swimming

Author: Howard Means

Language: English

Summary: From man’s first recorded dip into what’s now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all–the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic.

Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today’s Olympic games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about moving through water, about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, and shows you how much more it can be. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more.

Unique and compelling, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history–and just like jumping into a pool on a hot summer’s day, it has fun along the way.

Continue reading “Splash!: 10,000 Years of Swimming”

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At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Author: Bill Bryson

Language: English

Summary: In At Home, Bill Bryson applies the same irrepressible curiosity, irresistible wit, stylish prose and masterful storytelling that made A Short History of Nearly Everything one of the most lauded books of the last decade, and delivers one of the most entertaining and illuminating books ever written about the history of the way we live.

Continue reading “At Home: A Short History of Private Life”